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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.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

June 2012

June, 2012
June is an exciting month for Downs Designs.  Finally our children’s jeans arrived in our shop.  Due to all the problems I’ve had with Andy’s factory and all the delays he caused me, it took five months for me to finally get them in my hands.
They arrived a few days after I got back from China and when the boxes came in they barely survived the trip.  One of the boxes was completely ripped open and I was surprised I lost nothing from its contents.  The other shocking factor was the jeans themselves.
In all the samples he had sent us, he used a fabric that was much different, but the waistband fabric was the biggest disappointment.  It was nothing like what we had ordered.  I’m not sure why he chose the color, but I wasn’t happy.  The entire day I was so upset, I was beside myself.
We called our little girl model (Jessica) right away and her mother was able to bring her in the very next day to try them on.  I showed them to her mother and she felt like I did, that the color of waistband could have been better.  But, the moment her daughter put them on, all those bad feelings I had felt went right out the window. 
She looked fantastic and they fit her perfectly.  The transformation was amazing!  It was an exciting day for me after that.  I realized that all our hard work and all the delays had been worth it.  Even the color of waistband seemed a minimal problem.  I managed to find a shirt sample from last year that fit her perfectly, so I was able to photograph her in both our jeans and our shirt.  What a doll she is and she loves to pose.
Next we called our little boy model (Danny) and I set up an appointment to try on the little boy jeans.  A few days later we were able to photograph him in another sample shirt of ours that fit him well and our jeans that were just perfect on him also.  His mother was so happy and she didn’t care what color the waistband was, she loved them!
Now our website needed to be updated and I have also been making some improvements and changes.  It’s really started to shape up and I’m feeling very good about how it looks.  I even added a printable tape measure on the “How to Measure” page so if someone doesn’t have a tape measure, they can just print one out.  Since our sizes are unique, measuring the hip is crucial.  Also, since we hem every pair to order, the inseam also needs to be measured.  We’re trying to make the website as user friendly as possible and I think adding the printable tape measure will be helpful.
Now, all I need is for people to start to place orders.  It may be the wrong season for jeans right now though, so I’m hoping that by school time, we will get busier.  I need to start making sales.   Every month my expenses are high, but income is low.  It’s got to start turning around soon.  I’m sure people don’t realize the overhead costs I have and the debt that’s I’ve incurred.  So I’m hoping as I gradually get more products to sell that more and more people will start trying them out. 
I know our ladies jeans are working out very well because almost everyone who purchased their first pair has reordered more than once.  To me, that’s the greatest compliment of all.  Many have even had us cut them into shorts or capris.  I know they were not designed for that, but most are so happy with how they fit, they want us to hem them at these different lengths.
The new factory is working on one last experiment on the waistband.  Once we determine what fabric we will use in the waistband then we’ll be ready to start production on two styles of teen girls.  They also have the men’s patterns and we’ll see how those samples fit; I should have them by next week.   We’re also sending them two styles of the teen boys.  Getting samples always takes a while, but I’m hoping we can get these in production soon as well. 
I hope by year end that we’ll start to see our store have more products available.  But I am realizing now, that we may not be able to complete all of the 27 styles we have patterns for.  We’re going to focus primarily on those body shapes that are the most difficult to fit into standard clothing sizes.