Is a decade a good enough time to gauge what your customers are looking forward to from your next collection? We are not 100% sure about that but we do have a fair idea. What we are very sure about is that over the years we have managed to surprise them with our designs and fabrics. And their response motivates us to work harder so that we do not disappoint them.
So, what goes on in our minds once we decide it’s time to work on a new collection? – A zillion things! The entire process, from conceptualizing an idea to executing it, is exhilarating as well as arduous but mind you, totally worth the time and effort.
It starts with the feeling of elation at the idea of working on a new collection, then moves on to different feelings ranging from enthusiasm to exhaustion to eagerness to see our efforts come to fruition.
Below is a sneak peek into what goes on before the launch.
Keeping the target customers in mind, Team Earthy Hues conceptualizes designs for various products. Hundreds of sketches, innumerable meetings and phone calls later, designs are shortlisted. The main focus is to resonate well with the need of the customers.
Having two people in the design team works positively for us as we use each other as sounding boards. It helps us to think critically and we encourage each other to come up with ideas. We often build on each other’s ideas as well.
Both of us understand the challenge ahead of us equally. The vision to see unique products being made keeps us focused until the very end.
Brainstorming with the extended team
The skillful workers who are the backbone of our company come in at this stage. The shortlisted designs are presented before them. When we see them as excited as us when they see a design, we realize it will be a bestselling product. At the same time, some overambitious design sketches get rejected and straightaway land in the garbage bins.
This stage involves a lot of discussions, going back and forth on ideas, and sharing experiences gained from the previous collections. So, we keep our minds and the environment open for free discussion.
Most designs get more refined by the end of this stage. Sometimes the final design is slightly different from the conceptual sketch but far better in terms of design, utility and measurements.
Sourcing Raw Materials
The search for good quality raw materials begin after the designs are finalized. Finding the right raw materials at the right price is not an easy task.
Earthy Hues pairs hand-loomed banana fiber fabric with other fabrics like cotton and silk to make beautiful products. The fabrics are sourced mainly from weavers and other sources. The challenge here is to match the fabrics to the design and the warp of banana fiber. Also, utmost care is taken to make sure that only eco-friendly and biodegradable materials are used.
Once we have all the raw materials ready, the Production Unit comes to life. The initial days of production see sample pieces of the designs being made.
Then the design functionality is verified. If a sample product is not up to our satisfaction level, we start breaking our heads again until we fix the issue. After the sample products are approved, production begins.
The meticulous effort by the skilled workers for many days result in beautiful handcrafted products.
The products undergo manual quality checks after production. The quality of the craftsmanship makes the final product worthy of the product line.
This is the stage where all mayhem starts. Often, it’s a mad rush to complete the leftover tasks before the collection is up for launch. The post-production stage is where we work on pricing, generating product codes and reference numbers, tagging each product manually, product photography, printing inserts that go into every product, and numerous other things which need detailed attention.
In between all this, we engage in calls and meetings with the existing and prospective retail outlets and other sales outlets. We try to make sure that our new collection is available not only on our e-commerce platform but also at the boutiques/outlets at the same time.
Packaging materials are also ready by the end of this stage.
We courier our products to clients via reliable and reputed courier services so that the orders reach them safely and on time.
To promote the new collection and attract the right audience we create social media posts. We send out mailers/messages to our existing clients informing them about the launch of the new collection.
“From chaos, comes order”
With patience and perseverance [also late meals and less sleep ;)], we try to complete and tick the ‘to do’ checkboxes.
Product photography is time-consuming and challenging especially when the camera is in the hands of two amateurs. Once the product photography is completed, we upload the product images, specifications, and details onto our website. Now we are ready for the launch.
With prayers in our hearts and fingers crossed, we hope the collection is well received.
Earthy Hues launches 2-3 new collections every year – Summer, Mid-Year, and Festive Collection. The products include clutches, bags, home décor, and stationery. We are blessed to have loyal customers who wait eagerly for our new collection and we have been fortunate to find new customers after every new collection.
At times, unexpected challenges do come our way, but we try our best to overcome them in the way that we deem appropriate. We strive to push limits without losing focus and perspective.
We have started work on our next collection and can’t wait to showcase it before you.