Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Slipcover Network Forum

The Slipcover Network Forum

Regarding my post of a minute ago---now my one of yesterday shows up! Go figure!

The Slipcover Network Forum

The Slipcover Network Forum

Very strange:I tried responding to a post of Shirleys and post got lost. I reposted as a new post and it never showed up. And yes, I did "Publish Post" and type in the "letters".

I see that there have been no new topics since Aug. 12. Is something not working.

at 52

I think I know something I can't explain to anyone any younger than that. When I think something I am doing isn't working, I don't need to tinker with it right away. What's happening could be temporary, it could be made worse by my reaction to it.

Business is patchy around here. I finally have some, they threw the big money at me I asked for and they want it yesterday. I am going to try not to remember I promised myself I wouldn't be hurried beyond what's comfortable for me because I resent the pattern of being told to hurry.

I can see some worried faces and they aren't trying to make me feel like they could take the work somewhere else if I didn't hurry, they need the work done so they can get paid.

I have been promising myself that at my age I would set a certain pace and no one could make me feel they can replace me with a younger person. I can see my plan was nice for me to plan but that it won't work, I'll always have to accomodate the wishes or needs of the people holding the work and the check, and I must spend more time working for maybe less than the " plan".

At least untill the designers feel confident again that money is around the corner, and untill they do, they need support. Do I want to bend ( literally and figuratively) I want to hurry ? BIG no. I do want constancy, and I will have to give more prompt service now than I had to before to keep the incoming stream even.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Slipcover Network Forum

The Slipcover Network Forum

I tried to respond with the following to a July 30 post of Shirleys and "the blog ate it!" It was regarding the slow season:

Well, the reason I have a minute to check the blog----

I have work for after Labor Day and I'm going to go visit my parents in a few days so I didn't want to be over-booked for the next few days. Well, I'm not!! It's the first time in about 6 years that I have nothing to do (except paperwork). (I've even completed my "fit in when I can" projects.) I think the problem is due to 1)I'm working faster 2) I'm spending less time on things like planning the next summit and other things in my life like that) But the other reality is that my 6 month wait list is now 2 months. I've lost quite a bit of business by telling people that I mostly just do work for the customers that buy my fabric.

I've been comfortable in saying I reserve 1 week a month for COM but some people don't want to wait and thus go elsewhere. This was fine with me when I had a long wait list.

Also I've had 3-4 customers lately who come to me to look at fabric and I give them an estimate, and then they go buy a fabric on line or at a discount store. (These are things I would do myself, probably!) Anyhow, I can't figure out how to recoup some of the expected, but now lost profit. (Have I become greedy, or what!!!)

I've never charged extra for COM because I have never been able to figure out a nice way to explain it to the customer.

Any suggestions in helping me be less nice??


Saturday, August 12, 2006

another crazy project

it's an all wood chair that needs a very fancy solution. Several pics are now up.

Using Rowley hook strip HS200/4W screwed to underside of wood seat so that the hook faces chair perimeter and the right angled surface is wedge cut with tin snips to mold the curve.

look under Embassy chair.

I am preparing a sample for the estimate submission, there are only four chairs to do.

I must also make a set of cushions to present for estimate.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Live Slipcover Press at RSS Feed

So happy to announce we now have a live feed to the current Slipcover Press for Summer.

Just click on the RSS Feed to the Slipcover Press. Summer edition 2006

If you are not on our subscriber list, then fill out the information below that.

August all ready?

Where did the Summer go?


Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Slipcover Network Forum

The Slipcover Network Forum

Hi All,

I had a really great time at the Summit and learned so much, thanks everybody for answering all my questions.

I came back very enthusiastic to get started making slipcovers and I have a couple more questions.

I built a cutting table and am wondering how to finish the top out. Right now it is plywood, what did you put on yours?

One of the marketing ideas was to contact designers. How did you guys do this?
Phone, mail, in person? Does the designer get a discount? How much?

Same question for contacting upholsterers. If I did cushions for them, what kind of discount would I give them?

Amy, with many more questions to come.

Friday, August 04, 2006


Angie and I have talked and taught about this but this is key ( along with the intention of developing speed )..

you have to know what you want to produce, produce it regularly, and then study what makes it more profitable for you.

Someone got mad at me not very recently for suggesting there is only profit in things you produce repetitively, but let me clarify how like this selection needs to be.

you don't have to use the same method or the same fabric or the same anything you choose not to. But your core choices need to be the same as if you were applying limits to an employee.

Angie does this well because she breaks it down for herself as if she needed to explain it to three year olds. If it's not a good habit that supports production better than any other habit, then that needs to change.

The thing that finally convinces most people ( I am guessing ) is when they do have more work than they can handle, and then get sick of the hours. Then, you get down to it and streamline.

Until you have that volume, the incentive is too abstract.

In short, profit lies in speed, I'd love to get $40 for a cushion, but fact is, if the pile is big enough, I can make a profit at $8. That's where you want to aim. If you can't train yourself to be a sewer, you are never going to get to where you can roll with the punches when the work available isn't ideal.

An example of my systems is the picture trail series I did with the red/yellow sofa fabric. I used patterns drafted from measurements, and then stack sawed them.

In the beginning your systems have to use what you know at the moment. When I first started my systems were simple, I used what I knew, and treated myself like an hourly employee. I didn't answer the phone, I sewed regular hours, I set a goal, and timed myself, and took note of wasted movements, reviewed at days end and changed my systems regularly when needed.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Quickie welt insertion question

When you have welt crossing welt, do you pull the cord out at the intersection (so that there is no cord at that point, just empty welt)? I've done it both ways, but can't decide which looks better. I'll go with the "industry standard" - whatever it is!
Hello Everyone,

Im sorry I am so out of touch, but hopefully within the next couple months i will have my own email to keep in touch with everyone!

I had a terrific time at the convention and enjoying meeting you all!!

I have a question I would like to ask all of you. Does anyone know about how much it actually cost THEM to make a slipcover. Meaning, do you know how much time it actually takes to make a slipcover, including pinning, sewing, utilities, materials (excluding fabric), and travel?

For a 1 cushion chair, 2 cushion love seat, and a 3 cushion sofa?I am having difficulty re-evaluating my price list, and this would help me generate my new prices. Any help or guidance you could provide me will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks a lot! Sheila Benner