Hey Keeping Abreast subscribers and coffee shop members, would you like to be part of my design focus group? If you’re a regular reader of my blog, then you know my local manufacturer closed her doors last November. So far, I haven’t found another production house in the Ottawa area. Not even a few sewers/seamstresses who might be willing to whip up 30 or so garments at a time. Easy peasy, right?!?

Would you like to be part of my design focus group by Colleen Kanna, Photo of cut pattern pieces ready for sewing

Cut pattern pieces ready for sewing

If I want to produce anything new for Fall/Winter 2023, then I need to go back to the Toronto area. Not something I want to take on lightly. However, I still have rolls of bamboo fabric that I would like to use up. As you know, it’s high quality, Canadian-made bamboo, custom knit at a mill in Toronto, Ontario.

The heavy rolls are stored in a closet in my home studio. Since they’re bought and paid for, I would really like to use them for new COKANNA garments made just for you. And, my daughter would like her closet back, lol.

So all this to say, I have the fabric but I would need to go back to manufacturing outside of the Ottawa region. Before I commit to the time, effort, and cost of going back and forth to Toronto, I would really like some input.

This is where you come in. I would like to hold a design focus group with you, my loyal customers and coffee shop members, and anyone else who’s interested in fashion over 50.

Here’s what I’m thinking. The Pamela hoodie has been a popular style.

Pamela Hoodie in dark charcoal

Pamela Hoodie in dark charcoal

I’d like to do a new take on the hoodie by making it longer, more of a tunic length. Also remove the hood but keep the shawl collar or maybe a loose turtleneck. I want to know what type of silhouette and length you like to wear? What type of neckline you prefer? And what type of sleeve you like?

I would also like to show you the colours I would make this new tunic top in: silky blue, fiery fuchsia, and midnight black. Because these colours are exclusive to my brand, I’d rather not sell the fabric to other companies.

Would you like to be part of my design focus group by Colleen Kanna, Photo of midnight black, fiery fuchsia & silky blue bamboo fabric

Silky Blue, Fiery Fuchsia & Midnight Black Bamboo French Terry

You are most welcome to bring or wear your favourite tunic tops to show me the styles you like to wear. This would be most helpful.

I’ll have the Pamela hoodie there for you to see and try on. I’ll also bring a couple of sample tunic tops that I have been playing with.

Photo of Colleen in sample tunic top

Sample tunic top

Based on your input and feedback, I will then make the decision to go forth with a production run in Toronto. As a reward, you will get front of the line pre-order access to purchase the tunic at a discounted price exclusive to focus group participants only.

What do you say? Are you in? Will you help me out? Please let me know in the comments or send me a quick email at colleen@cokanna.ca. You can also message me on Facebook or Instagram.

Once I know if you’re interested or not, I’ll set up the focus group either at my home studio or at Richardson House, my condo community’s clubhouse, and send you a personal invite. And of course, coffee/tea and dessert will be served.

I would be forever grateful for your help and look forward to hearing from you! And please pass on to family and friends who also might be interested.

With heartfelt thanks,

~ Colleen

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 local breast cancer organizations who treat the whole person and not just the disease.