Until Sunday, November 2, when you enter the code WEAREDAR10 at shop.wearedar.org you will save 10% off your order! The holidays are just around the corner and our aDARable clothing is perfect for that little fashionista in your life. Not only will you be supporting a great cause, but also our 10 women in Ti-Bouk who depend on our line for economic independence. Shop our ‘clothing that tells a new story’ with your head and heart.
This weekend the WeAreDAR team packed our bags and headed down to Atlanta, GA to be a part of the Apparel Market. This was our very first time at any event like Market (and my first time in Atlanta – hello, Gladys’ Chicken & Waffles!) and we were so happy to meet all our new buyers! The unique and wonderful thing about WeAreDAR and our line, aDarable, is that it truly tells a story. It was encouraging to hear buyers taking notice of not only our beautiful products but also to see them really listen to the whole purpose of the line. We now will have aDARable sold in 5 new stores and you can’t help but just feel this good energy continuing to build around this project.
“I use to think life could be shared by anyone but now I know choosing the right people is pretty important.” — Bob Goff, Love Does
Rain. I talked about rain on one of my most previous blogs. The saying of some people just get wet, while others actually feel the rain. Today I felt the rain. I really did. It was the romantic, happy, dancing rain, it was the rain that brought feelings too good to be true. I don’t know how to describe it.
I’m here in Haiti, surrounded by beauty everywhere. It’ the stillness. The simplicity of life here, but we all believe we can make it even more beautiful, by providing hope to these people who have basically nothing, yet have so much love.
Seeing our women for the first time brought tears to my eyes. Seeing them excited, wearing their Sunday best, made me realize how much this really means to them. Some of our women travel more than 6 miles every day for this opportunity…it’s the small things. I know I’m all over the place right now, but I’m just over the top excited for what is happening.
Our crew consists of our team cheerleader, Taylor- which along with many other tasks, is taking care of the women in our project, by making them feel loved, appreciated, taken care of, and supported. She has fallen in love with the children and women. It’s been so fun to watch her interact with the people of the village.
Crista-our DARling intern has amazed me everyday since arriving. You can just see how much she loves teaching our women and you can see and feel how passionate she is about this project. Crista is one of the designers behind our “Concrete Pioneer” collection. She has been a part of this project from day 1 and so she has been a vital role in our current mission here.
Sarah- our fun, awesome, ” Zami” aka friend, from Matilda Jane Clothing, has been a God send. She has been working hand in hand with Crista, teaching the women all the skills they need to know to produce our line.
Jennifer- beautiful Jennifer is a producer for Studio Now, and has worked on projects with L’Oreal, Verizon, AOL, along with many more. She has donated her time to help produce a video that tells you more about our work here in Haiti.
Paul- I have no words to describe Paul. Paul is a Director of Photography and simply the best. Paul has traveled the world filming for nonprofits, like ours. We have had so much fun with Paul-man! He is here working with Jen, and filming most of our project. Paul will also be editing our video once we return. He too is a God send because “someone” sponsored his entire trip and he took sick days to help us and travel with us. I can’t tell you how thankful we are for him.
And so far our crew has accomplished sooo much. We have made sewing tables for each woman. We secured a generator, surge protectors, extension cords, and taught the woman how to use electrical sewing machines for the first time! Crista and Sarah have taught each lady how to make button holes, sew zippers, how to use a serger for the first time, and tomorrow they will be making patterns!! Whew! Now can you understand why I really don’t have words to describe what is happening? We will post pictures soon, since our internet is iffy, at best.
Bob Goff said it best when he said, “Sometimes I think God says to ordinary people like me and you, that instead of closing our eyes and bowing our heads, sometimes He wants us to keep our eyes open for people in need, and to do something about it.”
Today, I was thinking, why not share some insider information with you fine folks. Here is a very brief step-by-step list of the process it takes to design a line of clothes from start to finish.
RESEARCH: Using the power of technology and subscriptions to websites that offer exclusive information on trends, we researched the market. This began in January 2013 even though our line will not launch until Spring 2014. That’s right, we work that far in advance to give you the most perfect product!
INSPIRATION: After browsing our resources, we realized we had 3 solid directions we could go in. We chose our favorite and adapted it to our target market.
THEME: We titled our theme “concrete pioneer”. We continued to focus on exactly who she was; her likes and dislikes, where she lived, what her daily life looked like.
DESIGN CONCEPTS/ILLUSTRATIONS: This came primarily from our research. We also adapted a few looks to be more specific to our “concrete pioneer”. We started with nearly 50 sketches and chose our favorite as a team.
FABRIC: Next it was time to choose fabric! This was one of the most exciting parts of the process because the garments began to come to life. We pulled our options and began choosing the ones that not only looked like our girl, but also worked well together. The 3 prints in our collection were the easiest to choose. We all agreed that the Anna Maria Horner field study collection would be a perfect fit (www.annamariahorner.com)!
PATTERNS: We used a technique called flat patterning to create all the patterns for the collection.
SAMPLES: Once the patters were completed, we wasted no time in starting our samples. We used muslin to create mock-ups to see the shape and fit of the pieces.
GARMENT SEWING: After patterns are finished and any needed adjustments are made, we sewed the garments using our designated fabric. This was the most gratifying step! We could finally see the finished pieces in all their glory!
There are several more steps in the process, I assure you! Things like tech packs (illustrations created on the computer to display construction details), line sheets and order forms (needed to sell the line), and of course pricing the garments (you must know the cost per garment + the cost of labor etc.).
And now you know (hopefully) a little more than you did about producing a line of clothing!
Hope you all are well! We sure are because we GET to go to HAITI in 18 days! Continue to follow along with us as we prepare for the trip of a lifetime!
Hi, Crista here (see previous post if necessary). I hope you will allow me to tell you our stories on Wednesdays. It’s MY day to fill you in on our latest goings on.
I’ve racked my brain and searched google high and low to find a quote or a story that seemed fitting for today’s post. This is what I have come up with:
“Begin today. Declare outloud to the universe that you are willing to let go of struggle and eager to learn through joy.” Sarah Ban Breathnach
Let me set the stage. Yesterday, 6:45 p.m. at the beautiful Juel Salon in Franklin, TN. Martha, Taylor, plus two lovelies from our Design for a Cause class at O’More, Ashley and Maarika, and I are scrambling around to put the finishing touches on our display and presentation. Over and over again, the hospitable staff at Juel continuously offered their assistance in any way possible. They helped with the set up, moving tables, beautifying our displays, and made us smile. And just like it was 7. Go time. And we were excited and ready to share all our hard work. (Let me take a moment to give you some insider perspective. This was the moment we had been waiting for! Graciously anticipating! The moment we not only got to share the collection, but we would be able to sell it as well! Armed with clipboards, order forms, and our trusty squares, we were prepared to sell the garments in order to further our dream of empowering 10 beautiful Haitian women, which, wait for it, we can’t do unless we are able to sell the line!)
…7:10….7:20….and no one has entered the room. It’s your biggest nightmare! You spend weeks planning a party and no one comes. Well, let me explain to you that in this dream (not nightmare), you have nothing to be afraid of. I wish I could explain to you how much support was in that room. In fact, it was the safest place we could have been. Our friends at Juel handled the night with more grace and compassion than we could have ever imagined. They even offered to help us continue to sell the collection throughout the rest of the week! All in all, we sold 7 pieces and 4 items from our silent auction AND we now have 4 new trunk shows in the works!
Some would have only seen struggle, but here at WeAreDAR we find ourselves humbled and grateful. We are (more than) eager to learn through joy, because folks, it takes a village! And a realization that we are on an unpredictable journey. Our friends in Haiti are worth every ounce of perceived struggle and we can feel it in our bones that we are headed in the right direction.