Sunday, March 30, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Anyway, since we're on the road I don't have anything to post about It'll Fit'll (except a reminder that we'll be back in Boston in early July for the convention of the National Down Syndrome Congress.)
It's going to be 51 degrees in Boston today - perfect for walking the Freedom Trail. Hope everyone's getting a bit of Spring these days.
Friday, March 21, 2008
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Jenna’s Jammies will, indeed, be a one piece sleeper. The unique aspect of the product is that it will zipper in the back. Laurie explained to me that Jenna, who wears a diaper at night, would routinely take off her pajamas and diaper in bed sometime during the night. To avoid that situation, and the messes that implies, Laurie began buying one piece sleepers for Jenna – and putting them on backward. That way the zipper is in the back and Jenna can’t get herself out of the jammies during the night. Problem solved!
My first thought was “What an ingenious, elegant solution!” I immediately shared the insight with Susie. She completely agreed. Speaking with that awed tone of someone who’s just been illuminated by the bright light bulb, Susie explained that she’d had the same problem with Helen. But, Susie said, she would never have thought of such a creative, yet straightforward approach. Instead she just suffered through that long period, cleaning up the messes when they occurred and breathing a big sigh of relief when Helen was able to make it through the night without needing a diaper. The beauty part of Jenna’s Jammies is that once a child reaches the point of not needing the overnight diaper, the jammies are still useful. They still do their basic job, keeping the child warm and covered during the night.
This is exactly the kind of product that Susie and I feel great about producing. It fills a unique, important need and will make life a little easier for you parents in its humble, yet profound, way. While the need may be limited to a particular development period, and will likely never be a blockbuster in terms of sales volume, it’s a blockbuster idea in that it solves a problem with great practicality and simplicity.
We are working hard to have Jenna’s Jammies available for purchase at the convention of the National Down Syndrome Congress in Boston in July. We’ll have a girl’s version as well as a boy’s version. The size range will be 4 through 7. So, we’ll have sizes 4, 5, 6, and 7; the size should generally correlate to age (in years.) We will have a fleece version, for the colder months, and lighter weight cotton knit for the warmer months. Our current plan is to make the sleeper footless. As practical moms we think that the absence of feet allows kids to wear them for a longer period of growth. A sleeper with attached feet will stretch and pull and stop fitting once the child grows beyond a certain point. These sleepers will be so durable and well made that they will hold up to a very long period of use.
We also plan to have the flap that snaps at the neckline/top of zipper. That’s usually there to cover the zipper pull so that the child is less likely to be scratched by it. In this case, we’ll include the flap in order to limit access to the zipper and thereby make the jammies harder to remove during the night.
Please share your own thoughts and design ideas about this one-piece zippered sleeper. We want to produce the best product possible for you guys. So, do let us hear from you. In the meantime, sweet dreams to us all.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
If we could have you back for just one day
There would be so many things we would like to say
If we could just be with you for one whole day
To have you close and know that you really are Okay.
If we had known that you would be gone forever
If we had known all those ties were going to be severed
If we had known the pain, the loss, and the ache
If we had known the difference without you would make.
In the darkness you slipped away from us all
Now it’s just your memories that we have to recall
They say that parting is such sweet sorrow
But it’s the longing, the wondering, and how to cope with tomorrow.
Now all we have are memories
The good times that we had
We spend so much time in tears
And pain and feeling sad
So if we could have you back for just one day
You could let us know how to cope until that day
When we’ll be together as a family once again
When we’ll all be happy and free from all this pain.
Oh! It’s so hard to live when your loved one has to die
Then we spend our lifetime trying to say Goodbye!
Monday, March 10, 2008
This is the text on the show's web site. "The Los Angeles International Textile Show is the premier showcase for directional textile companies and design resources in the United States. Featuring hundreds of the most creative domestic, European, and Asian fabric and trim collections, in addition to design studio resources, complimentary seminars and trend information, the L.A. Int'l Textile Show is the starting point for contemporary apparel and interior design."
Sounds promising, though I am a little concerned about the adjective "directional" (as in "...the premier showcase for directional textile companies and design resources....") One of the definitions of directional is: "Serving to point the future direction, as of fashion: "A directional group of sweater knit colors are winter pastels" (Women's Wear Daily)." I hope that doesn't mean that the show will feature mostly wacky, "high performance" fabrics like those I found at the show in New York. I do expect that there will be some new-fangled, high tech fabrics available. But I expect some more traditional fabric offerings as well.
Apparently the best, thick, high quality cotton knit that's #1 on my wish list comes from India. So, because this show features Asian fabric collections - among others - I am hopeful that I will find the cotton knit of my dreams. Now that I've written that I realize that I've got a different kind of "California Dreamin'" going on!
In addition to the textile show, I'm looking forward to visiting a wholesale fabric reseller in LA. It's called "Ragfinders of California" and they're a textile "jobber." They buy excess fabric from large manufacturers and sell to smaller manufacturers - like It'll Fit'll! I am excited at the possibility of finding great fabric, at reasonable prices, in practical minimum quantities that I would otherwise be unable to purchase for It'll Fit'll. I also, very much, like the idea that the availability of the fabric is limited.
One of the principles of our "fashion" line (as opposed to our "classics" - standard offerings like jeans and chinos) is that the quantities will be limited. We will produce a limited number of an item - say, a dress - in a particular fabric, in a range of sizes. Once those dresses have been sold, there will be no more of that particular item available. The reason for that approach is that we want to assure that your child has the opportunity for some fashion individuality - that she or he won't "see themselves coming and going", as my Mom used to say. Mom once told me about her favorite local clothing store as a young woman. It stocked and sold each item in just one of each size. So, when she bought a dress there she knew that no other size 8 woman would be buying the same dress. I've always appreciated that concept - ever since she spoke of it so nostalgically back in my high school days, when that shop sadly closed due to competition from national chains.
Of course, we'll produce more than one fashion item per size. But because we'll be a web based business, we expect to have a national customer base and therefore a wider area of distribution for those fashions than my Mom's little store had. So, the idea is the same. You will not likely see a bunch of other children wearing the exact dress or shirt that your child is wearing. The style may be the same - I understand how important it is to our children to wear the same type of clothes that everyone else is wearing - but the particular fabric and trim will likely be different.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to all of the fabric treasures I expect to find in Los Angeles next month. I'll also look forward to sharing my findings - and observations and adventures - with you guys! And, OK, the warm, sunny weather won't be bad either!
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Monday, March 3, 2008
Late last week I received an email from the National Down Syndrome Congress. It was the Exhibitor Application Form for their 36th annual convention. That means that the show is just around the corner! Susie and I are looking forward to being there. Click on the "36th annual convention" link earlier in this paragraph for details of the convention if you might be interested in attending.
Assuming that our application is accepted, we will be selling It'll Fit'll clothes this year. Last year we attended to talk to you guys about our idea and to get feedback. Several folks asked if we had clothes there, available for purchase at the show. I'm excited at the notion that this year the answer is Yes!
This year's convention will be held in Boston - at the Seaport World Trade Center - July 11th through the 13th. I heard great things about the lectures and workshops last year from the attendees who stopped by our booth and chatted. The exhibition hall had loads of activities to keep children of all ages occupied while parents visited the booths. We were very near the center stage area so I could watch everything that went on. There was always something going on! And it always looked and sounded fun.
Boston is a wonderful city and an ideal place for a summer vacation. It is, in my opinion, one of those cities which offers so much - especially if you consider the surrounding area as well - that you can't possibly take it all in during just one trip. I have visited often, for business and for pleasure (including family vacations; the kids love Boston too) and there are still new places I want to visit. If you do plan to attend and would like suggestions about what to do, or opinions about a particular spot, based on our family vacations and my own solitary adventures there, just drop me an email.
Hope that we have a chance to meet some of you there. July 11th will be here before we know it.