Beautiful accessories for unique individuals! As a nature photographer, I strive to capture images of the textures, colors and shapes that make living things unique. Each of my limited edition textile designs begins with a nature photograph that inspires me in some way. My scarves are my way of sharing my love of nature with others that share my passion for creative, rhythmically patterned natural fiber accessories
One of my greatest inspirations years ago in design school was William Morris and the Arts and Craft movement of the early 1900’s. In an era of increased industrialization, the movement placed great value on the quality of craftsmanship and design. I believe this is even more important now. Stores are flooded with mass-produced products of inferior design and quality. My scarves will be designed and crafted in the USA by artisans dedicated to quality.
I have sent out surveys in the last few months asking folks about patterns, fabrics, shapes and sizes. The feedback has been tremendous and has helped me determine key points about the production and marketing of my textiles.
Key product points:
Each of my scarf designs will be produced as a limited edition. Once a pattern has sold out, it will no longer be available. It may come out again in later years, re-colored or changed in some way but never exactly the same. This will make my scarves unique and collectible.
Each pattern I design starts with an image that has inspired me in some way. That story of inspiration is an important part of what makes my designs unique. Every scarf will come with a card featuring the original image, the inspiration story, and that scarf's edition number.
While the classic 'Hermes' style square silk scarf will always be in style, the current American trend is towards oblong, lightweight scarves that can be donned and adjusted quickly. In response to this, I have designed my scarves in two sizes: 26x72 and a large 52x72 shawl/scarf.
I will also offer an new kind of scarf I call the ‘Scarflette' a smaller thinner scarf with tapered ends that can be worn as a hair ribbon, hair band, belt, tied to a purse handle or around the neck for a small light splash of color.
Only natural fiber textiles will be used for the scarves. For my first collection, my designs will be printed on a cotton/silk voile which is a light flowing fabric with a soft sheen. It's perfect for warmer climates. I may also use a lightweight silk/wool blend more suited to cooler conditions if I have time to test it out before the summer market season begins.
My packaging will be constructed of natural Kraft card that contains 30% Post Consumer Fiber and supports the responsible use of forest resources.
In the future I plan to add bow ties and neckties for the guys in the same fabrics. In the farther future I want to launch a line of tablecloths and other tabletop linens.
Here is what I have accomplished so far:
Designed a bunch of great patterns based on my nature photography.
Found a couple of digital printers who are willing to work with me while I develop my line, print samples and then manage production once the orders start rolling in.
Had a few preliminary samples made to test colors and fabrics.
Found a company to do the sewing and fringing – I am still looking for some alternatives/backups in case of problems.
Touched base with a few potential wholesale showrooms to market and sell my scarves nationally but I will need to spend time in NYC later this spring once I have the samples for my full line.
Completed my first fashion photo shoot with a couple of my lovely photography students. For the future, I have arranged with a photographer friend to help me with bigger photo shoots of the full product line once I get all my samples. We are lucky to live in a beautiful coastal area and will be using the backdrop of beach and marsh for the shoots. These images will be used in online and print marketing materials.
Researched and ordered samples for product packaging. I am working with a company here in the USA which supplies packaging that uses 30% post consumer recycled products.
Currently my textile designs are piggy-backing as a page on my www.BeachCottagePhotography.com page. I have purchased the domain name www.BarbaraNorthrup.com and will set up a website dedicated to my scarves. It will be a retail outlet but also a wholesale reorder site for stores already carrying my products. I realize that I still need to polish up my marketing and presentation and this will be done in conjunction with my new website design.
Where the money will go:
30% to producing sales samples.
5% to packaging
18% to travel to establish sales representatives.
15% to creating a small but professional looking website devoted to my textiles.
24% to the fulfillment of campaign rewards.
8% to Kickstarter and credit card processing fees.
I have had many people ask me where they can purchase my scarves now. Unfortunately, they won't be available until summer but by contributing to my campaign, supporters can pre-order scarves at less than retail pricing. I have tried to offer a selection while sticking with those patterns that proved most popular in my surveys. The pattern choices for your rewards are shown below. You will be contacted once the campaign funds for your choices.
Mandala Blue 21" cotton Bandana Reward for BackerClub members