Thursday, October 06, 2011

A peek into the process of kokoleo personalized pieces

I haven't done an update on my personalized work lately. Every now and then I take the time to gather photos I took of my personalized pieces from their various sources (the good camera, the small camera, my phone, etc.) and put them in the proper folder to upload to the gallery on my website. I know I've forgotten to photograph a few and sometimes I find a photo of one I don't even remember making. It's like encountering old friends when they pop up in my photo files.

Roman! How's it been? It's been months since I made you. I hope you're enjoying your new home.

Lilly! Lovely Lilly, how could I have forgotten your primary colors? 

Dean! It's been weeks since I've seen your blues and greens. 

I found these in my phone :


Note to self: Always use the good camera to photograph kokoleos before wrapping them up and shipping them out.

My personalized items have been the backbone of my business since the beginning. I don't advertise my sewing services but thanks to returning customers, word-of-mouth recommendations, and the occasional Googler who finds me, I almost always have a few names on my studio to-do list. It's a manageable amount that lets me give each customer's request the personal attention it deserves.

Finding the perfect color and pattern combination is not as easy as it may seem. After I'm given a color palette to work from, I dive into my  bin-o-fabric scraps and mix-and-match various color combinations so I can offer my customers options from which to choose. Sometimes this is the most time-consuming part.  The final product comes after several back and forth emails and photos with the customer. Thankfully, camera phones have made the process much easier. I just click and send and suddenly it's as if the customer is right there with me in my studio able to give instant feedback.

For example, given the color combo of yellow, purple and green, I came up with these two options for a customer:

and after a request for some pinks and couple more tweaks, here's the final result:


Here's an Ava Mae banner in progress, given the color combo of orange, lime green, and pink:

I gave two options, vintage florals, or bold contemporary.

The customer opted for bold contemporary.When she mentioned that Ava Mae's parents call her "sweet pea" I mentioned that I just so happened to have some sweet pea fabric and we ended up with this:

Recently, a customer asked if I had any jungle print fabric with elephants and such to incorporate into a personalized pillow. I didn't, but I offered to do the entire pillow in the shape of an elephant and this guy came about:


Sometimes all it takes is a simple suggestion to take a project in a whole new direction. I love when that happens. Collaborating with customers isn't always easy though. It can be frustrating when the right colors and patterns don't come together quickly. Sometimes it takes two or three email exchanges, sometimes it takes 12 or 13. The best part though, is when I read the words, "I love it!" or "It's perfect!" It's then that I know the work was worth it. Having the customer be an integral part of the creative process is what makes a kokoleo personalized piece all the more personal. 

Want a kokoleo personalized item delivered before the holidays? Make sure to get your order in soon. And remember, fans of  kokoleo on facebook get 15% off all personalized orders (and 20% off items in my Etsy shop).


adayinthelife said...

My daughter saw her name (Audrey) and said "thats for me?". So cute. Love your creations.

Krista said...

your personalized pillows are great! Love the design process...

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