rennes

1.20.2012

Finally at least a few inches on the ground!

Last two.

A Christmas present.

Sunny morning.

I'm so happy to wake up this morning to a little bit of snow on the ground. We had an inch about a week ago, but it lasted all of two hours and then was gone. This morning we have 2-3 inches, hopefully it will at least last the day. I know I know, I should be happy to have a mild winter, but I do love a good snow storm. Also, above : the last two dresses being shipped off today, a Christmas present (I've wanted a small bottle of Philosykos forever), and a re-organized bedroom that could be an ikea ad.

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Do you guys have trouble getting ideas? Do you ever feel a bit stuck? I have such an awful time with ideas. At first I kept pushing myself to have new things for the winter. I thought I had ideas, but now time has come and gone, and I must move onto thinking about spring. The truth is a I'm a bit baffled about bags. As I've developed as a designer (if I may be so bold to use that term) naturally I've been working on new skills, getting better at sewing, etc. And it's nice to hold up something you made three years ago and cringe at how badly it's made. I like being able to be critical.

I enjoy making certain bags so much, but in reality I know they aren't the pieces that sell well. So it's become a bit unclear to me where to focus my energy. I might end up working on more clothing for spring than bags, but I'm not sure yet. So I'll just throw this out there, what would you like to see more of?

14 comments:

WSAKE said...

i know so well what you´re talking about... somehow the things dear to my heart are not the most bestselling ones.. and ideas - they don´t come as easily as you wish sometimes.

i love your bags and clothing both very much.

oneeyedrabbit said...

I always thought that your Annie and Gretel bags were such great sellers. I remember when they were selling out all the time. I think you should being them back, maybe even update them a little bit. I love mine and I still get compliments on them. I own 5 of those bags. I know you say that your sewing has improved but I love how the bags look--not too finished and perfect on the outside. I HIGHLY suggest bringing those bag styles back to your shop.

EvaForeva said...

Wow, this is something only you can decide. I am crazy about your clothing and, of course, your most amazing bags.
When I sold clothing I had such a nervious feeling every time I shipped an item crossing my fingers that it will fit well. I imagine you don't have that with the bags as I didn't have that with scarves.
But I guess my recommendation is - do what makes you comfortable.

Carrie said...

I wholeheartedly agree with oneeyedrabbit. I love your Annie and Gretels. I am always hoping/looking for more in your store! I loved the colorful ones, but then again I have been vying for a black one for ages. I have only used your bags for the past few years and adore each one. That being said I am always looking for new additions!

erica said...

oof, tough questions.

i love what you make, and the price point is not unreasonable considering the materials, labor, and design, but it's harder (for me, anyway) to justify a bag purchase. i am much more a consumer of clothing or prints.

this is what i would love to see:
a wallet with a coin/token compartment
more dresses, tops, skirts and knits
canvas or fabric bags and pouches

i think you have such a beautiful aesthetic, and it translates well into clothing.

maybe it's time to try your hand at the perfect slouchy yet fitted button down shirt. you know you'll have at least one devoted customer ;)

Erin said...

I love your products too, although there are only so many bags I need at any one time. I'm sorry to learn you feel stuck, but I hope you realize you are not alone - I'm feeling stuck in my work as well right now. But I sense you may be on to something. I do tend to buy more clothes than I buy bags. So if you're feeling up to giving that a try I say go for it! But I don't know that you need to give up on the bags - they are wonderful.

julia said...

Thank you all so much for your feedback, it's been really helpful! And I don't mean that in the just saying it kind of way, it actually has been helpful, so thank you!

wsake- yes, i know exactly what you're talking about! it's funny but sometimes i'll spend a long time trying to come up with an idea - and nothing comes. then as i fall asleep at night randomly i'll think of something! i guess that's how it goes though :p thank you so much, so glad you like everything!

julie - thank you! it means a lot to me to know that you're still checking up on my work :) sometimes i do go back and think a lot about what's different between now and my work before. (and, rightly as you pointed out, those bags sold really well!) i know my aesthetic has changed a bit, and the styles have too. it's weird watching yourself change, and then what you make change with it! so many people from etsy still email me about those two bags! when i first started making the duffle bag i was trying to take the handle element from the gretel/annie - but maybe i need to do a simple tote bag again with it too. thank you for the suggestion - i'm definitely going to think of something :)

jenya - that's exactly why i am so nervous about mainly selling clothing! did you read my mind? sizing scares me so much. exactly one of the reasons i like bags - i can make a few sizes but you don't need to wear it! whenever i make clothing i try to move in every possible direction in it so i can make sure the fit's okay, nothing's too tight, etc. i think it's just something i'm going to have to practice more :) thank you :)

carrie - so glad to hear a second vote for the annie/gretels :) i really like hearing what you guys want to see! i'm definitely going to seriously consider re-vamping that bag, might be a little different, but hopefully hints of the old one will be there!

erica - that's the thing! i'm a clothing person too. i always have been and i think in truth that's where my passion lies, i'm just nervous about taking the leap of faith! i think i'm going to be making a lot more canvas/leather bags - they're lighter and easy to carry, and the price point will be lower. i know i need to change something about what i'm doing somewhere, it's just a matter of sorting it all out! thanks for your encouragement!

erin - yes, there are only so many bags you need! i can vouch for that certainly, as this winter i've decided i can't handle any bag over my bulky coat :) hehe, it does seem to be normal to feel stuck - it happens to everyone - i hope things feel better for you with your work soon too! all this talk is making me more excited to work on new things, so thank you!

Laura said...

i know exactly what you mean, looking towards other ways to be fulfilled creatively if one doesn't pay out.. ultimately, it's important to make money out of it, otherwise we'd all be working on hobbies rather than businesses.

your aesthetic is awesome. i actually wonder if it's more about expanding your leather product line so that you can fulfill that financial requirement as you experiment, like small objects that aren't necessarily super fun to make but get you to a place where you can feel comfortable taking risks with your passion.

sorry, it feels like i'm rambling but these are things i constantly struggle with too so it's always at the top of my brain. :)

P R I M O E Z A said...

i love your bags but was particularly impressed with the dress. i've worn it so much and i know i'm one fussy customer ;)

metrode said...

Julia, your envelope wallet always elicits a flattering comment- perhaps envelopes in various sizes? they're beautiful & very multi-functional, as well as unisex & long lasting.

I'd love to see a very lightweight linen sweater from you.. I'd be first in line to buy!

I've bought a couple of great, multi-purpose woven leather baskets recently.. beautiful in extra simple vegetable tanned leather!

oneeyedrabbit said...

From a business standpoint, I think you should make the Annie and Gretel bags your signature bags along with your pouches and always have some in stock. And keep changing the leather and colors that you can get from your suppliers. And then have your seasonal bags to supplement your stock. That way you can test out new styles and see how they sell. If a new style becomes popular then make it a signature bag. As for your clothing, I always wanted to buy the pieces you made but I was too set on buying one of your bags. I still like your clothes very much so don't stop that either! I think you are very creative and inspiring. Don't think too hard about new ideas. That's when you get that artistic block. Relax. New ideas will come to you and you'll be unstuck. Remember even the everyday and mundane things can inspire new ideas.

pambythesea said...

I would love to see a really cool camera case, maybe with a strap? One for a digital camera!

Kim said...

Hey Julia---You've gotten plenty of feedback and I don't feel that I could significantly contribute any more to what has been said. But I do have one unrelated question---who is the designer of the poster you currently have in your bedroom? I'm looking to update our walls and wondering if he/she has a website I might peruse. :)

Sorry for the unrelated comment! Ultimately we are always looking for the balance between what we personally enjoy as artists/designers and what other people will enjoy/want as well.....

infusionfibers said...

I would say to make what you really enjoy making. I know that is easier said than done sometimes, but I struggle with a similar thing right now. In my current made-to-order structure I don't really have much room to entertain WHAT to make so much, and I would love to be able to have the time and freedom to be more fluid and just dream stuff up and create what feels fun in the moment.

I have loved every piece of clothing you have made - starting when I first saw your Campbell dress (is that what it was called?) when you were etsy's featured seller. Like others, I also liked your annie and gretel bags a lot. Sometimes it's great to keep a great thing, season change or not. But bottom line, keep doing what you love to do.