For the last month our team has been putting in immeasurable effort to build our own production. It's been wild, chaotic, exciting, frustrating, and pretty magical.
And what we've realized, as we've been scouring the internet for examples of how other people are doing it, is that this kind of stuff NEVER gets shared with the public. There's hardly any public insight into what goes on inside a factory, how one gets built, and what's really involved in the daily operations of making clothes.
We live it every day so we think it pretty freakin' cool. So each week, we're gonna share a snippet of our journey with you.
Here's what happened this week at the Youniverse (what we call our factory).
This week we were Basic Witches. It was Basic Witch all day every day.
We busted our witchy butts to get our croptops done ahead of schedule (we beat our goal by 3 weeks!) which meant we got a bit behind on the Pull It Off Longsleeve. And it comes in one color - Basic Witch (aka black).
This shirt has been an interesting one for us - it's far more complicated than we thought it would be, and we realized we certainly aren't charging enough for them. But alas, it's been a great learning experience! There are sooooo many steps in this top so it's taking us a lot longer than we thought it would. 4 machines are involved in the making of this shirt and we quickly realized that we needed another serger to speed things along. Sarah put that together, and Nat has been cranking away on collars. Vicky sews in the evenings and has been finishing assembly of them on the serger.
It's really been all hands involved. Olivia has been pressing all the open backs so they lay flat and look pretty, then packaging them up once they're off the line and putting them in the warehouse.
A big pivot happened Tuesday afternoon. We've been going going going without fully settling in to our final space layout and organization, and finally we all realized we had to do something about it.
This shirt has so many pieces and we came to a crux of needing organization of pieces and finished production and needing things out of cardboard boxes. We're really just figuring this out as we go so we didn't really have a plan for how to store stuff once it arrived from the cutter (we get everything cut in California right now) but Thursday we got a ton of bins, shelves and drawers and went to town making something better.
In Progress (we had to pivot to start shipping hundreds of orders you surprised us with on Wednesday, yippee!!)
We lost some valuable production time Wednesday and Thursday while COMPLETELY rearranged and changed the layout of our ENTIRE warehouse and production space. But ultimately it's going to make us so much more efficient.
Previously, all our machines were in lines coming off a wall, but now we set up 'Communal Sewing' - a rectangle of machines that face inward and share a table in the middle. This is super easy for us to roll production around to different machines and slide pieces from one stage to the next.
We've quickly realized the power supply in our space can't handle our machines - we trip the circuit if more than one machine is running at a time, so we've been living in a sea of extension cords running across the walls. But today an electrician came to bring us more juice and outlets!
We got a bunch of these super fun rolling hampers at Costco and are working on a labeling system (a project for next week) so we're a bit more organized.
And through all of this, Sarah is furiously working away on patterns and samples for new styles. There's a big spoiler in this photo, see it?
Oh, and also the Missoulian (our local paper) came by to interview/take photos for an article they published about what we're doing!
Well, that's it for now - gotta get back to work. To quote Sarah, "we're never bored!"