I haven't been as present as I'd like to be these past few months. I find myself pulling away from social media and computer work when things are as crazy as they are right now out of sheer necessity. We've had more orders than ever before, so all of my time and energy has been spent on production. While having the influx of orders has been a true blessing, and I can't thank you all enough for your support, there have been a few hiccups and growing pains along the way.
Because TF is only just over one year old, I don't have a lot of past experience to base projections off of for upcoming launches. In preparation for the busy summer and the projects we had coming, I brought on two amazing interns. The plan was to have these incredible ladies help with things other than the actual sewing (like cutting, packaging, etc.), so I could spend my time at the machine. While they have been the biggest help, and I couldn't make it through the summer without them, we have had to take some time to train and teach them how I do things.
Up until this point I have done everything myself – a true one-woman show. I am very particular about how each garment is cut out, constructed, and packaged and can be quite meticulous to ensure the highest quality of each piece I send out. It has been quite a change to go from doing everything myself to having someone else take on some steps of the process and teaching them how I do things. Because of that, we've been taking a little longer to get orders out the door. Being that I am still the only one sewing every garment, we've had to extend our lead time to four weeks (much longer than I'd like). The past few seasons, while they have been successful, did not prepare me for the influx of business we have received this season. I am blown away by your response to this collection. It has been amazing to see our following grow and connect with more amazing women.
Additionally, we've hit a few snags when reordering fabrics. We were recently a part of The Garment Travel Pop-Up. For the pop-up, we wanted to offer the army green and an exclusive black colorway that would only be available during the duration of the pop-up. When I went to order these colors in the linen I was currently using, I was informed that those two colors were sold out and would not be available for another two months. We were really set on offering these two colors, so I went back and forth with the mill to find an alternate linen we were happy with. I'm so glad we were able to find a solution because you all are loving these colors.
In preparation for this pop-up, I enlisted some help from a small factory in South Carolina to sew about a third of the orders. I knew there was no way I would be able to sew the projected amount of orders within the four week lead time on my own and didn't want to extend that timeline any further. My ultimate goal is to keep everything under one roof, but at this stage, I am just not able to hire long-term help and sustain. They are working as quickly as they can, but they have been a bit overloaded as well and are taking a little longer than planned to get the pieces made and sent to me. I received the first wave of pieces and shipped them out this morning. The next shipment should be coming in sometime next week, and those pieces will be shipped as soon as they come in.
I want nothing more than to be transparent and honest about where we are, what we're up to, and what you can expect. While the last couple of months have been a whirlwind and we've had a bit of growing pains, we want to grow gracefully and responsibly. It is quite an oxymoron, but with growth comes some of the greatest challenges. Growing pains are inevitable and are to be expected, so I can't thank you enough for your continued support and patience as we work through these long lead times and bumps in the road.
I do hate that you're intentionally-purchased pieces are taking longer than planned to get to you. I never want to have to say things are taking longer, but it's where we are. I'm trying to embrace the process. It's humbling to learn and share with you all that I'm not a machine and I'm only human. There will be bumps in the road. Just know we are working diligently behind the scenes to get your pieces made and sent out. I would rather spend the extra time ensuring your pieces are made to the highest quality, than rush through them just to get them out on time.
I can't thank you all enough for your support of this little brand I've created. It still baffles me seeing something I've created become loved and cherished by someone else. You all make my heart sing, and please know I am working my butt off to get your orders to you!