Some people think Clothes & Roads is a big company. Every once in a while, I get emails like, “May I speak to your marketing person” or “to the head of HR” or “to the department in charge of your website”. Humm, those are all me. I guess that’s part of being a solopreneur.
Don’t get me wrong—I do have a team assisting me with different tasks, be it copywriting, accounting & taxes, some cutting and sewing, photography, etc. I work with so many different people who excel at what they do. I love that they are all local people who gained expertise in their own field. But I don’t have employees. So, yup, I’m the one who will reply to your emails, should you ever contact me for any questions you might have. I’m also the one who goes to the post office to ship your order.
So, I’m kind of a one-woman show, yet not really at the same time. Anyway, you get it!
Nonetheless, I still am the one who works on the pattern, the shipping of the product, and pretty much everything in between. I think it’s always cool to know where the products you buy come from and to learn more about the story behind them. That’s why I thought I’d share some behind-the-scenes with you today.
At my sewing machine, working on a small batch of underwear
How do I spend my days? It really depends. Sometimes, I spend my days sewing while listening to podcasts (any recommendations, by the way?) Other times, I barely can find time to sew because I’m so consumed with working on my website, writing newsletters or blog articles (hello!), planning my projects and finances, posting on social media, preparing my inventory boxes and my booth for upcoming events, spending time at my kiosk meeting people, orchestrating the different orders placed with my collaborators and suppliers, managing the production, etc.
I love the diversity of everything I do. Sometimes, it’s a lot. It is definitely challenging, but thankfully, it is absolutely not boring! No two days are alike, and I absolutely love that about entrepreneurship.
I get to meet people from Montreal, Quebec, Ottawa to Toronto every year while I am away at events.
I don’t own a brick-and-mortar store or shop, but I do enjoy building my booth at different events so we can meet, and so you get to try on the clothing in my tiny fitting room (you know the one if you’ve ever come by, haha). This is a great opportunity to connect especially since I live online outside of these moments! I also get to meet other fellow makers, which is another perk of my job.
Speaking of online, I love the flexibility technology affords us nowadays. As a solopreneur, it is especially useful to have my store online because I can work anywhere. I can get things done without needing to be physically tied to one place, except of course where I work to craft your orders.
Once in a while, I also have to travel to purchase supplies. I enjoy taking roadtrips to Montreal with my dog in the back of my camper van to go pick up some fabric rolls. I can reply to your emails on the go and place a fabric order to my suppliers while I’m waiting at the post office to ship your packages. It’s pretty convenient!
My dog and I are ready to hit the road. This camper van goes on many adventures with me. It may be loaded with fabrics, my inventory and props for my event booth, or I use it for a vacation or getaway.
While I don’t have a brick-and-mortar store (though I do have points of sale), this business model allows me to keep inventory to a minimum and keep my business aligned with the values of the slow-fashion movement and minimalism. I can sew on demand for eligible products when I am at my shop (read more about that here), and maintain the human approach to my business, which is really important to me.
Hey, it’s me Marie-Eve, the maker behind Clothes & Roads.
There are so many aspects about what I do that I could talk about. I hope you’ll stay on my blog a while or follow me on social media!
Are there any specific behind the ‘seams’ stories you’d be interested in?
Hi! I am the designer and founder of Clothes & Roads, I love tea, succulent plants, yoga, chocolate and baby animals.
Between designing new clothes for my brand, managing my social accounts, the production and the business finances, I like to share on the blog a diversity of subjects like slow fashion, travel, zero waste, local products, minimalism and vanlife! 🚐
Being zero waste in the fashion industry is hard. It requires brands to rethink their production processes, to choose sustainably sourced materials and to make choices within the limits of our geographical and industry resources. It’s not mission impossible, but it sure does pose many challenges. Not only do the items need to be packaged eco-consciously, either for merchandizing, shipping or retail, but the cutting and production process itself is a huge challenge.
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The clothes we choose to wear are a form of self-expression and a source of comfort as we go about our daily routine and milestone moments in our lives. But what if we could do more with our wardrobe—for the planet and for our communities—simply by being intentional in our choices