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...