Despite the gloomy weather here in Portland, Spring has definitely begun to emerge from it’s Winter hibernation. The tree’s are starting to bud, cherry blossoms in bloom, and tulips popping up all over town. The NW is wet, what can I say but these small indications of Spring have me giddy with anticipation for the impending sunshine.
That said, the time has come to start thinking about Spring wardrobes for your tiny (yet no doubt fashionable) tots!! Little Pea’s debut collection for Spring 10 is officially been released! I have been busy shipping wholesale orders and prepping our newly launched e-commerce store! The store is stocked with limited quantities of our top sellers from the Spring Collection and we couldn’t be more excited about the launch. In fact, between a few unexpected wholesale orders and direct to customer business we are already sold out of multiple items!! However, I am pleased to say that back up orders have been placed so if a sold out item catches your eye please contact me as they might be back in stock very soon. 🙂
In addition to the launch of the store, I am already working on the Spring 11 Collection! Designs are set and fabrics being slated as we speak. Expect more of what I feel makes Little Pea special – sweet and feminine detailing, playful prints, and bright color. I can’t wait to start previewing what’s cooking – so make sure to become a Facebook Fan to stay abreast of what’s new and exciting in the collection. I am constantly updating the fanpage with news and often post pics of current and upcoming pieces! All fun stuff, so sign up today!
With the release of my Fall collection to sales just around the corner, I have been up to my ears in it. So my dears, I am very sorry for the lack of posts this past few weeks. However, as I prep for the release of my 2nd collection I have been spending some time reflecting on my experiences from last season and planning my road map for Little Pea in 2010.
As with all new business ventures my launch season brought a heightened understanding of the industry as well as it’s buying habits and with this newfound knowledge I have been able to”reboot” in a sense. That said, I have been tediously working on building relationships within the industry and ensuring that I partner with people and groups that understand and align with the vision I have for Little Pea.
First and foremost has been the addition of a new sales rep, Terra Fazio of Thread Showroom in NY. Thread Showroom represents several stellar lines such Saurette, Lucky Jade, and Misha Lulu; all brands that I admire and strive to align myself with. I strongly feel, Terra has the industry know how and connections I need to elevate Little Pea to the next level. She will be representing the collection in the north and southeastern US and I cannot wait to see what she and her team have cooking for 2010.
I also want to mention that last season, I was able secure Shelley Ermigarat of Paperdoll Style for West Coast representation. Her enthusiasm and insight have been invaluable and I feel so lucky to have been able to develop this partnership. Shelley if you are reading this – thanks so much for all of your support thus far!! With 2 great reps behind us, my hopes for this season are riding high and I feel confident that sales and brand recognition will grow exponentially with the help of these fabulous ladies.
I have also been busy developing the social media side of Little Pea and find this element so fascinating – and fun! In addition to the blog, we now have a presence on Facebook as well as on Twitter. Both platforms have really provided me with an opportunity to network with like businesses, build relationships, as well as reach out to current and potential customers. Plus, I am able to keep “fans” updated on current and exciting Little Pea news!!
Personally, I will continue to promote the brand here and around Portland and have been reaching out to local boutiques in regards to placements as well as planning trunk shows. I am also hoping to become more involved in Portland based Networking groups, such as the Power Mob of which I am a member. One event, I am really looking forward to is a TV appearance on Keep it Local, a program which highlights local and mom-owned businesses. I am booked for the 1/25 segment and will be chatting about my experiences starting a business here in Portland as well as showcasing my Spring Collection which will be available for sale in March. There are truly so many outlets to explore here in town and I am constantly surprised by the local support.
So there you have it, a hefty write up but my 2010 plans in a nutshell. We have our work cut out for us but we plan to go at it with gusto. Check back for updates as I will no doubt be sharing news with you as the year progresses.
With the Thanksgiving holiday past, the reality of getting back to work has hit with a full blown fury. It was nice to have a few days off but today I embark on yet another stage in the evolution of Little Pea. First off, the production phase for the Spring Collection has officially begun. Fabric and trim orders have been placed and production time booked at our fabulous sewing facility located here just outside “sunny” Portland. 🙂 I must admit having selected a locally based facility to produce the line is one of the best decisions I have made thus far. Keeping production local has been beneficial in so many ways. For starters, I am able to visit the factory pretty much at the drop of a hat. When samples are complete or if we hit a design hiccup I can be reviewing the garments within 30 minutes (quick and efficient, I like it!!). In addition, I am able to execute my own inline inspections which allows me to better control the quality and workmanship of the product. Having spent over a decade sourcing overseas, I have had my fair share of products arrive at the DC with quality issues so being able to inspect the line myself was a must especially in these early days. Design and quality must go hand in hand. In addition, sourcing here in the NW has provided me with the opportunity to support and meet other locally owned businesses. Portland, has been such a wonderful and welcoming place to start a company. In so many ways I have been able to draw upon it’s extensive network of apparel, marketing, and design (just to name a few) companies and all have been more than willing to provide feedback in regards to my collection as well as share contacts. By working locally, I feel like I am in a way giving back to the community while also doing my part in contributing to a greater collaborative effort. Plus, who doesn’t want to support US based business, right?
In addition to the Spring production cycle, I am well into sampling for the Fall collection. I can’t believe I am only a few months out from our next market date. Little Pea will be showing at ENK in March Hooray!! So, the next few weeks are critical for me as I want to follow up our debut collection with an equally stunning Fall Collection. I have previewed the prints with my reps and several colleagues to a great response and am really looking forward to seeing how the collection comes together. In addition to the clothes, I am working on website enhancements, Fall marketing collateral, and promoting the Spring Collection. Quite frankly, I am one busy mama but loving and learning every step of this crazy journer! All exciting stuff, indeed – so check back as I will be posting more information as the season develops!!
Hope you all had a fabulous Turkey Day. I know I certainly did and am now reflecting on just how much I have to be thankful for. 2 wonderful children, an equally wonderful husband, and a growing business. Wow! Who could ask for anything more, right? Okay, yes times can be tough- as a small start up business my days are often spent well, how can I say this – juggling!! Juggling my responsibilities as a mother, wife, designer, CEO, sourcing manager – you name it I probably fill the role. I wear many hats and constantly going, going, going. However, despite the constant movement I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity and I am so looking forward to watching Little Pea grow and mature. So to all of my family and friends (old and new) out there. Thanks so much for all the love. I truly find the outreach of support amazing. Since the start of this venture, friends have come out the woodwork to congratulate me, family and friends stepped up to help with design (thanks Kari!!) and technical support (thanks Jon!!), and my Facebook fans continue to grow (thanks fans!!). So here is a special post Thanksgiving shout out to all of you. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your support and encouragement! Little Pea would surely not be where it is today without all of you!!
It’s going to be a busy week here at Little Pea. Currently, we are in the midst of prepping for the Fall 2010 Collection. My desk is piled with swatches, button samples, and trims and I must admit I am pretty psyched about the prints slated for the new collection. Sampling has started and I can’t wait to see the 1st round of samples. The receipt of new proto samples always marks a major milestone for developers it’s seriously like being 8 years old again, ripping boxes open on Christmas day. The anticipation and excitement – gotta love it! Can’t wait to see how it all comes together.
In addition to the Fall development, my Spring selling cycle officially ends tomorrow. My awesome rep, Shelley from Paperdoll Style has been hard at work showing the collection and hopefully will have a few more PO’s for me come tomorrow. Yeah Shelley, you rock! Next step, placing my materials orders, and officially starting production. I am planning on producing some additional inventory to sell direct to consumers so if you are interested in purchasing anything from the line please let me know.
Seriously folks, it seems like it is all coming together. Just goes to show that hard work, determination, and several sleepless nights can go a long way. Little Pea is my dream and slowly but surely it has become reality. Thank you to all of my friends and family for all of their support over the last 9 months and a special thank you to my husband Nic who has stood by my side every step of the way. I am a very lucky lady, indeed.
Welcome to the Little Pea Blog! First off an introduction, for those of you new to Little Pea my name is Sara McMahon and I debuted the collection this past August. So far we are off to a great start, the line has been well received by retailers as well as the press. All in all, I am thrilled with the buzz and am happy to announce I have a few projects cooking for when the line ships this Spring. Yeah! My original thought for the blog was to keep friends (and fans!) abreast of what was happening with the brand. However, I am also hoping to connect with other mommies and make new friends all while publicizing the brand. So here we go, welcome to my little space of the blogosphere! Please come back often, as I will be posting collection updates, as well as other bits and bobs that capture my fancy.
So long for now…until I post again!