I’ve hesitated to post one of these “Year In Review” type posts because quite honestly this has been a terrible year, and nobody wants to be a party-pooper, right?! However, I'd like to explain a few things, and it’s kinda hard to do that without going into a bit of background detail. Our first year in business should have been all kinds of awesome, but it has not worked out that way!
Okay, where to begin…let’s start with the big one:
Wondering why we still only have a few products? Well, I’ve been trying to get my geek clothing designs into production for almost 3 years. I wanted to manufacture in Britain, but 99% of British factories wouldn’t even return my calls/emails. I stuck with it, eventually a handful agreed to give me a quote. However, four UK firms let me down one after the other, amounting to 7 months wasted time. So much for manufacturing locally eh?!
This year I *finally* found a British factory that made good quality samples, could produce what we wanted, and deliver a quick turnaround. Only…they didn’t.
Our first collection of shirts was due to launch at the end of August 2017. As I write this post in December, we are *still* waiting for some of that first order to arrive, and I’ve just been told it won’t be completed until at least the 3rd week of January 2018. (We've been given so many delivery dates, I'm taking that with a pinch of salt.)
The whole point of starting off with 6 designs was to give us a collection of shirts to launch Prophecy Girl as a brand, do a proper photoshoot, and hopefully get featured on geek fashion websites. However, with delivery dates put back time and again, and stock arriving in dribs & drabs, that wasn’t possible. When some of the shirts did eventually arrive (months late), many had problems, some had even been cut out upside down! They had to be sent back, leaving us waiting again. Events and marketing opportunities came and went.
Manufacturing in Britain has proved to be a total nightmare.
At times, it's felt like everything that could possibly go wrong, has gone wrong. Snags are to be expected of course, but we've suffered a host of manufacturing problems this year: one factory had a fire and our pin badges went up in smoke, another took 3 attempts to make one pin design correctly, a third factory sent half our order damaged. Our first printed apparel was 6 weeks late arriving, and the shirts…well, they are so far behind schedule at this point that it’s beyond a joke.
The pin badges and vest tops were only supposed to plug the gap while we waited for our first shirts to arrive; they were never intended to be the mainstay of our business. So when *those* manufacturers let us down too, it felt like we couldn’t get anything right!
With our signature products endlessly delayed, Prophecy Girl couldn’t attend any events in 2017 or book anything for 2018. So we've missed a lot of sales & marketing opportunities - not good for a new business. Trying to advertise the same handful of things over & over again, while competitors have launched dozens of products to great applause, has been a frustrating and dispiriting experience. So thanks for sticking with Prophecy Girl for so long, because honestly I’m amazed we haven’t bored you to death!
Highest of fives to the amazing fans we have picked up along the way this year; those of you who have shared our posts and photos have kept hope alive! With only a few hundred followers on social media, Prophecy Girl is at a significant disadvantage - we need all the love we can get. For example, Instagram gives extra tools to businesses with 10k+ followers; however, at our current rate of growth, it would take 42 YEARS to reach that threshold. Eek!
Meantime, I’ve seen businesses that started out around the same time prosper, their social media accounts flourishing, while Prophecy Girl has remained stagnant. It's been pretty discouraging.
Prophecy Girl has been running to stand still in 2017; I'm acutely aware that we need to do *so* much better. Dealing with the deluge of manufacturing problems, it's been a real challenge to make any sales at all. I’m honestly grateful for every single order, no matter how small. THANK YOU!
All of this took place against the backdrop of a horrible year for me personally (coming on the tail of 10 horrible years if we’re counting). Prophecy Girl was supposed to be my fresh start but it hasn’t worked out that way. I try not to dwell on personal stuff but events beyond my control have swallowed the past few years. It has been extremely tough to keep going, so here's hoping 2018 treats us all better. It would certainly be nice to catch a break for once!
On a positive note, I went along to my very first convention this year and absolutely *loved* it. There aren't many events within easy traveling distance, but I definitely want to get to more cons. Being surrounded by stuff I’ve loved my whole life, and a building full of enthusiastic geeks, was amazing. It would be wonderful to take Prophecy Girl on the road and meet some of our customers in person.
We have lots more designs ready to go into production, if we can just find a reliable manufacturer. I can't wait to bring you shiny new things! Hopefully our current product range will take off, and enable us to invest in more stock.
I hope that you’ll stick with us just a little bit longer. If you do happen to like the things we’ve made so far, it would be lovely if you could share them with your girl gang, pop a review on the Prophecy Girl FB page or recommend us to your favourite fandom accounts.
Here's hoping well all have a better 2018!
|XS||UK 6||US 2||48cm||56.5cm|
|S||UK 8||US 4||50cm||56.5cm|
|M||UK 10||US 6||51cm||57.5cm|
|L||UK 12||US 8||53cm||58.5cm|
|XL||UK 14||US 10||55cm||59cm|
|2XL||UK 16||US 12||58cm||60.5cm|
|3XL||UK 18||US 14||61cm||60.5cm|
|4XL||UK 20||US 16||64cm||62cm|
|XS||Fits chest 32-34"|
Fits chest 34-36"
Fits chest 36-38"
Fits chest 38-40"
Fits chest 40-42"
Fits chest 42-44"
|XS||21"- 24" waist|
|S||24"- 28" waist|
|M||28" - 31" waist|
|L||31" - 34" waist|
|XL||34" - 37" waist|
|2XL||37" - 42" waist|
|3XL||42" - 46" waist|
Inside leg measurements: full-length = approx. 28 inches, 3/4 approx. 16 inches.