Don't you just love it when everything falls together nicely, as if you planned it that way? Karma, baby, karma.
The toddler and I arrived in front of our friend's apartment around 10:30pm and whaddya know there was a free parking spot sitting in front of the building! Anyone who has ever driven in the city understands my excitement.
I spent the first half of the day in the garment district. I love it there. I think I must have spent about 93.4% of the time that I lived in the city in that neighborhood. The energy is addictive. Just walking down the street you see so much going on. You look up into the windows and you see people hard at work doing all the millions of little things it takes to keep a line and company going. After work you mingle with others who are in the same industry and talk about the ups and downs of your work over a glass of wine or martini or a badly needed glass of water because you've been so busy all day you didn't get a chance to sit and drink any during the day.
I had a few appointments set up first thing the next morning to work with some trim vendors on applique design. The first place I went to ended up being a goldmine and I didn't need to go to any of the other appointments. I knew that this particular company had a large library from which to look through for inspiration and ideas and had planned it to be my first stop. The other 2 are much smaller companies at higher price points and were more of a backup plan just in case.
So I went to my favorite button shop Botani (on 36th b/w 7th and 8th) to work with my favorite button guy, Hector. Hector is awesome. He is patient and has a great eye for color and details. He also understands the limitations I have with childrens wear and the CPSIA requirements. In about 30 minutes we had defined all the buttons needed for the line. On top of the great customer service Botani is also very reasonably priced!
One word of advice for those of you who are going to be spending time in factories and such. Bring hand sanitizer. And a dust mask if you are so inclined. I know that the perception people have is that these places are glamorous offices with white walls where you are seated and given a cup of coffee while they cater to you.
Ahem. No. Not even close.
These places are filled with dust from the cutting and sewing and handling of fabrics and trims as well as the millions of containers that hold things. Many times you are directed to a rack or closet that holds their samples and you need to manually go through it. And remember that rents are high and space is at a premium so many places use as much space as they can. So, you may find yourself looking through a closet full of samples that is in the hallway and in front of the elevators. This is their "showroom". And every once in a while you may need to move out of the way for someone who needs to get by.
The toddler has asthma and I just happen to carry child-size masks in my bag (thank you, H1N1). She thinks they're cool looking because of the Disney characters on the front so she doesn't mind wearing them when I ask. Whew!
So, everything that I thought would take a minimum of 2 days to complete was done in 1 morning. What a great feeling that was. I should also add that my schedule is always at the mercy of my toddler's mood. So, I always have to plan extra time to figure in sleepiness, tantrums and such. :) I'm a momma and you gotta do what you gotta do!