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68. Crepes and My Collection Process

Yesterday I was sitting in a big pink bus thing, awaiting every middle aged woman’s delight, a mammogram. That awesome experience where you strip naked to the waist, allow a complete stranger to man handle your boobs onto a cold metal slab and then you calmly stand there while another metal slab slowly descends from above and makes crepes out of said boobs by squashing them flat. I appreciate this amazing technology that can detect a tiny lump so that it can be dealt with quickly if it appears, but there is some work required in my head in preparation for this event to occur. Add to that the fact that I woke early with a raging headache brought on by a sore neck from sleeping at a weird angle, and you can see that it was not a great start to the day. Then, after arriving at my mammogram appointment and filling out the paperwork and waiting my turn, I was informed that the machine was playing up and I could wait indefinitely to see if they could get it going again, or I could leave and call to make a new appointment. Now I have the pleasure of doing all that mental preparation and anticipation again in September! Yay!

Speaking of September, I hope to have a clear idea about all things to do with SuzziMaggs Summer Collection 2023 by the end of that month.

Inspired by my favourite place to be, the beach.

Soft floating ruffles like gentle waves on the sea, easy fit wide leg pants that allow airflow in the heat and plenty of movement for beach combing and rock pool exploration, a fun button front singlet in "beachy" prints, and perhaps a wrap skirt inspired by the way the coastline wraps around the land. And dresses, still working on designs but there will be dresses.

My colour scheme is bright and features a lot of blue, and I am still on the hunt for the perfect print in more neutral tones to add to the scheme, allowing for the addition of some softer colours to the collection.

There will also be a splash of metallic, inspired by the glittering sunset as it sparkles across the shimmering ocean.

There is quite a process involved in my creating a new collection and there is always some anxiety around weather or not anyone will buy any of it.

I am easily inspired by the world around me and enjoy designing pieces on a theme. This is the bit that comes easiest to me, it’s my natural gifting to come up with all kinds of ideas for clothing and accessories, then I need to make them make sense to a wider audience. This creative process is the part that brings me a lot of joy.

Whilst in the designing process I am looking out for the best fabric options available for them, and any other items such as buttons and zippers. This is also fun but can be stressful when I can’t find what I would like to use. I need to learn more about how to create my own fabric print designs and how to get them printed economically. This is definitely something I want to be able to do eventually.

I then make patterns, and a sample garment to check that it is going to look as I envisioned it to from my sketches. Patternmaking is not my favourite thing and although I know how to, this is a job that I will gladly employ someone to do if or when I can afford to. I do like to make the first sample garment though, so that I understand the process required to put it together step by step. I enjoy this technical process of planning the best way to construct each garment.

At this stage I need to price each piece in a collection, which requires me to have an idea of how long it takes to make the garment, plus the cost of all the materials, plus the cost in power for machines, lighting etc. Also there is the time taken in designing and patternmaking and advertising. All this can be stressful and confusing, but I am becoming more confident in myself and my pricing the more I do it.

Patterns are then adjusted if necessary and garments are made in a selection of the fabrics that I have chosen for the collection. I don’t make everything in every colour because it is more economical and less wasteful to make garments to order in the sizes and colours as they are ordered.

Once I have a cohesive collection with some of each design made in a sample range of colours, I am ready to photograph them, add them to my website store and then launch the new collection.

I have done a launch once in the past as a Facebook live, and another time as a blog post. I am still working out the best way for me to do it, but I may have a few opportunities to showcase Summer 2023 in an actual fashion parade, so keep an eye out for that.

This is all the bit that I seem to struggle with. I obviously love my designs and am keen to see them go out into the world, but I am just not a great salesperson. Something else that I am working on learning about, especially in the areas of social media.

I am continuing to work on my SuzziMaggs Summer 2023 Collection in hope of having it ready by October, and I am asking my friends, family and followers to please tell me what they would like, what is missing from my collections, how I can better serve my community.

Also, I would love to hear if there are any topics around fashion styling, garment types, fitting and the like that you would like me to blog more about.

So, there is a quick rundown of the SuzziMaggs Collection process which at this stage all needs to be done by me. Add to this, website work, blogging, networking, business training and market stalls a couple of times a month and this is how I am filling my days. Each day I have to get up and mentally prepare myself, just as I did for my mammogram appointment yesterday. Some days I wonder if I should just give it all up and go out and get a job where I actually earn an income, and other days I feel like I am exactly where I should be. Each time I stop and discuss it with the Creator of everything, God, I feel that I am to keep going, keep designing and keep blogging, so that is what I am doing for now.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5

Thank you for taking the time to read this, I appreciate you.

Love, Suzanne

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