When we first opened, we didn't have an online store. I wanted to get the in-store experience working smoothly before venturing into what is essentially a second store.
Well, we finally have an online store! The physical store has much more in stock, and probably always will. But each month, I will be showcasing some of our most popular items in the online store. The inventory is set aside so no one in the physical location will buy what's online. Online inventory is reserved for people shopping from afar.
I hope you can visit in person and touch and feel the clothing and other goodies we sell. But for those of you who don't live near the store, we have things for you now. I've limited it to accessories that aren't sized so there's less chance you'll need to send things back. I also have shoes and a few clothing styles that aren't too hard to guess at a correct size.
Drizzle & Shine has been open for almost five weeks. It seems like just yesterday, but it also seems like I've been doing this all my life. I've been making friends with regulars and restocking popular items.
I've learnt that Seattleites love dark clothing. For every colorful piece I carry, I'm asked if it comes in black. And just when I think I know what people like, I'm surprised again. Our most popular items this week are multicolored reversible skirts and tie dyed tunics.
I continue to learn from customers so I can carry the colors, styles, and sizes they want. I'm working hard to source more petite clothing and more plus size clothing. Many manufacturers seem to think only "average sized" people shop for clothes!
If you've visited, thank you for your support. If you haven't been in yet, drop by and say hello. I'll probably be here, but I have two part-time employees so I have the help I need to balance my life and take time off. Introduce yourself to them when you see them. They're great!
Thanks to all of you who have shared on social media, told your friends about us, checked in, rated us, or generally spread the word. It makes a huge difference. I appreciate it!
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for making the grand opening a success. I did a lot of research to bring in brands that are ethical, affordable, comfortable, and stylish, but I didn't really know if others would share my appreciation for the lines.
The queue at the counter on opening day was proof! I had an idea and you, dear friends and customers, proved me right. There is a market for eco clothing in Seattle. Thank you!
I look a little perplexed in the photo above! Luckily my trusty employee rang up sales like the pro she is and we sailed smoothly through the excitement. At the end of a long and fun day, I basked in the glow of these beautiful flowers—a gift from a friend.
If you didn't make it to opening day, drop by anytime and say hello. I'd love to meet you and find out what styles you like.
I'm so excited to be able to announce that opening day is right around the corner. This coming Wednesday, May 18th, we'll unlock the doors for Day One. It's a soft opening—a dress rehearsal if you will—and a chance to iron out any wrinkles before the weekend. We'll be open 11 am to 7 pm, so drop by and have a look.
Then, on Sunday, May 22nd, from noon until 5 pm, we'll pull out all the stops and have a Grand Opening! In addition to mingling and shopping, we'll have snacks and prizes. Some of our vendors have contributed sweet gifts for the event.
I'd love to meet you, and learn about what you like about the store and what you want more (or less) of.
We've got some amazing brands, like organic, Dutch-designed, fair-trade denim, Portuguese sneakers made from recycled plastic bottles, and handmade soaps from Canada.
April 18-24th marked Fashion Revolution Week, a week in which people are encouraged to ask their favorite brands, "Who made my clothes?" Transparency in the supply chain is a good way to know which companies share our values.
The Fashion revolution Week ended on the 24th, the third anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy in Bangladesh, where over 1130 garment workers lost their lives in a factory collapse (and 2500 more were injured).
By learning about the companies whose clothing we buy, we can choose to support the ones that are making a difference. Global fashion is a multi-trillion dollar industry. The money comes from us. Consumers who buy clothing. That means we have the power to ask questions and demand answers—and changes!
Drizzle & Shine will be carrying brands who value workers. Brands link Synergy, Braintree, and Indigenous. I want to put my money where my values are and vote with my dollar. I am stocking ethical brands to start the shift to better working conditions for all workers around the world.
After months of searching, Drizzle & Shine finally has a space. It's tough for a yet-established business with no proven sales record to be a contender in the touch commercial rental market. Fortunately, I found a landlord who understands my vision and is excited to have me join their existing tenants.
Many spaces were new and would have required a lot of work (time and money) to turn them from concrete boxes into workable spaces. Other spaces were too small or too big, and still others were off the beaten path, away from potential customers.
In true goldilocks style, I found a space that isn't too big or small, not too expensive, and close to where people live, work, and play. It's in Capitol Hill. I'll give the details later, after I get the space into shape. With any luck (and a lot of elbow grease), we'll be open in May.
Last year I watched The True Cost, a documentary film about the human and environmental impacts of the fashion industry. The film sheds light on the wasteful nature of fast fashion and the horrible working conditions in the factories where cheap clothing is made.
This groundbreaking documentary asks the simple question: “Who made my clothes?” It features activists and green fashion companies too (it’s not all grim). And it drives home the obvious fact that no one should die making the styles we love to wear.
This film, and a book called Overdressed, The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, were the catalysts that changed my career trajectory and prompted me to open Drizzle & Shine. Can a film really change your life? Have a look.
You can watch the entire movie on Netflix, Amazon, or iTunes.
January and February have been busy. Still no storefront, but that doesn't mean I'm not working toward The Big Day.
I attended a few trade shows and made terrific connections with likeminded businesses. The store will be stocked with lots of goodies and I can't wait for them to arrive so I can set up shop and show off the amazing finds.
One reason I'm so excited about Drizzle & Shine is because I get to do a lot of work to help make other's lives easier. If you're interested in eco fashion, you'll know how daunting it can be to sort through items in stores and figure out which companies to support and which items to buy.
At the trade shows, I did most of that legwork. I talked to designers and brand reps and figured out which projects fit the bill of being eco. It was a lot of work—and a lot of fun! Of course each brand had different pros and cons, and I'll be here to help you, dear customers, decide on your favorites. At least you know everything in the store will have passed my own eco criteria.
I'm so lucky to have had the opportunity to work with my friend, and fantastic graphic artist, Autumn. I gave her a few ideas and a wish list and, after asking me excellent questions about the business, mission, and overall vibe I wanted, she went off to create some samples.
I loved them all! But I loved one most of all. So with a few pieces of input from me, she created the final logo. She made a two-color logo and a single-color one that will work great in a horizontal layout, in one color:
It's exciting to see the business take shape. My logo is a big part of the brand and I'm happy it's done. I've already ordered business cards and I'm thinking about store signs next.
Happy New Year!
2015 was a year of decisions and planning. This year is all about doing. I'm really excited to be moving from the research phase to the point where things are starting to take shape. I'm sourcing suppliers, scouting out locations, and getting all the details of opening a store taken care of. It's a lot of work and it's a lot of fun. Within a few months, the shop will be open.
I'll document the process so you can follow along. Until the next step, I'll leave you with this awesome Langston Hughes poem that resonated with me when I read it this morning:
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
Keep up with what's going on at the store.