Entrepreneurship is not a long quiet river, and my work at Maison Fauve is not limited to just creation and artistic direction. Founding and growing your business is a job that requires a lot of energy and passion, but also a certain ability to anticipate and manage incidents ;)
Following my interview for the podcast Brille et Pétille (which allows female entrepreneurs to share their experiences) in which I talk about my career and the genesis of Maison Fauve, I received many messages, and I understood that you are interested in knowing more about what is at stake beyond the traditional communication of a brand.
So I decided to share with you a "difficulty", when things do not go as we wish and we still have to deal with it. And this problem looked good at the beginning, because it is a fabric!
Fabrics, a very real subject for us
For several seasons, we have been offering you a range of fabrics for each new collection. This has been my ambition for a very long time, to offer our own fabrics, our buttons and thus be able to fully express my creative desires. Sourcing materials is a new step that we have taken with joy but we did not expect the difficulties involved in having your fabrics produced: finding the right partners, the right materials, managing the deadlines and production hazards that are systematic with each collection.
For the La Piscine collection and the Soleil Blanc capsule, months before I had cemented my choice of fabrics, a selection of materials and chromatic themes that complement each other. And among these fabrics, I had chosen a beautiful jacquard from our weaver from Lyon. I really liked its very particular weave, it came in khaki green and sand, with turquoise and yellow satin threads, and precious lurex threads ... In short, a marvel.
In order to make our choice, we buy a few meters that are available to validate the use of the material (sewing test, washing test ect ...) and see them on a more consistent footage how the fabric drapes, and what clothes can be made. We validate all these points, and launch production at the factory. During this time (because time is clearly an issue to present the collections on time), we are moving forward in what will allow us to present the fabric: making clothes and organizing a shooting. We were able to present four clothes items, four different ways to use the fabric: a Grand Bain shorts and a Nage Libre jacket to give an idea of duo, a Salto top for a very different rendering of the previous versions, camisole in a summer knit, and the skirt version of the Penelope dress, for a pretty wrap skirt which is also very different from the viscose and light fabric versions. The rendering is really pretty, the photos super beautiful, they highlight very well the fabric, bet won!
Our supplier informs us that the production deadlines are met (phew!) and we will receive within the agreed time a sample meterage of each color of the fabric. These are meterage taken from the production before its shipment, a last checkpoint. And it's there...
Same same but different
The samples are not the same. There is no defect, stain or other, no, but it is not our fabric! The scale of the weave is not the same, it is tighter (so much less flexible), the color rendering is duller, the threads of smaller colors, it has less quality, and our wonderful lurexs threads have practically disappeared. Maybe from afar and eyes half-closed, it may be a joke, but clearly the fabric does not conform to the one ordered. And when we report it, it is confirmed that the threads are no longer the same, the weaving has been reviewed, and all this without informing us! And we are told at the same time that the fabric we want and ordered cannot be made ... Obviously, we refused the production, and there was no endless discussion with the manufacturer who accepted the fault, but I let you imagine our stupor, and especially the consequences of all this: hours of sewing work lost, the equivalent of 1h30 of shooting (and therefore the cost attached to that) between the shots of the clothes and the product photos of the fabric, unusable images, and a collection plan to completely revise.
Entrepreneurship is bouncing back
Well, that's what we did, we reorganised the collection plan, reworked the lookbooks and the presentation of our fabrics. And as is often the case, what happens behind the scenes stays behind the scenes. But time and resources remain an issue. This "jacquardgate" is just one example of the difficulties we can face. And the only way to guard against this is to be in anticipation, to organise yourself very early, and to have around you a team that helps us bounce back. I chose this example for several reasons:
- first, I really regretted never being able to present you these beautiful images of our photographer Charlène Pélut
- secondly, because I find it really good that you can consider the sewing patterns shown in another fabric (very different from the previous versions already shown)
- and finally, because this incident illustrates, I think the hiccups of many small companies that must be agile.
Talking about logistical or other problems is not an something that motivates me, I want our content that we share with you to be "beautiful", inspiring things, a beautiful energy and especially the happiness that Maison Fauve brings me. But maybe among you there are those of you who undertake and also encounter walls and obstacles. So my final message will be "Take the mace with both hands, break down the walls and obstacles, because what's behind it will be great, but keep in mind that the next wall will never be far away and that you are strong enough to tear it down again ;)"
And I share with you here the link to the episode (in French only) if you want to listen to it: The podcast Brille et pétille
Thanks for sharing and commiserations for the setback but please do not be deterred. I love your designs and am a great fan of trying fabrics that could be considered a little unusual for the style.