Progress Report (or lack thereof): Frustration and a Low Point

Please note: the above chart is not a real chart of anything.

I’ve been dragging my feet about updating here because I have no good news and also because if I memorialize the situation in writing, then I’ll have to confront the reality of it. And sometimes it’s more tempting to not talk about what’s going wrong and pretend that everything is fine. =)

So what’s going wrong? Well. Nothing. Since nothing is going on… Production seems to be at a complete halt.

Glimpse inside our factory.

The factory we work with, the one we visited in March, overbooked production this season. They work with some really big name designers, so naturally the big name designers’ production orders hold priority over mine. I’m okay with that. No….no, I’m not; but I have to be okay with it, so I force myself to understand.

Snapshot of Guangzhou

Although the factory couldn’t fulfill my order themselves, they wanted to keep my business. They proposed that in the meantime, I go with one of their subcontractors. The subcontractor is in Guangzhou (very, very far away). I then had to ship samples of all my bags to the Guangzhou factory so that they had prototypes to follow for production.

Needed to stuff the bags before shipping, so they maintain their shape in transit.

Only available stuffing on hand: Pages of law magazines.

Hubby helping me pack the boxes.

We shipped out the package a month ago, and the package still has not arrived at the factory… because it is stuck at customs. The customs headache aside, this means production hasn’t even begun yet. Oh my goodness. [I say “oh my goodness” here on this blog, but in my head, far more colorful verbiage is being used.]

The above photos show many Workaholic shoulder tote samples in black. They may look the same upon first glance, but there are slight, just the slightest variations between each one.

I’m posting these photos for an aspiring designer who asked me how many prototypes/sampe adjustments I go through for each style before I arrive at the final one for production. First of all to be clear, I’m still an “aspiring designer” and therefore have no “expert opinions” on anything. Whatever I say here is nothing more than the blind gal walking slightly in front leading the blind gal walking slightly behind. Both of us are still in it together.

Anyway, photos of the Workaholic shoulder tote samples show how many sample variations I go through. In one I changed the design of the handle base; in another I made the front design part into a pocket; in another I changed the side wall pockets; also went from single zipper head to double zipper heads; in another I changed the material used; even changed the measurements a couple of times and the incline of the side walls (adjusting by less than 2 degrees). All that fussing over an otherwise simple looking bag design.

Lately my updates on this blog have been sporadic. My deepest apologies and I’m so grateful for the readers who still remain patient. =)

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