Thursday, March 27, 2008

Smicko'z World Part 1

How does one start their own first blog entry? I have been so impressed with so many of the blogs that I have been reading for years. This blog I suppose, is intended to track my adventures through my new world of manufacturing a mom invented product. The blogs that I read have been much more devoted to conceiving and raising your children, and have been great inspirations to me. I love how wise and witty these ladies are, and can only hope to have some magic turn of phrase in my repertoire also.
Smicko'z started in my house, with my daughter. Who would. not. wear. bibs. Period. She ruined all of her clothes. Industrial solvents couldn't solve my problem. I have the sewing skills of a girl who took family studies class at Zion Heights Junior High School in Grades 7 and 8. We learned some simple stuff. I sewed a pair of sweatpants as my first project. They looked great. They lasted two washes before my seams fell apart. My teacher patiently helped me resew the seams, and taught me how to make sure my lines and hems were true and plum. If not for a dusty old sewing machine in my Mother's basement, it likely would have ended there. But for some reason, after Zion Heights was over, I got the idea to sew something as a gift for a friend. Then I found an easy pattern for sewing pillow covers. Trust me, if you are going to start sewing, pillow covers is a great place to start. And you can look like a genius, because the more beautiful the fabric, the better looking the pillow cushion. My current pillow cushions on my sofa change on an every other year basis.
So I took those sewing skills, and applied them to the bib problem. I sewed a bunch of silly things that failed. And then I tackled the fundamental issues for my daughter, which were:
No neck ties
No plastic
And so the Smicko came to be. Many ask me how I named the company and the product a Smicko. I will reveal all here. For many years, I posted on an IVF site, and met a number of fantastic and supportive women along the way. A small group of us joined together and created our own private 'free space' where we could talk about everything in our lives.
When my daughter was turning 3, my dh (dear husband) and I went out to find her a dollhouse. We found one that we thought was fantastic, and I sent the weblink of it to this group of ladies. One of them, whom we shall call 'C' here for anyonymity, wrote back " Fantastic dollhouse, S is very lucky, looks very Smicko!". I emailed her back and asked her what on earth that meant. Her reply said it all - literally, Aussie slang for very cool. And Smicko'z are cool, if I do say so myself.
So how was the process of getting this up and running? Long. Hard. Full of pitfalls. If you are prone to walking away when things get too hard, then becoming a manufacturer is not for you. There are times I've questioned if it's for me. But the payoff is so very worth it. To have something that is completely yours, that you created, sourced materials for, found packaging, worked side by side with graphics designers and a web designer, and then SOLD the product to actual retail stores. I can't tell you the amount of satisfaction that comes, literally, from owning something that is truly yours, and I encourage anyone who has a wont to do that, to get out there and start.

Stay tuned for Smicko'z World Part 2

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