December’s Challenges

As part of our WEARsustain funding, which runs until the end of February 2018, each month we fill a report detailing our “Challenges” and “Remedies”.

You can read our earlier reports here:
September 2017:
October 2017:
November 2017:

We make technology for you

CHALLENGE: What is our main story-line, and what is the moral of this story?

The closer we’ve come from proposing the shop to it being something that exists in the world, the more the individual parts of the story are becoming apparent, and the more we realize we need to pick one main story-line.

Here are some of the story-lines we’ve been able to tear apart from the bigger picture:

– The Artist’s Fairytale (the humanity fairytale)
– Small scale local production Economy Fairytale
– The Craft-Craftsman’s Fairytale
– The Activist’s, The Craft-revolutionist’s Fairytale

REMEDY: Experiment

At the moment we are torn between the weights of these different story-lines, which are not as separate as they might seem in the above listing. We are also experiencing the value of “acting them out” as an opportunity to test them on the stage of the tailor shop. So our remedy to this challenge for now is simply to start experimenting, and keep reflecting and discussing. But also not to keep this open for too much longer. By mid January, our first Shoptalk discussion event, we want to have this be a coherent story.

CHALLENGE: How to communicate our fairytale???

REMEDY: Wait and prepare and discuss in the shoptalk

First we need to decide on what the is the main story-line of our fairytale and then figure out a clear way of telling it. Here are some of the props we’re preparing to help us think things through, but also to test on potential customers and get their feedback. The monthly shoptalk series is also a chance to talk/discuss openly about our intention and behind the scenes outside of the fairytale of the shop.

Shoptalk discussion series poster with narrative arc:
KOBA - A Fairytale in 3 Acts

“What can we make for you” diagram on the blackboard

Framed examples
KOBA photo frames

Window display

KOBA exmples

Hour price for Opening Collection items
Hours of labor

CHALLENGE: Tailoring Technology

We are (in fact!) novice tailors, and we know we will struggle to produce custom patterns in an efficient (and enjoyable) workflow for each idea that comes through the door. How can we prepare ourselves for this?

REMEDY: Draw upon our Home Hub Textilburg

One of the biggest benefits of the WEARsustain funding so far has been our ability to work with our Home Hub Textilburg to talk through pattern development and learn from them. We had now the first test workflow with the KOBA uniform production. We are now discussing to create a basic style library with sized patterns for both man and woman so we have something to start with when we receive the commission. More will come in January.

CHALLENGE: WEARsustain bureaucracy

Of course it takes time to get used to a new system. Lots of emails, monthly reporting, and the mid-term review. The last months our monthly report was always a struggle to copy paste together from our already ongoing writing and documentation, and to paste it into a form that did not accommodate embedding of images, illustrations, links, and video made this a very non-visual experience. Plus what we wrote there was red by people we don’t know and we never hear back. A bit like writing to the void.

REMEDY: Don’t get distracted, focus on creating content that matters. In our case this also means content we can share as part of our story.

For this month we decided to make the report public and use our What happened in December? posting as our report. In addition we wrote up two more posts to capture:
December’s Challenges:
How sustainable and ethical have we been?:
And there are always tons of photos of our process in this Flickr group: