Monthly Archives: March 2015

Screw up? Permission granted.

As an entrepreneur, the myriad of things that need to get done can be overwhelming to say the least. From pricing logistics to hiring photographers and dealing with product delivery dates, there’s a lot going on – even before the doors open.

I’m a recovering perfectionist so it would be all too easy for me to get stuck trying to get it “just right” and “evaluate all my options”. Going down that well-worn road of perfectionism can turn one of those tasks into a dead-end pretty quickly.

Ah yes, paralysis by analysis. And if a Chartered Financial Analyst isn’t good at analysis, then who is? Well, a lot of us are actually – especially any impostors lurking amongst us.

Not only does it seem prudent and useful, it also serves as an excellent avoidance strategy.

I would remind myself that I don’t need to be an expert, I need to get the job done. (My mantra of late: Good things come to those who hustle.)

Even that little reminder wasn’t always good at getting me unstuck. I’ll just look into one more option… and another loop around the dead-end.

So I did something I would have never ever considered before: I gave myself permission to screw up.

I don’t have time to become an expert in every discipline my small manufacturing business needs to thrive. I decided instead that my job was to launch the business to the best of my abilities, then course correct as needed.

Some succinctly refer to this strategy as Ready. Fire. Aim. It is all too easy to prepare, prepare, prepare and never pull the trigger.

Now, I pull the trigger. I do the task justice and move on. Once I have more information, I can change or adapt as needed for my growing business.

Got a great tip that gets you unstuck when you’re facing overwhelm or paralysis by analysis? Let me know in the comments below.

To your success,
Melanie Love
Founder & CEO

New to Front Room?  Want more content like this?  Want early access to our sales, pre-buy opportunities for upcoming styles and *free return shipping? Get on the list here for your all-access pass.

Behind the scenes: how colours and trends make it into your closet

We just got back from a Spring 2016 textile show where there was LOTS of colour and a dizzying array of choices.  (Want a preview?  Head over to our Facebook page to see our pics of the colours and trends.)

Ever wondered why that dress in your closet comes in this fabric or that print*?  We’re going to pull back the curtain and show you.
(*pattern vs. print?  in fashion lingo a pattern is the blueprint for cutting and sewing the garment while a print is a fabric with multiple or repetitive colours, like stripes, plaid, floral, etc.)

Most designers get their fabrics from a fabric mill.

The really large fashion labels work with trend forecasters two seasons in advance, so they’re currently working on Spring 2017 colour directions and theme inspirations to tell the mills what to make for them.

They also customize the fabrics to their own specs or repurpose fabric meant for one application to another, like how sport fabrics like scuba got used for dresses.   It takes a substantial quantity to be able to customize this way.

For smaller designers like Front Room, we go to tradeshows and showrooms to see what the fabric mills have on offer for the year ahead. (The fabric mills also consult with the trend forecasters to decide what fabrics, prints and colours will sell best.)

The shows are chock FULL of fabric swatches and trims to go through.

showroom2  booth2ribbon

We look through thousands of fabrics each season.  We review the trend forecasts.  (At Front Room, we’re inspired by trends but not slaves to them.  If the trends are out to lunch for what we think you want, we’ll go our own way.)   We have inspiration going in to a season but it morphs as we fall in love with certain fabrics and envision new garments.

We make colour and fabric choices based on what we think is:

  • wearable (acid green is tricky for the office, large florals can overwhelm a top);
  • flattering (acid green is equally tricky for most skintones, will the fabric drape over curves);
  • modern (some prints are too retro, we want a modern or timeless take); and
  • season-spanning (Are you going to want to pull that acid green piece out in September, December or February?  Will it look dated a year from now? Will the quality hold up to being beloved?).

We’ll also consider what we’ve done before to give you fresh takes and avoid repetition (unless you’ve told us to keep it coming!).

Along the way, a specific colour story emerges to figure out which of the gazillion fabrics we’d like to use will actually make it to production.   We make our selections, order up some sample lengths and make prototype garments to see if our vision works in reality.

And that my friend, is a peek behind the design process at Front Room.  Want to know more?  Let us know in the comments below.

The first 2015 collection will be coming soon.  Can’t wait to see it on you!

To your natural beauty,
Melanie & Front Room HQ
More than clothes, confidence.™

New to Front Room?  Want more content like this?  Want early access to our sales, pre-buy opportunities for upcoming styles and *free return shipping? Get on the list here for your all-access pass.