We'll Be Back! October 05 2015
I'm writing this note to apologize for the recent delay in fulfilling some of the outstanding orders, and my failure to communicate adequately during this period. I am sincerely sorry for any inconvenience this delay may have caused.
First of all, I'd like to assure you that all Gold Bubble orders submitted so far will be fulfilled, and we are working to make sure all current orders ship well in advance of Halloween.
Second, I must announce that on Tuesday, October 12, Gold Bubble Clothing will be closing for two weeks.
We will be using this time to catch up on outstanding orders and exchanges before taking any more orders or releasing new product.
Those of you who are still waiting for your order past our usual 2 - 4 week window are already aware of this delay, as are those of you who have inquired about things like the Space Nebula leggings or the Bored print color variants we teased earlier, but have yet to release. Rest assured that your orders will be fulfilled soon, and those items are on their way!
The longer, more involved answer is that, for the past few months, a number of personal issues have made it impossible for me to devote as much attention to Gold Bubble as I should. As many people know, Gold Bubble is a small company and I do the lion's share of the work of running it, with help from Victoria and Abby. On occasion, I hire friends to help out, or employ local contractors, but much of what goes on here can't be readily delegated.
On a number of occasions, I have said that "Gold Bubble is my life," and it's true. Designing and creating Gold Bubble clothing is my passion, and since starting this company I have put everything else, including cosplay, on the backburner. But earlier this year, close members of my family began dealing with some very serious life changing medical problems. I have tried to keep my personal life separate from Gold Bubble, but it has taken a large toll on my family and I.
I've done my best to keep up with Gold Bubble under these circumstances, relying more on outside sewing contractors, answering some customer emails on my phone and making calls to fabric suppliers from the lobby of the hospital, etc. It hasn't always worked out. Some of my contractors' work hasn't been up to our standards of quality, standards which I refuse to compromise regardless of the circumstances. Sometimes the people you count on let you down.
The good news is that, although the situation with my family is unchanged, a few burdens have lifted, giving me the breathing room I need to get my life and Gold Bubble back into balance. So I will be spending the next two weeks working to get this company back up to speed, so we can move forward for the holidays.
Again, you have my sincerest apologies for any inconvenience that has resulted from a delayed order or from the temporary closure of Gold Bubble. And you have my deepest gratitude for being a part of Gold Bubble. Some people may regard this as a business, but to me it is very personal.
Where We Are, and Where We're Going April 14 2014
Although I should be sewing right now, it has been months since my last blog post, and a report on the State Of The Bubble is long overdue. The first four months of Gold Bubble’s existence has been more of a roller coaster ride than I could ever have guessed it would be. I’m glad I didn’t know what I would be in for, or Gold Bubble might never have been born.
The last few months have been a series of massive growing pains and harsh lessons in Murphy’s Law. Over that time, we’ve had all manner of problems with our suppliers, depended on the wrong people, experienced equipment failures, and worst of all, dropped the ball when we really shouldn’t have. There is plenty of blame to go around, but ultimately the responsibility rests upon my shoulders.
As you know, we specialize in custom-printed leggings and dresses. We started Gold Bubble using fabric printing companies (one in North Carolina, one in San Francisco) to do our printing and supply us with fabric. We spent months prior to our Black Friday launch finding the best quality printers, ordering samples, adjusting our files to achieve the best output from their specific equipment, etc. We thought we would be smart by making sure we had plenty of samples printed, to ensure quality fabric and printing, and we thought it would be smarter still to rely on two separate companies, so we didn’t put all of our eggs in one basket.
The first problem came when our supplier in North Carolina delivered our fabric a month and a half late. Thank goodness we had our San Francisco company as a backup, right? The next problem came when the fabric for our January orders arrived from the San Francisco company, and we discovered that they had decided to switch to a much lower-quality fabric without warning us. In the course of less than two months, we had gone from having two suppliers to having none.
We also learned another difficult business lesson: when you pay thousands of dollars for fabric that you can’t use and can’t return, that makes it hard to afford a whole new batch of fabric (assuming you can find a new source quickly).
When we first opened Gold Bubble, we hoped to eventually acquire the equipment to produce custom printed fabric on our own. Relying on other companies to do your printing is all right in the short term, but ultimately if you want something done really well, you have to do it yourself. With the unexpectedly rapid failure of both of our suppliers, we found ourselves having to scramble to set up our own fabric printing facility much sooner than we had expected.
This meant creating a new enterprise from the ground up. We had to do everything: research industrial equipment, establish lines of credit, source fabrics, rent property… and we had to do it as quickly as possible in order to fulfill outstanding orders. And in that time, we enjoyed a spectrum of new stresses, and learned a bunch of new lessons. For example:
- When a landlord tells you his warehouse will have enough power to run your equipment, hire an electrician to confirm it before you move in.
- Getting out of a lease is harder than getting into one.
- When you hire someone to move your 3000 lb. press, make sure he’s bonded against the damage he will do to your press.
- Tech support on industrial machines might not be that great when your equipment breaks down.
- Sometimes when you pay UPS to deliver a part for your machine overnight, they end up taking several days. And you can’t do much about it.
- Having a warehouse that doesn’t have internet makes it hard to respond to social media, especially when you spend all of your time working there.
It has been a rough and rocky ride, and in hindsight, there are many things we could have done differently. But we are finally set up to produce clothing faster and at a higher quality than we ever did before. We have been cranking away literally day and night, and we are on track to be completely caught up on all of our outstanding orders well before the end of the month. By that time, we will also be building up a larger inventory so we can fulfill orders quickly.
We never thought starting a new business would be easy, but it has been more challenging than we expected. You have my sincerest apology for any delays, and my deepest appreciation for being patient with us through this time. I am firmly committed to producing the highest quality products, and to serving the needs of our customers to the best of my abilities.
Gold Bubble Week 1 December 09 2013
Things have been crazy here at the Tower Of Bubble! The launch of Gold Bubble Clothing has been bigger and more successful than we could have imagined, and we have been scrambling to catch up with the flood of orders. Gold Bubble has been a dream I've been working toward for quite some time now, and it is incredibly gratifying to see it take off this way.
Of course, no one is an island, and we owe much of the success of our launch to our friends who have generously donated their time and talent to help us out. They include our photographer, Greg, our hair/makeup team, Dawn, Chrissy, and Ashley, the gorgeous geeks who modeled our clothing, Claire Max, Jenny, Jessie, Milynn, Rileah, and Vani, and of course, Kyle, who documented the hijinks!
We would also like to thank the websites and blogs who have helped bring the news of Gold Bubble's launch to the world. If people didn't know we existed, then who would we make clothing for? Our gratitude goes to you all, including Amy Ratcliffe of Fashionably Geek, Bill Watters of Examiner.com and Geeks Are Sexy, Rebecca Pahle of The Mary Sue, Gillykins of Geek X Girls, Sebastian Haley at Downward Viral, Crystal Clark at Geek Pinata, and of course, Lindz of Set To Stunning!
Special thanks goes to Camilla d'Errico and her sister AdaPia, who generously took a chance on Gold Bubble and let us create clothing from Camilla's paintings.
The remarkable response to Gold Bubble has really inspired and motivated us! We have some great new items in the works for 2014, about which we are very excited. And we'll be working with some more great artists too!