Welcome to Dobbin!
April 27, 2012 § 1 Comment
I know, I know, I’ve been MIA. But there’s a good reason. I started my own business! As of yesterday we’re up and running. Welcome to Dobbin Clothing!
Dobbin was an idea hatched a few years ago, that my partner Catherine Doyle, and I decided to make a reality in the past 6 months. We felt that for women with real bodies who wanted to dress elegantly but comfortably in quality clothing were underserved. Contemporary apparel businesses serve the young, slim-hipped and trendiest of dressers, as do fast fashion stores. Big box stores and longstanding chains often miss the mark in terms of style and quality. Of course on the high-end, there more options for the professional woman with casual wardrobe needs, but they cost a lot.
Dobbin is an old English term for workhorse. We want Dobbin’s clothing to be the workhorses of your wardrobe. Our line is made of high-end Italian stretch fabrics and is carefully cut to flatter a woman’s bust, back, arms, waist, hips, and thighs. The tops are longer (many of them have shirttail backs for extra coverage) the fabrics are super soft and stretchy, the pants have a higher rise and an amazing fit, and the dress is already turning out to be a hot seller. I hope you’ll come check out the site, and let me know what you think. If any of you have trunk show location suggestions, happy to discuss those as well.
I’ll be writing in Truth Plus when I have the time as it’s an excellent and fulfilling project and hope to document some of my thoughts on starting a small business here. I’ll also have a blog over at Dobbin on which I’ll discuss more lighthearted style, health, literature and other lifestyle topics.
Manufacturing clothing has in and of itself been an eye-opening adventure. I’d always been around the process and participated in it somewhat, but I’d never been so closely involved. It takes a lot to manufacture a garment. And for a small company, the options are limited in how to do that. As we wanted, all Dobbin clothing is made here in NYC; however we would not have even had the choice to go to China for it, with such small runs. Fabrics are chosen by quality of course, but also by which mills will work with small companies,.
I’ve loved the experience of figuring out how to make the best clothes possible. We start with a fabric, sample it from Italy or the US (some fabrics we used are from LA, I traveled to their garment center this past Fall), then have a pattern made by our 30-year industry veteran pattern maker, have a sample made by a sample room who works with companies like Theory, then fit it on our experienced fit model several times to get the fit just right as we alter the pattern, and then off to the cutting room, markers and graders, and ultimately the factories here in New York (who also sew for brands like Rachel Roy, Thakoon and Marc Jacobs). Every button, zipper, pocket, sleeve and trim must be considered. It’s pretty fascinating I must admit and I have to say we put a lot of thought and love into the clothes.
Right now we’re selling via e-commerce only in order to keep costs lower than they would have been if we wholesaled the line. The prices aren’t low per se, but they’re far lower than a contemporary piece in the same fabric or even a less well-made piece from a bigger chain (if I do say so myself!). We’re offering free shipping both ways so you can try on at home and keep only what works.
Happy Weekend and Happy Shopping!