Progress Report: Glacier’s Pace

Well, glacier’s pace per the original idiom, not today’s glacier paces thanks to climate change. (Word has it our world’s glaciers are melting at an accelerated pace and that does not bode well for us. Anyway.)

It’s been slow and steady here in terms of progress, more “slow” than “steady,” because we’re kind of reinventing the wheel again with our new factory. We’ve also made numerous functional changes to the bags, improvements made after product testing.

Betty touched base with me a few days ago and that’s when I realized I’ve been neglecting TZ. So much is going on in my day job professional life that I have not had a chance to focus on the design gig. =(

Above is a photo of the Ambitionist briefcase in brown stuffed beyond capacity. This past week’s personal use of the Ambitionist during trial prep has made it glaringly apparent that this bag is not wide enough. Look at that thing in the above picture!

L., an antitrust attorney in New York has also been using one of our prototypes and remarked the same: that the Ambitionist briefcase needs to be just a smidge wider.

I’ve also been rethinking the two handles. When I carry the bag over my shoulder, similar to how L. is carrying it in the above pic, I use the accompanying shoulder strap. Although the shoulder strap is detachable, I never detach it. Because it’s just so useful. That kind of renders the two handles useless. Instead, I’m now thinking the two little handles should just be available for carrying in your hand, like so:

Also, since these past few days of day job work required business formal, I was contemplating outfit posts to show how I was incorporating the TZ bags into everyday use at the office. But work was just so topsy turvy that I ended up with neither the time nor the will to follow through with the OOTDs. So I’ll post the only thing I did end up doing, and the pics don’t even show my TZ bag! I’m awful at this!

That’s me in a courthouse ladies room. It’s just a tailored black dress with a black turtleneck underneath to keep it conservative, accessorized with a black belt. With opaque black stockings and black pumps. It was morning, and chilly, so I still had on my black overcoat. I had toted my Ambitionist briefcase in all black that day.

I’m very reliant on Hubby’s strength and love, especially through something as  important as trial. The pendant I am wearing is of two swans kissing, their heads and necks forming a heart shape. Swans mate for life. So the pendant reminds me of Hubby. =D Hehe. There’s always something on me that reminds me of Hubby, like my swan pendant, the way most women wear their wedding, engagement, or promise rings. The reminder is just not something so typically-obvious like a wedding ring.

Mae had mentioned in a previous post that she rarely sees me wearing my wedding ring. That’s true, I rarely wear it because it’s big and clunky. (Sorry, Hubby!) However there are a few instances when I do want to make a statement without making a statement, when I’m in certain settings, and those are the times I’ll put on my ring. See above center pic. =P

Finally, Hubby and I are looking for a bigger apartment, that or more preferably, TZ office space. Right now our place looks like the above pic. When doing taxes for a small business, one can deduct for home office space if that space is used exclusively for the small business. Um… yep, that looks like it’s being used exclusively for TZ! Sigh… TZ stuff is definitely encroaching on our living space, and while Hubby has been super duper patient and understanding, I’m pretty sure he’s not down with this. =P So…we start the hunt for an office.

In short, yes, I’m still alive, Project TZ is still ongoing, but the collection that takes most designers one season to launch is taking us, uh… 3 years. And that’s because as much as I would love to devote every extraneous hour to working on Project TZ, instead, to make sure I don’t completely suck at my day job, I have to devote every extraneous hour to reading stuff like this:

Guai Guai, our kitty, who really should get a Juris Doctor too since he made it through law school with me, is much more of an erudite than I’ll ever be. So I tasked him to read the California Evidence Benchbook and summarize the contents in a short report for me. The book, frankly, puts me to sleep, so I figured Guai Guai would have a better shot of getting something out of reading it than I would. It’s no Dan Brown that’s for sure, not that I read Dan Brown but no one in Hollywood is going to make a movie adaptation of this book any time soon, let’s just say.

Oh wait. Looks like the Benchbook puts even Guai to sleep…

Ah well. It was worth a shot. He tried. Maybe I should have gone all tiger mom on him and threaten to withhold Fancy Feast unless he finishes the book by end of day.

About tarynzhang

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  • ChristineZ

    I love the Ambitionist in brown!

  • Hanna

    I hope you keep both of the styles! The original bag looks really chic and not boring office like. Plus, the slim fit makes it mobile so perhaps one should keep their bare office essentials in them? Then again I’m not an attorney or anything like that so my opinion should be weighed in too much. Guai is so adorable, my cat used to do the same thing. Sleep on the newspaper or a book to get more attention!

  • Fourth Daughter

    Thanks for your comments! I’m sure you could work a green jacket into your legal attire…
    Your cat is so sweet. What does his name mean? (I’m half Chinese but don’t speak it). My cat loves sleeping or walking all over material when I go to cut it out… and she loves Fancy Feast too!!
    It’s great how you’re putting so much thought into the bag designs, my ideal bag still eludes me…

  • Joey

    I enjoy reading your updates on the bag because I’ve never known how it was done, so reading your posts on how you go to the manufacturers, test out the prototypes etc is really quite exciting. So much thought and hard work goes into the making of one bag!
    I really like the black one, it looks so sleek, yet not boring like usual the usual briefcases/office bags.

    Awww that swan necklace is so cute! You’ve such a loving relationship with your husband. Hope you’re well :)

  • WendyBrandes

    I specialize in redesigning wedding/engagement rings! Let me know if you ever want to do yours. Better to have something you’ll love and wear. (BTW, I also have some nice swan rings!)

  • Whitney Powell

    Love your blog! It can be difficult to have a day job and blog so I can’t imagine trying to put together a line of bags as well. Love the ambitionist. Will definitely be back to check on how things are going!


    Britt + Whit

  • Emma Yamada

    Your cat is Adorable!

  • Asiancajuns (Cath)

    I like the wider version for sure and the prototype looks great. Totally perfect for the office! You must have the smartest cat in the world :)

  • Betty Faith

    you’re getting there, don’t worry. you have lots of support! =)

  • Anonymous

    I love the wider version of that bag too with the shorter handles. That’s great that you’re giving the designs a proper test drive which means they’re completely practical! Also, Guai Guai looks adorable!

  • JoJo

    I love that you wear your own stuff! Best way to design I would think. hehe that pic of your kitty reading is so adorbs.

  • AppleSidra

    Funny thing is one would think every designer would wear his or her own stuff, ya know? In any case, I use the bags to test functionality, since I assume my lifestyle is very similar to the lifestyle of my target customer, a busy career woman. =P

  • AppleSidra

    Thanks! I’m still debating whether to shorten the handles. The shorter handles may make it easier to grab onto when you’re on the move, but then… not everyonoe will want to use the detachable shoulder strap! In which case having handles that allow for over-the-shoulder carrying becomes super convenient. Hmm… decisions.

  • AppleSidra

    Aww, thanks! I know I do! =D

  • AppleSidra

    He’s book smart. But street smart, not so much. That cat is afraid of birds and squirrels. What cat is afraid of birds and squirrels!!??

  • AppleSidra

    “Guai Guai” means goody-goody. When we first adopted him (a feral kitty), he was so eager to please, almost like a puppy, not a cat! Typically cats are snooty, but baby-Guai-Guai wanted to cuddle, wanted to play fetch, followed you around, etc. etc. So we called him Guai Guai. Oh but then he grew up and grew out of that phase. =( That or we spoiled him rotten. In any case, he’s a big ole’ snot now. Haha.

  • AppleSidra

    Really?!? I dunno. I’m still not feeling the brown bags. =( Brown to me looks so drabby. But I understand the importance and functionality of having a brown office bag in the collection. Sigh.