Learning that the customer is not always right

I don’t get back to this blog as often as I should, I know. But I find running my own biz online, 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 website, is quite enough online 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?

Anyway 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 put up, and for the top favourites to make up my collection, plus a couple I just had to have. But I discovered, for maybe the hundred-millionth time, that what people say they want, and what people actually physically buy, are two very different things. It is interesting indeed.

I had learnt from someone who used to work for big loyalty card program (you know those programs exist purely for data mining, right, not to actually 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 every time I have responded to what I thought were actual requests from actual customers. Weirdly I knew this back when I was designing jewellery – people used to ask me for a custom piece, and they would describe what they wanted. I always ended up making them two pieces – the one they said they wanted, and one I thought they might prefer. Seriously 10 times out of 10 they’d take my riff on their request rather than the original request.

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? So anyway, at the end of the day I think it’s best if I just stick to listening to myself when it comes to designing things. You never can tell what’s going to be received well, and what’s not going to sell (well I never know anyway) so you just have to stick with whatever your vision is at the time. I have so many ideas for prints and garment designs that I would love some help from my customers to narrow the field, but so far that hasn’t had terribly good results so I’m just going to have to learn to get better at culling on my own!

But hey, I do love my customers. They are a pretty damn gorgeous bunch. I wouldn’t have the best job in the world without them, after all!

 

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

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.

That time I did a photoshoot in Cuba

I travelled to Cuba last November. It was as amazing as I’d hoped it would be.

While I was there I did a couple of photoshoots. Everything about Cuba is so photogenic, so why wouldn’t you want to take pictures of yourself all over the place?

cuban cars2.jpg

Pictured is the awesome 1957 Chevy that we got driven around Havana in.
I’m wearing my Purple Poe leggings and my charcoal linen cowl tunic (ideal in Summer, let me tell you!). You can find them both here.

January Madness + New Skirts

Well, it’s been a crazy busy week as I try to get everything finalised before the sewing crew take some time off. I have my fingers crossed that everything I wanted to be done, is now going to be finished and ready for photographing for the next stage of the process.

I did manage to pick up a couple of samples this week, that I was really looking forward to seeing in their final incarnation. I have been working on the first design for a few months now, and the second design was the last one that I included in the collection.

These two skirts signify different ways of looking at nature, for me.

The first one, showing a collection of carnivorous plants, is nature when she’s being both beautiful and deadly. And the second, showing a baby joey, is when she’s being all fluffy and cute. Both elements of nature are pretty awesome, I think!

Hoping I can share some more of these soon!

Happy new year!

Well then, 2016! Here you are, hey?

I love the start of the new year.

Melbourne is so quiet at this time of year. The start of January means an empty city, to me. The streets are operating with a skeleton staff, while everyone is off on their summer holidays.

I love being at home in Melbourne at this time of year. I love how easy it is to get a parking space, and how quick & simple it is to get around the city – no traffic! Of course, there are the downsides, like some of our favourite restaurants being closed for the Christmas break, and the occasional 42°C days (that’s 104°F for my American friends)… but on the whole, I really do love being in Melbourne at this time of year.

I’m spending the start of 2016 putting the final touches on the next collection for my label, Joolz. It is such an exciting time during the creative process, when you can see all your ideas & concepts finally taking shape. I still have a couple of pieces to pick up from the makers (and I still need to photograph those), and I really need to update the website too. Hahaha the joys of small business ownership!

So there is still plenty to do before thinking about a launch party for the new collection! But I have to admit, that party is also on my mind… I do love a good party 🙂 I had a venue in mind, but I’ve been having difficulties getting through to the manager, so I may need to abandon that option and find somewhere else.

So, I hope those of you who are working at this time of year are enjoying what you do, and for those of you on holidays, soak it up!

And if you want a little sneak preview of what’s to come, you can check out what’s going on over at my etsy store 🙂