We finally got to do some serious fabric shopping and the experience was so exciting but so overwhelming.
Once again, Mila woke up at 2 am the night before we were leaving for our trip to LA (and our alarms were set for 3 am). I really think she knows when we have plans and chooses the right time to test us. I feel like all babies do that, haha! So our day started out exhausting but we were still excited to get going.
We don't know the different parts of LA well so we just started at the top of our list of places to visit without knowing what we were getting ourselves into. The first place we went was in downtown LA, which to my surprise was filled with wholesale type places with people driving pretty recklessly and of course, there was NO parking. Finally we were able to squeeze into the tightest spot and headed in to the fabric store.
I walked in, and was immediately overwhelmed and also learned I was a little claustrophobic. Rolls and rolls of fabric everywhere, two floors, hidden rooms, and an alley way just FILLED with any type of fabric you could think of, except for the one we were really looking for, haha! I also learned that wholesalers move fast, they want to know exactly what you want and give it to you so you can be on your way. Well, I wouldn't say all, but this particular one did. Since it was our first stop, we had no idea what to expect and were just hoping someone would be able to guide us in the right direction. I decided to leave this place because for some reason, it was giving me some kind of anxiety. The tight spaces, lack of service, millions of fabric rolls, and Mila's Daniel Tiger playing in the background was just too much at one time...or maybe I was hungry? haha!
I don't know what it was about that place and that specific area of LA, but I felt defeated and wanted to go home and start again another day. Obviously, we can't do that, so instead, we got some DELICIOUS pizza and went on to the second shop. This place was AMAZING, we got the one on one service we were hoping for and found almost everything we needed. The lady was super nice and gave us tons of tips, it was an overall great experience and totally made me feel better about everything I was trying to do.
The next place, again, wasn't the easiest. It almost feels like they know we need them, so they feel as though they are able to treat us however they want. We also got the feeling this place of business would take advantage of us because they kept asking how new we were and how many shops we'd scouted out. Moving on, the fourth place was another success! Hallelujah! Super easy, they had a nice showroom, and we just went in and chose our swatches and were on our way.
All in all, it was a pretty successful trip. There are a couple things we still haven't found for our first collection but I can't imagine it being that easy on the first try. The most important thing I learned from this trip is that I can't be intimidated by these men and I need to grow some thick skin if I want to hustle in the business world, aka, the wholesale world of fashion.