Swatch Selections Cont’d. & Donating My Hair to Locks of Love

This past week I submitted more color options to my manufacturer. While the above Ambitionist briefcase comes in a traditional solid black, I wanted a fun, colorful option as well. The decision came down between a nude pink versus a lilac. I had produced both before and liked both, though found the lilac one much more popular sales-wise. People say they prefer the pink, but don’t buy it at the same frequency as the lilac for some reason.

We had run out of lilac briefcases before and figured we’d stop producing those to move on to new color options. I decided against that and am back to production of lilac briefcases. =)

We’re going with 2 different textures of vegan leather:

The above is a sheeny, smooth material. The gold and silver swatches, #16 and #18 respectively really show what I mean (though no, I am not making any bags in those colors). The colors we are going with, highlighted with yellow boxes, are more understated but still have that sheen and polish to it. This particular material will be great for the briefcases. The look is very professional and sleek.

The second texture I love, love, love, love, love. It’s uber soft and suede-like, velvety, and just super duper pretty. I’ve challenged many people to feel this material and compare it with genuine leather, and no one has been able to distinguish the difference, not even self-proclaimed fashionistas! Problem with this material is that I can’t use it for the more structured briefcases, so only the totes come in this swatch option.

I did very informal, amateur color blocking to illustrate my color selections for this upcoming purchase order. The amaranth pink looks tacky in my color blocks above, but here is how it actually looks:

Workaholic shoulder tote (above)

Executive satchel brief (above)

And here’s a look into the design business process:

That’s the first page screenshot of a memo I sent to my factory. I organized my color and swatch selections into tables to make it as convenient as possible for the manufacturer. When you first establish a relationship with the factory, each bag style is assigned an SKU (stock-keeping unit) number. For example, my bag styles are numbered SL-2______. Each material selection also has an SKU.

Typically within one account, the first 3 digits of the SKU are the same, so for example when I call up the factory to talk about, say, the Ambitionist briefcase. I won’t say, “And for the Ambitionist in Lilac…” Instead, I’ll say, “For SL-974, in the number 13…” I say “SL” for the letter reference as you see above, and skip the first 3 digits because those 3 digits are the same for every bag under my account.

For lawyers who deal in intellectual property law, it’s similar to how we colloquially refer to patent numbers and trademark registration numbers, mais oui?

Although the descriptions (e.g., Ambitionist, Peripatetic, Catalyst, Executive, etc.) aren’t terribly relevant to the factory or for communicating to the factory, I put it next to every SKU for my own ease of cross-reference. That’s because personally I am terrible, completely utterly awful with numbers. It’s easier for me to remember “Peripatetic in Amaranth Rose” than it is for me to remember a 3-digit number. Seriously! However, for those who are good with numbers, there would probably never be the whole blurb descriptions and all you’d have are the SKUs. I could never do it that way because the numbers would make me dizzy.

So that’s what I’ve been doing TZ venture wise. Thought I’d also add a personal update:

As of last Friday that was how my hair looked. I’ve had long hair as far back as I can remember. (It’s even longer than it appears in the above photos because the front layers are shorter; from the back, the hair falls only a few inches above my waist.) Any time I referred to my hair length as “short,” it meant just below my shoulders. Never before in this lifetime had my hair actually been short enough for you to see the nape of my neck. And I had planned to go blissfully for the rest of my life like so.

Since I have ridiculously thick, coarse hair, long hair has been doubly uncomfortable this summer. When I attempt to wind it up into a bun, the bun itself is the same size as my head. Real attractive, huh? So I decided to get it cut.

Perhaps handbag designing has gotten to me or something, but now I think and plan in terms of thumbnail sketches. Below is the sketch I rendered illustrating what I intended to get done. See, the back nape of my neck would still be fully covered.

Then my cousin suggested that I donate to Locks of Love. The hair donation had to be at least 10 inches long, which is a lot more hair than I had wanted to cut off. Also, I was concerned about my colored chunks. Per the website, it can be dyed hair, but not bleached. I talked to my stylist who regularly does my hair, and she said my hair had not been bleached, just semi-permanently dyed, so it should be fine. Alrightey then.

There’s me post-cut. The length is much shorter than my thumbnail sketch, but that’s because I asked the stylist to cut off more hair to make sure we definitely got in the full 10 inches, 12 if possible. So we went for 12. Yes, a whole foot of hair. Women who prefer their own hair long and have gone their whole lives with long hair like me will be able to commiserate: watching a whole foot of your own hair get lopped off isn’t the easiest thing to do. =X

There’s my hair! Two ponytails. Hmm, looking at your own hair packaged away in plastic bags on a table is rather creepy.

“Before” and “After” photos:

There’s me with glasses. My mother’s signature hairstyle is a short bob, longer in front, and she wears glasses; so everyone, from my husband to both my sisters and my brother-in-law have remarked my uncanny resemblance to my mother now that my hair basically looks like hers. Sigh.

The shortest layer is 10 inches, with most of it approximately 15 inches, though with those split ends, I just hope it’s still usable! Eeks.

I am definitely going through a readjustment period. =)  Just as people warned me, I squeeze out wayyy too much shampoo and conditioner when washing and even brushing my hair has been different. I woke up this morning, sleepy-headed, and on automatic, grabbed my hairbrush, started at the top and applied the normal force to get the normal acceleration I need to shove a brush through what is typically the wild, wild jungle that is my hair every morning. But I painfull scraped my neck instead. Ouch! Now I was awake. I blinked and looked at my reflection and realized I had no more hair to brush. Haha. Oh dear.

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