Thursday, February 22, 2007

the buying season...


At the end of this week I will be making one of two buying trips that I make each year. As you can imagine, these trips are one of the highlights of my job and it's great fun... and a lot of work.

I love that there are so many elements that go into making a buying trip successful. That some of these elements I can control and others I can't.

This post by Alison got me thinking about the hidden aspects of my work. About how the work I do before a trip is integral to the final outcome. I've also been thinking how similar the process is to that of making a piece by hand. It starts with an idea, a pattern of sorts, is informed by many outside influences, the old and the new. Although I have a vision of what the final work might look like, in reality it will probably be quite different... but the threads of the original design will still be evident.

The hidden work begins for me at the beginning of January, thinking about the season that has just passed... about what we did well, about where we can improve. Thinking about colour and form and trends, about what our interpretation of these things might be. Making notes in my little books about desired items, textures and ideas, visual signposts for the journey that will follow.

And on the ground the seen work begins, absorbing the vision of others, putting together orders, making actual selections for the season ahead. Trusting my instincts. Balancing the essentials with an element of surprise. Making sure I find the things I know for certain that we need, the things that our customers expect to see. And all the time watching for the unexpected because it is these pieces that help us create a story that's all our own.

And, if I'm lucky, I'll finish in time to go shopping...

8 comments:

leesa said...

I'm so jealous! Wishing you a fruitful trip - with plenty of shopping :)

Violet & Rose said...

I found this really interesting Sarah, because I have just started buying fabric, buttons, ribbons and other materials to start making my stock for the coming season. Trends, colours, patterns, textures, searching for all of these while trying to remain true to the essence of the brand I am trying to create. And because I really want to start wholesaling this year, as oppossed to markets, your's was a really interesting insight. So thanks, goodluck and happy shopping.

momo said...

It will be interesting to see what you make after reading these things. Do you have a market stall
I can see and touch what you make when I move there?
Well happy shopping trip! WOuld love to read how it goes!

K said...

I bet you're going to that wonderful LIS Expo in Sydney? If yes, I'm soooo envious, a friend of mine is exhibiting and I'd do almost anything to be there as well. I think you will need to finish up early to go shopping, you deserve it!

African Kelli said...

What fun! I wish you the best of luck.

cally said...

Just came across your blog, nice. Love the tan books on dark chocolatey floor.

Spindle said...

Go forth and buy many beautiful things! With your "eye" - you can't go wrong.

lisa s said...

these are great thoughts.... i'd love to go buying with you!