Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Annoying Purses and the Importance of Prototypes

Vacation season is coming up, and I tend to make a purse just for me to take on vacation. Often when I make a purse it goes onto my website or into a store, and I put a tag on them as soon as they are done, and wave goodbye. Sometimes that makes me feel a little meloncholy, as the last bit of a favorite fabric makes its way out of my life.

Tara and I many times talk about burnt toast- I think the saying comes from when the mom of the family eats the toast that got a little more done than anyone likes it to avoid wasting the food. I have a friend that used to always eat what she called "rescue fruit"- it was nearly rotten , with parts that needed to be cut off, but she ate the good parts to avoid the waste and leave the good stuff for her kids. Anyway, Tara and I use "burnt toast" to describe stuff we make that is ok and usable, but maybe not quite what we would want it to be if we were selling it.

I decided to make myself a new purse, this time using a fabric I love, and this one was not going to be burnt toast! As I was planning out the bag, I found a pair of handles that matched the fabric wonderfully, and decided to use them. Here is the bag I made, and I love it!Here's the catch: I should not have used little tabs to connect the handles! Those handles are now free to rotate and they are so annoying I want to scream! I was so sad, thinking, here I had these grand plans, and have made myself burnt toast! I have pretty much always kept the first bag made using every design I come up with (except where the design was for a custom, or someone saw the picture and wanted it badly!). I guess this experience showed me why that is a good idea- to make new designs and test them out myself before I send them out into the world. I would have hated for someone else to be as annoyed by this lovely purse as I am!

So this afternoon in my break between my son's football camp and his band camp, I am going to make a little sleeve that will be as long as that bottom part of the handle, and redo that part of the bag. Hopefully that will fix it, and I won't have to feel like I am eating that old burnt toast again.


Anonymous said...

I have to admit - I'm a burnt toast mom. :)

I like the idea of applying that to business. I usually give my prototype to someone else so I can get an objective opinion and hear fresh ideas on how to make it better. In this case, my kids and step-kids get the burnt toast! They love it, tho, because they get free stuff and all they have to do is give me an opinion on what can make it better.

too funny - at the dinner table, I eat the burnt toast. For my business, my kids eat the burnt toast!

Swapna said...

Good luck...despite the problem, it is a very attractive bag :)

WillOaks Studio said...

I really enjoyed reading about the process your new bag required AND the parts about seeing was didn't work quite right...and how to try to improve it!! Terrific (and a cute bag too!)