I hope you're well and enjoying your weekend.
This week we welcome May, SLB, Catherine, Richard, C., Silvia, Takenprospect, Juraj, Victoria, Aigul, Jade, Sarah, Emma, Catherine, Estelle & Sukhvinder. Thank you for joining us. I try hard to create newsletters that are interesting, add value to your life and are maybe even a tad bit fun. I hope it's working!
Before we jump in, a quick note to say that I've put together a newsletter archive so that new subscribers can catch up on previous editions. There's a lot of information on vegan/sustainable materials in there, so if that's your jam, it's worth checking out.
For today, I thought that I'd change things up a bit and share a snapshot of a week in the life of a sustainable fashion entrepreneur (i.e. me!).
The website's been down for how long?
SUNDAY: UH OH...
It's Sunday night, 22:54. I'm in bed and about to switch off my light but glance at my emails. There's a message from a customer in Singapore who can't check out... That's odd.
There's no question of waiting till morning to deal with it. I get out of bed and don't return until 01.43...
Turns out no one could check out.
I don't usually curse, but...
My list is just a digital version...
MONDAY: TO DO LIST
First thing is a call with Ailing - the powerhouse of a woman who is helping me take LUXTRA into retail. The post-call to-do lists are always very long, and this week included teaching myself how to create QR codes and barcodes (gotta know your GTIN-13s from your UPCs).
Oh and the website issue from Sunday night? It's finally resolved by Monday evening. Talk about stressful. I am very sorry to anyone reading if you had issues checking out.
My face during the conversation....luckily it wasn't a video call.
Of course, I should have known better.
The email was very vague, dangling the carrot of the Queen's 2022 Platinum Jubilee along with one of the world's most prestigious car brands. In all sincerity I thought they might be interested in creating some sustainable-vegan-leather products to mark the celebrations (we do receive those kinds of requests on a regular basis).
But like I said, I should have known better.
Rather, they were trying to flog a 2 page feature in some coffee table book that no one will ever open for the cool sum of £19,750.
I suggested it's probably not the right fit given that people who drive Rollers are not at all my target market.
No caption required.
Also, no cats were harmed in the making of this special effects GIF.
So I've been promising myself that I'd finish my e-book for what, maybe, 6 months? (Thanks again to my sister, Kelly, for the great idea).
The book has been progressing slowly in that time, but having made a pact with a friend that it would be D.O.N.E by our lunch on Saturday, I finally cranked it up a few notches. There was a mean dessert riding on it. And I have a sweet tooth.
The e-book contains in-depth information about all the innovative materials with which LUXTRA has worked over the years. It's written for people and brands looking to work with these materials, but either don't know where to start, or which material is best for their product.
It's intended as a bridge between the information on LUXTRA's website and a personalised consulting session. It will contain all the information you could want about the innovative materials with which we work, such as: pros and cons; which are best for shoes/bags/clothing etc; comprehensive price lists; lead times; minimum order quantities; where & how to order; photos + videos of the swatch books; and more. Hit reply if you'd like to be contacted when it goes live next week.
Stocktake: actually my worst nightmare
I really, really, really dislike stocktake.
Of course for most people, stocktake is a very straight forward process of count and record. My brain unfortunately seems to go into panic mode whenever I face the task. I basically have to book a meeting with myself to ensure I "find the time" to do it.
Anyway, it's now done. Until November :(((
Taking time for one-to-one editing.
FRIDAY: TIME FOR TEACHING
Whilst LUXTRA has no staff per se, there are a number of important people who support me. A very talented young lady, Chloé, helps me with a variety of tasks including writing.
I was reading Think Again by Adam Grant (I recommend) and it reminded me that it's important to spend time nurturing one's team. We've just started, but now each week, Chloé comes up with a topic that she'd like to learn from me - Luxtra related or not. On Friday it was going through some of the articles she'd written so far.
Perhaps you can tell that I quite enjoy writing, so it was incredibly heart warming to see how a few small tips, and of course taking the time to explain them to her, boosted her confidence and made her feel valued.
So simple. So effective. And a beautiful way to round out the week.
Voilà, voilà. It was a week of ups and downs and around and arounds, but I wouldn't change it for the world.
Thanks for reading.
Founder | Plant Parent | Proud B Corper