Tuesday, December 12, 2006

holiday sale this saturday!

this saturday, december 16, three SAPLINGS are participating in a holiday gift sale in williamsburg: lena will be bringing her beautiful plates, ties, pillows and other perfect gifts, mociun will show her delectable dresses and hand-screened baby T's, and hodge podge will have crocheted hats, appliqued dog sweaters, and one-of-a-kind clothing pieces. there will be over 20 designers participating; you can see the complete list with links to their sites here. if you live in nyc please come check us out, and support your local independent makers!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

sale roundup!

well, i'd say our first organized saplings event was a success! i don't know how many people attended our sample sale, but there was a pretty steady flow of shoppers all day and i would say that well over half of them ACTUALLY BOUGHT SOMETHING! and of those, quite a lot bought multiple items. our grand total of sales for the 7 participating designers was $2215. not bad! remember, most of our stuff was really priced to move! and this was not our current collections, but samples and odds-n-ends that we really wanted new homes for. it's a constant problem for designers, getting rid of the stuff that accumulates, and much as we don't want to look at it ever again, we also know that there was time and money invested in each piece so we hate (and can't really afford) to just give it away or donate it. i know we all had fantasies of not bringing anything home with us, but, well, maybe next time...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

sample sale

thanks again caitlin, for having the sale at your studio! here are my (not very good) photos...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

sample sale!

yes, it's our first actual organized SAPLING event! thanks jen for designing the lovely postcard, and caitlin for supplying the shells. this will be a true, old-fashioned sample sale, meaning those of us who are participating are doing it because we have samples, one-of-a-kinds, and odds-n-ends that we are dying to get rid of! that translates to very special treasures for you, at great prices. if you live in nyc, come check it out and support your local indie talent. thanks!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

october minutes

the october meeting was held saturday 10/14 at caitlin's studio in park slope. in attendance were caitlin, jen, lena, sherise and me. oh yeah, and judas, gertie and gus!
we spent most of the time discussing plans for the sample sale to be held saturday november 11 from noon to 6 at this same location. this will be a true sample/overstock/past season sale, with the goal of clearing out old stuff we all have hanging around. set-up will be friday night from 7 to 9 with a little pot-luck dinner to make it fun. so far we have mociun, raeburn ink, lena, hodge podge, little cakes and elyse participating in the sale. jen is designing a gorgeous simple postcard to be placed in local park slope boutiques and a few other locations, and we will try to spread the word mainly through e-mails and hopefully some listings (Time Out?) also jen told us about a service called propay that lets you accept credit cards without a merchant account or special equipment; could be a handy thing to know about when doing sales or just in general.
next we talked about options for a holiday sale (this one will be new stuff from our current collections and gift-y items) and agreed that probably the best idea is for us to band together and get a bunch of tables at the Craftacular on december 9. the application deadline is november 1st so whoever is interested please let me know asap. i have sent an e-mail to the coordinator asking if we can get a group discount on multiple booths and will advise you all as soon as i have more info.
caitlin showed us some lovely swatches from two organic and natural fabric resources, Near Sea Naturals and a new one she found, Enviro Textile. my fave swatch was a bamboo/cotton knit from NSN; i have never felt a bamboo fabric before, but it was unbelievably soft!
we didn't set a date for the next meeting since we will be hanging out all day at the sale next month; we figure that will count as a meeting, since the following weekend will be the one before thanksgiving. i imagine the next official meeting may not be until january, since there will be lots of sale-ing and holidays during the next two months...

Saturday, September 30, 2006

minutes of 9/20 meeting

our september meeting was held at the new little cakes headquarters. in attendance were myself (cal), hanna, erika, rebecca, amy and caitlin.
we set a date for the fall sample sale that was proposed at the last meeting. it will be held at caitlin's studio in park slope on saturday, november 11, from 12-6. more details will be ironed out at the october meeting.
we also discussed a holiday gift sale, tentatively to be held december 8-9 at little cakes. however, after the meeting hanna realized that this would be in conflict with the gallery schedule so we will need to re-plan this event at our next meeting. it looks like a new venue will be needed so everyone should think about what options we have. amy mentioned the availability of her handsome and generous boyfriend matt's gallery in williamsburg, where some of us did a sale last year, so that is one option to consider.
caitlin updated us on her adventures in production at MCIF. previously her experience had all been good, but this time she had some problems to report: the quality has been inconsistent and a whole batch of woven dresses had to be ripped apart and re-stitched because of poor workmanship. she has also had some problems with them meeting her deadlines. the problems seem to have been ironed out so far but caitlin is going to continue searching for other production options so that all of her eggs are not in one basket... also the need for a separate cutting service was mentioned, since MCIF is not set up for cutting. amy suggested a cutter named Bob Gaver in the park slope area.
we also discussed ideas for workshops/information-sharing at upcoming meetings. amy offered to share with us her tax tips for indie businesses (possibly at the october meeting?) and requests were made for crochet and embroidery workshops, both of which i would happily teach. i also requested a DIY basic website tutorial (anyone feel qualified to teach this???) any one who has any other ideas to teach, share, or request should bring them up at the next meeting.
i brought swatches to show from an online fabric resource i found, wazoodle. they have a nice heavy-weight sweatshirt fleece that i bought after much fruitless searching. this led into a discussion of our collective desire for more organic/eco-friendly resources. one that caitlin had found, Near Sea Naturals, has gorgeous stuff but it's pretty expensive. she's going to show her swatches from them at the next meeting.
most of us had to run along so we didn't have a stitching circle after the meeting, but i hope we can institute this tradition at our next meeting. caitlin has offered to host the next meeting so we can check out her studio before the sale in november...
if anyone has corrections or additions to these minutes, please feel free to add them yourself, or e-mail them to me and i'll do it. also, if anyone needs a re-invite to the blog so that you can post yourself, please let me know!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

materials exchange - blank tee shirts galore

hi saplings,

i have a great many blank american apparel tee shirts i am looking to trade/sell for cheap. in particular, i have about eight dozen women's l/s lilac tees as this picture. and a bunch of kids stuff, and other random items. let me know if you are interested. trying to clear out space in the house for new projects! - jen

Monday, August 21, 2006

credit card machines

i've gotten a few things in the mail about credit card machines but was wondering if anyone has a company they like or if they are all the same......

Saturday, August 19, 2006

next meeting

are we having an august meeting or will we wait till september? i can do it here at the new space after september 8th........ hanna
dress on me in the picture is by caitlin

Thursday, August 10, 2006

cotton fleece

hey y'all... if anyone is out in the fabric-shopping world and sees nice THICK fleece-y knits, please let me know. i am looking for sweatshirt fleece and/or lighter weight fleecy or brushed knits, but they must be primarily cotton (a lot of sweatshirt fleece out there is like 65 poly/35 cotton). last year Mood didn't have ANY sweatshirt fleece which i thought was crazy! i have so many ideas for cool sweatshirt styles but can never find the fabric. i would also look at online sources if anyone has any recommendations. i just spent about an hour searching online but didn't find much. thanks in advance for any info!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

i know it's far away but.....

do you guys want to do a saplings sample sale at the new little cakes gallery the first week of december? like sometime bewteen 12/5-12/9? i'm trying to avoid doing a holiday sale and figure that's early enough in the month..... it's in the east village so it'll be easy for manhattanites to get to. trying to work out the gallery calendar so i thought i'd ask.
let me know!
love hanna

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Re: Health Insurance Info

Hello Everyone!
I'm so happy to be posting my first Sapling Society blog entry.
This is a copy of the health insurance handout from a couple meetings back.
I have Family Health Plus and it's great. In order to qualify you must go through an interview process and your income (after business expenses, etc) must be low. It's a long process but so worth it if you qualify...
And if not, there are other NY state programs that might be worth looking into.
You can email me if you want more info about Family Health Plus.
Looking forward to seeing everyone soon!

Comparison of Health Insurance Programs in New York:

Family Health Plus :
Free coverage if you qualify! Little or no co-pay, prescriptions are covered. Must schedule an interview first and fill out application to qualify. Strict income and resource requirements.
Who can join (requirements):
Where to apply (who to set up interview with):
Helpful numbers including Family Heath Plus:

Healthy NY:
Next step up from Family Health Plus. Low monthly payments for full coverage. Must meet financial requirements. Have to pick HMO and apply through them or online.
Healthy NY Eligibility Criteria for Individuals:
(EX: Family size (1) : Annual Household $=Up to $25,125, monthly = Up to $2,094)
How to apply:

Brooklyn Healthworks:
“The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Group Health Inc. (GHI), a consortium of health care providers and the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President, are proud to offer an affordable health insurance for small businesses in the borough of Brooklyn – Brooklyn HealthWorks.”

Friday, July 28, 2006

Fabric Store Closeout on B'way

Hey there! How many of you shop for fabrics down on lower Broadway? At the last Saplings meeting I mentioned one that was going out of business and starting to sell stuff for super cheap prices (we got some very good stuff for $3-6/yd). I don't have the exact street number, but it's on the west side of Broadway, probably just below Walker St. (not quite as far south as P&S). You might know it. It's the crazy one that often has scrappy looking huge bins outside, and in the window are scrawled signs that say, "PANTIES $2" and inside it's complete chaos. There's lot's of lace trimmings hanging near the front. It's really a fright. But go inside, and you never know what you might find! Moriah and I got some good cotton jersey (there are several varieties - some with much more Lycra than others); some rayons, a lot of prints; etc. A lot of it is quite synthetic, but there is a large range of quality mixed in. Anyway - the guy who runs it is very nice; he's on his way out, and bringing up more stuff from downstairs everyday. I can't vouch for the exact deals, but after we bought a ton of stuff he showed us the downstairs area (lots of stripes) and said to come back in two weeks and buy more stuff and he'd give it to us for $2/yd. I'm afraid this isn't the best time to for ME to be accumulating more fabric, but maybe other Saplings want to organize a group trip there to buy in bulk and therefore score better deals + share cabs back to Brooklyn.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Health Insurance

Hanna said that some of you (Becky- who I don't know and Moriah) have really good, free health insurance. I was wondering if you could pass on the info to me. Mine is not good and very expensive. Also does anyone know about Freelancers Union insurance, hows that one?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


this is the stamp i got at the flea market that i thought could be a cool starting place for the logo for the hangtag to put on stuff we make that's sewn at MCIF, or even just anything made with care and a good conscience, in which case maybe it shouldn't be a sewing machine? can anyone think of a good way to say what i mean? i don't really want to say 'sweatshop free'. which reminds me, it was really funny that chisara, the manager at MCIF, was wearing a sweater and poncho because it was so cool in there. definitely not a sweatshop!

MCIF sample

I got my first sample back from MCIF and its great! It looks just like the one that I gave them. I give them an A++ on sewing jersey.
I left them with about 30 more pieces. I’m going back on Monday so they can show me a sample of another design I brought in with me today. I think that their pricing seems fare. They asked me how much I was hoping to pay for each garment and said they would maybe have to adjust it if that price was too low/high depending on how the sewing goes. I kind of gave them my ideal price and then how much I would pay up to. The top I got back today (simple, batwing long sleeve) will be $5, I think. The leggings I am having done next will probably be $8 each. I should start getting more stuff back in the next couple of weeks if anyone wants to come over and check them out.
Oh! They also told me that it takes them more time to finish an order of jersey garments with cover stitch because they only have one cover stitch machine. Woven garments that can be sew on the standard industrial machines will be finished much quicker because more people can be working on them.

Other things…
I have written a couple of the t-shirt printers that use soy inks or other earth/human friendly inks and have gotten no response. We’ll see if they want to share their secret.

I found an online fabric store that has tons of different organic fabrics- wools, hemp, cotton, bends with silk, linen, yak, etc. They have knits and wovens as well as yarns and notions (lace, elastic, thread). The cool thing about them is you can buy swatches from them for $0.40 a swatch. I got a bunch, I will being them to the next meeting for anyone to check out. The website is: nearseanaturals.com

I also found out that American Apparel is wholesaling their organic garments. They are pretty well priced.
I will try and post some pictures of the samples that I get back form MCIF (if I can figure out how to do that).


I found this tee printing place that makes their own environmentally friendly inks. I don't know if they would sell them directly or not. have a look ~ http://www.planet-ink.com/

Monday, July 24, 2006

minutes of 7/23/06 meeting

hooray we are actually using the blog to post and share information!
we had a great meeting yesterday hosted by the lovely alice and moriah of Feral Childe at their studio near the gowanus canal. they gave us a tour of their spacious digs and we discussed ideas for storage of fabric rolls and bolts. in attendance, besides a & m, were hanna, jen, caitlin and me (cal).

hanna had to leave early so she shared her windmill energy update, a 'green' printer she found, and an eco friendly t-shirt resource. she also told us about her wool project to benefit the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary and we are going to have a fleece processing/drop spindling workshop at her house sometime in august.

we also discussed last thursday's field trip to the Clarke-Ford Center in Bushwick, which is a sewing center that trains immigrant women in English, sewing and business skills, among others. they offer sewing contracting services for designers whose quantities are too small for regular factories. i found out about them thanks to jenny of saltlick who also works with them. caitlin left 2 samples for the ladies to sew, and we will see how their quality and pricing look next week. they said that their prices are based on a wage of $10 per hour. if things work out as we hope, we'd love to make a cute hangtag with info about the Center so the consumer will know and feel good about where the item was made.

alice and moriah shared a hot tip that a fabric store on broadway near franklin is going out of business and selling off lots of fabric for $2-3 per yard. there will likely be a field trip in the next two weeks so that bigger quantities can be bought, which will lower the price even more. if you want to go, contact caitlin.

the need/desire for some early fall sales was also discussed, and two ideas debated: one is the Atlantic Antic on september 17, which is a street fair that features local craftspeople. jen is already doing it, and has had a good experience in the past. the other idea is to organize a group sample sale, possibly at caitlin's studio, or Feral Childe's loading dock (in conjunction with their local Open Studios weekend) or a manhattan location. we tentatively said this could be scheduled for mid to late october, in case some people want to try both. anyone who is interested in either option please let me know.

jen shared her goals of taking Raeburn Ink into the home furnishings market, which would enable her to focus more on the prints which are her main interest.

finally, we talked about ideas for future meetings, such as:
-assigning a theme in advance, so that we all can prepare and bring info and ideas pertaining to theme (such as PR, sustainability, goals etc)
-bringing unwanted materials/supplies that someone else would likely want to exchange
-working on a project together, such as an 'exquisite corpse' round-robin thing where we each bring a t-shirt, bag or other item and everyone does something (embroider/paint/bead etc) for 10 min then we pass to the next person, or someone teaching a workshop
-bringing items to show what we've been working on, and if desired get feedback/advice
-philanthropic projects, like cat toys for the shelter hanna volunteers at, or the wool project

i think that's about it; if i remember anything else (or anyone else does) i will add it. the meeting concluded with a dip in the nearby pool for alice, jen and caitlin!

i'm interested in 100% natural screen printing inks too. do they exist? i have this book: screen printing: the complete water-based system -- and it discusses the health and environmental concerns of screen printing. i can bring it to the next meeting...

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Hanna's finds

Here are the links to the things I was talking about today at our meeting. I'm also very interested in non-toxic silkscreening ink so if jen or anyone else finds a good source please let us know ASAP!

http://www.greenerprinter.com/ - the eco-friendly printer

http://fairhemp.com/ - has hemp/cotton blend tshirts tote bags etc. i got the whoelsale price list and they run around $7 a shirt. i will get samples to check on style/fit etc this week. will let you know if i think it's any good.

http://www.whatmattersmost.biz/ - the book i am reading about socially responsible business practices by the guy who started the Seventh Generation company. (who makes toilet paper, laundry detergent etc)

also if you gals can post about what you talked about after i left it would be great.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

welcome dear saplings!

the society for the advancement of people who love independently nurtured goods.

Coming soon..