// WINTER 2018 - THE FAREWELL TOUR //

January 23, 2018 2 Comments

I thought I had this blog post all figured out until last’s night’s release happened. I’m still going with my original theme but want to dive a little deeper into things and shed even more light on what’s in the works for Wooly Doodle.

About Last Night

Wow. Just wow. Every time a release happens I feel so overwhelmed with support but also think to myself ‘phewf – I really lucked out that time’ and assume it must be a fluke or a lucky break. At the risk of sounding a little too Gwen Stefani (circa 2004?), last night was Bananas – B A N A N A S. 

It was by far our craziest release yet and, while I should be feeling super excited about it, I had really strange mixed emotions last night. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE that there’s so much hype around our gear and so many of you were standing by with alarms set.

But, if I’m being honest, it’s not the customer experience I want for you all. It actually crushes me when I hear some of you didn’t get your orders in quickly enough and lost items out of your cart, or you weren’t able to grab something you had been wanting for a while because you went on to the site 10 mins after launch.

I know I probably sound like an ungrateful idiot for saying these things (trust me – I have more gratitude than I can articulate and I can’t thank you all enough), but in a perfect world, I want you to be able to come to the site when it’s convenient for you and take time to look at everything carefully and read all the info before making stress-free shopping decisions. I think you probably want that too, am I right?

So, let’s get to the subject line because I know I really hooked you with that one. Don’t worry – we aren’t shutting down. Not even close. But I’ve decided to share more details on how the business is taking shape because if you know me at all, you know I love oversharing.

The Farewell Tour

I feel like a broken record telling you all again we are pretty maxed out from a production perspective. We’ve been maxed out for a while and despite the people Jessica has been adding to her team, it’s still not going to allow that ideal state I mentioned above.

For this past launch, I sewed all the Lounge items with the exception of the Ladies Lounge Rompers (that’s Jessica’s wheelhouse). It’s the most sewing I’ve done in probably a year and while I LOVE sewing, this will be the last of it I do (en masse). [GASP]

If you don’t already know, I actually have another job – one I really love – and I’m going back in a couple of months. My initial goal was to remove myself from production after this last release but the process has taken longer than I expected and we’ve had a number of wholesale orders come in that I want to be able to fulfill quickly.

So, this is where the title ‘Farewell Tour’ comes in. Consider this my sewing farewell tour. But it’s like one of those tours where they keep adding dates and more concerts because the artists are like ‘hmmmm actually just kidding – I’m not ready to be done yet’. But there is a hard stop.

There are some exciting production plans in the works which I’ll speak to next, and there’s the J-O-B that awaits me.

So I’m going to keep on sewing as long as I can and as long as you’re still asking for Lounge items and then I’m throwing my proverbial guitar up in the air and walking off the stage (to assume the super important roll of backstage manager because I’m not out of the game completely, peeps).

Who is making the stuff then?

Well I’m so glad you asked. I have spent the last couple of months reorganizing our production process and let me tell you – it has been a learrrrrrning process.

As of February, all of our Kids items will be transitioning to an amazing hand-made production house in Toronto. After a lot of research and conversations (both with production facilities and other shops who use them), I found one I’m super excited about. We’ve spent the last couple months preparing for production, making a few tweaks to some products *cough* Kids Lounge Rompers *cough* and adding new ones. Next month large-scale (but still hand-made) production will begin and, while it’s definitely been the scariest part of running this business so far, I’m so excited it will mean we will soon have enough inventory for you to shop at your leisure.

Jessica and her growing team are still going to be bizzzzzeh but we’ve shuffled some things around so they can focus primarily on producing and evolving our Ladies Romper collection (yes, there are new styles coming) and designing and producing some new items as well.

How do you like dem apples?

So there you have it. Cards all out on the table. I went back and forth on how much of this to actually share. I realize there are some of you who may be turned off by the fact it’s no longer a mom or a couple of moms sewing the clothing, and I get that. But, based on the feedback I get from you, I know there are three things you value a lot about WD:

  • The fact it’s a local, handmade business based out of Ontario / Canada
  • The unique (and adorable) designs
  • The comfort, quality and functionality of the product

I kept these three factors at the foundation of my decision making process and I’m confident they will only get stronger as we move forward.

There you have it How do you like me now?

 



2 Responses

@hearts.for.handmade
@hearts.for.handmade

March 08, 2018

I have to commend you on your success, your dedication to your brand and your dedication to your customers. And also, for your transparency. As a small shop supporter, I spend my hard-earned money on businesses like yours. And as I’m sure you’re well aware, it’s a financial commitment. I could buy a $10 dress from a larger retailer with off-shore production, OR I could spend 4x that on one from a small shop. I don’t mind this. I truly don’t. I can’t always afford it, so I have to pick and choose. But again, I don’t mind it. I understand the value of hand-crafted/locally-crafted goods. I can sleep better at night knowing that I am helping to support and uplift a hard-working member of my community. Will I change my support knowing that you aren’t personally slaving away at your sewing machine? Absolutely not. You are building your brand and, in turn, you are actually providing job opportunities to other people. And that’s pretty darn rad. So again, I say congratulations on your success, and thank you for having the courage and the consideration to share with us the direction in which Wooly Doodle is headed. Props to you, sister!

Brianna
Brianna

January 24, 2018

Yay! That’s super exciting time for your business. Hopefully that means you’ll be able to open up some more wholesale spots ;)

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