Today we made history in LAVI Fashion, we find a shop and rent a space in an existing shop. We bought a stand for R650 and that was paid today. We were so excited to get there. When we got there the power was off. I already made plans to take pictures and make the stand nice. We will now go the weekend at having a look.
The stock was not enough for the big stand so we are working like ants to get more camouflage shorts out. We want to put it Sunday in the shop before the end of the month.
I might forget the date we moved in, but never forget what I felt when we walk in and know we are going to start selling our product to the public. Our next step is to start making shirts, get maybe a bigger space in the shop. We will see how the sales will go during the year.
Here are pictures of Anton and me in front of the stand in the shop with our camouflage shorts on the stand. Also outside photo of how the shop looks like for the outside.
Today is going to be a very important day, we are going to sell our shorts which we work now for longer than six months. Now we will see what the people think about our work. Will they like it and buy it. Anton and I are very excited and can’t wait for this evening to go to the shop and put our pants on the stand.
I went and buy needles, Anton print labels, and make this evening another short, the rose camouflage one. It looks good and we have 12 pairs of shorts which we are going to take to the shop at around six tonight.
A Breakfast Date with a Street Cat – Pieter Lategan
I was up late this morning around 10 o’clock. I was dead tired last night and fall asleep immediately. Anton went to work at around half-past seven this morning. I was still sleeping when he left.
I stood up and make the bed, and went and put the kettle on for a nice cup of coffee. One teaspoon of coffee and one and a half sugar with a bit of low-fat milk.
I went outside and it was such a wonderful day. A bit cloudy but sunny and not that hot, cool because of last night’s rain. It is summer, all the plants in the garden are green and lovely.
While I enjoy my coffee something caught my eye, yes there it was. In the tree, there was a cat. She stared at me, and close her eyes. She was thinking. I can see she also enjoys the cool warm weather. I was wondering if she wants milk but she was not. She just enjoy the rest. She had six small kittens last night and is a mother now. It took her 5 hours to get all six of them, it was actually seven but that one died at birth. She try to remember who the dad was, but that night when she run down the street and met a few hot guy cats, she liked all of them but can’t remember which dad was the red kitten’s dad. She knows the black dad cat, but that red one she doesn’t know.
I stood up and walk to the tree, her eyes is now wide open and all her attention was with me. She know I am up to something but did not know what. All I want to do is to invite her for breakfast. “Hi little mother kitten cat, do you mind enjoying a lovely breakfast with me?” I asked. On her face, I could see that was the wrong time to ask her. She took a quick outing out of the house just to get out of the smelly house and from the kids who stared forever at the small little newborns. She is sick and tired and hopes they go to town when she got at home. She looks at me straight in the eyes and thinks the breakfast idea which I offer her will actually be a great idea. Staring at me she was wondering what will I give her for breakfast, milk, and what? She thinks. “So you will come?” I asked. She stood up and is very happy with herself, give a big stretch, and jump on the wall back to the street.
I thought to myself it seems to me we have a breakfast date, me at the street cat.
Last year Anton show me this shop in the Kollonade shopping mall in Pretoria. There are plenty of small little stalls which sell different items in the shop. Last year we were thinking of getting our own space in the shop in the Mall.
After I got the number of the owner of the business we actually were not sure if we want to put our shorts in the store. We could hire a space of 50cmx50cm which will cost us R300 per month, and last year we did not have any stock. We were still in a process of learning.
Now we have around eleven pairs of shorts which we like to put in the store on Thursday. We order a small little stand for us, to put our clothes on and yes then hope for the best, to sell our first short.
The two photos on top show how we need to number the shorts and where to put the price. The last photo shows the stand which we are going to use to put our clothing in. The cost of this stall is R650, and we are going to buy it on Thursday when we going to take our clothing to the store.
A lot of people comment on my work and some like it a lot and some ask me questions, some people wonder why I am not famous.
We are a very small company, I had a year back an idea, I was looking for something to do when I retire. I need to make money, and I did not have a clue what to do. I met Anton last year in February and we started to become friends. He said one evening when I visit him, that he was thinking to start a clothing line for the fuller women. I actually shouted at him and said, “this is our business”. I was very excited and we started to do the planning. I did not have a sewing machine or an overlocker, and Anton too. So I got a plan, my brother is a Vet in England and I phoned him and tell him my idea and ask for money. He is a very good man, and I love him very much. He helped me during the years that I left my work, while I was struggling. He gave me R7000 last year in June and I bought the sewing machine and the overlocker and Anton bought his in August. Yes, we were very excited and actually started with nothing.
We started and just thinking of making men’s shorts. Later we were looking for a need and found there is a gab in camouflage clothing. We look around and we did struggle to get fabric but found a few places with nice camouflage fabrics.
It took a while for us to make shorts, but now we got it and looking forward. We struggle with the pattern because the pattern that we use was from a company Simplicity. The sizes are a bit too big and we realized that we need to use the small for medium, the medium for large sizes, and the large size for extra-large sizes. That done, we learned to make pockets and started to do the elastic.
The elastic was very difficult, the first shorts that we made it took Anton 8 hours to put the elastic in. Now it takes him less than 10 min. I still struggle but I begin to understand how the medium is working.
On the sketches above you will see the stitch work has to get a lot of attention. I work from the outside, and could not see the elastic. I use a line that I had on the sewing machine to do my stitching and that work from the outside of the short. I think as soon I got the cover stitch machine it will go fine.
I am busy changing my day and night, I prefer to work when I want to. I find I sleep in the morning from seven to around eleven, then wake up and can continue till the next day. Slowly everything is picking up, my social media platforms are growing that is Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. I don’t really believe in Social Media as a selling method, I believe it is a good branding platform to get noticed.
Anton made these shorts for me, his ex-wife said his son won’t’ wear them because they have pink in the fabric, I just smiled when I got these swimming shorts. I love the cars and the colors. The fabric is very lightweight and can quickly dry. So if you swim with it it will not be wet for long.
Hopefully next month we get the cover stitch machine which is almost R13 000 and then we can work on lycra and do wonderful stitches on it. I am not exactly sure what you can do with the cover stitch machine but I think it is a very good decision to buy it.
Well to come back to the swimming line, this pant is just a sample which we have in mind. I am busy finding out about fabric and a company which will print on our own fabric. So if we start with the camouflage swimming wear we can do camouflage design and printing on lycra or fabric which is ideal for swimming.
I slept late this morning, we went out to a club last night and enjoy it a lot. We had fun and a few drinks, and we dance. I stood up this morning around half past 10 and start cleaning and have a smoke and coffee.
Anton and I went for a coffee this afternoon at a shopping mall close by. We did a bit window shopping and walk around and had lunch.
I have a twitter account and I love this one store John Craig and if I pass there I take a photo inside the shop of me with their clothing on and post it on my twitter account. I got a few views on it and it helps with branding.
When we started to work with the cloths we thought of selling it at a flea market. We found this shop in the Kolonnade shopping mall, you rent a small little space and then you can sell your stuff there. We want to take a half meter space. It is going to cost us around R300 per month.
Today Anton and I looked at eco-printing. The eco-printing technique is to transfer the plant color and shape. You will also see the detail of the plants in my case the leaves.
The design of the shirt Anton’s mother came to us with a new idea and that is eco printing. It is a very good idea to color your own materials and put motifs on them. It will therefore be a designer clothing piece. This is exceptional and the eco technique will work very well with the camouflage pants. It is difficult to get the right color and also garment for the camouflage pants. The colors of the eco fabric work perfectly with the pants and the pants bring out the colors of the shirt fabric very well. The eco print is an interesting process. The difference here is the leaves and flowers are picked fresh or old leaves and then physically hammered onto the material. The leaves and flowers are attached to the material. All disadvantage of the technique is that the cutting of the leaves or flowers is time consuming and having to chop material around meters and meters is going to take a very long time and is also physically demanding. I have an idea with the camouflage motifs and also to maybe put ethic on the material. The ethnic must be disguised by camouflage printing. It should be just so much that it just grabs your attention and then the camouflage remains predominant.