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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.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ending November 2011

November is almost over and I must admit that we are finally making some progress now.  I’m excited to say that we've completed the little boy’s jeans pattern and the factory is ready to begin manufacturing.  The fabric has been ordered and they are preparing for production.  The little girl’s final sample is being made now (and I hope it’s the last) and we should have it in the shop by late next week.  If this last sample is good, we can also begin production on the little girl’s jeans as well.  I’m hoping to have the small children’s jeans completed and available for sale by the end of this year.

So here is what we’ve decided to do:  This first batch of the little boy’s jeans will have a denim elastic waistband.  We’ve decided not to make the adjustable waist just now, we’ve had too many problems with the design and I don’t want to hold up production any longer.  But we’ve since decided to use the ribbed waistband again, so the little girl’s jeans will have a different waistband.  And when  we make our next round of little boy’s jeans, we will use the ribbed waistband on them as well.

Most of our problems with our samples have been trying to have a denim elastic waistband that looks good.  But,  it’s just about impossible, especially in the larger sizes.  As the sizes get larger, the amount of gathering is just too much when using the denim in the waistband.  When we use the ribbing material, they look so much better with much less gathering and they are also more comfortable.

The decision to use the ribbing has been a struggle for me because I want our jeans to look like every other pair of jeans, but the bottom line is that our pants will have elastic waistbands and most jeans and pants do not.  But it’s what makes the most sense.  It’s just too important for our jeans and pants to be comfortable and easy to get on and off.  The whole point of Downs Designs is to accommodate those with Down syndrome.  So by using the ribbing for the waistband rather than the denim, this solves so many problems for the look of our jeans.  The ribbing allows the waists to lay much flatter and they are certainly more comfortable.   

Jillian is finishing the patterns for the rest of the sizes.  We are hoping to get samples made of the youth and teen size jeans before the end of the year as well.  If they are good, we hope to begin production on those sizes in the spring of next year.  I won’t promise that we will, but that is our goal at this point.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a whole year since anything has been in production.  I feel that 2011 has been a year of learning experiences for me.  As the owner of this business, there are things I should have done differently, but I chose not to listen to my instincts.  That’s the most important thing I have learned and I won’t make that mistake again. 

All the years I have owned my own business, my natural instincts have usually been good decisions, but this year I somehow lost my way.  But I never dwell on negativity and I won’t look back.  I’m moving only in one direction now…forward!  

Life is nothing but a series of lessons and what we do with those lessons is what’s important.  If we learn from them, then they are good lessons, if we choose not to learn from them, then we stunt our growth. 

Jillian and I have been a great team for almost two years and she has grown so much since we first began.  Her designing skills have come so far and watching her work is awesome.  She has evolved into an amazing designer and I couldn’t be more proud.

Cara is not with us anymore and I wish her well.  I hope she finds what truly makes her happy.

So we’re wrapping up November on a good note.  I couldn’t feel better than I do these days.  I am keeping my fingers crossed to see what December brings us and looking forward to the New Year.  My excitement and enthusiasm for what we are doing has never faded and I will continue with our quest until we reach our goal…to have a line of clothing for people with Down syndrome.  I want to eliminate the clothing challenges that they must face every day and make rolling up pant legs and sleeves a thing of the past.