Many of you seem to love hearing about behind the scenes at Austin| Fowler, and something that I have yet to share about is how I design our bags and accessories.
When starting the process of designing a bag I first think about what problem it could solve for our customers. How would our customer use this product? What have our customers been asking us for to complete their set? Some of our best ideas come from our customers!
Once this problem is identified, I begin researching products that are already on the market and ask myself these questions.
- What features do these products have?
- What are these bags missing?
- What headache can I solve with the existing product?
- How can I create an A|F product that goes above and beyond what is already on the market, designing a product that is both beautiful and functional.
- How can we incorporate timeless design that will be just as relevant this year as next?
I then create a rough sketch of how I want the product to look, adding in notes about the details that I want included. This sketch is sent to our manufacturer, where a discussion of material and hardware follows.
We then begin our sample process and oftentimes have multiple versions of the product produced until aesthetically, it is just right. Then begins the testing phase. I use and wear the product continually. I have an active family life with 4 kiddos so the product gets some rigorous testing!
After I select the material and hardware, I select colors for the product. Typically the first versions of the product are available in classic A|F colors, including Navy, Black, Mulberry and Olive.
Next comes the naming of the product. Each of our products is named after a family member, friend or person or place close to us.
Finally, the order is put into production! It will be available in several months for women everywhere to enjoy.
Sundays are critical for me as a business owner and busy mom of 4 to carve out some time for planning the week ahead! Here are a few things I do to ensure a smoother week ahead.