Let me start at the beginning. You remember forever ago when I entered that design contest for Shabby Apple? Well I didn't win, didn't even come close to it. My hopes weren't shattered however and I continued to work on my dress sketches for the next two months. One day as I was reading the fine print on Shabby Apple's website, I discovered a link for an Emerging Designers Program. I thought I'd discovered a way to still get my dress designs out there, so I submitted my designs for the approval of the Shabby Apple design team. I was on pins and needles for a week waiting for a reply. My whole take on the deal was at least I can say I tried and not regret not turning my designs in. About a week later I got a reply back from one of the owners of Shabby Apple and the news was more than good: they liked my designs and thought they would fit in perfectly with Shabby Apple. I was sooooo excited. I couldn't believe that they'd actually liked my designs, especially since they looked like kindergarten drawings compared to a real designer's sketches.
The next step for me was to find a pattern and sample maker, which I did and she's fabulous because so far she's been able to turn my sketches into real dresses. She also happens to be the production manager for Shabby Apple too, so I feel like I got the best of the best. I've learned so much about the clothing business from her so far and it's been great for me to have a mentor through this process.
So what's the problem you all ask? Well my biggest hang up is financing. I went in to this knowing that I'd be responsible for manufacturing costs of my dress line. It's part of the terms of the Emerging Designers Program. The part I didn't know was how much it was actually going to cost me and then I fell flat on my face. It is a substantial amount of money. I don't want to go to the bank for a loan because I know I would have a high interest rate and IF my dresses sold well with Shabby Apple, I would make little to no profit on account of having to repay the loan and the interest. The other problem is what IF my dresses didn't sell well because of the way the economy is going right now. It would be too much stress to try to pay back a loan with my husband's income because we just don't have that much extra left over, especially since the cost of living is sky rocketing through the roof.
My other plan was to go to family and see if I might be able to get funding there, patient money, but I think most everyone is holding on tight to what they have because the costs of living are going up and there is much turmoil in the world that is affecting all of our pocketbooks.
So my question is: where do I go from here? I will have six sample dresses completed by mid-March and if I can't work something out with Shabby Apple, I'm not sure what to do. I just don't want this to be a waste of time, effort, and money not only on my part, but on the part of the people at Shabby Apple too. The only reason I am posting this on the blog is because I thought that maybe some outside eyes would have a perspective that I've failed to see thus far. I am going to talk with the Shabby Apple people this week. I am hoping and praying with all my heart that if this is meant to be that a way will be opened to me.