Month: March 2018

Chapter 4: Who’s Carolina Herrera?

So I called Ben Liberty. A brief phone conversation revealed a super friendly man who seemed far-from-pretentious when he listed the companies for whom he creates samples: Gucci, Coach, J.Crew. Once again, I was talking to a behind-the-scenes fashion mover-and-shaker who voiced full enthusiasm for my project. Spoiler alert: throughout the entirety of my research and building this company, everyone everyone EVERYONE has been nothing but helpful and enthusiastic. I expected Project Runway attitude and fashion snobbery. Nothing could be further from the truth. (Well, actually, Howard with the Italian fabrics was condescending and unimpressed, but then again, I didn’t actually tell him what I was making.) So, in person, Ben ended up being a blue-collar Bostonian with a fantastic small factory on the far Lower East Side of Manhattan. “I used to be one of hundreds. But 9/11 destroyed our business. No one could get to us. Everything south of Chambers was closed off for months. We couldn’t do business. That’s why I’m the only one left.” His factory was about 1,000 square feet …


My First Sponsored Post (But Actually Not)

I’ve never written a sponsored post. There’s a whole world of badass bloggers who are making a living writing about products and services and restaurants and hotels and all sorts of fabulously gifted items. I’ve lacked diligence and focus to do so effectively. I dipped my toe into that world by recently attending the “Dad 2.0” conference, an event where hundreds of dad bloggers from across the country came together to network, commiserate, and meet companies actively seeking bloggers to write sponsored posts. I’ve found it intimidating to imbue my stories of everyday life with shout outs to Crest or Kia. I’m afraid I’d be disingenuous. It changes blogs, a lot. But before I get judgmental about it, the conference was all about “how to make money from your blog”. And why not? Companies are desperate to find new ways to reach audiences. In the Hulu and Instagram world, we try to avoid ads at all costs. But we are a nation of consumers. Buying stuff drives the American economy. And if industry can’t market …


Chapter 3 – International Color Cartel

So I called the fabric guy. It was just before Christmas and he said, “I can’t meet until the new year. I’ll be in Italy making decisions about colors and textures.” I had it in my mind he was one of the international color cartel that decides what the rest of us poor consumerist schlubs will be force-fed for the next year. A few weeks later, my design partner (James) and I were ushered into a conference room lined with 4 rows of 12×12 fabric swatches. Fabric guy (Howard) knew he was dealing with newbies. His eyes-half-mast behind the glasses demeanor gave away nothing. He wasn’t a shark ready to take advantage of us, but I could see the sigh behind his Elliott-Gould-in-Ocean’s-Eleven glasses that said, “this is such a waste of time.” Before meeting Howard, I told James I wanted the bag to be leather – like Louis Vuitton bags, but dyed deep navy blue. “Ok, well Louis Vuitton isn’t leather, first off.” “Oh.” “It’s coated canvas.” “Coated with what?” “Um…plastic.” “You mean, these …