Monday, January 12, 2009

Designer Interview : Magical Hope Boutique

Check out the Peppermint Lane designer interview this week....
Meet Julie of Magical Hope Boutique!
If you're looking for unique,adorable,handmade clothing for your little prince or princess,look no further.At Magical Hope Boutique, you'll find stunning, girly-girl twirl skirts and deco sets to handsome appliqued pant sets.Oh and did I mention appliques??? hehehe!
Julie's warm personalityshows in her work as she is just as sweet as the clothing she creates.
1)Please tell us a little about yourself.... I am Julie. The sole designer behind Magical*Hope*Boutique. I design boys and girls clothing. I have two beautiful children, who are and always will be my inspiration behind everything I design. I am married to a wonderful man that supports my passion 100%.

2)How long have you been designing? I have been designing for a little over a year now. Just recently I was looking back at pictures of some of the first things I designed. How amazing it is that such little time has granted me the skills and ability to create so much more than I ever expected.

3)What is your earliest crafting/sewing memory? I didnt sew as a child. I am basically self taught. But to give you an idea of how I got into the sewing/designing craft, I started out wanting to be an Interior Designer when I was younger. I would dream about about designing different rooms in my parents house. Then after the birth of my daughter I decided to become a Cosmetologist. I put myself through school and began designing, but in a totally different way. But I like to think that creating an amazing hairstyle and color from an image in my almost the same as creating an amazing outfit. Its all about passion, creativity, and putting the pieces together like a puzzle. So I believe even though sewing wasn't my first craft, I always had the designing and the art behind it in me the whole time.

4)What inspires or influences you as a designer? My children mainly. But I would also say that fabrics play a big role in my ideas. I love shopping for fabrics with no idea in mind..and finding that amazing fabric that I just have to have..and creating a design around that fabric. I also think other designers have inspired me. Seeing all the different styles, have helped me to realize what my design style is.

5)What is your favorite item to create?Why? My favorite thing to do is Appliques. I love creating boys outfits. I have a passion for telling a story in my designs. With Appliques, its like bringing the outfit to life.

6)What piece are you mose proudest of that you've created? My favorite peice is my Frosty the Snowman Boys Design. Many reasons for that. One is that it was my first complete outfit made completely from fabrics..nothing premade. It was also my first BIG Sale.
7)What are your favorite materials/fabrics to work with? I love working with knits. They are so comfortable and work well for both boys and girls.

8)Are there any words of wisdom or tips you’d like to pass along to others about designing for profit? Stick with your gut. I have heard so many tips on how to price my designs, how to sell them, and how to make a profit off of them. I have been told to price low cause I was new, I was told to price high cause certain buyers dont look at low starting auctions. Believe in your work. Price them at the price you want for them. Dont be willing to sell them cheaper than you deserve. Stick with your guns and be patient. It will pay off in the end.

9)What is your favorite thing to do when not sewing/designing? Spending time with my kids and my husband. Watching my favorite TV Shows and talking to my friends online. Even if im not sewing I seem to be stuck on the computer most of the time LOL.

Thank you for having me as the Featured Designer. I have met so many wonderful designers as well as Model Mom/Buyers from Peppermint Lane. This group is amazing and filled with so much talent on so many levels.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Our First 2009 Designer Interview: Crazy Couture

Time to get back into the swing of things around here...on with the designer and photographer interviews from members of Peppermint!!!

This week we'd like to introduce to you, Roz of Crazy*Couture. Her Designs are just as vibrant,vivid,bold, and lively as her colorful,out-going,pleasant're sure to fall in love with her and her beautifully, whimsical creations!

Please tell us a little about yourself.... I'm Roz, 36 yrs old, 2 Kids: Tyler who is 12 and Briana who is 3 I'm a transplanted Canadian and I have lived here in the US since 03

How long have you been designing? Sewing since I was a little girl, My mom taught me to sew on one of those old antique push pedal machine's haha! Designing Childrens Clothing and Accessories for the last 3 years specifically though

What inspires you as a designer? Color, I hate bland, the crazier the color combo the better and also creativity!

What is your favorite item to create?Why? I love Euro patterns, they are so fun and unique!

What are your favorite materials/fabrics to work with? Well I love the European prints, def my fav but anything really with fun colors, and I adore working with knits!

What is your favorite thing to do when not sewing/designing? Anything!! Especially if it's not related to fabric, sewing, designing. Sometimes I feel like my sewing machine is attached to my hip!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Ch-ch-check us out!!!

As mentioned before, the wheels are in motion for Peppermint Lane's 3 rd Launch and things are off to a great start.Our ladies are working together to come up with some beautiful Spring designs & photos with lots of Vintage Charm.We launch in February so be sure and check back for further updates.
Until then......
Search PPLN on eBay to find awesome handmade,boutique children's clothing and accessories for Valentine's day or every day wear.

Here's peek of what you'll find currently listed:

Don't miss out on these beautiful designs by Queen Bree Designs & Magical Hope Boutique ...or several other items offered by our other talented designers!!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Boutique Sellers Please Educate Yourselves!

This article has been taken from the Boutique Cafe Blog Archive.Please take a moment of your time to read this as it effects so many of us within the Boutique Community.

The Sky is Falling - CPSIA IssueDecember 17th, 2008
Article by: Heather FlottmanOwner/Designer
liliputians NYC

The sky is falling! Yes, I feel a like an overly dramatic Chicken Little. And I wish it were true considering recent congressional legislation is about to crush the life out of the handmade clothing and toy industry. I’m talking about H.R. 4040, the Consumer Protection Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) signed into law August 14, 2008, and the ramifications it will have when it goes into effect February 10, 2009 (now being popularly referred to as National Bankruptcy Day).

Make no mistake. CPSIA was necessary in principle and has noble intentions, keeping our children safe and holding companies accountable for importing toxic toys. We all demand safety for our children and this is the intent of CPSIA; specifically to ensure safe levels of lead and phthalates in all products manufactured for children under the age of 12. Unfortunately this legislation lacks common sense, is ambiguous and fails to take into account the handmade industry.

What you see is not what you get with CPSIA. There is no distinction between big, small, or even micro one-person businesses. Whether it’s a large-scale manufacturer importing apparel to be sold in big box stores, or a work-at-home mom (WAHM) selling customs on ebay, the legislation applies the same to all.

Unit testing will be required on finished products, regardless if the components are natural materials or if you have documentation from a vendor stating that buttons, for example, are certified lead-free. As it stands, H.R. 4040 fails to recognize that textile products are inherently lead-free. Why then is an organic cotton shirt being tested for lead exactly?
Unit testing is extremely cost prohibitive to small business, but worse, it is unnecessary. In fact, it is completely redundant if the components that comprise the whole have already been tested and due diligence can prove they meet the guidelines.

To put a real dollar amount to testing one of my products, I solicited a lab quote. I was told it was $75 to test for lead per garment component and each substrate. Coated or painted items such as buttons are $100. So my Little Red Riding Hood Shirt, a 100% cotton knit shirt with an appliqué made from 7 cotton fabrics and 2 buttons eyes would cost $625 to test for lead. Flammability testing is also required and is either $50 for a certificate per component stating it meets weight code or $100 for actual testing. So add another $400-$800 for a grand total of $1,025-$1425. in testing costs for a shirt that retails for $40. If the shirt is offered in another colorway, the same testing is required despite the fact that the same fabrics are used throughout.

Small manufacturers have no way of absorbing the price of such redundancy. And all manufacturers will be required to test a finished component/item from each batch. Easy to do in mass production—simply pull one sample from a lot of thousands. But how does one comply when your “batches” are made-to-order batches of one? SKUs will also be required for each product with a permanent label on the item itself.

CPSIA will be retroactive and takes a guilty-until-proven-innocent approach with extremely hefty fines for violators. As written, any product used by children 12 and under (such as toys, footwear, carpets, clothing, bedding, luggage, lamps, toys, books, magazines, baseball cards, consumer electronics, school supplies, office supplies, jewelry, housewares, sports equipment and so on) without the newly required certification would be deemed hazardous, whether the item poses an actual threat or not. So on February 10, 2009, any unsold merchandise (in big box stores, the corner boutique, your fabric stash, Good Will donations, etc.) will be deemed “hazardous goods” and illegal to sell unless 3rd party testing proves otherwise. By the way, there are only 14 said labs currently in the United States.

Think you won’t be affected? I hope not, but the sad truth is that hundreds of thousands (if not millions) will be. Do you make children’s clothing, toys, jewelry, hair bows, accessories, furniture, artwork or anything else “intended for use by children age 12 and under”? Are you a retailer of children’s goods? Do you resell used children’s clothing or toys on ebay? Do you participate or shop at craft fairs? Do you donate used children’s items to needy organizations? Do you belong to a church that has rummage sales as a fundraiser? Does your child play sports and get their uniforms from a local screen print shop? Are you a consumer shopping for alternatives to mass-produced toys? If so, this law takes away that freedom.

Surely this legislation can be amended by incorporating some common sense and still make it possible to ensure our children’s safety without further hurting the US economy. According to the 2002 Economic Census (the last survey of its type), small U.S. clothing manufacturers (with fewer than 20 employees) contribute over $900 million dollars [consider: nearly $1 billion dollars] annually to the economy and comprise 68% of total apparel manufacturing in the U.S. This is clearly a vital and contributing asset to our economy. Multiply this fallout exponentially when you take into account the myriad other manufacturers, retailers and businesses that will be hurt or ultimately driven out of business.

So, why should you support amending this legislation?

Because the CPSIA isn’t fair and will not function as written. It inadvertently punishes American industries unrelated to toys and will ultimately result in fewer alternatives to mass produced merchandise made in China. The concept that small producers should be subject to the same rigorous standards but with lesser regulation (and common sense) has already been fought for and sustained in the food industry, which is why your local farmers market still exists. Now this same idea needs to be applied to children’s products.

What can you do?
1) Email or call the CPSIA - the office of the CPSC ombudsman 888-531-9070. on Component Parts Testing accepted through January 30,
2) Email or snail mail your representatives.
3) Call your representatives. For their contact information just enter your zip code.
4) Make your voice heard by voting on this issue. The top 3 in each category will be presented to President-elect Obama.
5) Sign the petition.
6) Spread the word! Write about this on your blog. Tell others about this issue and encourage them to do the same.
7) Join others in fighting this cause.
Facebook groupTwitter search
Join the etsy community in the virtual chat with CPSIA Small Business Ombudsmen or send a handmade children’s item that will become “hazardous goods” as of 2/9/09 to Bobby Rush, founder of H.R. 4040. Thread
9) Read more about this legislation and its ramifications:Fashion Incubator
Handmade Toy Alliance
National Bankruptcy Day
YouTube video
YouTube Video
YouTube Video
5 Minutes for Mom
Cool Mom Picks
The Smart Mama
Apparel and
Cafe Mom
Safety and Compliance
Freshly Baked Blog

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Fresh Start to a NEW YEAR!!!!

Peppermint Lane has had a great run thus far and we're starting out the New Year right! We've welcomed many fresh, new faces within both our design and model teams.All exuding such tremendous talents and bringing so much creativity to the table both as designers and photographers.Just wait until you see what these ladies have in-store for you!!!

We just finished up our second launch for V-day...I Love Rock -n- Roll which was a hit and I just love all the different takes on all our rockin' designs! Just see for yourself....

See, I told ya! Totally rockin' designs, aren't they?!...AND, this is only a handful of the designs that were offered!

Now we're into a new year, and what better way to kick it off than starting out with a new launch from Peppermint Lane????We'll be welcoming 2009 with our first launch of the year entitiled Vintage Charm!!!
A fresh look on the years gone by!
Don't miss it!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It WAS a Success!!!

Our very first launch was a success and I just wanted to thank all of you who have participated in our very first launch.I'm so much more than pleased with the outcome.All of our designers have done an awesome job on their sets and all our photographer moms and models have done an equally amazing job with their pics.

Also a big thank you to those who were unable to join in this go-round but have continued to support our designers,model moms, and models with all your wonderful comments and kind words.

We ALL desrve a BIG pat on the back ladies for all the hard work put into making our group a fun,drama free place to be!

I'm so excited for our 2nd launch for Valentine's Day.It's all about V-day with rock -n-roll twist.