I’m excited to announce the LIndsay bamboo cardi-robes have arrived! But, I have to tell you though, it was not without its challenges.

Let me back up…  It seems whenever I send a courier to pick up an order from my manufacturer in Toronto, it never quite goes according to plan. I schedule the pick up, send off the waybills, and the manufacturer kindly gets the boxes ready. And, then they sit there. It inevitably involves me calling the courier and having the dispatcher investigate and then assuring me the boxes will be picked up the next day. Now, to be fair, I use a 3rd party online shipping service that compares shipping costs across carriers and provides me with the best reduced rate. So, I get it. I’m trading priority service for lower cost. But, I’m a small business owner so I do what I have to do.

When the boxes finally arrive at my door, I’m excited for the unboxing. Unpacking that first piece is so sweet!! Except when it’s not what I was expecting. That happened on Friday.

I pulled out the first robe on top and tried it on. It was much shorter in the arms and length than the original pattern and sample. OMG, you can’t imagine my panic. I quickly fired off a message to the pattern maker. What could have gone wrong?

Then I took a few deep breaths and unpacked all 54 pieces. I lined them up and thankfully, only 8 out of the 54 are shorter. I then got on the phone with the manufacturer. Liz, the owner, was off for the week, but she took my call anyway. This is why I love working with other women small business owners.

Liz assured me that all pattern pieces are cut together, identically, from the same pattern. So what happened? Well, shrinkage from pressing. And why did it happen to only 8 robes? Well, there’s really no way to know for sure, but it was most likely the pieces for the 8 robes were cut from a different roll of fabric. The fabric is the same. But, different rolls can behave differently especially with knits. In fact, it can even happen within the same roll. Knits are finicky and unpredictable, much like a toddler!

Yikes! I have learned over the years that yes, fabric behaves differently. We always have to make a sample and do a shrink test whenever I order more fabric. Even if it’s the same fabric I’ve ordered in the past and a garment we’ve made before. Can we make a sample and test for every single roll of fabric? Ideally, yes, but I have to weigh the cost vs the benefit. Sample making is expensive.

Luckily, I have never had this much shrinkage before. One way to help get around the shrinkage is to have the rolls pre-shrunk. That requires me to ship the rolls to a 3rd party to have this done. Again, I have to weigh the cost of doing this with the benefit. It adds another layer of dollars, delay, and shipping within the production process, and ultimately to the price of the garment.

After my initial state of panic, even uttering the words, “I think I need to quit!”, I calmed down and put on my problem solving hat. It quickly came to me. I can offer the 8 pieces as Petite size cardi-robes. In fact, I’ve already sold out of several of the Petite sizes in the Joy pocket pants. They were the first to fly out the door. There are Petite customers out there looking for petite sizes.

So, I’m pleased to announce the Lindsay bamboo cardi-robes come in Midnight Black, Silky Blue and Fiery Fuchsia in regular sizes: 1(S), 2(M), 3(L) and 4(XL).

And, they come in Petite sizes 1(S) to 4(XL) in Midnight Black only. FYI, I’ve already sold one…phew!!

If you’ve pre-ordered the Lindsay, thank you so much. I appreciate your help, patience, and most of all your trust in me. And don’t worry, I have enough of the regular sizes for all pre-orders. I will be connecting with you over the next few days to either arrange curbside pick up or to let you know when your package will be shipped.

You can shop for the LIndsay cardi-robe in regular or petite size here:

Shop the Lindsay Cardi-robe

There you have it. The ups and downs of a one-woman small business owner doing her best to dress you in soft comfortable and stylish Canadian made bamboo clothing.

Until next time,

~ Colleen

Introducing the cardi-robe by Colleen Kanna, Photo by Anna Epp Photography

I’m a recovering Chartered Accountant and Breast Cancer Champion turned Fashion Designer. My COKANNA Canadian-made bamboo clothing is all about comfort and style. Giving back to the community is important to me so I support Rethink Breast Cancer’s metastatic breast cancer education, support, and advocacy work.