Have you ever heard this term? Some of the factories in the city stay in business purely by fixing goods that come over from China jacked up. Some companies even cheat and have a button or a hem done here so they can put the desirable Made in the U.S.A label in. It becomes a factory speciality.
As I was riding the freight elevator down from one of my factories I spotted this scene. Tons and tons of little kid jeans being aired out by fans. The picture is kind of hazy, I actually made her back up the elevator so I could snap a better photo. That's when my factory owner started in about the fixed in the U.S.A score.
I found this to be pretty interesting. I for one love catching glimpses into other peoples factories, projects and even the headaches!
Ten years ago our good friend Lee came over to our panhandle flat to teach us how to make a website. I believe we made him a steak dinner and paid him $150.00 to set up our site in Dreamweaver and to teach us how to use it. He stayed until the wee hours of the morning and Stacy took diligent notes. Stacy is mighty crafty with a design program and picked it right up. A few years later Lee was calling her to ask her a few questions about Dreamweaver. I am always so proud of how crafty Stacy is. She just figures shit out.
I can clearly remember receiving our first notification of payment email from our old website. Like our first wholesale order that came through the fax machine. We truly went bananas. Many outrageous dance moves were made that night and for lots of subsequent orders.
Well ten years later we are doing another set of electric dance moves. Our old website (as grateful as we are for it) needed a serious upgrade. The site has been transformed by the fantastic Kelly of Big Friend. She is a serious force of nature. Please do take a click around the new Curator, we would love to hear any feedback you have on the changes. You can always make comments or drop us a line at email@example.com. Blog redesign is in the works as well (the secret's out now that i kinda love blogging, and yes i know i'm about 5 years late to the party.)
The sample sale on Saturday was amazing, I was glowing afterwards. I don't get to meet customers as often as Stacy does and it's an important act. The sun was shining and I installed square so my cc transactions were super easy (gone are the days of writing down cc's and billing addresses in our receipt books). One lady bribed her two kids to drive from Petaluma to dig the bins. Another told me she owned 8 classic dresses and they have changed her life. We hugged. I watched customers babies while they tried clothes. My friend Tracy drove by in her Fire Engine yelling my name! One faithful customer told me she almost dug the bins at our last sale on her wedding day. Instead one of her friends went and shopped for her quickly before the ceremony. This made my jaw drop. It made me really miss San Francisco of course but happy to be making clothes.
All against the backdrop of the Isso store! They have the best mix of vintage and original cut and sew. So much one of a kind goodness. Marie and Ivy the proprietresses have always been so kind to us over the years. They defy every kind of fashion stereotype there is. Back in 2005 during our first trade show in Vegas, they personally walked over all kinds of buyers to see our lines and helped us get our first sales. This is unheard of. They've been helping us ever since and I simply adore them.
We have always wanted a gourmet food store. Can you tell? Check out our newest offerings from Preservation Society, we are carrying their amazing spicy pickles and Dilly beans. They are mother in law approved. $14
Major deals to be had. Clearing out the last of sizes and styles. New one of a kind styles, slightly flawed pieces, things that never were shot for the website. You could very well score yourself a new wardrobe....and remember cash is always king!
An amazing day with the family. We ate a meal like civilized humans at a waterfront restaurant. The kids met new friends on the seashore and entertained themselves. Mike and I found a bodega and shared a beer with our pants rolled up and feet in the water. We had no towels and were not prepared for the sand and the sea. Sometimes that's just the best way, too much preparation kills the beautiful thing.
The amazing and talented Lauren Wolf just opened up her very own shop called Esqueleto in Oakland. Stop by and meet the woman behind the sting rays, fangs, agates and anvils. Wolf stocks several other jewelry designers in addition to her namesake line. The storefront will wow you, it's a stunning mix of industrial meets her signature death valley aesthetic. I'd say it's the perfect platform to showcase her raw, nature inspired pieces.
Lauren has a special place in my heart. I have been collecting her pieces over the last 8 years. Most importantly she designed my wedding ring in collaboration with my husband. I was also treated to earrings and a stingray cuff after the birth of my children. A seriously rad push present.
Stop by the Temescal area in Oakland and check out the beautiful space she has created. Be sure to check out the art up by Patrick Dunaway. Another east bay gem!
We sell a lot of little things at our brick and mortar shop that don't make it up to our online shop (we are working on this). After being in the neighborhood for almost two years, we know not everyone in Upper Noe is always on the hunt for clothes and jewelry. How about host/hostess gifts? It's easy to show up to a dinner party with corner store wine but what about locally foraged jam?
Inna Jam $12.00
Or San Francisco made brazilian honey cakes, coconut shortcake or dark chocolate covered graham crackers?
Kika's Treats $7.50
A letterpress card declaring your unending devotion?
Sycamore Street Press $5.00
A little splash of color with your coffee. Collect a family of them, like we have!
Pantone Mug $11.00
Time has been moving super fast. Weddings, fall shipments, many restless nights. A couple of decisions have been made. I need a bigger workspace, I can't make our 400 sq foot warehouse space work anymore. Especially not with the bulk that comes with fall merchandise. 200 long sweatshirts are like 10 men standing in my way. I probably don't need to say it, but I don't like men standing in my way. I like when I make a definite irreversible decision like this, because I have no choice but to make it work.
We've been having some fun around here to. An awesome discovery was recently made while getting ready for my sister's wedding. Julian adores being in a tux! It really could have gone either way. Is this the parallel universe of tutus? I have to say he looks quite dapper in them as well. He was so damn charming in this thing. Oy vey.
We sometimes joke we should have called our company ASAP. I actually think the name is not half bad. Don't steal it from me! We write that on every single thing we are working on. It's always the truth too! I can just see our vendors rolling their eyes when we proclaim this, as if it's the first time we've ever called in the favor. Truth is we need everything yesterday in this business and I don't see that changing. (It's really a sobering thought.) Good thing I'm drinking wine through this blog posting.
In the summer months we are mainly just driving from factory to sample sewer, to trim house, back to the factory, waiting for the dye house to drop off something crucial that completes the puzzle. A shrink test, a sample, a new color we are developing, a button, marker, a flipping zipper. Why are the zippers always late? There is so much you are controlling, and yet so much that is dependent on the word and competence of others. Don't forget sheer luck and attention to detail. And fusible. I weigh them all in equally. I could easily just keep my head down all of July and August and plow through what I need to do.
But then who would read Sendak to these two rascals? I love them from every corner of my heart, and they remind me of the true meaning of ASAP. There is no waiting on a diaper that needs to be changed, or a hungry melting down 3 year old. The samples they will get done, they must. The shipments they will surely go out. The kids they will go to bed and mom can always hippity hop back on the computer to make all that magic happen.
Check out our Genevieve dress on Jimmy Fallon! This is exactly what we had in mind when we dreamed up this dress. The futuristic styling pairs nicely with their primal performance. No doubt you will be hearing a lot from tUnE-yArDs.
Here begins a new blog series, let's see if I can keep this up? Photos of our clothes in all kinds of different settings. Shotgunning beers, doing yoga, river dancing at bar mitzvahs, you know all the usual life in the fast lane stuff.
First up our lovely muse Sarita took our Jenny dress to rock around the streets of Paris. Is rock even the right word? She is quite a creature, that's for sure. There are only a few of these left, get one to live out the dog days of summer.
ps. any pictures you want to share? send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and give us a little ditty. We will reward you in some fashion.
July and August are busy times over here at Curator. I'm taking in a lot of sights and sounds on my work days. Here are some pics I snapped along my travels this week.
The Ikea bag i'm schlepping everywhere was way too happy to ignore. I just snagged a Goodbyn Lunchbox for my son & a Bandit Bla Bla. Both of these goodies are now carried in store, such radical gifts for kids. The lunchbox comes with stickers you can decorate, and even has a sticker that say's "I'm allergic to ___". This sticker has a special place in my heart.
Next up the factory floor. One of the sewing ladies had the cutest apron on. I loved her style. She used to sew a lot in Hong Kong and this was one of her designs. Later I could see she was giving me the don't steal this idea eye. A pretty smart lady. ;-).
Next up T-shirts!
Here's a sneak peak of a Dolly Parton Tshirt we have in production. We were not joking about the 9 to 5 inspiration. Printed by the prolific folks over at Ape Do Good and designed by the one and only Adele Mildred. Lonnie and Burt will be keeping her company.
Lastly an upclose of Stacy's T-shirt - I love this for so many reasons! Classic. It's one of the code words we have going around my house....
Be still my middle school heart. This image made my hair stand on end. Like the good old days. So much emotion and hairspray surrounding this pretty pink machine. I can still feel the mania to press record when a JAM came on KMEL that I did not have recorded! It's on my daybed while I try to lay down, do my algebra homework and dream about dorky boys. I'm very certain more than one person was punched over it. The volume so easily rolled down to tell secrets.
Here are a few images I snapped over the last week. School is out for a couple of weeks, so my three old Julian is ruling the roost! I'm beginning to understand my mother's face when we skipped home on the last day of school. Three very long months. Oy vey.
One day: Julian figures out how to scale island to access the food cabinet. He finds the gummy bears (vitamins, how can this be?) and chocolate bear kid laxatives. :-/. Proves to be an interesting day. Did I mention it was raining and I had a 9 month old in hand?
We decide to go to Happy Hollow with Julian's bestie. All was pretty happy until it was time to leave.
I snapped the below picture in the middle of an epic tantrum. I wanted to fly away...
Yet Another Day
Dad's Turn. Dad hooked up with a friend who has a small plane and they took an adventure to Half Moon Bay to eat lunch. I was told nothing I could come up with could top this day!
Don't you ever just wish you could make shoes? I most certainly do. A good pair of shoes can really change things up. See these shoes for instance, these shoes are inspiring me to wear calf length black skirts! I had no idea how deliciously comfortable this state of being is. Leggings as pants with oversized asymmetrical t-shirts is my everyday kid uniform.
I do have a shoe inspiration thing. So recently when our model Rachel came in wearing these beauties, I swooned and wanted more details. Turns out she makes these bad rides. It's not every day you meet a shoemaker. Her version of the sandal below has "mohawks" (the leather jutts out ever so sweetly in back.) Really cutely punk.
Then she tells me that she's hosting a workshop at Gravel and Gold on the 26th to teach other potential shoebies how to make their own sandals. How generous of her! I hear there are only a couple spots left.
Lastly I really want these funnel neck boots. They are taunting me on etsy in size 6. I can only dream of what kind of awesome elfin outfits they would spawn.
Alrighty I believe that's enough nonsense for one day? Happy Friday.