Every couple of years a woman or group of women put their heads together and come up with a plan to make lots of money manufacturing something that they imagine EVERYONE wants to buy.
A year or so ago it was 2 women who after being clients of a national exercise chain for women located in strip malls they decided they had the “next big thing”. They brought me black duck fabric and lots of clear plastic like the type you use as tablecloths and zippers.
It seemed to them that what the market was lacking was a cosmetic case that had about 75 zippered and elastic compartments for loads of vital/
non essential bottles of potions and brushes for traveling the world. They also had some connections to a cosmetic supply program so this was going to make them lots of money once the presented it to someone down in Los Angeles.
The only small snag was….they didn’t sew and needed someone to make this all singing, all dancing, all purpose PROTOTYPE makeup bag without a pattern or any knowledge of what they were doing. Unfortunately they found my name somewhere and expected me to be the designer/pattern maker/ consultant and construction engineer. All the bottles and brushes were left with me to make this multi-leveled, multi-pocketed contraption and to top it off it had to have purple piping in all the seams to promote this particular exercise company for they were certain that all the women from coast to coast would want and need this little lunch box sized bundle of beauty secrets.
A week later I produced the product after much stress on my brain and hands cramming bottles into plastic tube-like sleeves and measuring yards of black elastic to snug up more bottles and brushes. I charged them only for my labor and at the end of the transaction one of them had the chutzpah/
balls to ask me to sign a waiver to never produce this creation again as it was their original concept. Concept? I signed and wished them well but so far I have never seen my creation up for sale anywhere on the internet with the purple piping.
This week another chickie comes by with some fabric she claims keeps the sun from penetrating your skin at the beach and wants an “original” beach cover-up made as a PROTOTYPE! She had a photograph cut out of a magazine of a ready-to-wear top but wanted the sleeves longer, hem longer and neck and shoulders extended up higher to cover the neck. You all know this type of garment, it is called a nightgown, drawstring in a casing for the entire neck, raglan sleeves no shape sort of thing. Then she starts with the usual requests of wanting it figure flattering but very loose, tight sleeves but loose enough to roll up.
So I ask her since she also has never sewed or used a pattern how she wants her seams, hems, size of casing, length of vents etc and she answers, “Oh I don’t know, I never thought of that”. I really just want to manufacture these for people to wear in Newport Beach, Calif to keep the harmful sun’s rays off their skin….hmmmm.
She produces fabric that she has bought off the internet that also claims to function as a total sunblock so I ask her if she plans on pre-treating (as in shrinking) the fabric so there are no surprises after the first washing and her answer was “OH I don’t know, I never thought of that”.
I suggested that she wrote or call the supplier and ask what temp the water should be and can you dry this fabric or will that harm this magical property that keeps rays away.
Then I tell her after the homemade prototype she will need a professional pattern maker and grader and someone who knows the ins and outs of production and sources for her raw materials. Only a deer in the headlights looks back at me. Maybe suggesting that this type of pattern has been around for hundreds of years and she can find one on the internet to save herself the labor charge of me drafting this out and making one up. She seems ok with that and then shows me this fabric. It looks like plain old white cotton knit but she believes it will make her rich.
She leaves happy with her fabric in a box to go searching for the perfect nightgown pattern and will return some time before the end of July when she spends a week in Newport Beach to scope our potential buyers and test the market….Good luck to her!
Before I get back to the bridal side of life I want to thank all the new subscribers to my blog and for all the funny comments you have been leaving. It does help to know that we all share the weirdness and can laugh about it!