2023 has been quite a year for us here at Matchy! As we close out our second year in business, it's a good time to take a look at the goals we set, what we accomplished and a few ideas for the coming year.
- The Matchy Voice and Mission
- 12 New Patterns
- Mix and Match Fabrics
- Styled Photo Shoots
The Matchy Voice and Mission
The best thing we did this year was invest in our brand voice. This may seem a bit tangential and slippery, but seriously—it has made each decision we've made this year so much easier. When something comes up (Should we continue developing a certain pattern? Should we spend time doing in person events? Does this fabric fit with our line?) all we have to do is look at our mission.
We tend to have lots and lots of ideas, like an overwhelming amount. Perhaps other creatives out there can relate 🙋♀️. At the beginning of the year we were a bit paralyzed thinking about all of the things we wanted to accomplish. There was no way we could do them all in a sustainable way and we needed to make some decisions about where to focus our time, resources and money.
Enter Cate—a brand magician. We had the pleasure of working with her company, Ecstatic Voice, to help us hone in on the voice and mission for Matchy. I would describe her as a brand therapist, someone who helps you to identify and articulate what makes your brand unique and valuable. The entire expreience was enlightening because it really got us in touch with the core reasons why we started Matchy to begin with—sewing clothes we love to wear, having fun, and sharing the magic. This is our brand voice statement Cate helped us to develop:
We also worked together to create our Sewing Club rules, which spell out some of our core values. You can download a FREE Club Rules poster here.
Matchy Matchy Sewing Club is a fresh take on the joy of the make for everyone who loves to sew and anyone who's ever wanted to. As self-taught sewists who believe that creativity doesn't have to be complicated, we're always dreaming up beginner-friendly, design-forward ways to make the whole creative experience of sewing simple, satisfying, and just so fun. With flexible patterns, mixable fabrics, and more fresh ideas on the way, everything we do is a friendly and encouraging invitation to grab what you've got, make it your own, and enjoy the process from beginning to let's-do-that-again.
If you are a creative individual or small business and you know intuitively what your brand is but can't quite articulate it, reach out to Cate, she's your girl. 10/10, 5 stars, highly recommend!
12 New Patterns
At the end of 2022 we set a goal of releasing a new pattern each month, 12 patterns in total. At the time we had three patterns in our collection (Champagne Field Dress, Collage Gather Top and Weekend Chore Shorts). We had so many ideas for new patterns to add to the Matchy library and knew that we needed some hard deadlines.
I am kind of shocked to report that we did it! (Wipes sweat from forehead, phew!) 12 patterns in one year's time is a lot. I'm so proud of us for making it happen.
The best part of this rigorous schedule is that it forced us to create a detailed framework for developing and releasing patterns. We now have an internal step by step guide for everything from pattern drafting to writing instructions to pattern release day. As self taught sewists with very little to no experience in fashion, we were starting from zero. I feel like this year was a bootcamp style kick in the pants to get us into shape. We are now much more efficient and have gained skills in each part of the pattern development process.
Here's a reminder of each pattern we released in 2023:
- All Around Crew
- Horizon Day Dress
- Recess Play Pants
- Picnic Square Quilt
- Collage Gather Dress
- Peplum Split Tank
- Skipper Top and Dress
- Cabana Tie Playsuit
- Open Back Smock Top
- Perfect Puff Sleeve Top
- Makers Over Shirt
- Butter and Sugar Quilt Scarves
Watch the 2023 sewing pattern recap here.
We plan to be a bit more thoughtful in our pattern releases next year. 6-8 patterns seems like a reasonable and attainable goal. Expect more behind the scenes info and in depth explanations. We want to show you the why behind our choices and share our process a bit more. Time just didn't allow for that to happen this year, so we are excited to slow down a bit and share more of our day to day.
Mix and Match Fabrics
This year we also wanted to expand our fabric offering with more patterns and styles that feel true to Matchy and aligns with the framework we created as part of our overall brand voice (see above):
Foolproof fabric for mixing and matching. Our ever-evolving collection is cohesively curated to set you up for success. Pick your faves and see where they take you!
We began 2023 with a small collection of around 18 solid and patterned linens in a simple color palette. Now we have over 110 fabrics including cloud linen, mix and match linen, cotton twill, and cotton poplin. Our goal is to curate a collection of fabrics that can be mixed, matched and remixed in colors and styles that aren't availible everywhere. Everything will look amazing together, no matter what you choose. We absolutely love seeing your fabric stacks as the orders come through.
We will continue to be thoughtful about the fabric options we add to the Matchy collection. Woven linens will continue to be a core part of our offering, and keep an eye out for more curated deadstock selections. Let us know if there is something specific you would like to see from us.
Styled Photo Shoots
Photo shoots have always been a challenge for us, and I suspect for many other small pattern companies. It is the last piece of a very big puzzle. And perhaps the most important piece, as it is going to actually represent the thing you've been working on for months. A good photo can really make a big difference in sales. Can you feel the pressure?!?
We've always taken all of the product photos ourselves, out of necessity. It is a skill that has improved with time and practice, but certainly not our favorite part of the process.
A few things that helped elevate our photos this year:
- Investing in a better quality camera
- Studio lights
- A mood board for each shoot
- A list of specific shots we need (product shots and editorial shots)
- Posing suggestions and ideas for the models
- A timeline for the shoot (generally 1-2 hours total, broken down into 15 minute segments with time built in for outfit changes)
A huge shout out to our amazing friends and models, Chelsea and Morgan. They have been important collaborators as we've worked to find our style this year. Working with the same models is really nice as we've developed a shorthand and they understand our goals.
Matchy Matchy Sewing Club would not exist without all of you who sew our patterns, provide testing feedback, like our photos and purchase fabric. We are so grateful for this opportunity to do something fun and fulfilling with our days. Thank you for it all.
Amy + Theresa