Incorporating your feedback into our plans
In August 2021, I surveyed our subscribers to learn a little bit about them and what influenced their clothing choices. I thought I’d share some of the results and respond to some of the specific requests.
What’s important to you when shopping for clothing?
I was pleased to learn that the things I value in creating clothing are the same things that you look for when buying clothes.
I value quality, fit, originality, and being Australian made. I didn’t have it among the options, but a lot of you said that you look for natural fibres – I do too!
Many of you added specific comments about supporting small local businesses, and many of you said that you liked unique styles and original fabrics, and that you got compliments whenever you wore our clothes.
What is your favourite pattern to wear?
When it comes to favourite prints, the results were quite spread. From your detailed comments we learned that many of you like bold colours, retro-inspired prints, and funky original fabrics. I love creating unique prints for our clothing ranges. I also like discovering beautiful fabrics for the Theadora Jones products.
What are you interested in hearing about?
We all love a bargain, and so it was no surprise that our subscribers are most interested in hearing about discounts and offers. People also want to see new styles. I’m now presenting the seasonal ranges in monthly instalments so you’ll see fresh options as the weather changes. Plus, I regularly add new colourways to the all-year-round offerings.
Share Your Surface Art
You also said you’re interested in craft projects. I’d love to see what you create with our fabrics. I’d also love to see how you style and wear Essaye and Theadora Jones clothing, and how you decorate your space with Surface Art cushions and fabrics.
Post your creative projects and your outfits to Instagram with the hashtag #mysurfaceartstudio. I’ll share them on our socials so we can all get some ideas.
You also said you wanted to read designer and maker profiles, so here’s our first profile.
Introducing Moyra Jones Designer
Reading the survey responses made me realise that many customers don’t know a lot about my brand and my business. For starters, did you know that I’m one-woman show? You can learn a bit about me here
I have a local pattern maker, local garment maker, local screen printer, an IT guy and a friend that helps with some copy (she put the survey together for me), but apart from that I do everything else.
I design the prints and decide on the garment styles. I cut the fabric for most of the skirts and for the Theadora Jones range. I make most of the homewares, I pick and pack the orders, I do the social media, and the list goes on.
I don’t have a team running the business, so sometimes I’m a bit limited in what I can get done.
I’m busy - but I love being busy - and I have a long list of things that I plan to do once this tricky time is behind us. Many of my plans match with your feedback.
Here are some of things that you’ve asked for and what I have planned.
Can you do smaller and larger sizes?
I’ll be making an A-line skirt and a Tilly Top in an XXS (Size 6) and an XXXXL (Size 22). I’ll see how that goes and maybe add other styles.
Can you show garments on different body shapes?
I’m planning to photograph some of the new styles on different body types. I’m interested in getting some ‘real people’ models, so if you’re Sydney-based and would like to model please let me know.
How do I know what will suit me?
I have compiled Style Guides to show which designs suit which body types, and I’ll aim to include more details in the garment descriptions and also add the models’ measurements.
I find the Medium too big, and can you label your garments 10, 12 etc
Our Small equates to a Size 10, Medium to Size 12 and so on. Our sizing is based on Australian standard measurements but none of us are ‘standard.’ Styles will suit everyone differently, and the type of fabric can also affect the fit. I try to include details about the fit in the garment description.
Garment fading and shrinkage
Many of you gave feedback about how long you have had your garments and how well they have lasted, but there were a couple of comments about fading and shrinking.
I wash-test all fabrics for shrinkage and colour fastness using cold water, a mild detergent, and a delicate wash cycle. I also recommend washing garments inside out and even better hand washing.
Studio Shop opening hours
I only open the shop on Fridays and Saturdays as I’m a one-woman business. On other days I’m busy creating products. I’m considering opening for longer on Fridays and Saturdays, and I’m in the studio shop during the week so you can get in touch and make an appointment.
Returning sale items
You can always return full-priced items for a full refund within 14 days, and I am happy to exchange or credit items from the Sale section on the website.
Items purchased in our two annual clearance sales and in the Final Sale section on the website cannot be returned; these items are heavily discounted and are sometimes below cost.
All cut fabric is also final sale and cannot be returned or exchanged, so please choose carefully.
Shapes for larger busts
A number of people asked for shapes for larger busts. This season I’ve introduced the Vee Boyfriend Tee. This V-neck tee has a much looser shape and works with pants and skirts. I’ve also made a flattering V-neck dress for summer which can be worn with or without a belt.
Sleeves too tight
A few people mentioned the sleeves on some garments being too tight. I am planning to use more stretch and jersey fabrics and I’ll also look at the sleeve width on existing styles and decide if they need to be adjusted.
Why are you doing digital fabrics and not hand screen printing now?
I still do hand screen printing with a local printer but with digitally printed fabrics I can use more colours, do different types of prints, and I love the handle (feel) of the digitally printed fabrics. So, I’ll continue to do both.
What about ethical practices?
I am committed to being an ethical and sustainable business and believe that small things can have a big impact. You can read about how I’m doing my bit here.
I’m not in Sydney but want to try on your clothes before I buy
Check our list of stockists to see if there’s one in your area.
Can you give an option to choose your length of skirt if I pre-order?
At the moment I really don’t have the capacity to offer this service.
Why can’t you come to other cities with your clearance sales?
One day I’d love to have sales in other states, but unfortunately at the moment I can’t consider it at all.
I bought some skirts a few years ago but you have changed the shapes
My A-line, Heidi, Avril and Niki skirts are all based on the same pattern, they just have different pocket styles. Over the years I’ve done some other shapes, but I have always had the same basic shape too.
If a size is out of stock, can you notify me if or when it’s back in stock?
My IT guy, Paul, has added an app to my website so now you can provide your email address to be notified when an item is back in stock. This will only be offered on the all-year-round range. With the seasonal range and Theadora Jones products, I tend not to make more unless I have some fabric left.