Zipper Head Selections, Delays, & What I Do For Leisure

Yikes, it’s been over a month since I updated this blog. Well we finally received the confirmation samples only to discover new egregious issues, and so once again production is being delayed. This time, it’s the zipper heads, among other problems.

I feel like everything that could go wrong has gone wrong in this startup TZ venture. We were so close to finalizing everything like five months ago and then… as bad luck would have it, let’s just say our entire file at the factory disappeared. It was a horrid situation I’d rather not get into, but bottom line, we had to reinvent our wheel, again.

Ah, but that is not what this post is about. This post is about zipper heads! How fun!

Here was our original zipper head selection. Never mind the hanging thingie I have tied to my purse. I think it’s an Asian girl thing. We need to have cute little hanging thingie doodads jingling off our handbags. Anyway, we were okay with this zipper head and were ready to go forward. Then… we discovered the source of these zipper heads disappeared and we could no longer use them.

So then zipper head #2 came along:

Looks nice enough, though you can’t hang cute little hanging thingie doodads off these zipper heads. Oh well. That wasn’t even the worst of the problems. The joints on those zipper heads kept jamming. The zipper head would bend where you see that joint and then get stuck at odd angles. What a pain. There was no way we’d go with these zipper heads. Zipper heads that got stuck were unacceptable. Period.

So the factory sent us a bunch of zipper head samples to select from.

Above is our final zipper head selection. Pretty, isn’t it? And it’s cute-little-hanging-thingie-doodads-friendly.

As for our confirmation samples, some came out decent, like the Catalyst briefcase in dark chocolate brown.

With one compartment for a laptop and the other for case files and an easy-access back zip pocket for wallet, keys, and maybe my lip gloss and compact, this is totally a brief I’d carry to work!

Other samples… came out not so decent…

The above pics are top views of the Precisionist satchel. Egads, what is that? I e-mailed those photos to the factory with nothing more than the following question: From one consumer to another, would you buy this bag?

Our factory then said the problem was attributed to the material we selected. (Um, couldn’t have told us this before we went ahead with confirmation samples production that took 3 months, eh?) We had little choice but to grit our teeth, say thanks, and choose new material.

I’m undeniably generalizing here, but one difference I’ve noticed in customer service between the East (where my bags are made) and the West (where I live, where I was raised) is in the East, they’ll take your instruction literally without question. If I sent them a sketch of a bag with hot poker rods jutting out of it, I would get back a bag with hot poker rods jutting out of it.

Here in the West, pre-production I might get a polite, albeit meek reply from the factory, “Ma’am, are you sure you want hot poker rods jutting out of the bag? I just want to make sure, because typically that might be considered a safety hazard…” That final step of common sense just doesn’t happen in Asia.

My point in all that is this: when the factory saw the softer material I chose and saw the stiff, structured design of the Precisionist satchel, it should have alerted me, “Wait a minute, this is not going to work out.” Instead, they shrugged and went forward and that’s why I got back the confirmation sample with the bunching– because that design required a stiffer material, and the soft suede-like material I picked wasn’t going to fly. Sure, it’s absolutely my mistake. No doubt. But everybody would have saved 3 months of time had the factory bothered to point that out to me before they went forward with production. S’all I’m saying.

Anyway. So now we’re waiting. Again. We’ve picked new materials and are now hoping the new materials will be the solution to the bunching you see on the Precisionist above and now have to wait for more confirmation samples with the new materials to be made.

That means not much to do this summer except wait. And wait. And wait. And expect more delays to come. Hence, not much to update on this blog.

So what have I been doing all summer to pass the time?

Painting. And hanging them up all around our new home. Hubby and I recently moved to a bigger place, in part so we could have more storage space for this TZ venture. I love modern genres of art, like surrealism and pop art. The above left painting I’ve titled “Revenge of the Hairless Kitties” and the above right is “Pulchritude,” both 15″ x 15″. Not sure if you can tell, but the woman on the right is wearing Alexander McQueen. =)

Here’s a close-up on my favorite painting so far, the “Revenge” one:

My little sister’s remark to me regarding the above painting: “Is that a pink turkey floating in the sky?”

No. No it is not a pink turkey floating in the sky. Gosh darn it.

The above left, “The Hunted” (16″ x 20″) was the first painting I did, meaning first painting in decades. I think the last time I picked up a paintbrush and dipped it into acrylics was high school, for a required art class. So it’s been a while. =X I was inspired by various fairytales while painting that one. The above right I’ve titled “Ambition.”

I am currently working on a final painting to round out my summer paintings project. It’s my last canvas. I haven’t figured out what I’ll paint in the foreground yet, but that’s the New York City skyline. And no, that is not a sunset, but rather a nuclear fission bomb that just went off and is about to mushroom. No idea why my paintings veer toward the dark.

We’re now waiting on a final round of confirmation samples to be completed. Which will finish first, the above NYC skyline painting or the final round of confirmation samples? Sigh, at the rate we’ve been going, my bets are on the NYC skyline painting. C’est la vie.

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