The other day I attended an e-commerce seminar here in Joburg, and one guy said something that stuck with me: "All businesses are built on a series of mistakes".
This is kind of obvious, of course - but in building Wrapt I am struck anew every day by the endless number of decisions that have to be taken - and the perspective he offers embraces the fact that some of those decisions will be wrong - will be "mistakes" - and that they, like the good ones, could act as building blocks.
Which is all a preamble to a decision we've made to approach our first summer collection in an almost purely "knit to order" way. This has been the plan in the online space all along, but offline we've wavered between making to order and having at least some stock.
So this time around, for our pop-up at the end of this week, we have made samples of all the garments, in a range of sizes and a small number of colours. They are available to be tried on - and then we will go on to knit in response to orders received.
Will it work? Time will tell - but for the moment the logic feels sound: we think it makes for less waste and more choice.
The less waste bit makes us happy: we are, after all, committed to ethical and sustainable fashion.
The more choice bit makes us happy too, and we hope our customers will like it! Here is a bit of math that blows my mind: if we offer, say, 15 garments for summer, in 6 sizes (XS to XXL) and 8 colours then making just one of each possible combination of style. size and colour would mean making 720 garments!
There are two possible solutions to this as far as we can see: offer fewer things in fewer sizes and only two or three colours - or make to order.
So we're opting for the "more choice" route for now. I guess in six months or so we'll know if it's the right decision - or the kind of mistake that businesses are built on. :-)