On The Experience of Evolution

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The last 18 months sure have been a roller-coaster.

Since the tail end of 2017 we have been preparing for the next step for Gloomth. For the first 10 years of our existence our clothes were made to order, our team shifted and grew and we made all of our designs in house. Wholesale orders, individual clients, bulk orders for stage performances- all of it, all by hand. As we grew it became harder and harder to sustain that method of operation, family illnesses delayed production, sometimes the influx of fall orders would have us scrambling to rush mail things up to the last minute, we’d have to turn down poorly timed bulk orders, etc. It became clear Gloomth had outgrown it’s nest, it was time to evolve.

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Caterpillars turn almost completely to liquid inside the chrysalis before becoming butterflies- they must feel that decay, it must be strange and at times awful. No evolution comes without pain I suppose, and ours has had it’s share. This past year has honestly been the (second) hardest of my entire life. I have stared down far too many moments of uncertainty, doubt, and dread than I care to tally. Nothing went smoothly or properly, things were massively delayed, it seemed as though the Universe was plotting against us.  There were moments in which I looked at what I’d dedicated myself to for 10 years and imagined what it would be like to walk away from it, to let it fall away- but I knew if we didn’t at least try for this next step I’d regret it forever.

The truth is I truly believe in what we do. I see how our work connects people, how it resonates with specific souls in a world that’d rather erase anyone “different”, there’s a value in connecting those people, in strange beauty for the sake of.  I love what I do and I am ferocious about the world we are building. I’m also really fucking stubborn and not the type to give up very easily. 😉

So we had to make some choices. Unfortunately I live in one of the most expensive cities in Canada, finding a space locally we could rent and furnish with more machines for sewing staff to work out of was startlingly expensive. Even if we sacrificed the access to models and events this city offers us we likely couldn’t staff a work space in a more rural part of the province. I began speaking to different manufacturers, locally and abroad.

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Our first manufacturing contract seemed wonderful despite a million price fluctuations and then suddenly that team announced they were ceasing operations (after delivering 30 of our first design), which put us months behind schedule and having to start the whole process over. Meanwhile our existing studio was closing and we had to stop taking orders for our made-to-measure designs (without a new manufacturer confirmed), leaving us in limbo for most of the summer. Drifting like a little black ship lost at sea.

I tested a flurry of other manufacturers, and many weren’t great- from the place where the clothes arrived smelling of acrid smoke to the one that added sleeves for no apparent reason. I’ve had to learn all sorts of really not-exciting business things (contracts, tech packs, international business- oh my!) I’d never imagined myself doing when I started this at my kitchen table in 2007.

After all those disappointing trials with other manufactures we finally found our new home! I am blown away by how professional and smooth working with this group has been. Their work is beautiful and packed with details, the fabrics are sumptuous. I can’t wait for our customers to see the new pieces! Now we have our first run of designs in stock and shipping within 48 hours of payment, it’s incredible to see how Gloomth has grown.

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This step is huge for us. It means we can do wholesale more easily, our live events can actually have clothes for sale at them, and no one is waiting for things to be made. We can grow and expand in ways we couldn’t doing things as we had. It’s a huge change but it’s incredibly exciting and I can’t wait to face all the new challenges head on. I know how lucky I am to have an audience who likes and supports what we do, friends who’ll listen to me whine about the stress of it, and a family who’s got my back- there aren’t words for the gratitude I have for you all. Thank you, from the bottom of my stubborn artist heart, thank you.

It feels like standing on the highest diving board at the pool for the first time looking down, all you can do is- JUMP.


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