A smile, skip and a design trip to develop LFB Spring/Summer 2013/14 (an overseas excursion!)
With a leave note from our husbands and with Le’V holding HQ in fun, fashionable shape.….we were authorised to leave Perth city bound for weather fit Bali to start the production cycle of the ‘Look Feel Be’s’ Summer Collection; “aujourd'hui permet de voyager à thé”.
Over the past two years, I have been bringing together an extended team in Indonesia who are talented in the art of producing quality garments.
Fortunately my LFB Design Partner and all time crazy women Andy is on board to co-drive our design development (including pattern making and sampling) process with loving help from Le’V (our fit model among other business talents), myself (all round go to girl) and the off shore team headed up by Putu (production and quality control guru). Enough background.
Let’s fast forward to departing. With two massive suitcases full of patterns, design notes and samples, not to mention the key fabric for the range, we check in.
This is the first time Andy has left her 5 year old son Connor and gone away. She was military like in her prep regime with three days of his favourite meals carefully labelled in the fridge by day and all school uniforms ironed (including undies) stock piled ready to go in perfect condition. With a list for hubby to follow she gets in the car with guilt and anticipation (leaving her man in charge) that all will be chaos and hunger!
It is on boarding the plane that Andy confesses she has a fear of flying.…
With the help of Cody who Andy adopts as her personal flight attendant confidence kicks in as does the fun…..
It seemed like the longest flight, however, it had been a full on two days prior, so both of us were a little tired. Thank goodness we booked the ‘express service’ at the airport. If you have not tried this service, consider it. Flight Centre can organise it for you. EFFICIENCY plus. We were whisked through the airport (no lines) to see our long time driver with a big smile.
Peeling off the layers, it is super warm as we drive to the hotel; Bliss. No orange skin here (if you missed Vanessa’s disastrous fake tan experience check out the last blog) it’s all glowing white x 2!
Thanks Estelle Johnston (no relation) at Flight Centre Maylands for organising such a ripper deal and to Mr Boss man at the hotel for the upgrade!
Day 1: Up at 6am. Eat Indonesian breakfast. When in Rome you must, both Andy and I believe. Prepare at length notes before going off to finalise some additional fabrics needed. This all sounds rather glam perhaps, however, it is intense. The fabrics must perfectly match back with others previously selected, meet a price and width guideline, and be of high quality, oh and available in the volume we need.
After a late fuel stop for lunch (Indonesian of course) we are ready to bounce into’ Indo LFB offices’ with refuelled energy to burn and strong iced coffees in hand for the team.
Laptop out, fingers start typing into the production schedule as we work through samples, patterns, samples, patterns, theories, yield return on fabrics to be used, patterns, samples.… 4 hours later we are just about complete on all fronts. Phone rings and we all run out the door to dinner in different directions.
Andy and I selected a relaxed restaurant for dinner which turned into ground hog day. The common answer to all our questions….“I don’t know but I will find out.”
Escaping back to our room (thanks again Mr Boss man – have we said that already?) we stay up talking like school girls (sms back and forth with Le’V) for hours and hours brainstorming where to, how to, what to, who to and all the while loving the work of team, go to.
Day 2: Up at 8am. Production schedule emailed to ‘Indo LFB HQ’. Eat Indonesian breakfast. Tears appear thanks to extra chilli sauce we have both fallen for. Andy decides we will have the morning off. Well she has the morning off as I semi-work on laptop, poolside (love wi-fi – roof top style) while watching the reaction of others as she struts a new ‘flown in especially, Victoria Secret Sponge Bikini ‘.
Bored (and a little too red – overcast does not mean safe to baste)…. we decide to go adventuring and make our way to Seminyak. Both of us don’t mind a walk so we hit the pavement…me in my new shoes (some of you may recognise this style). I ‘now’ have them in every colour available. White was the last colour needed to complete the set!
Talking of colour … we decide it’s time for me to pop a copper coat on my hair and that’s where Bill (a dear friend of many of my dear friends) enters with Wella in hand. All while Le’V has a hair update too (connected!) unbeknown to us.… a fringe is now in the Maylands house.
LFB’ers, do stop by and visit his team when in Bali. This hottie was the smile behind Head Office for Hair in Perth many a year ago. Check it out on FB.
With new locks, Andy’s feet having experienced some reflexology and an off cut of Aloe Vera from the salons stash, we walk into ‘won’t ever let you down,’ Ultimo Restaurant for an early, inexpensive dinner. While this might all look glamourous; Andy and I have worked 7 days a week for weeks preparing for this trip and take a mo to acknowledge to do list; check check ...
Last day: Check in with Le’V, Le’Indo, Husbands and Connor (in no particular order). Eat. Indonesian breakfast. Meet fab Japanese guest who shows us that being different brings us together.
We do some more work while enjoying some warmth. Monitor our irresponsible sunburn. Hear from ‘Perth Now’ via twitter that weather warnings are in place for Perth on the way to airport. I look at Andy, she looks at me. We call out to LFB’ers via FB for up to date weather reporting when Virgin Crew we flew up with walk by and give us their word to help scared, crazy women Andy (by chance they remembered us – go figure) get home safely.
Timing as they say is everything! It’s a true team effort this LFB community show; we thank you, LFB’ers for continuing to be an important part of our crew.
We do hope you will love the LFB summer collection when released in November.
Oh and here are some, 'take on a trip,' must haves we suggest ...
(Scarf $49. Bag $99. Ballet pumps $70. Primer $50. Tinted Moisturiser $55)
With a smile … CJ x
PS: Thank you Connor for being a good boy while Mummy was away! x