Runway Show!

Last Thursday was the Workroom 1.0 event. Local fashion designers set up booths to showcase and sell their designs, and there was also a runway show. This was my first time doing a runway show with hair, makeup, and all that fancy stuff. It was quite an experience!

Backstage was hectic and crazy, but it all came together for a great show. Some of my favorite designers were there, and I got to meet hair and makeup artists, photographers, models, and a lot of other people I don't normally meet inside my sewing/design bubble.

Here are some photos of the event, most of them are by Laur Nash Photography (website and facebook).  Laur is a talented photographer and she's really nice and down-to-earth, which is something I really appreciate in people!

Always the Forest
Always the Forest - by Laur Nash Photography

Always the Forest - by Laur Nash Photography

Wound Menswear - by Laur Nash Photography

Backstage - by Laur Nash Photography

My display - by Laur Nash Photography

Fotoula Lambros Design - by Laur Nash Photography

Always the Forest


Workroom 1.0 Event Tonight!

I'm one of the designers participating in the first Workroom event event tonight! We'll have tables set up to sell our collections, and there will be a runway show too. It's in the TechTwo building, which is the former Dagleish Cadillac Building. There is also free secure parking next to the building, so come out and shop, meet the designers, and enjoy the runway show! It's a free event, door at 6:00, runway show at 7:30. See you there! More info here: https://www.facebook.com/#!/events/321148141252896/


Goals for 2012

2011 was a really interesting year. Even though I took a little hiatus from designing and producing the line in the beginning of the year, there was a lot of growth and learning that happened during the final months of 2011.

Let's recap: At the beginning of the year, I was super busy with music teaching. I just got a job teaching piano at a studio (love!), and it was my first year taking on a high volume of accompaniment jobs for our districts Solo and Ensemble season. So I decided to put Always the Forest on the back burner for a little while so I could focus on music and do a really good job.

Then, over the summer, I began working on the line again. My goals for 2011 were:

1. Pricing - Done! The time had come to develop a pricing formula and stick to it. I had to put my own feelings aside about how much I would actually pay for something, and price clothing items according to a standard formula. It also meant realizing that I myself might not necessarily be my target customer, and that's okay.

2. Get my line in more stores - This one took a different turn- I got my own pop-up shop! I had my very own mini-store at 71 Pop in Midtown. It was awesome because I had a physical place to direct customers to when they wanted to try something on to see if it fits.  It was a really neat experience.  I also decided that consignment might not be such a good deal, and I should look into doing wholesale instead.

3. Focus on online sales - My poor little online shop was dead, dead, dead. I updated the front page, and events, but that was about it. That will be priority this year.

 4. Balance all of the above with my teaching job - Well I didn't really balance it, the scales definitely tipped in favor of piano teaching, and I'm totally fine with that. And this year I'm starting competitions with my students, so fitting in enough time for Always the Forest might be a little perilous, but I'll make it happen. I have some friendly competition in the hard work department, Billy is working 40+ hours a week, going to school full time, and doing maintenance/administrative work for his auto wash. So I'm in good company!

Goals for this year:

1. Maintain the online shop - Post new items regularly, and get rid of items that are no longer in stock. I set up a dedicated product photography space in the sewing studio, so this should be a little easier. But I'm making this one top priority this year. People are getting more used to buying things online, even clothing, so it's important that I keep up with this.

2. Work more with other local designers - There are quite a few designers in the Detroit area that I really admire, and watch their progress to get an ideas of how to grow my business. I'd like to participate more in the growing number of group events, to support the local industry and learn from others. I already have one event on the calendar: I'm participating in the Workroom 1.0 Pop-Up, and I'll post more info on that soon, but I'm super excited about it!

3. Look into doing wholesale - This has been on my radar for a while now, but my main obstacle is how to make a proper line sheet for a store to make orders from when my fabric selections are always changing? This whole recycled fabrics deal is the foundation of my line, and I need to figure out how to make it work properly.

So that's what I have planned for 2012, but we'll see where it actually takes me!


Holiday Break

I'm not the best gift-giver in the world, aside from my very close family and friends, everyone else that gets a gift from me gets the same thing: delicious homemade treats. Actually, maybe that does make me the best gift giver! This year, I made candied orange popcorn and elderberry syrup. I got the idea for gourmet popcorn from Luxirare, and the elderberry syrup recipe was from Mountain Rose Herbs. The popcorn was really easy, just coat it with a mixture of brown sugar, water, orange zest and roll in poppy seeds. I followed the elderberry syrup recipe exactly, except I used sugar instead of honey so it would last longer. For the labels, I used the mitten and branch graphics from Julia Rothman's gift tags (free download at Design Sponge), and added my own text. Designing the packaging is almost more fun than making the food itself. I ended up making about 25 of the elderberry syrup/candied popcorn gift sets, and I felt like Santa packing up the five(!) bags of gifts for the five(!) family events that we went to on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Then we hosted our fifth annual formal New Year's Eve party. I made my dress from a Burda Style pattern. I used their Strapless Gathered LBD pattern #117, and it was super easy to sew up. It's for two-way stretch fabrics, and that saved me from a big sewing mistake I made: the pattern doesn't include seam allowances and I forgot to add them in! Thankfully, it ended up not being a problem since the fabric was so stretchy.

I also wore a vintage cardigan, and neon bow and arrow earrings from Scarlett Garnet as a necklace. I wore black shoes earlier in the night, but changed to these Polish slippers from my grandma's house. Billy wore his thrift store suit and an arrow tie from Cyberoptix Tie Lab. It was purely coincidental that we both wore arrow things around our necks, I didn't even notice until just now!

Now I'm all refreshed and excited to get back to teaching and sewing. I'll be participating in a fashion event in a few weeks that I'll write about soon, and I have a ton of new items that I need to get photographed and put up on the website. And I need to do that before I upgrade my computer from Tiger (haha, I know, I'm terrible) in case the upgrade goes wrong and I have to spend a lot of time putting everything back on my computer. Wish me luck!


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