Wednesday, 10 November 2010

A Little Update of My Life

Guess what? The new semester has begun...again! Where did the time goes? Sigh....During the shortest term break ever I cut lots & lots of fabrics for custom orders, finished some and still sewing.

This also means I already received my first semester results (which I've tweeted but recording here for my girls to read one day). Not too bad. I got 2As, 1A- and 1 B+ with a total of 3.813 CGPA, alhamdulillah.... After a long and hard look at the effort I put in last semester and what I managed to pull off, I feel, deep down in my heart, that I COULD get straight As if I focus 100% on my MBA and not sew at all. Could I?

Perhaps I should stop taking custom orders altogether and only offer ready to ship items. You see, I love custom orders mainly because you don't gamble what would sell and what wouldn't. You only produce what the customer actually want to buy and this saves costs. In operations management this is called the Pull system. It's part of lean manufacturing concept adopted widely by Japanese corporations. I discovered that this is the BEST system for even the smallest scale production ie. the business model of most home based sewing/craft business.

BUT if I stop taking custom orders, the game is ON. I like the idea of having full creative control of the designs. The best part of sewing to me is choosing the fabrics, mixing and matching. I can't do this with custom orders. And what most customers don't realize is there are tonnes of fabrics that do not look as pretty in pictures but once sewn & creatively mixed with other fabrics, stunning! However, the downside of this is, being a one woman operation, I can't be producing the same design, one for every sizes. I could only pray that what I produce will be snapped up by someone with a  child of the correct size & there will be the inevitable emails from customers asking me to sew one more of the same design in a different size and I usually don't have the heart to say no...

But of course I could not do it at all, you might say. Close the biz and just sew for leisure! Okay my answer to that is : My girls don't need 200 dresses lol! With all the fabrics in the previous post, I WANT to sew & sell my creations.

Tsk. Decisions, decisions....any thoughts ladies?

This semester I am taking 3 subjects with an additional experiential business training program which is very exciting yet taxing. You'll find me not replying your emails or texts till late at night every Monday & Tuesday. I'll write more about this in the next post.

Before I go, some eye candy of dresses sewn by yours truly. Have a gorgeous day girls *hugs* :)


  1. Congrats on your semester result.

    So nice to see all those pretty dresses.

    It's true that we have full creative control of the design if we say no to custom orders...but like you said...people might need something else...and to play with so many fabric and just making dress for kids will not satisfy you.

    I would suggest, reduce the number of custom you will get some more time for your studies...and when you have total creative mood . try something new keeping your kids in mind if nobody take the interest to buy, you can use it for your girls.

    I know it is impossible to stop sewing and just concentrate on

  2. wow..congrats on the excellent results!
    Esok result UPSR pulak :)
    btw, the natalie dress is gorgeous!! sangat!

  3. Cute....i got 3 nk jait tak reti..jeles tengok baju girl nih....:P

  4. Way to knock em' dead girl! You did great on your first semester and I knew you would. Best of luck for the new one at your doorstep.

    Had to laugh about your girls not needing 200 dresses. Are you sure about that? That being said you could stop taking custom orders and just make what you make. The great thing is if you don't sell something it will always make the perfect gift. ;) You have to have friends with girls who needs birthday or Christmas gifts! Which ever way you go you'll do well.

  5. Nima - thank you nima. Yes, it's hard not to sew as I find solace in it...its the deadline rush that kills me lol

    Suze - thanks babe! haha...sib baik takde yg amik now waiting for Aisha's full exam result

    mamikelate - hehe ni dok mikir cara terbaik nok jual ni Doc

    B - thanks B! I do sew handmade gifts too even now as I am also selling. But generating sales from your hardwork is very rewarding too. I guess its the question of volume for me now :)

  6. Congrats on the outstanding result!! keep in up Zura..

    I hear you about the issues you've raised - custom order vs. ready made items. I contemplate with them myself and struggle to find balance between the two. However, my problem seems less complicated as I dont make anything wearable (thus no sizing problem).

    I agree with Nima where we should limit the number of custom order we take in a month to allocate more time for creative sewing and creating something new..

    While it all look good in theory, striking a balance does seem impossible, at least for me it is.. I am still unable to meet my target and spend too much time finishing custom orders and less time updating my shoppe with new items..

    It would be interesting to pick your brain on such topics (since you're the expert). May I suggest some posts on such topics and some theories and tips on business management, running small scale business etc..etc.. it would be good/relevant reading about something based in Msia rather than reading about business ideas based in US/UK

  7. Congratulation... on your outstanding result. Dont know abt postgrad study, but kalau undergrad dah masuk dean list tuh hihihi

    My comment on custom order vs ready made... just nak share.. Pernah borak2 dengan kakak tealady kat office yg ambik upah jahit baju, dia siap bg calculation lg camna dia manage order. siap tau lg kalau gunting baju berapa minit, jahit tepi berapa minit etc etc.. sampai siap, then baru dia tau dlm satu hari berapa baju dia bole siapkan.. detail betul akak tuh, siap ada buffer lg kalau incase mesin dia buat hal hehehe.

  8. pada saya yang bekerja dalam dunia design ni, we always want to sell our design yang original, so that people boleh kenal kita dengan hanya tengok design kita, macam big2 designer tu. but somehow, other ideas pun boleh tingkatkan lagi quality of the design.Gambate!

    p/s:tahniah with your result!

  9. Congrats Zura! And beautiful dresses-eye candy indeed :)

  10. tahniah... 3.813 CGPA.. wow.. keep it up..!

    Good luck untuk semester 2.. caiyok kak!! :)

  11. Congrats! I’d be over the moon (seems like my favorite quote of the month) many times if I get results like yours.

  12. Am loving the discussion, thank you friends!

    I have made my decision to close custom order temporarily at least for this semester. I'll offer ready made items in the shop once in a while.

    Thank you for the insight ladies I really appreciate it. Sue, I'll write on small biz soon, still learning the works but I can share a few pointers I've learned especially this semester during my experiential business training :)

  13. salam zura..

    ya Allah giler lama aku tak masuk blog ni dan blog2 orang lain juga... hehe.....

    ah ya.. singgah sini nak bagi salam.. :)

  14. Mai - welkam back my fren! haha tau ko busy babe, rindulah! tapi nih giliran aku pulak busy tak hengat. nanti free kita borak2 ek?


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