If you’ve been following MML for any measure of time, you have seen Jess LC undergo a bunch of new changes in 2011. In January, I had the bolt of inspiration that led to growing Jess LC from a jewelry company to a lifestyle brand. It has been a string of challenges, one after another (and sometimes multiple challenges at once).
In the summer I almost had a break down.
In the process, I figured stuff out as I went and learned to create new products and work with contractors, business owners, and tanneries in Italy. Some things have been really easy, some things have been a challenge, and some have been nearly impossible. I had to drop a style I really wanted to launch, I had leather that was defective and caused a color story redesign, and I had a custom leather job get totally messed up.
That said, there was also some amazing high points like the popularity of our Lake Shore and Quincy collections. I am thankful that these new collections are so loved, as they are a personal favorite as well.
In fact, these new bags styles have been selling so well that the small batch orders we were placing were quickly pre-selling out before they even arrived. Due to the limited capacity at our first Chicago manufacturer, we have decided to find larger production in a new facility right here in Chicago.
The thing is, rather than ordering 10’s at a time of each style, we are now working with minimums of 200 units. 200 UNITS! It is hard to imagine, even as I type this post. I know that this is the best move for us, but at the same time, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed. The sheer amount of material and labor that this new scale of production will require is at an unprecedented level. I am in unfamiliar waters in a field I’m still new to. I’ve managed to go from big-ish fish in a small pond to a tiny minnow in a large ocean.
But knowing how much better these new inventory levels will be for our customers (less delays or quick sell outs), I’m forging ahead despite the fear. I don’t have any guarantee that this will work out, but I am taking the steps any ways.
It feels kind of like walking in a straight line in a completely dark room, hoping that I am going the right direction. And I’m hoping that I don’t hurt myself in the process.
So with this in mind, I think this is a great time to fill in those interested in ordering Jess LC items during the holiday season. Because of the manufacturing transition, we are restructuring a few of our collections and some designs will no longer be available once remaining inventory sells out.
Quincy Collection – iPad 2 Cases and Coin Purses
The iPad 2 cases will continue to be carried. Our inventory of cases is limited right now (so order quickly for the holidays), but we will be restocking once our first order is completed by the new facility. We don’t have a specific due date thus far, but I expect it to be ready in January. I will keep everyone updated on this, and once we have a clearer idea of the turnaround time, I will open up pre-orders for any sold color combinations at that point.
The coin purses we have are no longer going to be carried forward with the new production. The inventory we have left is all that there will be. So snatch up these puppies quickly if you have your eye on one!
Lake Shore Collection – Handbags
Because of the large minimum orders we have now, we are not planning on carrying these styles into 2012. We will be releasing new bag styles this winter and spring however, so stay tuned!
And at the moment we do have a limited number of natural colored Lake Shore bags (the navy stock is sold out).
Jewelry, Scarves, and Stationery
These products and collections are still going to be available as usual. Our next batch of Webster Cheers and Merci cards will ship out to customers early next week and pre-orders are available now.
Our Classic jewelry is still available as usual. The Diversey, Franklin, and Division collections are selling out quickly and are still slated to retire when they are gone (as mentioned before, the costs of these collections have tripled, and we are therefore retiring them, rather than hiking up the prices).
And last but not least, our limited edition Belmont scarves are still available. But as styles sell out they will be retired as well.
What’s Coming Up in 2012
Looking ahead into next year I am busy planning several spring collections that are bright, bold, fun, and very Jess LC. I’m excited to share them with you as we go! But for now, I will just say that we are continuing to release new bag styles, jewelry, scarves, and stationery. And who knows, there may be some surprises in there as well!