Thursday, January 8, 2009

sneak peek spring/summer '09 collection

Ever since I posted my new shop announcement about how I'm going to handle the new regulations regarding the CPSIA and lead testing, I've been asked by many just what changes I'll be making, and how I'm going to comply with the law. So, I thought I'd let you all in on my design process!

Up until now I have let the creative mind of my brain take me in any direction it cared to go. That meant a lot of one-of-a-kind items, fabrics that might or might not coordinate with other things in my line, and basically create items on a whim! I like working this way because when I see a fabric I love, I would just go ahead and order, without giving any thought to whether it "went" with other things that I was doing. While this method is fun for me, it didn't always allow my items to mix and match. So...

What the CPSIA has forced me to do is take a really hard look at my clothing. Can the items work on their own? Yes. Without a doubt. Can they mix and match? Not so much. How many fabrics am I using? Hundreds. Even though component testing isn't allowed right now, I expect this to change in the future. So, for my Spring/Summer '09 collection, I am working very hard to make my line work differently. I am drastically paring down fabric and button selections in order to keep the cost of testing down, and of course, pass that savings on to my customers. I know this sounds very fundamental to many of you, but it just isn't how I have operated.

In the past I was reluctant to buy bolts of fabric, because I never needed that much of any one thing. Having limited fabrics for a whole line will allow me to purchase in bulk, again, keeping costs low. I will also be concentrating on more reversible styles which will allow for greater versatility for my customers.

I am really, really excited about my upcoming designs. They are practical, stylish, and of course, CUTE! There will be tons to mix and match, and I will be concentrating on two colorways, namely pink and blue. These are bestsellers for obvious reasons, and they also look great together.

I am also committed to following the law, and to that end will have all of my styles tested for lead. I am pretty sure there isn't any there to begin with, but if the big guys can prove it, then I guess so can I.

Of course, in August, we face another big hurdle. XRF testing will not be allowed, and everything must be done by a third party lab. If that doesn't change, I am not sure how I can stay in business as the cost of wet chemical destructive testing is just too great for it to make any sense for a small business like mine. So keep working to change the law, and stay tuned for my Spring/Summer collection in February!


Johanna said...

I just read this... it just didn't seem like it was possible for them to put so many people out of business. Good for you for doing your best to comply, but you may be able to continue with business as usual.

littlegirlpearl said...

While I am glad that some exemptions have been made for natural materials, this only means wool, cotton, and silk that is un-dyed, and un-treated in any way.

I suppose I could create a line of muslin clothing, but I'm not sure who would buy it!

babycheeks said...

Just wanted to say that I've been an admirer of your talent for some time now, but even more so I admire the way that you are handling the whole CPSIA issue. Your ability to change and adapt, but still fight the good fight is an inspiration to the rest of us!

Jen (aka babycheeks & thetrendytot)