Thursday 20 February 2014

A Hoarders Palace of Bloomers and the never ending frill!

It's been exactly 4 months today since I last updated my blog! 

An absurd amount of things have changed since that last update yet one very big thing has not. 
I'm still making stock and my commissions are still closed. Don't worry, I haven't became a manic hoarder of undergarments but something did happen to derail my original plans.  November was a tough month for me, I lost a lot of work as my mother became hospitalized and needed emergency surgery. December rolled on and she was out of the hospital and Christmas was here! I was still working through all of this doing long daunting days of sewing but then I got some pretty great news. 
There's events here in the United Kingdom ran by some pretty skilled organisers down in London. They're Lolita conventions but about thousand times classier than a convention. Brands from Japan, designers, magazine editors, models ect are guests and even bring their clothes with them. Not only that but indie brands also visit. From Spain, Chile, Australia. It's incredible. Why am I mentioning this? Well because I achieved one of my dreams, a space to exhibit Atelier Dormir and that's what changed everything. 
I'll be selling my wears as well as putting girls on the cat walk wearing my clothes. Something I've dreamed about since I was a kid. They even told me I get to get them ready! It's amazing. 

My original plan was make a run of stock, have their stock photos taken and open a website. I have that stock all made actually but it's now destined for a higher cause! Enchanted. A collaboration event from organisers all over Europe. Enchanted's been my main focus since I got back from Amsterdam, what bags am I bringing? What cloth should I buy for the table? What size money box will I need? How many items will I actually need??! Everything must be taken into consideration. People having a fun time at this event all depends on everyone doing their best! Right down to the correct shade of violet for their receipts! The correct size of garment bag for each last product and tidy clearly labeled tags on each items specifying all information the customer may need. 
I have royally thrown myself into the deep end but I'm still so super excited. It's nice to be this stressed about something. It means I really care. Another huge thing that's changed is that I perfected an old pattern of mine. The skirt. 

I know what you're thinking, aren't skirts the easiest thing to make in the world? Well yes but getting it perfect with a pattern you legally drafted is another matter entirely. I had kind of given up on it until I got a request for an underskirt out of the blue. I had made about 30 pairs of bloomers in the space of a month at this point so I needed to stretch my legs. It exploded! Turns out underskirts are yet another product that is unnecessarily difficult to get a hold of for less than £30. "This is perfect!" I thought, I admit I was worried! I thought my entire shop was going to be a rainbow of bloomers for years to come. Adding much else didn't make any sense with an undergarments shop but cotton and chiffon underskirts? Perfect sense. 

That's another thing I should mention. Chiffon. It may seem dull to expand into another fabric but goodness do people love it. I can't keep up. I'm in a sea of bloomers of varying textile and colour. 
This brings me to my sadder note. For 4 months lots of people have obviously been wanting to purchase from Atelier Dormir and every time I've had to tell them I'm not open. I feel utterly daft. I've got loads of stock, tagged, bagged and ready but they're not going anywhere for another month and a half but it simply has to be done! Enchanted must remain a priority. 

I can't help but ask myself, how do I want to do business? Do I want to do it on a commission base or less ready made stock? I can't make that decision just yet because I've only done one of those... Will I have to close my commissions whilst I'm making more stock or will it be different? It really is a waiting game at this point. Which is scary. I hope when I reflect back onto this things are a little clearer. 

That after Enchanted I'll know what direction to take and expand. I want to do the best I can and really establish myself. Is it wrong of me to want to expand into casual lolita clothing and not into undergarments? Hopefully I'll know the answer soon. My working day starts in thirty minutes. I think I'm making some chiffon bloomers and a cotton underskirt today. Groovy.

It's been a hard 4 months with set backs, break downs and success. Fingers crossed my next update is on a higher note!

Talk to you soon. xx

Sunday 20 October 2013

Turning Atelier Dormir into a real little shop!

This is an exciting time for me at the moment,
After eight months of having my commissions open for Atelier Dormir, I've finally saved up enough money to make it into a real business. I quit my job so I could give it a proper shot while I was still young. This has caused a bit of a lifestyle change in itself! You see, it would be a pretty blatant lie if I said I didn't buy things for my closet regularly. New releases are coming out all the time from brand and indie brand and now for the first time in a very long time, I've made the choice to have no stable income. 
I tried to run my business while working for six months and boy did I get a rude awakening! I had to do the one thing that killed me the most, kept my customers waiting. I lost a lot of sleep thinking about how many days since payment had passed and felt like a complete failure each passing hour.
My customers are the most important people to me, I want nothing more then to give them my all.
Making your customer happy should be your first and final priority.

There was the first step, Closing my commissions. I only way I would be happy with the service I provide is if I could ship people's orders the next day or even the same day as payment! I decided I had to make stock to make it as speedy as possible. Stock meant one thing, Wholesalers. I've spent weeks on the phone to England, China and India trying to keep the quality I maintained during the past eight months. This is a difficult ask when buying in bulk but a couple days ago I finally closed the deal on my last lace order. 100% Cotton Crotchet! The only thing my customers deserve.
This also meant new tools. Steamers, rotary blades, grid cutting mats, tailor hams. It all added up pretty quickly, with the money I've spent I could of revamped my closet 3 times over! But with each small thing I bought, right down to a specific nozzle for the steamer, meant a better quality product and that's exactly what I want. 

Now it's almost all here and I'm terrified. Stock storage has been built, garment rail a ready with fresh hangers, the books have all been balanced and my website is ready for stock. all that's left to start.

I feel like I've been grinding, in an in depth RPG. I've collected all the herbs and have a sick new weapon but I'm still just stood here staring at the Boss battle's door.

I've got words of encouragement from my friends pinned above my sewing machine, "Stay Strong" - Betty.
I'm just scared I wont do well, you know? That I've had delusions of grandeur all these years.
Well. I can't just sit here. "To live" is a verb after all, it is a doing word.
and that's just what I'll do, I'll set my fears aside. Perhaps delusion is good for us all sometimes. 

 Atelier Dormir, I'll sew my best and I'll design until each piece is perfect. I really hope I'll look back at this one day, while packing for a stall at a convention or maybe even before opening a real shop!

I know, far fetched but that's just what a dream is. A far away place that you go to, that makes the journey of your life.
Well I guess I better get back to sketching, production starts in a couple of days!

Friday 18 October 2013

A Lifestyle Lolita Diary: Entry one

So here goes an introduction!
(how many of these have you read? haha!)
My Name is Laelette and I've got a little indie brand called Atelier Dormir!
It's a brand dedicated to lolita lounge wear, casual wear and bloomers! of all things.

You see, for the longest of time I have been obsessed with the notion of being a lifestyle lolita.
What's not to like about the idea? Look great everyday, go out for tea regularly, have an adorable room and indulge in crafting hobbies. What about that doesn't sound fun?

It's something I've always wanted to do! To throw away the jeans once and for all and live only to be Frilly and Fabulous. I've seen many lolita do it and I've been working on it for years, I really feel like I've got it down!

How to live your life as a Lolita in a practical world of washing machines and grocery shopping!

It's literately an act of surrounding yourself with all things lolita. Decor, food, drinks, books, websites, art and even your home appliances! Now... to some this isn't an attractive idea and they feel that you can be a Lolita without it engulfing your life. This is true but if you like the idea of living like an elegant maiden straight out of story book then please take a seat, brew yourself a tea and let's chit chat about what really divines a lifestyle as "lolita".

I started Atelier Dormir for the reason it was simply a product I wanted!
I wanted Lolita I could wear around the house without any make up on, without my hair done, without a huge hair accessory and still look adorable!

I didn't want it to be some rare item Victorian Maiden released years ago that I'd be arrived to get dirty! Cause let's face it, Pajamas and what you relax in GET DIRTY! From cooking, cleaning, pets, chores, it all adds up. Not mention sweat and the fact clothes just straight up need washing. So it had to disposable in a sense and available to replace. No such thing existed.

Sure there were Hello kitty tops and bow prints bottoms but it was all the same hat!
I made myself a set of pajamas just to see if what I wanted actually looked good.

Not only did it turn out I wanted to make more a.s.a.p but my friend's all wanted a piece of the action too, so with this an ambition was born to bring something to the lolita world that simply wasn't offered to us.
Lolita lounge wear.
That had all the intention of you relaxing in it!