at least in terms of product samples.
Ok, I lie. There’s some off-white and navy thrown into the group. And a stripe, which reads as gray when photographed. Unfortunately, I can’t use the natural and navy, because samples are made in black.
Anyways, finally (!) I have all my fabric from various merino wool producers. Look very closely, I’m certain you’ll be able to see that there are three different weights (and micron counts) of merino wool here. I’ve sent off small cuttings to my designer, and soon (which is a relative term) I should have first drafts of the designs.
The hard part for me right now is the business plan. Now that this part is in motion, I’ve got to seriously get some more research done, define my market, create my customer, and figure out how to get this project into mass (again a relative term–any number larger than 1 that involves sewing by someone other than myself would be “mass”) production. Oh yeah, coming up with some ideas for financing this sucker.
Lucky for me, I got myself a coach! I’ve had such a good experience with my running coach, that when a friend who’s training right now to add business coaching to his services offered to use me as a guinea pig, I jumped at the chance.
Initially, I wasn’t sure how this would pan out. He’s a good friend and typically when we’re together we slide into those all-too-typical discussions re: friends, TV, books, parenting. But, man, has this been great! He’s taken my project very seriously, and after our first hour long face-to-face session, we’ve met weekly, via phone, to discuss the various things I’m working on, the progress I’ve made and obstacles I’ve encountered along the way. This has been extremely helpful, for although I’ve started a business before, I had a business partner and our strengths were complimentary, so everything got done with very little pain involved.
Not that writing the business plan has become any easier, but I’ve been able to tackle some of the harder (non-research based) pieces, which greatly pleases me. I’m also learning how to work through some of my very ingrained work habits (the thrill of procrastination!–turns out I thrive on being a last minute lucy). I really want to finish this off by the new year (or within a few weeks of that), as at my last relay team get-together, several of my teammates expressed an interest in helping finance the project. I know, I know, a lot gets said when the beer is flowing (especially with this group and the alcohol content of their beers), but for the most part, these are very well-connected folks, and if I can put together a great package with solid, realistic financials and an awesome product, I can at least go knocking on their doors, head held high.