Part 4: Seeing samples for the first time
There is a pause in between sketching concepts, then drawing technical specs, sending them to the sample maker and waiting to see how they come to life. Sometimes what worked in your head doesn’t quite work in 3D. Sometimes things are lost in translation from sketch to spec to pattern to sample. And sometimes you just nail it. The sketch, the spec, the patternmaker, the sample maker get it on the first try. This doesn’t happen often, but when it does it results in pure joy and you know you have something.
We are patterning with people to make our bags come to life some of the team members have long relationships with. As I mentioned before, we are a team of support, agility, knowledge and we value relationships. When you find people in your career that you work well with, that you have ease with, and things can go unsaid or unexplained and they just get it, those are people you want to work with for life. When you know someone runs their business with heart, with care for its people and its product, you know you’ve found something beautiful. We are a brand where community, connection and the livelihood of those who are in the entirety of the supply chain matter. Therefore we must partner with suppliers that also have this intention.
The journey of the first construction sample wasn’t as simple as it is when you are a well-resourced brand. We had to do some interpretive dance to get there. But get there we did. I was used to seeing a sample on the first day at the factory, making corrections throughout the week then leaving with all the samples seen and construction/details signed off on. This isn’t how it happened on my trip. But low and behold at the end of the day, before my return flights to the states I got to see half of the samples looking sooo close to the finish line. Totally jet lagged, not feeling so well, after working for 15 hours I saw samples that made me hug the team with joy.
It’s hard to explain how that feels. All I did was made some sketches. Several people who had never met me before took those sketches and made something out of it. They made my sketches come to life. We had to speak in hand gestures and I had to take scissors, sharpies and binder clips to the first sample but when all was said and done at the end of the night we collaborated on the bags and created something I cannot wait to see in the real materials.
Now the waiting game starts again. I’m waiting on the correct materials to get to the factory, so we can see everything made up with it. I am waiting on seeing hardware on the bags. I am waiting on colorways to make sure they align to the brand and what you are looking for. Waiting is half of the fun and half of the torture. Luckily I have made patience and faith my practice. I have loads of it, for the most part, and faith in this time, more than I can express.