Monday, May 31, 2010

The Count of Monte Cristo and Anna Sui

So I finally got around to watching the famous remake of the Count of Monte Cristo that came out last year. It features some amazing set/clothing designs by California artist, Anna Sui, one of my favorite US clothing designers. She is always creative and this movie didn't fail to do so. If you haven't seen it yet, it's available for free on Funamation and you can see it by clicking the link provided: One of the harder things for me about designing my own stuff has been about finding the creative juices to keep making stuff and how important it is to stop and take the time to find inspiration. It's easy to be inspired when you only have to make 1 unique item once, it's extremely hard to find it when you are spending a good portion of every day making the same item over and over in different colors, styles, or sizes to fill your shop. For me the creative process dies a little each time in the words "AGAIN."

Unfortunately, doing things repeatedly really improves your skill level and speed so it's a constant battle between the creative side of you that wants to foster new one of a kind items and track down the latest idea vs. the paying the bills side of you that knows you need to crack out 2, 10, or 100 items today to pay the bills.

But you have to find the balance. So giving your soul the creative time: A walk, a visit to the museum, a book. The important thing to remember is to stop and take time for the head-space you need to foster that creative element in yourself without resorting to a form of escapism. I normally take Sundays off just to dream. So yesterday, instead of doing work, I dusted off an old movie that I had been meaning to see the past year.

It's an Asian remake of the Count of Monte Cristo which was recommended to me last year for it's creative use of clothing in the future and although I had mixed feelings as the thing is over 6 hrs. long (think asian space opera and you have it about right), I found myself strangely inspired by the usual color/patterns and actually enjoyed the entire thing. There were some corny moments of course with the required giant robots battle which made me think of Saturday Morning Cartoons (Go-go-Power Rangers), but by in large it was a good complex retelling of the story.

It also made me feel revived and ready to dust off my creative sketchbooks which have taken a hit this week as I've been busy moving to a new space, making stuff, and mailing out packages. So, go remember to take creative time for yourself this week and I'd love to hear what inspires you to create what you do.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday: The Time Equal Money Constant

So I was going to do this big long post about the math behind the shirt size run I did last week, but's Memorial Weekend. So have a great weekend, may it be spent with friends and loved ones everywhere. I had the most fun grilling out with people from our small group at church last night and am reminded that while work is great, it's also important to find a work/life balance. So get out there and do something fun for yourself this weekend, and if you don't have plans, make something up.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Designing Peasant Shirts

This week, Jolina and I pulled out the dress forms to design peasant tops which has gone well. One of the misnomers in fashion for me has been the realization that just because you can sketch a dozen outfits in an hour, does not mean you can make said dozen outfits in an hour. Coming from a sales background where one can sell many dresses, shirts, etc. in a day, it can be humbling to find yourself working on a given concept for hours or days. I always thought that designing my own clothing line would be similar to running a load of wash. Hahahahaha, way too simplistic. My median time seems to be roughly one new solid concept a week with one real item added to the shop on a monthly basis. That's because for every item you add, there's a 100 plus you're throwing away. This week, the one that made the cut was peasant tops. These are really flattering on the figure and look great with jeans and our custom messenger bags. I'll have to tell you next week how they're doing. I'm trying to focus more on clothes and get away from accessories.

Monday, May 10, 2010

May Crafting in Charlotte

Hi and welcome to Li Sashay's blog. This is where I plan to discuss the ups and downs of starting one's own company. I also plan to share tips for making stuff and quality control. It's been a long month for the company, we added jewelry to the company and it's been a slow start. We also added some dresses some a local designer, but so far it's mostly eyeballs, not sales that we've attracted. I've been forced to go get a job as the company has had really inconsistent sales the past month which all start-ups go through and after 6 months still hasn't leveled out.

I'm not giving up, but I am looking to take my living expenses off the cash flow requirements for the company. It constantly continues to surprise me how much a company has to evolve to reach the next stage. After doing a number of shows successfully the past months, the last 4 weeks someone could have sold crickets to the shows I went to. Boutiques have done well, but nothing else really. So this month, shifting focus away from shows (only plan to do one this month)as it's just too expensive to keep dropping $20 a show with no returns. Etsy continues to be a financial drain, but it is getting me advertising. I keep wanting to write it off, but it does help people find my brand and people at shows mention it so I feel as if the advertising might be worth it. I'm going to try daily listing this month again and see if it helps. Also, want to create a shirt this week. I need to keep doing clothes as it does seem to draw people into the shop even if they don't buy it that frequently.