Introduction – Mass Customization


Hello and Welcome!

Let me start with a brief introduction of who we are. We are sisters – in case you couldn’t tell from our blog name. My name is Kali and my sister is Noelle and we are current owners of Impish Lee. Our business is an all handmade lingerie company that primarily operates through our online Etsy Shop and specializes in custom orders.

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My sister, Noelle, is the business founder, designer and maker. I am the branding, marketing and artistic director. For the past two and a half years we kept this small operation going as more of a side project than a real money maker. It wasn’t until very recently, about 6 weeks ago, that we received our first break, a decent size order from Urban Outfitters. We haven’t expanded yet, we’ve been just squeaking by without hiring another seamstress, but we are beginning to plan our next big steps.

We came across a blog while doing some research called 22 Michaels that has been a huge inspiration to us. The blog documents the entrepreneurial journey of three friends and their entrance into the world of mass customization through the launch of their online made-to-order womens’ shoe company, Shoes of Prey. The website allows you to design your own shoes and purchase them online. Dynamite!

About a year ago we had a similar idea. Since our company, Impish Lee, specializes in custom, made-to-order, and one-of-a-kind work, the mass customization route was a huge appeal. How do we expand but stay true to our intention of making apparel that women can feel like is made specifically for them? Why not a website where they can design the piece themselves?!

The next step would be building this amazing website, IT technology, and processes for manufacturing these customizable pieces. We spoke to brother Dave, a web designer, and were advised that what we needed to enable the user experience, was a seriously experienced programmer or a company that specializes in this specifically. After some minimal research we realized that a website and customization software like this could run us anywhere from 15 – 25 grand for a basic, no bells and whistles site. Woah! We initially dismissed this idea, or at least had stuck it on the back burner, until now.

So where do we start? Research, research, research! We will be hunkering down and forming VERY close relationships with our computers over the upcoming months. How can you join us for the ride? Providing us with any and all honest feedback would be the best! Feel free to contact us here on our site. (Eventually blog followers will be able to post comments directly below each blog entry)

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