Thursday, August 27, 2009

Little Black Shop

Finally I have the perfect vision for what I want. Notice I have also changed the name of this blog from Starting my own Fashion Line to Little Black Shop. I got this idea yesterday for a boutique called the Little Black Shop. I want to design a line inspired by Chanel's "little black dress". It would be a line designed once or twice a year only. Small production. Designed all in black, grey's and charcoals. It's NYC and people here wear black all year round. The "little black dress" has become a staple of every woman's closet so I can't really go wrong. While the line is inspired by the little black dress, I plan on designing more of a collection, pants, dresses tops, outerwear, skirts etc. The other idea that goes along with this is that I would offer a series of fabrics in different, colors, textures, and prints that customers can choose to customize their outfits. They would be able to choose from one of the existing designs and have their order customized in just a few short weeks. I want to develop this idea the same way that Room and Boad (furniture company) does theirs. I want the boutique and e-commerce.

In other news...I went downtown yesterday to buy fabric. I didn't know what I was going to make but I had an idea for fabric. I was so inspired by Elie Saab's collection that I wanted to find an ivory cloth with texture and make something. Well I didn't find what I was looking for in ivory but I found it in black. I bought the fabric and started sketching a bit in my book. I think it was this that inspired the little black shop idea. So I already have the design I am making, I'm super excited.
My sister also wants me to make her a dress she saw in a magazine, so I'm gonna do that also. Also gonna start designing the little black shop line. So don't steal my idea ;-).


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New Project

This is my latest project...just some freehand draping, inspired by Elie Saab. Don't know how I'll finish it yet but here it is.

Elie Saab Fall'09 Couture Collection

I'd wear this one.
Just beautiful and exactly what I needed to see. I have to admit I'm a little jealous of these couture designers that can do this type of work. It's so amazing and never fails to inspire. Plan today is to drape once Zara takes her nap later on. Also planning on moving on to design some fall items. So glad to get of the "dumps" and back into my thing. Alright pics coming later but for now check out Elie Saab's Fall'09 Couture collection, you'll love it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bad News and Good News

Today I had some discouraging news and some inspirational news regarding what's going on in the job market. I was chatting with a former co-worker today vias Facebook and unfortunately he along with 2 others were also laid off from the company we worked at. This is just terrible, more people are unemployed now and I hope he and the others find something soon. I had hopes that the company would start to do better and start hiring again so that maybe I could get my job back (wishful thinking I guess). From that news I received an email from the Bryant Park Group with regards to one of the members. This member joined the group a year ago and has finally received a job offer and accepted. I should mention though that this job offer is a relocation! That's pretty much how it is now. Most job opportunities are out of state and that is not an option for me. But I'm happy for her and it was great to read her story because I can relate to her in so many ways. I can relate to her looking eagerly, at first, putting her self on all relevant job websites, meeting with recruiters and being aggressive. Then slowly drifting into the jobless lifestyle, thinking about a new career and going on interviews that lead no-where. Somehow she was able to pick up, re-energize and reaching out to old contacts. I tried that week. I reached out to former companies that I freelanced with and advised I was available. Some of the contacts were no longer with the company and 1 replied but said he didn't need any freelance at the moment. Oh well, the search continues...
Meanwhile, I don't know what to do with the whole business thing. I'm not very motivated. I didn't think it would take this long to find a job and I realize it will take longer, at least a year it seems, maybe more. I'm not giving up, just re-evaluating and putting it all into perspective. Thinking on how to design a line that is special and different from the rest and thinking on how to make the line represent me and my values.
I realize that lately this blog has become more about my job search and less about my designs but it's all related really. Can't have one without the other.

That's it for now...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Random Things (Mostly Negative - Sorry but It's Real)

Summer is coming to an end.
Time to focus again. Kids go back to school.
Grown-ups get back to work.
The depression is kicking in now.
I keep getting calls for freelance that lead no-where.
I haven't had an interview for a full time position in ages.
My girls don't have health coverage and it scares me.
I'm ready to cut the cable and get the HD Antenna.
I'm ready to cut the home phone and keep the cell.
Girls need clothes.
Savings is getting low.
I emailed all the companies I freelanced for in the past and gave them my info to contact me incase they need any additional help.
HS Classmate has launched her own line (I wouldn't have expected any less she's brilliant)
Former colleague launched his own line (He's super smart)
Should I just get into some other field of work? Maybe there's other things I can do
Summer has been great.
How long am I supposed to stay optimistic for? Tyler Perry persisted for about 15 yrs approx, before he was successful, was even homeless.
Lucky to have 2 healthy beautiful girls, a home and great husband. (Let's not forget my mom too, she's great)
Don't really want to be a Stay at Home Mom or House Wife, I'd rather be a working mom.
I want to set an example to my girls that women are more than just mothers and wives, and that they have real contributions they can make to society.
I don't know that's it for now. I might edit this later cause I don't think I should even publish it.

Friday, August 7, 2009

New Strategy for Finding Work

As I've said before, finding a job is the key to my success. I'm glad the government has extended unemployment benefits but I don't want to have to depend on that. I would much rather have my work income, it's more money and I can get back on track with my personal and family goals.

Sometime ago I saw on the news a report about unemployment, who is unemployed, how it's affected them and what some are doing about it. In that segment they featured a Fashion Designer who was out of work and a bit stressed about it. They featured a woman who decided to intern again so she can start-over again, a young man who decided to take a job for a lot less money than he was making before and a man who was used to working at an Executive level who was now working janitorial jobs. I thought that was so interesting. What I realize is that the longer you are without a job the less demanding and more flexible you become. I am a member of the Bryant Park Group. A group of fashion industry professionals who have all been laid off from work. It's amazing. There must be at least 100 members and I can safely say that all of them without question are an impressive group of professionals who are all experts at something. Some of the members I've met I admire, and I think "wow now she seems really smart, how come she still doesn't have a job?". Outgoing, resourceful, professional and smart. Yeah, some of them have been unemployed for 1 year to 1 1/2 years, now contemplating their next move and should they relocate, and how are they going to pay their next mortgage or rent. And there are others that are slowing drifting and starting to get used to just some time for themselves, and do whatever they want when they want. Maybe some yoga in the morning or travel a bit, yeah I guess that sounds nice but that's not my situation. I need and want to work.

So now I'm thinking about contacting some of my favorite fashion companies and offering to work 6 months for free, just volunteer. For instance. I've worked for 8 years in the menswear industry but I'd like to branch out and work in the women's industry as well. No company will hire me for women's design because I don't have that experience even if I can sketch up some nice designs for women. Unless they get to work with me and experience my work ethic and dedication they'll never know. So I figure I can volunteer, set my own terms like hours and what I want to get out of it. I can probably work a 10-4 M-F schedule or whatever for free in exchange for assisting in anything necessary within the women's design department and participating in all fit sessions, line presentation meetings, participation in line preparation, colors, research etc... I can help them out with their tech packs, presentation materials, ANYTHING. The goal is to gain a new work experience that I might not be able to get hired for and branch out into other areas so I have more options for employment. And you never know. I've freelanced many times doing basic design work and more often than not I've received countless job offers for more advanced positions, but that was then..., and this is now. I haven't been able to freelance since being laid off, thus my new approach.

Ok so what do you think? I'm also thinking about getting back in touch with my former employer and seeing what their status is and if they would be willing to re-hire me. Hey you never know! In addition, I emailed Gen Art and replied to their ad for volunteers during this September's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. I hope they call back. Overall I think this is a good plan because it's better than not doing anything (not that I'm not doing anything, I'm raising my daughters) but at least it'll keep me in the Fashion Industry and who knows what other doors will open up for me. This plan does require a bit of letting go of pride and ego but sometimes you have to be willing and able to recognize when you are down and get back up. I'm not too proud (anymore), it's ok. This plan also has it's challenges, like childcare. The fact that I won't have paid job means I can't re-hire my babysitter to take care of my girls while I'm not home. She used to come early in the morning before I left and would leave my home when my husband or I arrived home. It worked out great. I would have to figure out how to get my two girls out early in the morning and take them to my mother who would hopefully agree to watch them. Agh, lets see what happens.