About the writer

My photo
I have a beautiful granddaughter who was born with Down syndrome. She has enough challenges to face in her life and I want to make sure that finding appropriately fitting clothes will not be one of them.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Preparing for the Conference

As the weeks pass, we really learned a lot about our models.  We enjoyed our visits with them and actually had became good friends.  Our desire to create these clothes becomes more important as we see the struggles of their wardrobe challenges on a daily basis.  There is so much work to be done in just a few short months.

Our first jeans and shirt
 Our first pants and shirts were purely experimental.  We finally complete our patterns and send them off to our factories in China.  I had the jeans factory make one of each size jeans in all the styles and the shirt factory make a white T shirt for men and woman in all the our shirt sizes.  We have a deadline to get these completed by mid-July.  When we designed the first jeans, we used a ribbing material for the waistband not denim.  It was very soft and comfortable, but didn’t quite look like jeans.   We used a full elastic band for the woman and a partial elastic band for the men with a full zipper.  
We made many mistakes along the way.  I can’t tell you how helpful the pattern maker was at our jeans factory in China.  He had 20 years’ experience in the industry and really worked with us as we created our first pair of jeans.  The shirts were not that complicated and the shirt factory didn’t have as many problems.  At this point I knew Jillian and I would need to make a trip China before we actually placed our first order.  We would have to pick our fabrics that we would be using.  I knew that seeing, feeling and touching the fabrics would be important to our selections.

Our portable dressing room
 Next, we would need a place for people to try on the jeans and shirts.  I reserved a larger, corner booth knowing I would need some sort of dressing room.  I knew just the right person who could create a dressing room for us that we could transport.  Wow, next thing you know we have 6’ x 6’ x 6’ dressing room made out of PVC pipe that we could assemble and disassemble with ease.   It worked beautifully and Jillian finished it off with black curtains.  All I needed now were the jeans and shirts and we would be ready for the conference.  
The factory had our patterns and they are unlike anything they had ever seen before.  (Remember these factories are used to making “skinny” jeans!)  They have nothing in their designing system to relate to this type of garment.  My contact there is so helpful and is committed to getting this order to us on time.  (I’ll to tell you all about him in another chapter.)  By now, we’re running right down to the wire for completion of these clothes.  Time is drawing near and the jeans are not completed.  The jeans and shirts are going to be shipped together. The conference starts FRiday, July 23 so I'm hoping to receive the shipment by Monday, July 19, 2010.  If they arrive Monday I can have UPS ship them via truck to the hotel in Florida and the cost would be fairly inexpensive.  If they arrive Tuesday, I’ll have to pay extra for faster shipping.  If they arrive Wednesday, they can still be overnighted and get to the conference by Thursday, but that would have been very costly.
Good news, half the order arrived the week before and I ship the partial order and our dressing room down to the conference center in Florida in plenty of time. But the other half of the order is still not here yet.  Here’s what happened next…My contact in China shipped the remaining order on Thursday, July 15 by express delivery and it should arrive by Monday.  I breathe a sigh of relief!  But my relief is short lived.  Tuesday comes and my package hasn’t arrived yet so I start tracking the package and find out its flying all over Europe.  Then I find out the shipper sent the package by economy class by mistake.   
I’m trying to remain calm and not panic, but I must admit, I was a little nervous.  If I don’t have the entire order, there would not be much point in attending the conference with only half of our pants and shirts.  But I stayed focused on good thoughts and visualized the package arriving on my doorstep sometime on Wednesday.  I refused to belief anything bad was going to happen. 
My most important "Special Delivery"
I contacted the carrier, which was DHL, as soon as I realized what had gone wrong.  The customer service people couldn’t have been more helpful.  I told them how important this package was and they said they would do all they could to get it to me on time.   The plane carrying my package finally lands in Cincinnati on Wednesday morning about 5:30 am.  It had to clear customs, fly to Cleveland Hopkins International and then be trucked over to the DHL distribution center in Strongsville.  By the time it reached the DHL center, all the trucks had already left for the day with their deliveries, but they made a special delivery to my doorstep anyway…the package arrived Wednesday afternoon…just as I had visualized it would.  I knew this shipment had flown in on the wings of an angel.

No comments:

Post a Comment