I HEAR YOU!
Hello awesome SG fans.
You have the best questions for us and I thought I would take a minute to dig into the ones we hear the most!
I want to be really transparent about how it is that we make the decisions we do and how some of those choices aren’t always the one we want to pick - but they are the ones that work right now.
So here are some of your FAQs:
1.Do you have a store?
No. Not really. We have a showroom in Calgary now and we are opening a showroom in Vancouver this summer!
The vision is that you can come and see the product, get a feeling for size and fabric quality and then your order will be shipped to you.
We hope to roll this type of program out in other cities across North America. But we know nothing moves as fast as we all want! (Except perfect summer evenings - they can last forever as far as I am concerned).
Our amazing styling and private shopping experience coordinator Carl will be making some summer pop up stops this summer so keep your eyes open for that. If you have suggestions as to where we can pop up in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa - please reach out!
2. When Will You Have Navy Pants Available? And the Black dresses and ….
I know. We all love the navy so much.
So what’s the hold up?
Global supply chain is the hold up. Well that and getting cash flow aligned so that we could actually commit to a larger fabric order.
We custom dye our fabrics and - because of that- we have to order a minimum amount of fabric from our mills. We needed to get clarity on just how much we would need for this fall and we needed to ensure our cash position could support the order. Once that was clear we dug in.
It takes about 8 week for the dying and milling process to take place. After that the fabric is shipped by sea freight to the port of Vancouver - where it is then unloaded onto a train and taken to the distributors headquarters in Montreal.
(YES- WE KNOW!
WE ARE ALSO SCREAMING!
OUR FACTORY IS IN VANCOUVER..where the PORT is!
WHY DOES IT HAVE TO GO TO MONTREAL AND THEN BACK?)
Well because our fabric gets thrown in with a bunch of other fabric and there is no unloading the container to pull our order before it gets trained out to Montreal. (We tried. We really did.)
Learning here: Make sure we ask for a separate shipment straight from the mill and not back to distributor. We hope this can help us streamline a faster and more efficient process going forward.
3. Pre-Order - Why do you sell things on pre-order?
We are still a small company and we manufacture in small quantities. Yes, this is environmentally prudent but - let also be honest - it is also the fiscal reality of running a smaller brand that is barely 1 1/2 years in the market.
When we offer a product for pre-sale we know we own the fabric and that we have all components on our factory floor. We are still cutting and sewing when pre-orders come in so we can look to make adjustments with regard to size distribution.
And if a particular style sells really well we start the process of restocking it before we can even be shipping your pre-order.
You will also see a pre-order buy button when we have sold out of a particular product in a size or colours but we have the restock process underway.
If we are still waiting on confirmation for fabrics - we will ask you for your email and when we move to production and pre-order status you will get a note from us.
As we get bigger all of these systems and time frames will shorten and smooth out.
Sizing is inevitably something we get a lot of questions about.
Many of you have pointed out that we are not yet an inclusive brand.
And you are right.
We cannot offer a full range of sizes to satisfy everyone right now.
We don’t have petite, tall, or plus sizing at the moment. In some of our products we go to a size XXL. But not in all of them.
So what is the plan here?
What we are doing is looking at our collection as a whole and seeing where we can add styles that work for a taller woman, or a shorter woman, the plus size woman or styles that fit the body in a more flattering way for different body types.
Most adjustments to be truly inclusive involve pattern changes. You can’t simply just grade everything up or down. Petite patterns and plus size pattens involve more tweaking than most think. Especially in more tailored pieces.
We have a dress launching in the next couple weeks that is loose from the body and is shorter in length than some of our previous dresses. And it has pockets. We’re hoping this is a good option for petite women and women that are looking for a dress that is less fitted at the waist and hips.
We have the Belvedere Cotton Shirt coming that is an oversized style that women of all body types love. Lots of room in the bust!
We have new blazers and pants coming next spring in super drapey suiting fabric and these pants will have a cuff for the tall ladies to work or let down, the blazer will have extra room in the chest for our larger busted friends and we will have more dresses with pockets!
So we are working on improving this and offering a wider selection of styles and sizes. Most of this will depend on how fast we are able to grow.
5. Domestic v Overseas Production
We are proud that we are now manufacturing 70% of our collection in Canada. A few items are very difficult to get made here and our factory is committed to growing with us. We are also looking at partnering with some Canadian companies bringing knit wear machines to Canada so that we can onshore our sweater production.
Fabrics such as silk are still primarily handled in Asia as that is where the experience and skill set is. The decision to manufacture some pieces overseas has nothing to do with price but everything to do with the nature of the expertise of the production team. We continue to look for domestic options and are commented to building them as well. In the meantime - some of our more technically difficult units will still be imported.
6. COLOURS! Will you please offer more colours!
Yes. We will be bringing in more colour!
The original plan for SG was to develop the line with a baseline of neutrals and then expand into pops of colour on a more seasonal basis. We have added navy and are now looking at taupe and a tobacco colour. And spring 2022 will bring new seasonal colours as well. But maintaining that baseline has always been an important offering for us.
7. OFFERING YOU EVERYTHING YOU WANT AND CASH FLOW
So my brain is exploding with as many new ideas as our customers are. It is both super exciting and super frustrating because we are not a giant company with a huge pot of money to test new things with. I have funded most of this from my other career as a realtor, on a small line of credit from a bank and some investments from family and friends who deeply believe in the vision and our team’s ability to deliver on it. Raising larger money for this type of venture is effing hard and not without its own risk. I am thinking more about this now that covid restrictions are lifting and our customers are getting out more.
I want to try and demystify our company’s development and growth. I am learning a huge amount from my team and I find it incredibly fascinating. I question why things are done a certain way and the team really looks for new ways to approach production. But sometimes - don’t fix what isn’t broken. Our goal is to continue to bring your excellent, luxurious quality product in a way that aligns with our values.
Always feel free to shoot me your questions and suggestions. Looking forward to growing together!