For 5 straight years I did everything myself with the business. I hit a wall and was completely burned out (but we’ve already talked about that, so I digress ;). I had to look at the areas that I loved working on, and the areas that were taking the majority of my time and energy. It was clear to me that production (i.e. cutting and sewing every single bag myself) was completely draining me. So started the hunt for manufacturing help. The problem with all the manufacturers that I was visiting was when I saw the products they were making, to me they looked, well- ‘manufactured’. It looked very different from the product I was making and proudly offering in my shop. The hunt went on for a long time, all while I was still sewing every order. Ultimately, I found – an actual god send – a very small local business of leather crafters that wanted to help me with production. (In Brooklyn too! Manufacturing outside the US was non-negotiable for me).
I worked with them very closely to make sure the finished product was exact to what I was already offering. It needed to have the same handmade / loving feel and quality. It took about 2years to fully transfer everything over to them. It’s a process. For every item I wanted to hand over I had to: make a copy of the original pattern, make the actual item – taking pictures along the way, later putting it all together in a .pdf document with written instructions and images. The thing with manufacturing is there are a million ways to make something, and so much room for interpretation. The more detailed your instructions are, the less back and forth there will be in the long run. You can’t just say, ‘please make a leather pouch’. I mean you could, if you didn’t care about the construction, materials used, or the overall look. But I am not one of those people. Yes, I am probably over controlling, but I have only ever wanted to offer a product that I love and am incredibly proud of. I am so glad I waited for the perfect team to partner with, and I now have the mental space and energy to focus on the areas that I love, like designing! xoxo (New things coming soon!)