I selected the colors for the final label and here is what they represent to me. The red color for "Kan" symbolizes good fortune and prosperity in many Asian cultures. While the gold color for "designs" symbolizes the richness of the Japanese culture and aesthethics that influence many of my designs. The gold also compliments the many gold outlined fabrics we select for our wraps. The white color for "made in the usa" represents purity and the fact that these wraps are made proudly in the USA. The black color for the label background represents the visual balance when the three other colors are combined. These colors are also represented in my show display with similar meanings.
What do we "Kan"s know about manufacturing these tool and bead wraps? Am I not a jewelry designer, glass bead maker, and writer with an ex-engineer status? What else do I have up these sleeves of mine. (looking up sleeves)
Uhmmm... I won't tell if you won't!
My sister Sandy and I have combined our knowledge to develop these wraps. Sandy loves to sew and I love COLOR/texture/textiles. It was very clear that the introduction of this line would have the influence of Japanese print fabrics and aesthetics which has come to greatly influence my work. We may also venture into Victorian and Art Nouveau fabric prints. These historical eras also influence my design sensibilities. And it is with these influences that we present the Kan Designs signature "look". It is all about quality and functionality as well as the careful balance between price and affordability. These wraps are cut and sewn one at a time by ONE person, Sandy. I warned her that she will need to bring along a staff soon once the line takes off. We have many ideas of other wrap ideas to introduce this year. There are so many beautiful fabrics we have yet to explore! How utterly exciting to see the product being created from start to finish. By manufacturing in house, we have more control on the quality.
We learned our skills from our master sensei - otherwise known as Dad. My parents operated textile manufacturing facilities throughout the 80's to late 90's for a few Los Angeles based clothing design firms. These firms supplied high end fashions and ready to wear designs to fine department stores. My father is a master tailor who is mostly self-taught. He can look at any outfit and recreate it. His skills were highly sought after for creating production samples for the showroom. My parents have since retired from production work and operating the manufacturing facility. However, we still have access to much of the machinery required.
Of course... huh?
Now do you see how we came to design these tool wraps... let me summarize the events of the last few years culminating to where we are now!
The engineer becomes a glass bead maker... who begins to do silversmithing and wireworking...who begins to seed bead on a challenge from a customer... who gives up engineering... then begins to write... writes a book... continues to write articles... then uncovers precision engineering tools that will make everyone's wirework even more EXCELLENT... next becomes the exclusive distributor of said tools to the bead and jewelry field...
Uhmmm... there's more...
Then goes back into time and rediscovers her family's roots in textile manufacturing to introduce an innovative beautiful tool and bead wrap design with her sister. The connection is finally clear... (this girl gets herself in a lot of trouble it seems!)
Maybe the Kan sisters DO know something about manufacturing and developing beautiful tool and bead wraps. Do you see the progression of events?
Below is a sampling of the new Robert Kaufman fabrics for our next wrap launch in Santa Fe. Seven of the fabrics below will be converted to both the small and medium wraps. Ooooh...
Also, check out the five new fabrics from Kona Bay waiting to be converted to beautiful tool wraps too but will be launched in May or April. Sandy does need time off to sleep you know.
In Santa Fe we will have more of the small and less of the medium size so if you come early you get first dibs. The fabrics in the launch will be on the website catalog. So as to not kill Sandy from sewing, sewing and sewing... we are launching select fabrics each month or show. She can only sew so fast and makes every one of the wraps on her "off" hours while holding a full time job working for the City of Los Angeles. How does she do that?
Well, we inherited our extreme work ethic from our parents!. I handle all other logistics for the wraps like ordering and selecting the beautiful fabrics. I get to work directly with the manufacturers, research and ogle lots of beautiful textiles! I also serve as the "slave driver" to ensure we have sufficient stock for the online store, the shows and wholesale accounts.
Five new fabrics from Kona Bay with closeups
(with more on the way!)