Friday, June 15, 2007

A Week of Progress

At the risk of sounding maudlin, I will share with you my perspective on how to cope with my Mom's death. Rather than curl up into a ball, which is my first instinct, I have chosen to find strength in this situation. I am determined to make this business the success that my Mom knew it would become. She was so happy at the notion of her two daughters working together on this labor of love. She'd often ask how things were going, she had Susie read the blog entries to her, she loved the idea of the business and looked forward to when we'd be producing clothes that were perfect for Helen (her namesake), she loved the idea of giving a percentage of profits to support groups, she loved the business name, the artmark, everything having to do with this initiative. As Susie explained to me, when I felt that I couldn't go ahead with the Measurements Party just days after Mom died "Mom would not want to be the reason that you didn't go forward." She was absolutely on target with that observation.

So, Mom would have been proud of this week. Here are the top 4 highlights. (I need to hold back a little in case I need something to write about next week!)

- Patterns are complete! The pattern for the girl's jeans is finished. So is the pattern for the adorable dress we'll offer next Spring/Summer. It's based on a dress that I found in Paris this past Spring.

- It'll Fit'll has a boy fit model now! An adorable boy with a sweet and smart mom is our fit model for the boy's line, as of this week. We're moving ahead to get the boy's line underway and I'm certain we'll have that pattern in time to have boy's pants available in the fall, as we'd planned.

- I've begun to plug into Chicago area apparel industry resources! I met with the President of Chicago's Apparel Industry Board for a mentoring session on Wednesday. She gave me some great contacts and advice and was very encouraging about the progress we've made to date. I have contacted the potential sewing contractors that she recommended and Susie and I have tweaked our launch plan a bit to incorporate a couple of her suggestions. I had expected to use a sewing contractor in Texas, but it will be nice to work with a contractor close to home.

- I received the denim fabric sample bolts that I ordered! Hurray! Now I can do shrinkage testing, to assure that the pattern accounts for the proper amount shrinkage. And, better, we've got the fabric from which our sample jeans will be made. The samples will be made from the industrial pattern and a session with the fit model will confirm the pattern is ready to go into production (or to be tweaked a bit...)

I'm beginning to feel the thrill of momentum. On one hand I wish Mom were still around for this exciting It'll Fit'll ride, but on the other hand - I think she is.

I hope everyone has a nice, relaxing Father's Day weekend.

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