Thursday, November 09, 2006

A Dearth of Great Clothes - So Why Don't I Sew Them And Sell Them?

Last night, I was priveleged to attend a reception and lecture hosted by "A Chance to Heal" Foundation.

Ivy Silver and her daughter Rachel founded this organization only a year and a half ago, in order to promote awareness, prevent, and provide for the treatment of eating disorders, especially where a family would not have the money to provide treatment. They're both dynamos, and have recruited an outstanding board of directors. This organization is going to do a lot of good for a lot of people.

A highlight of the evening for me is that during the reception, I got to speak briefly with Emme, who was the keynote speaker. Emme is charming, really smart, and of course, beautiful. I had read her book, True Beauty, a few years ago, and I was thrilled to have the chance to meet her. Here is a link to her website

One popular topic for discussion last evening was clothing and fashion. So many women have a hard time finding flattering clothing that fits in the stores. It seems that we oftentimes have only two choices in clothing: (1) comfy and unflattering/unfashionable or (2) fashionable but ill fitting.

I was wearing an outfit of my own design - a ruched A line skirt, combined with a cropped purple fuzzy sweater, accented by a handmade necklace, which I had bought in Alaska in 2000. Many women asked me about my outfit, as I think from the way it looked, it was very apparent that I could not have bought it in the typical department store venue. I was proud to tell them that I had made my outfit. I could have taken orders from many of these women, if I'd wanted to start producing and selling clothing. I realize as a result of last evening, that, there is HUGE demand for stuff that looks different, but is fashionable and comfortable.

Emme has a great line of clothing that she sells on QVC. There are other great clothing lines out there, too. But women are still pining for more choices for quality, fashionable, fitting clothing at a reasonable price.

SO...why don't I start my own line of clothing? And sell it? I get asked this a lot. Really. I'm not bragging. Airports, social events, whereever. Total strangers ask me, not to mention friends and family. I almost feel apologetic sometimes that I don't want to do this!

Here's why. Because fashion, and making clothing is my 'off hours' thing, and as a result it is an escape from work and life pressure. I know how it would be. As soon as I start producing clothing for other people (even as a single person shop, I'd be working "For" my clients), I know the pressure would start, and my fun would be diminished. My ideas are validated by others I know who currently, or have worked in the fashion industry, and also in the custom clothing industry.

So, I prefer to make my money doing something completely different, and then, doing the 'fashion sewing' thing on the side.

But it was SO wonderful to have my fashion sewing work validated last night, by a group of beautiful, fashion conscious women!


Anonymous said...

I've been asked this for years...and I actually feel alot as you do. It's a creative outlet in many ways. A decade ago I started designing for local children (I do mainly kids stuff) and it became SO much of a "job". Not fun anymore. So I was very selective about who and what I would do.

Recently I got back into designing for profit. (mainly to feed my fabric addiction, LOL.) Not big time, no plans to be big time, but its a different kind of fun. As long as I'm calling the shots! I have a need to create, and I don't know if I've found a happy medium or not but so far I'm loving it!


Anonymous said...

I know what you mean. I used to paint for a living. Just for a short time. Painting for finnicky clients who commissioned work from me was nerve wracking, and those soothing hours of wielding a brush on canvas were mostly gone.

You are making the right decision if sewing is a way for you to unwind.