5 Jun 2012

The Three Levels of Stress in Fashion Business

If this was a Buddhist philosophy I would be writing in a very calm and tranquil manner. But it is not. It is in fact the challenge and at times pain in the butt elements of my life as a commercial hobbyist. Yes I realise that I had previously proclaimed myself as no longer a stay-at-home-mom instead a business woman, but I am loathed to relinquish that pedestal-ish title for something less noble as 'one in pursuit of economic means'. He he he

The First Level of Stress
The first level is the whole designing business. Is it beautiful enough? Too simple? Too much? To passe? And when you're doing this alone with the occasional unimaginative feedback of a husband (who proclaims himself to be the epitome of everything fashionable - but in fact lacks imagination completely. He insist that he can only provide feedback after the outfit has been sewn and properly embellished) - you tend to have nightmares over your decisions.

Coming up with many designs is not the problem - but choosing which designs to go for is. And this will be followed by sleepless nights dreaming of the many designs I have drawn until I finally make my decision. Then peace will reign again. I think I am freak.

The Second Level of Stress
After having done that and splurging on a cup of Mr. Shake's Pearl Tea, is the back and forth that occurs between myself and my seamstress. Making the prototype, making changes, and what not. But this is not what stresses me out. What stresses me out is the final selection of fabrics and embellishments which will then be followed by drawing out a list of materials and notions to buy together with their exact quantities. This part really drives me mad. I am full of indecisions and self doubt. Is this material quality good? What is the difference between this material and that? Will it take washes well? Is it breathable? And when I finally commit to buying, I am full of anxiety about the money that I am parting with and hoping against hopes that I have not bought the wrong stuff. That I have neither bought too much nor too little. Too much means left over fabric that I can't do much with, too little means that the fabric will probably run out and I cannot find it when I need more of it. Aaaargh!

The Third Level of Stress
As if sketching, selecting designs and selecting and purchasing materials is not enough to kill all sense of serenity within me - the third one will complete the job. It is the selling, the marketing, the distributing of said goods. Fortunately, I am normally so jubilant from each and every sale that I am left with just enough energy to run along and set up my stall at fairs and make my usual runs to the post office.

So the question then is, why the heck am I doing this?

A sense of achievement for one. A sense of purpose that is all completely mine and nothing whatsoever to do with the raising of kids and the entertaining of my soul mate - who expects me to be an adult version of Disney Playhouse. Also last yet not the least, a form of financial independence - that in itself is a version of freedom that I have not felt for a long time - so deep is my dependence on my darling generous and sweet husband.

Next, I am going to share with you my latest progress.

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