018 – Elizabeth Gillett of Elizabeth Gillett – Artwork, One Scarf at a Time

Surface design and embellishments in scarves and loose apparel…

Elizabeth Gillett, Founder/Creative Director of Elizabeth Gillett (luxury, contemporary scarves & cover-ups for women, designed exclusively in NYC – bio), joins hosts Stephanie Benedetto and Samanta Cortes at the MouthMedia Network Studios.

A lost scarf starts a business, limited runs, and infinite possibilities

Gillett discusses her success in spite of no background in fashion or business, being and expert in surface design and embellishments, how she started the company, the desire for an oversize, tactile, soft, comfortable scarf, how she got her first orders and fulfilled them, and transitioning her business one scarf at a time. Stephanie and Samanta receive gifts of personally selected limited run scarves, and how craftsmen allow Gillett to do small run artwork in the form of scarves. Soft accessories allow anyone to easily to bring something for someone. From an idea in Gillett’s mind to being worn by someone. Transitioning from hand application to printers and mills. How as a fine artist the toolbox is infinite, how textiles offer a 2D plane to explore possibilities because the material changes the design when it is applied. Knitting required help working side by side.

Producing in India, transitioning the business, and producing-to-order

Why India became an inspiring resource, low minimums, the process from concept to manufacturing, how weather changes in India affect design choices, how Gillett thinks in the finished project, and the value of seeing the manufacturing in India in person. The best go-to colors and techniques, woven MicroModal, and a delicious and surprising snack. Moving her studio from her bathtub to The Garment Center then to China then to India, why she stayed in India, the cost of transitioning a business, what happens to unused designs, producing-to-order for efficiency and being waste-free, the boutique part of business as a testing ground, and issues with grey goods and stability and dependability.

Speed to market, inviting naked people, and the fuel of inspiration

The see now/buy now impact on business in shrinking of timeline, and retailers taking longer risk by waiting longer and purchasing items with shorter turnaround, speed-to-market and supply chain shifts, the most difficult parts of the business, why numbers matter, and keeping it simple. Personal questions with “Remnants” cover inspiration, sharing with others, bracelet sales lead to candy, entrepreneurialism leads to social interactions, the draw of New York City, inviting naked people to a party, the fuel of inspiration, and a survival anniversary.

 

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