As I’m nearing the end of another module and year of my degree studies, I find myself in the usual weird mood. On the one hand I am looking forward to enjoying more time, and investing this in sorting out the house in readiness of surviving another year in the life of the Copper family, on the other hand I am already missing being absorbed in an idea.
This time there is one small difference; this time I don’t feel done.
Usually about now, I am suffering with an acute case of deadlinitis. I’d be waking 23 times a night in a cold sweat wondering what I might forget for deadline, I’d be rushing zombie like from last minute deliverable to last minute deliverable, hoping, simply that no one gets sick and my kids can manage to feed themselves from cupboard scraps for the next 2 weeks. I’m sick of the sight of my collection, all I can see is the imperfections, which seem to glaringly obvious that I routinely wonder whether I should lock myself in the airing cupboard with a box of margarita flavoured alcohol, and pretend that I’m in Hawaii (with denial as my sidekick) until September?
Fashion is a funny game, and it changes every 12-16 seconds, so you are never in any place for long, either in the process of designing and making, or in terms of your emotional state; often it feels like an uncontrollable oscillation between hyper confident creative high and self-loathing depreciation of every task you complete on your creative journey. It’s a super schizophrenic business.
Not this time!
This time, I am happy with my progress. This time my thoughts aren’t with what hasn’t worked, but with what has. This time I believe this work signifies a beginning and by no means an end. Despite this projects ability to highlight a veritable black hole vortex of challenges associated with reality, I am excited about working my way around each and every one of them.
For once I have fallen in love with an idea, that has greater longevity than my module deadline. For someone who gets bored of using the same toothpaste for more than 1 week, I think that’s quite something. Now, either I have happened upon a great start point for my future, or I am growing up (vomits slightly into throat at the mere mention of such a thing). I’m going with start point, I plan on engaging with this commencement as un-grownuply as is possible.
I have managed to successfully engage potential suppliers, and have an adequate platform to share as a sales tool to develop future relationships. I have greater insight into how I will balance the needs of my suppliers with the needs of the Collective. I have even sold some of the rental garments to the clients, which has opened up a whole new opportunity for sales to suppliers, thus, earned a grand total of £35 commission from this project (let’s leave the cost of this project out of the discussion at this point, suffice to say this ‘profit’ will be invested in a large bottle of port for The Pig Farmer). I have so much to think about when it comes to building a final website, how we might manage stock and storage, photography, and marketing routes through social media, and I am genuinely excited about getting stuck in to even the dullest of details to ensure the success of this venture long term.
In addition, I have learned all about my potential client, and I can confirm that my research concludes that I have two definitive customers, which support my original target audience theories. Now to ensure that I capture the imaginations of both customers through the collections we procure and produce. There has been some great feedback, and some customers are begging me to keep this project going, and start charging, one has ear-marked some fabulous Bradley Worth sheer cover-ups for their summer cruise (totally aspirational).
The most frustrating part of this module drawing to a close, is that people are interested, a momentum (albeit in its infancy) has begun. I have a growing Insta-community, and over 100 people following the Facebook page. I have a functioning website, which is rather pleased with itself, and wants to keep operating, I also have a bunch of people looking to get borrowing, so waiting for a year before I can get my teeth back into this idea is without doubt the worst thing about doing it.
Stay with me, I promise more to come, at the very least you can keep me company as I venture towards Graduate Fashion Week next year. I literally cannot wait to start working on my final collection, and maybe in the interim, I can find some more beautiful clothes for you to borrow.