Sunday, January 3, 2016

New Clothing Line!

SO, I know some a y'all be thinking that I'm fully-focused on my art career right now ... I was thinking the same thing too. Well, I can't explain it but I got this bug (or rather a really good idea) to play with making clothes for others. I have been having a fabulous time these past 2 years making my own garments and honing my pattern-making skills. It's like a super-practical 3-D puzzle that engages my brain in wonderful ways. After my peanut shorts experiment earlier this year, I started to seriously consider developing a clothing line. And I finally got fed up working with clients on their ideas and decided to find an income with my own ideas.

Starting January 2016, I will be officially launching Ann Tilley Handmade clothing!

Here's how it works:
Ann Tilley Handmade is a small-batch, made-to-order clothing line focused on everyday, easy-wear-easy-care garments. We will release one look each month via social media and other online marketing tools, with particular emphasis on direct e-mail. Customers will place their order on a first-come-first-served basis online, and will be prompted to provide their body measurements. The garment will be cut and sewn to fit their specified dimensions and mailed out to them. As soon as all the fabric is gone for each garment, the product will come to an end. We're striving to exist between $30-$100 price range per garment.

To be the first to know about new products, make sure you are signed up to my email list! Those on the list will get a 24-hour heads up to make a purchase before I post publicly on social media. There's only going to be 8-20 garments offered for each look so you gotta move quick!

Here's my mission statement because, yes, I wrote a business plan so you have to read it now :)

Ann Tilley Handmade strives to provide the general public with ethically-made clothing that are unique, stylish, and comfortable, with an option for custom fitting.  ATH is for those who otherwise can’t afford to shop ethically or don’t know how.  ATH is for the person who has a unique body shape and is unable to fit in clothing off the rack.  ATH is for the person who wants to dress like a true individual!
In lieu of photos of the actual clothing I will be offering (the photoshoot is January 9th!) here are some shots over the last year of clothing I have made for myself and loved ones.

One of my biggest regrets about pursuing a fashion career is that a lot of times it does not fall in line with my moral and environmental values. I see all these wonderful people around me are following careers that contribute to the greater good and I'm making clothes? And when you hear about all the tragedies surrounding cheap, overseas labor (watch The True Cost documentary on Netflix) or the fact that the fashion industry is the 2nd largest waste-producing industry, second only to the coal industry, it makes one feel sorta sick to their stomach walking through a Target or a TJ Maxx.

I can't change the industry -- one little girl in rural NC -- but I can choose to not support it with my money. I haven't really shopped for new clothing in 2 years, occasionally I crumble but less and less frequently. I'm lucky because I can make clothes for myself but my friends don't have that option, and me reprimanding them for shopping at Old Navy doesn't really change anything. We need some clothing and we want other clothing because it's fun, it makes you feel good, like yourself, it's a fundamental way that humans present themselves to each other.

I'll be sewing all purchased garments by myself in the lil 9 ft x 15 ft home studio barn behind my house. The fabrics are being sourced based on their uniqueness, comfort, and price, and each product will be available until I run out of its allocated fabric. Then that keeps me from getting burnt out on the same thing and a chance to try out new designs and fabrics. I guess it's the artist in me bleeding over to the fashion side. I don't have a ton of control (for now) about how ethically the fabric is being produced, especially if I am considering cost, but usually that aspect of manufacturing is less reliant on human labor. And as this project moves along, hopefully I can educate myself more on this aspect of the business and make thoughtful changes.

So... LET ME KNOW WHAT Y'ALL WANNA SEE! What garment are you missing from your wardrobe that you just can't find?

I'm ready to take your orders!

1 comment:

  1. There is SO much I love about this!!! Especially that last picture of you in your barn studio!!!!! Also, I hope that blue belted dress you show in your photo montage makes it into the for sale rotation. Good luck, and I can't wait to see what you offer first!