Studio Snapshots: A year of change

Scenes from the final month of a whirlwind year
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Honestly, I didn’t expect 2015 to end like this.

I remember when we were moving into our studio towards the end of last year. A visiting friend marveled at the size of it (spaces always look so much bigger when they’re empty) and said, “What, are you guys planning to hire 10 more people?”

Not at the time, no.

We were moving to a studio twice the size for two reasons. One, we’d decided to bring all of our shipping and inventory back in-house, which would take up some of that room and still save us money. Two, we knew we’d eventually need more help and it would give us room to grow over the course of a long lease term.

Little did I know that we’d go from 4 people (me, Kenn, Kris, and Meg) to 10 over the next year.

Needless to say, this has been a year of tremendous change and growth. It’s totally changed the way I work, the form of the business, what my goals are, the kinds of challenges I address. After almost seven years in this business, suddenly this year it’s all completely different.

You’d think it would be scary, but it is absolutely delightful. And that is mainly because we lucked into a team of some of the most lovely, talented, creative, caring humans I’ve met.

I hope to help you get to know them a little more in 2016, because they truly are what makes this little company tick.

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From everyone here at Colette HQ, happy new year!

Sarai Mitnick   —   Founder

Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.

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Comments 11

Kathleen tarotbykathleen.com

Beautiful photos! Every time I see pictures of your studio Sarai I am always struck with what an amazing place to work :) Seeing you and your staff altogether with your handmade celebration duds is inspiring. Happy to New Year to all of you at Colette. I can’t wait to see what 2016 brings to your spot of heaven as well :)

Pelly

Thanks for your inspiration this year – I’ve had a few changes in my life too, and a big one has been moving towards sewing my own clothes. I have been sewing homewares and children’s clothes for a long time, but this year I’ve really begun sewing for myself. I went for a Colette pattern because there was so much support and information on the internet, and I’ve gone on from there. I’m really enjoying Seamwork as a source of simple basic patterns that I know will be easy to tweak to fit my body. I’ve also found the Wardrobe Architect series helped me to pinpoint my style more accurately and inform my choice in purchasing or sewing clothes.

One question: is the sequinned dress in these photos, and on the cover of the Seamwork annual, an in-house make, and if so, what pattern and fabric did you use?

Wishing everyone in the Colette community a happy and prosperous 2016!

Haley colettehq.com

Hi Pelly! Happy New Year to you as well! The sequin dress pictured is the Akita top lengthened into a dress. We shared a tutorial on the Hart’s Fabric blog here. The simplicity of the dress works perfectly with a sequined fabric.

Rae made-by-rae.com

It’s been SO FUN to watch things unfold for you guys this year! Watching your business grow and flourish has been really wonderful. Thanks for the snapshots — looking forward to hearing more about your team and the studio in the new year. Happy New Year, Sarai!!

Mady thewardrobe-project.blogspot.gr

Happy New Year! Can’t wait to see your 2016 creative adventures!

Kathleen tarotbykathleen.com

I can’t imagine a year with more change that Colette Patterns has gone through in 2015 and reading them all in this blog post was…well mind boggling comes to mind :) Happy New Year to all of you and I look forward to reading more on what you’re all doing down there in Seattle (just a stone’s throw away from me here in Victoria BC!) this year. It’s such a tribute to your company that it can navigate such change and remain so upbeat and excited about the challenges ahead :)

BCE

Thank you for the beautiful patterns, photography and sharing of your business. Wish I could work for you remotely! ?
All the best in 2016! Can’t wait to see all your new ideas.

vicki

When I found you online…you were just beginning this journey. I have enjoyed your patterns, your inspiration, and your growth! What a wonderful team you all are, and thank you all for your creativity, beauty, and joy of being!

vicki

and your FUN!

Bobbie

I have so enjoyed getting to know your business, and philosophy this year. You have inspired me and helped me to enjoy my sewing more, made me see that even with my imperfect, overweight, 60+ year old body that style does not have to be abandoned. Also made me wish that I had had the encouragement and direction of people like you when I was young and the only woman my age who thought sewing was still important. Thanks for the inspiration!

Shuna

I wish you another very good and even better 2016! It is inspiring to see a group of women going forth successfully in a business, especially in sewing, which I love.

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