Joolz

Source: Joolz

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Being a person and a business, and keeping your opinions to yourself

No doubt, if you follow me on any social media, you have noticed that I’m not great at staying silent about social inequality topics like marriage equality & homophobia. And because my label is just me, that opinion gets declared on my instagram, twitter & facebook feed. I have noticed that some people keep their opinions on issues like this very quiet, and I have had one woman make a vague reference (was I supposed to take it as a threat? LOL) about not shopping from people who make political posts on their business pages… but you know what, that lady? I don’t want your money if you don’t support marriage equality. Go buy your fashion from someone who is passionate about your causes. May I suggest that Guy Who Loves A Dress, Cory Bernardi, be your inspiration, and good luck to you. Yeah I get it, it sucks hearing about stuff that you don’t care about. But some of us do care. We care mightily. And for those who are directly effected by all this? You can bet your backside they care.

I decided early on with this venture that how I feel about this, and other social issues, is integral to me and so by extension my brand, my label, it’s part of who I am and so of course it inspires my creative pursuits. Social inequality in the fashion world is, after all, one of the major reasons that Joolz exists as a fashion label. If there were a bunch of fashion houses already supplying the plus size market with all the things I wanted to wear, then I wouldn’t have had so much reason to make, and later start selling my own clothes.

So this is really two fingers in the air to those who have decided to play it “safe” and in doing so, not give their wholehearted support to the members of our society who need it most. That’s a privilege that those this directly effects can not afford to do, and I choose to support them. But it’s mainly two fingers up to that ridiculous woman who thought I would give a rats about courting business from obscene dinosaurs who haven’t got the cognitive skills to find their way into the 21st century.

Sometimes you just have to let go of an idea

I don’t get back to this blog as often as I should, I know. But I find running my own business, all the online work, keeping things photographed and updated on etsy, making sure I post on instagram and facebook and twitter and (let’s face it, only every now and then) tumblr, and looking after the online shop, is quite enough web stuff to look after thank you very much. The blogging is something I love the idea of, but never get back to regularly. I guess this is why I’m not an author, huh?

The label has grown and changed quite a lot in the past year. I have lots more designs and lots more prints and lots more work to do! My last collection was nautically-themed, which was fun to create. I thought it would be interesting to have people vote (anyone could vote, not just existing customers) via facebook & instagram for their favourite prints from a series of options. I would select the top favourites to make up my collection, plus a couple extra designs that I really wanted to include. But I discovered, again, that what people say they want, and what people actually physically buy, are two very different things. It is interesting indeed.

In the same vein, I had learnt from someone who used to work for big loyalty card program (those programs exist purely for data mining, btw, not to reward your loyal custom) that people say what they think you “want” to hear, or what they think the “right” answer is, but then many go on to purchase completely differently to their stated intentions – and I certainly have learnt that to be the case. This dynamic apparently is very true in respect to eco-friendly, green, locally-sourced, ethically- or locally-made products. Lots of people say they want these options, but almost no one actually buys them. Sad, huh?

With Joolz, I’ve been trying to have a locally-sourced, locally-made label, which can be very challenging and frustrating in practice. Having everything done locally has proved to be very difficult. And it turns out that apparently zero of my customers care about my garments being made locally. The only place that it really matters is at one of the markets I currently do, and yes, I will have to give that market up if I take my label, or even part of the manufacturing of it, offshore, but that is looking more and more likely if I want to stop having so many headaches.

Running your own business is a huge job, and having a micro-indie-label, like I have, means it is also not a high-paying job. Major headaches around local manufacturing quality control, months-long lead times for tiny orders, high minimums with even higher prices if you want to be treated decently, is just getting to be too much for me. I love my job, but all this stuff is causing me angst. I think it’s time to make the leap and go offshore. It’s a shame, as I would have loved to keep it all done in Australia, but the local businesses that I have dealt with recently have done nothing to make me feel like that’s an enjoyable prospect. It will end up costing me more to manufacture overseas. I know everyone has this idea that taking your business offshore saves money, but when you have to pay for all that shipping back and forth, which just keeps going up and up and up, plus things like import and export taxes that foreign manufacturing leaves you open to, and with the prices of materials not being any better than locally sourced fabrics, it actually means this will not be as good for me economically. But it will save me some headaches around production, I hope. We shall see.

 

You want a Piece of Us? Intersectional Feminism.

All of this.

Curves Become Her


Despite the amount of vitriol targeted at visibly fat people today, the fact is, we have been fighting for the right to not be condemned as yet another obesity statistic for decades.

Fat Feminism started way before body positivity did. It was on the haunches of the former that body positivity was created. It was not about being fashionable, it was not about being popular or acquiring a big following. It was about an intersection with feminism, an identity that has been derided.

And for what, for being a size you consider unhealthy? No other size is considered the hallmark of laziness and sloth. No other size is instantly given the stamp of diabetes, heart diseases and an early death. But All sizes have complications, all sizes have hidden addictions and health problems.

I don’t see the need to justify my body for the backlash that is received. That would…

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Getting into the COTD spirit

So as I might have mentioned (can’t remember), I’m part of a style group on Facebook and Instagram called COTDStyle. It’s a colour challenge group, and every day we all get two different colours to wear together as the challenge for the next day. That’s what happens most of the time, except on Texture Tuesdays when we get a texture and a colour instead.

So this is a really great thing to do if you are bored with wearing the same old thing all the time. It really gets you to shake up your wardrobe. Yesterday the colours were yellow and maroon. I NEVER wear these colours together, as they are my home state’s sporting colours, so they are pretty much reserved for those events only, as I don’t want to look like some weird Queenslander who wears their state colours with pride wherever they go. BUT now I may very well become that person, because I LOVED the outfit I came up with for this challenge! welovecolors.com has a great range of plus size fishnet tights, and I have been missing out on wearing mine as I just keep not thinking of them. So having to find yellow was the greatest nudge to dig these out, and I LOVE them SO MUCH with this outfit!!! In fact I love this outfit so much that I went straight back on to their website and ordered a few more in different colours. This is going to make for some seriously fun winter outfits 🙂

All Aboard!

Designed a new tunic. Feeling a little Freddy Krueger in it. Totally freaked out one poor soul at the market who found it way too horror-esque.IMG_0360

Wear your leggings however you damn well want

Ugh. If I have to read that bullshit line one more time I am gonna scream. To all those “leggings are not pants” fashion nazis, you are boring me with your boring rules and your boring selves.

TAKE A GOOD LOOK! OOOOH THAT’S RIGHT! THIS FATTY IS SO SICK OF YOUR STUPID RULES & SHE’S WEARING THEM AS PANTS WITH A CROP TOP! And I look cute af with my fake green hair and my ittybitty sausage dog leggings. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

If anyone else wants to wear leggings HOWEVER THEY DAMN WELL PLEASE feel free to go right ahead. It’s your body and they are your clothes.

(The Doxtooth ones I designed & am wearing are found here: https://www.joolzp.etsy.com)image

Let’s Talk Classism in Plus-Size Clothing

It is a hell of a lot of work to put together a clothing collection that is affordable and ethical. Many companies (I have to assume) simply don’t do it because it is “too hard”, and they don’t make enough money from doing so. I myself am yet to earn a living wage from what I do, and still I’m told quite often that my prices are too high for some people. I appreciate that my pricing is not for everyone. But I have made it as accessible as I can without literally sewing, collating, and designing clothing for people for free. I would have to humbly suggest that making clothing that is accessible to EVERYONE needs to be taken up by the big chain stores, who have the contacts, the resources, the marketplace access and the budgets to manage something like this. Us small-potatoes designers are simply not in a position influentially or financially to manage this by ourselves.

Fat Heffalump

Wow.  In the past 24 hours I have seen some of the most disgusting displays of classism in discussions about plus-size clothing that I think I’ve EVER seen in the fatosphere.  Wait until you see the doozy I just screen capped.

As most of you probably already know, Beth Ditto dropped her new plus-size clothing line this week.  It’s gorgeous.  I would love to own almost every item in the range.  But a lot of fat women have quite rightfully raised that they are priced out of the range because it aims at the high end market.  This isn’t a criticism of Beth herself, or her new range, but an important message about how one high end fashion range is not a victory for fat women in general, because MOST of us are not able to access the range (let’s acknowledge the cut off of larger sizing too, but that’s…

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Fake it til you make it

I have been struggling these past few days. I have three bulged disks in my lower spine and tendinitis in my right arm, normally I manage them quite well with osteopathic treatments but this weekend was hideous. Stress and not making it in to see my osteo soon enough have taken their toll.

I learnt this trick from my Nanna for when you are feeling grim – dress up!

I don’t always do it – I think if I tried to do it every time maybe it would lose its magic or something – but I dressed up on Sunday.

I have been working on this dress and I feel like I nearly have it where I want it – I just need to lower the neckline a little and raise the hemline a little. But I LOVE the fabric and the shape already. So that’s what I picked to play dress-ups with. I decided against heels because I didn’t want to upset my back any further so I chose these cute little maryjane flats from John Fluevog. I love his shoes.

Anyway it worked, I had a few hours of feeling more like myself on Sunday 🙂
Fingers crossed that I get in to see my osteopath soon and help it all settle down.