Not sure if you know this or not, but House of Minerva does do some custom work orders for our local family. We do everything from alterations for the wedding party to custom designing bags for showers etc. We basically do it all if it involves a needle and a thread.
I have altered one or two bridal dress this year, many, many!
Amazing women and beautiful. And am asked often about ideas, design ideas etc. So I’m going to give you my perspective, keeping it real. Think maybe you haven’t thought of some of these yet.
1. Pick a few design ideas you like. You don’t need to pick every design idea under the sun for your dress. One or two, you don’t need pleats, tucks, ties, beads, adornments, lace, ruffle, crin, etc. You get it. Pick one or two that really appeal to you and stick with that. Doing them all, hmmmm just not good, for you and for me. It’s not flattering and makes you look desperate and tacky.
2. Find a person to go with you that you trust.. I don’t mean, trust to dog sit, trust to tell you the truth. Like “Girl, you cannot pull that off, your pooch is showing”. That kind of trust. Hey it’s your day but you need someone who will be honest. Please also consider, if you don’t like their style, they will not be of any help to you. Don’t ask someone that wares crocs if you are wearing Christian Louboutin. You get it.
3. If you don’t have breastests and your dress is plunging, it’s unfortunate, but you need some cups. Not even negotiable. Oh, and if you are well endowed, but you move them out of the way to scratch your belly, cups/support is needed.
4. There is no miracle. We, seamstresses, cannot make you slimmer, we can’t make it look like you have a butt. We can’t sprinkle fairy dust to make you not have back fat. I have it, I embrace it. So should you.
5. You can’t buy a size 12 dress and lose 50lbs and think we can fix it. Doesn’t work that way. Fixing a size or two, but we can’t reconstruct a dress. Oh and vice versa, we can’t make a 6 into a 12, you get it.
6. And my final food for thought. Remember ladies, simplicity is always classy and classic. What is in vogue, trendy today won’t be in 10 years. You need to look at those pictures of that wonderful day years to come (not going by those statistics of course). But think of all those ladies in the 80s that followed those trends, boy are they regretting they did that now. Look at someone like Marilyn Monroe in her weddings (yeah there were many), but all are classic and you could look at that forever. If you follow Kim K or any other iconic person of the day, you will fail. Simple, classic you can never go wrong.
I love weddings, and love brides and talk to many of them and was one, once or twice, but I have seen it all too much where there is some disappointment later. Also, there are things I know a Bride wouldn’t know that doesn’t sew etc. I love doing this and am the luckiest person in the world.
Bridal Dress Alterations at times are comedic note this was suppose to be a comedic twist on this. And didn’t even give you my take on what the Bridal party has to deal with. That’s another blog another day.
Toddler dresses are one of House of Minerva’s hottest selling products. You’re probably wondering why I went from bags to Toddler Dresses. I’ve once spoke a bit about Toddlers and what’s out there today on the market regarding clothes. I felt that there was a huge gap in the spectrum. I also thought, that lots of designers, that are great, were really all doing the same thing. Coordinated prints in a certain fabric design group. Which is still amazing and obvious a big hit.
What I did when I wanted to do a dress, was think of when my girls were young and I was that mom that had a husband who was military who was away quite a bit, I was working full time and also getting my degree. It was important to have some great hip kids in some great clothes and was always complimented on how I kept my kids stylish. But I also hated that lots of the clothes I bought were not convenient, from getting it on my 4 year old at 6 in the morning or having it be a piece that could mesh with seasons. This is why I made the Toddler Dress that HoM does. What I think is the perfect dress. There are few factors here.
The lack of buttons, snaps, ties and pure over the head using elastic for the neck and arms makes this dress for mom and little girl. She can easily put this on herself and feel independent and great for you to pull off at bath time.
Throw these dresses over some leggings and long sleeved plain colored shirt in cooler months and this is very ideal for all year.
The best part of these dresses is all about the color and the fabric prints. We are putting things together that you may have scratched your head at if you seen it on a design board. But now you see it and hopefully get how awesome these things are together.
Let’s not forget about our use of Rick Rack. Yep I said it. What my mom use to adorn my clothing with, Rick Rack. I love it. And it makes anything look more feminine and sets it apart from others. We use the ruffles and the buttons and bows all for adornment.
If you own one, love to hear your comments. If you don’t, what are you waiting for. We have some great things on sale now. We are getting ready for our additions to our girl’s line this fall. Jumpers and Skirts.
Make sure you see all the celebrities who have them for their little girls in their life.
This weekend we hit our 2000 twitter followers mark. In celebration we are giving a promo code for today only for 20% off your entire purchase. We are so excited and appreciate the followers.
Use Promo Code TWIT20 at checkout to get your 20% off.
Follow us on Twitter: houseofminerva
As a small business owner I have been driven like most of us to the wonderful world of Pinterest. Love it, addicted to see pins and share. I’ve even already once posted a blog mention about Pinterest earlier this year. Old Pinterest Blog Found Here
Today I wanted to talk more from the perspective of business owners and using Pinterest platform to engage with consumers/customers visually. I loved this idea the minute I heard it. For a change something really great for the Non Service industry that is appealing to potential customers.
One comment that I find myself dealing with is the “put pricing” or “not to put pricing”. Do you make your business Pinterest as if it’s not a business and you’re casually sharing information or, hello, it’s a business and it’s another marketing tool to use and be upfront with that. I myself have been really struggling with this. I personally don’t like to read all the business stuff on there and pushy stuff or hard sales that I sometimes see. I also though have had comments about pricing on my Pins and well, something I have not had an easy time with determining.
So my friends…. thoughts? I really feel that if you’re a business you have to put it out there and not try to look like you’re faking something about your Pins. I mean it’s a tool to use to engage people. I in no way really expect sales from pinterest directly, but really want people to like, share and hopefully they will remember this cool bag, tote, clutch, toddler dress that when they are ready they will come and shop.
Would love to know thoughts on this from all perspectives. Consumers and the Business Person!
I have been speaking quite a bit about a few things regarding my business and this amazing thing called House of Minerva. I figured that it was time to talk about it and put in writing so that everyone is clear. Seeing it in writing also makes it more real.
I need to make it very clear about a very strong business model that I have envisioned. House of Minerva is a small design house, and when I mean a small design house, I do business, designing, sewing, shipping, and all other aspects of my business from my home. I am very lucky and fortunate to do this. Spending years in the corporate world, commuting over an hour a day, one way, to my job for years I am the luckiest woman in the world to get to do business completely out of my home. From start to finish. I can cook during the day, get my chores done, and also be there for my family. Taking care of things!
By no means is working from home easy. I plan on talking about that in another blog, coming soon. That's a whole list of problems, issues, concerns, and hurdles that I can help explain how I handle them. Look for that soon.
Getting back to HoM being a small design house, out of my house… I am very content with this arrangement. When I decided to do this business I never wanted to be some mass produced set of products and never contemplate ever being in Target, Walmart, or any of those big chains. Was never in my mind. That would never be a direction for my company.
The idea behind HoM is to always stay very connected to my customers/fans/community. The day I have an automated message tweeting for me, responding to emails, or taking away the personal connection that I know I have and feel with my customers and followers is the day HoM will no longer be run by me. I think I can fight off those Avatars!
HoM wants to stay small, opening a small manufacturing space to employ local people but keeping my family in touch with our customers and what they want and need from us. I’m always directed by my own racing thoughts but encouraged by all of my customers.
Making a profit is important. That’s the whole success piece behind it too, but it’s more than that. Way more than that. I always said. “The day that this is no longer fun for me, I’m walking away. The day that some suit tells me what I can and cannot do or produce and how and when.. Feet don’t fail me!” I will never change, and will always wear my feelings about this on my sleeve.
House of Minerva is starting a wonderful direct marketing campaign, directing their product placement in some amazing small boutiques, shops and salons. Limited Edition on everything we do and always evolving, improving but having fun doing it! We want our buyers/shop owners to always have that direct contact with me or my team to develop more products, better products and know that we will always be here for them. Charities, parties, share success with our followers. It’s all so important to me.
Look for updates as we walk, run, take a car ride to this end result. And more importantly, wish us luck!
I’m always looking to hear from others about “Making a Living” vs. “Becoming a Millionaire” business desires. Please comment and share your thoughts. Me personally, not interested in being a millionaire off of HoM. I just want to be happy with my work and hopefully give some people some jobs to make a living as well. All doing this while we have a grand time doing it all.
House of Minerva posted a newsletter.
House of Minerva has decided to take the leap into the Tech World. We are now doing some great, ok, awesome, IPad Sleeves. We are making these really custom made. We are going to post fabric choices that you pick from, for now thought we have some really awesome stuff. I have used so many, and I need convenience and ease when I’m out and about, no zipper that I is ridiculous. something that’s awesome, padded yet I can pull it out. (That’s what she said, LOL). But you get what I’m saying here. Anyway, check us out!
We have options to have these horizontal or vertical with the closure. Who’s doing that for you? I like horizontal cause it fits my Bucket Bag so awesome, but hey, vertical, all good. [slideshow]
So tonight I wanted to spend a little time on ladies supporting ladies. Women supporting other women in the world. In particular how we can succeed if we can only feed off of each other in this world and not be the spiteful, twisted minds we at times succumb to.
I’ve recently joined a networking group, this one is different and I knew that I wanted to participate in this group because the ladies that created it, are tough, living life, been there done it, know where I’ve been and where I’m going, kind of girls. Looking to really do good to help women and help themselves with meeting different women as well.
I tend to cringe at groups, I’m not going to lie. Most groups I lose attention quick because it’s the same initial enthusiasm and then drop off to no longer keeping me interested that this is worth my while. Different group. I can’t talk really about it, it’s a SECRET GROUP.. LOL.. it’s called Women Empowering Women.
What makes this different. They only allow one type of business from an area in the group. Meaning you’re not having to compete with the other 20 other business owners for time. You’re special within your trade, business or craft. Local pretty much now, but their idea and their vision is to bring it national.
Oh wait…. one more really big deal. Everyone pretty much has a charity they work with, on a board, give to, support, etc. Walks, money, donations, you name it, these women are something to deal with in the charitable world of making a difference.
Very proud to be part of this and I won’t name drop, and won’t with this group. These ladies know who they are.
I wanted to share my very real and personal experience of a customer complaint. You’re wondering why I would share a customer complaint for my small business, that could be suicide. But it’s not. No small business, nor large one is perfect. It’s what you do to handle and understand your customer, the consumer and make it right.
So we do these amazing toddler dresses and I’m very proud of the product I produce and the handmade high quality product I produce. We had a young lady order a dress. Note, the dress she ordered was a big hit and the size she ordered was not even available without me sewing it that day, which I did. So the order’s placed, let’s say on a Tuesday. Annabella cut it out the same day, I sewed it the same day and was out the door for shipping Wednesday. I’m very proud that we turn this stuff around and unless there is an issue with the fabric, meaning, we sold quite a few in the week and now we are short on the fabric and have to reorder, your product is shipped same day or next! Really proud that my customers always say handmade, quick shipping is a perk. Also, every order I try my best to handwrite a thank you card to each customer. That’s what’s so important to me! I will do that as long as I have a hand to write!!!! But back to my story, or my complaint.
So we sent the dress. The dress actually was the last of the fabric and we can’t get the fabric anymore as well, it was a good seller. So Wednesday the dress is mailed, Friday I get an email. The person received the item and let me just put pieces of the email… and those who own businesses and get things like this, it’s tough…
“I ordered a child dress off of the site and it’s not the color I ordered. I ordered the dress because I thought it would be perfect for my daughters first bday and now EVERYTHING is ruined” and more of this was around the color ” I get the dress and its green and I hate green I never wouldve ordered this color for my child.”
Let’s just say that as a designer, a business owner, tough to swallow and hate this.
We researched the order and the picture we have, the top of the dress is tough, it does come out a rather more blue than green, but the details we have online says “deep dark green with aqua green polka dots.
My response was how sorry we were and how we stand behind out product and stand behind our return policy. I then gave her my personal cell number to call me so we can figure it out.
She phoned! I was so happy, I answered immediately. We spoke, she picked a new dress and HoM overnighted it to her along with a per paid envelope to return the dress that she didn’t want. And she was so great in knowing she was speaking with me and how she appreciated out customer service. More importantly, her daughter is turning 2 and will be wearing an HoM dress for her bday party and I’m happy to do that. I will refund her the money and this one is on us.
I’ve been there and purchased something off line and it’s not what I thought, and how I knew I couldn’t do anything. But you know what. I will sell that dress somewhere, and I hope that our response and my TLC will go a long way! One can only hope!