Well, Denise is gone so I thought I would take over the blog for just one night. She, along with Lynette, Sarah, Kayla, Chris, and most of our 64 Trunk Keepers are down in New Orleans for a Matilda Jane Conference. All of the Trunk Keepers are getting their first glimpse of the new line for Spring and will be spending the next three days learning all about the new line.
Tonight is the first night of the conference and features the first ever MJC Fashion Show.....one hitch though. The flight to New Orleans was delayed and rerouted several times due to the nasty weather much of the midwest had on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. As a result, all of the clothing for the Fashion Show (which was in luggage) got lost on it's way to New Orleans. I received a phone call from a panicked Denise just a few hours ago. Then, miraculously, the luggage was delivered to the conference center just 30 minutes before all of the models were scheduled to arrive.
So, about the line. I rarely talk about the "clothing" aspect of the business. I usually talk about the business side of it. Sales tax, shipping fees, return policies, and so on. But, I must say, I was in shock when I saw the pieces Denise has created for Spring. When the samples first were done, we both looked at the pieces, then looked at each other and said, "this stuff is going to sell out in a day."
All of the fabrics were custom designed by Denise herself. So they are unique, one-of-a-kind, and can be found only at Matilda Jane. Then, the pieces themselves are unbelievable. It's one thing to look at the pieces on hangers in the office, but totally different when you start to see the pictures roll in from the photographer....the pictures that will soon be plastered on the blog, on the website, and all throughout the Spring 09 Catalog.
Back to the business side.....We are in the process of searching out a new facility. We've just simply outgrown our current location at 2301 Fairfield Ave #106. Actually, while that is our official mailing address, our office actually spans across #106, #104, #103, and #112. So, hopefully soon we will have a new location and be ready to move. With that, we will be doubling our packing/shipping staff and hiring more office help. Our goal is to cut ship time down to 1 or 2 weeks from the time your Trunk Show is submitted by the Trunk Keeper. Now, don't quote me on that yet, but that is our goal. Also, we are modifiying our return policy for Spring 2009 so that the 15% restocking fee doesn't apply universally. Instead, if less than $100 worth of merchandise is returned, there will be no restocking fee.
Our goal is improved customer service for this Spring: Faster ship times, more office staff, better trained Trunk Keepers, and a relaxation of the restocking fee rule.
Now, there are tons of pictures that Denise has left sitting here on her computer, but I know I would be in big trouble if I posted any of them....as they must remain a secret until the season starts. Oh, when is that? The official start date is March 1st.
Perhaps you've heard of the new Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). Every company who sells products intended for children under the age of 12 (regardless of the product) is require to have certified lead testing done on their products. This put us behind schedule just a bit, as we originally wanted to launch the season during the middle of February. But, two weeks later isn't bad. Plus, everyone of you will know that the product you are receiving meets or exceeds the safety standards of the CPSIA. Unforuntaely, many Etsy sellers and smaller clothing lines are feeling the pain of this new legislation as the costs associated with the testing can be too much for some sellers.
Now, here are the new states in which we will have Trunk Keepers: Florida, Wisconsin, South Dakota, and Massachusets. So, if you live in anyone of those states and have always wanted to be a "Jane" and host a show, this season will be your chance.
Well, this could very well be the longest post ever on the MJC blog. Sorry about the lack of pictures....but I tried to compensate by using colorful fonts.
Oh, one last thing. The 60% off online sale ends Jan 31st. Officially, Jan 31st at midnight Eastern Time. After that, you will no longer be able to shop online. We need to turn the shopping cart off in order to make some programming improvements and to get ready for release of the Spring line. So, make your last minute purchases before the cut-off.