I have to be honest with you and state that this is not yet a business.
The truth is that I’m working on prototyping several designs for Saddle Sacks and would like help developing them into a full-fledged product. Which is the purpose of this statement.
I’m interested in micro-entrepreneurial ventures, and this is one of those that I am working on.
Reclaim Fashion: Description
I call this venture Reclaim Fashion
and I’m hoping to eventually model it after what is known as a “worker-cooperative”. In a worker cooperative, the company is owned and managed by its workers. Although the people involved in such a cooperative have different responsibilities and work that they do, they all benefit from the company’s success according to their level of involvement. Profits from the sales of Saddle Sackswould be distributed according to the amount and value of time spent on the project (to be decided by all). Here’s a link to the Wikipedia article if you’d like to read more about worker cooperatives: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worker_cooperative
I say “eventually” because I’m not at that stage of development yet, and I may never be. For the near future, I’ll need to retain some control over the production, marketing, and sales of Saddle Sacks until the business can be shown to be profitable and sustainable in the medium-long term. Local seamstresses make ’em. I buy ’em and sell ’em.
What We’re Making: Saddle Sacks:
Saddle Sacks (as I call them) are cargo pockets that are separate from the clothing, so they can be added to (and removed from) an outfit as needed. They can serve as purse, fanny pack, utility belt, bag, what have you, and I have found them to be extremely useful. Designed to fit in with the clothing a person wears, they have the functionality of the above items while camouflaging as part of the pants or shorts.
So far, I’ve made two prototypes: The Liberator, and Saddle Sacks Minis.
Here’s a link to Examples of The Liberator
. In brief, these Saddle Sacks are designed to be placed over the clothing as a belt. They’re useful in completely replacing the need for a purse or small bag. I’ve worn them for months while living and working in Oakland and traveling the country-side for a month and carried: a full-sized journal, harmonica, wallet, Iphone, lighter, and small notebook in individual pockets, as well as had room for many other trinkets.
SS Minis: This is a more recent prototype and are more useful for everyday use as they are less conspicuous and less cumbersome (The Liberator, fully loaded, weighed in at ~5lbs). They consist of a single cargo pocket that loops through the belt to sit on the hip. I’ve worn these every day for about a month now, and most people don’t even realize that they are a separate article of clothing. Right now, they were made so that the same belt that holds up my pants is looped through the Saddle Sacks, but I’d like to have them more easily removable with a button-snap that loops up and over the belt instead.
What I Need Seamstresses For:
More prototyping and manufacturing of Saddle Sacks. I’ve created 3 sets of Saddle Sacks personally, and had an additional 4 made for me by a young seamstress.
I need about 10-20 pairs to start selling. While I can use a sewing machine and needle and thread, I am by no means an expert, and I know that someone with experience would be much faster and create a much better version.
Starting with a used pair of cargo shorts or pants, follow the basic pattern / instructions to create a pair ofSaddle Sacks, noting (and making) improvements to both the design AND the instructions. Take pictures of the process so that others can more easily follow the instructions. An experienced crafter can make a pair in ~45min-1hour. I’m sure you might be able to do better.
As I said earlier, I would eventually like to share profits across the board. Until I have this project up and running, though, I am proposing paying $10-15 per pair of Saddle Sacks of either design — depending on the quality of the work and complexity of the resulting product (extra pockets, key-loops, etc).
This way, you get compensated right away for your work, and I can go and market them and sell them for $20-40 to get my share. I am working on direct-sales (Etsy and Amazon) and getting them into several brick-and-mortar stores in Sacramento and the Bay Area.
To guarantee quality, I propose to pay you upon receipt of the product and we can agree on appropriate compensation.
Depending on your preference and logistics, you can craft a number of them, box them up, and send them to me, or I can come pick them up all at once. I live about an hour west of Sacramento, so depending on cost, I may prefer mailing over driving. I would, of course, compensate you for the cost of shipping.
Crafters will be connected with each other via Skype or in person in order to better collaborate on the design and creation process.
I wrote this and sent it to about 5 prospective crafters after they responded to a Craigslist ad (http://sacramento.craigslist.org/crg/3905595128.html
) I posted. I continue to receive messages regarding the post, and plan on talking with several this week either on the phone or in person.