A pattern is forming....
In my last blog entry I complained that I seemed to be losing time. I promised myself I would blog more regularly; and I've sat down tonight with that intention, only to discover once more, that its been just over a month since my last entry. OMG!
I'm finding a pattern to most of my activities these days. I'm well in truly in the routine of spending enormous hours with the store to the chagrin of my hubby, who although supportive, rarely gets more than a grunt out of me when I am at home. When I'm at home it's all about the store. When I'm at the factory it's all about our manufacturing operations. Somewhere in among all that I'm preparing quotes and talking with our valued clients. It's exhausting, but at the same time exciting.
The store has taken on a life of it's own and I have been receiving wonderful feedback from users. There is still so much to be done. I've had to become an instant expert at identifying patterns so that I can classify the 20,000 swatches we currently have on the store. In many ways I feel I'm chipping away with an ice-pick at an iceberg and I'm counting on the fact that in the end that my persistence will pay off.
If you have joined the growing ranks of the regular repeat visitors, you will no doubt have noted that the colour filter has bloated out. - We have gone from around 30 colours to around 70. This was necessary because a lot of the swatches we were importing into the store were poorly colour categorised, or not categorised at all. I spent many many hours going through the swatches and manually assigning a colour so that they would work well in the filter, but the sheer volume of swatches I had yet to process was vast. I was also finding that after several hours of non-stop colour classification, I was starting to see blues as greens and reds as pinks etc.
The good news is I found a solution to the problem. It's not perfect, but it is fascinating. The colours are now scanned by computer and classified by the CCS colour pallet. This colour pallet is much larger (around 140 colours) but it was able to tear through the 8,000 or so swatches, I had yet to classify, in a matter of hours. I'm still manually classifying colours but I'm now using some pretty cool technology to help me. Of course, I'm going to have to make many corrections. - The computer doesn't always get it right and in the end I need to reduce the total colours that are listed in the filter, but I'm going to wait till we get the majority of our swatches on board before I start consolidating colours.
That brings me on to the next bit of news. - I figure I had better mention it now, lest another month goes by and I get complaints that I should have announced it before the event.
Stay tuned over the next week or so. We will almost double the number of swatches which should bring the total number of swatches on the store to almost 40,000! ... I, for one, am hanging out to see how well the filters work with such a large inventory. The filters are about doing the heavy-lifting out of selecting fabrics, wall coverings and trimmings, reducing the candidate swatches for your projects to a manageable number.
Of course, the amount of re-classification, consolidation etc yet to be done will grow exponentially, so apologies in advance if not all the swatches are classified perfectly when the new brands are on-boarded.
I'm preparing the swatches in the background as I write. Watching them flash past me as I append the brand logos to them. We've got some great products about to go live in the next week ... so 'watch this space' as they say. .. Oh and please forgive me if I don't always get my pattern classifying spot on. I learned what a 'diaper' pattern and a 'foulard' pattern were this week (or at least I think I have them sussed out) ... I have so many patterns I have yet to assign. For each named pattern I literally scroll through every swatch and assign them one by one as I move through the inventory.. In a week, it's going to take me quite a while to work through 40,000 swatches! .. I take some small solace in the notion that provided I do a reasonable job; it is a job that will only need to be done once. ... Here's hoping that's true.
Well, this blog entry is way too long. I've once again been remiss about reporting on work at the factory and all the great clients we have been working with. ... Perhaps next time, though, to be fair, I'm a little bit myopic when it comes to the store at the moment. It's taken on a life of its own and I'm happy to stoke the coals and watch the fire take hold!
Until next time...