About Me

I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Entries in Veils (6)

Sunday
Jan052014

Something of Substance

For once?

Nah. Just a time to check it, me thinks. I haven’t been around for a while, yeah? So like all good bloggers, I’ll give ya a little Year in Review and just go from there, K?

First of all, welcome all you newly engaged brides. You’ll find some really great rants on here and some pretty good information too. Just use the search function and you’re bound to find what you need. From veils, to RSVPs, an open letter to Wedding Guests (in case you need it) and an excellent alternate registry. I still do a bunch of  TruLu Couture wedding pieces, but most are custom. I am working on a pretty lace little capelet, though….

For everyone else, here’s where we’re at:

The year 2013 did not start of so well for T30SB. I got incredibly sick when I was overseas in January and I swear, I wasn’t 100% well until like, March.

On top of it, I was getting to a stress level at my job that was ridiculous. And I mean ridiculous. If I didn’t cry in my cube, it was a good day. I tried to assuage the stress with a January hot yoga class (love me some hot yoga!). In said class, I had an anxiety attack. Nothing like thinking you’re having a heart attack in a 105 degree room, sobbing into your sweat rag, praying everyone in the class will continue to ignore your complete mental melt down (they did).

I think when I was at the office all day on July 4th was when I had had e-fucking-nough and started really looking for a new job. I wouldn’t find it until October! Sheesh! More on that in a sec.

We didn’t do a whole lot this year except try to catch up. At least that’s what is felt like. A lot of that had to do with finances. For instance, we finally met our 81 and 86 year old neighbors when our Red Oak tree dropped a branch on their roof. No damages,  but now we know how much an arborist costs.

I had to get a new bumper and radiator and all sorts of crazy crap done, all because someone caught the edge of their bumper on a bush. In their own yard. I’m not saying it was me. I’m not saying it wasn’t, either.

I think having been unemployed for so long, then buying a fixer-upper house, effing up on our taxes while I was unemployed and then little annoying things like an arborist, all gave me that feeling of needing to catch up.

Once I got my new job (and new paycheck!) I felt like I could breath again. Isn’t that little sad? That money chilled my ass out?

At any rate, I felt less stress about everything and am settling into my new role. If you can believe it, I’m actually doing my product development gig in the world of FABRIC! I know, amazing, right?

The Candyman and I have been married for four years now. I’ve learned marriage is work. The Candyman is much better at finding the solutions than I am. For instance, we started arguing about dinner. Remember, I was Susie-fucking-homemaker before I started working again. I worked late all the time. I still do. I don’t get home until 6:30-7pm every night. The bummer is that The Candyman can’t really cook. He’s pretty good at making one thing at a time, but has a hard time coordinating an entire meal. He’s excellent at grilled cheese sandwiches and popcorn. Anyway, this left all the cooking with me. The daily stress of figuring out what to cook for dinner was just as bad as the damn job. So The Candyman took the lead. He made  lists of dishes, planned out a few weeks of meals and put together a shopping list. Once I saw all he had done, I sat down with him and paid attention. We put the meal list on the frig and when I’m running late, The Candyman acts as my sous chef. He gets all the goodies out and prepped for cooking, so that when I come home all I had to really do is throw everything together.  I clean more afterwards and he helps more before. It seems to be working, though we do have to plan all our meals. This is sometimes painful, but I think we’re saving money by doing it.

Does that sound like common sense to anyone? The above compromise? It seems simple, but sometimes simple is hard to see in a marriage, no?

On the activity scale of 1 to 10, 1 being sofa loaves and 10 being globe trotters, The Candyman and I are ranking at a solid 4. I travel for work, The Candyman never does. The furthest The Candyman travels is the four hours it takes him to drive to the North Carolina coast. My parents are three hours south. We have had little time or extra money to take time for ourselves this past year. The Candyman turns 40 this year, so there needs to be an adventure, just for that, right? I think so too!  I want to go someplace interesting like Mount Rushmore or see the Mayan ruins. I need to get my culture on.

I did work with a couple of brides this year on some customer projects. I even ended up being a bit of a wedding coordinator on my own anniversary. Long story, but here’s an additional tip to any bride who still may be reading at this point: make sure you don’t leave your goddamn wedding license in the goddamn hotel room. It does you NO GOOD there.

So Christmas is done. We took down the tree and decorations today. The time with our families was drama-free! On both sides! Amazing! The Candyman got me the much-coveted Paperwhite.

He also surprised me with a beautiful pair of Tiffany pearl earrings about five days too early. He hid them from me in the suitcase I used to pack for our trip to see family. Oops. It was such a  sweet gift though and I love the ear-bobs, as my grandmother used to call them. 

Oh, and I’m totally growing out my actual hair color and then I think I’m totally going to cut my hair short. I have got some serious gray going on and I just want to see what I look like. If it’s old hag, then I’ll just dye it again, but I want to know: How gray am I really? Stay tuned.

So for the first time in over a year, I feel like I can breath again. I’m sewing for pleasure. I’m building friendships. I might even be starting to exercise again, but let’s just keep that a secret. I can’t be counted on for continuity.

Happy New Year, y’all.

Sunday
Mar242013

Explosions of Tulle

‘Ti s the season for brides!

Even though I’ve got my full-time gig going full tilt, I’m still working with brides when I can. A local bride found me on Etsy and now I’m making her a custom belt and veil! I love working directly with brides. Custom is definitely my thing.

I’ve got her Lazaro gown holding court in my studio right now. We started off our meeting together sipping Chinese tea and talking about her wedding style and what kind of ideas she had. We ended up on the floor together, with all these goodies spread out everywhere, pulling together the bits and pieces of vintage goodies for her belt.  She got really into the sentiment of possibilities and is going to check with her grandma to potentially add to the design with a little borrowed something or other.

Here’s what the space looked like when we were done.

ththirtysomethingbride_trulucouturestudio

It looks like the Tulle Monster vomited up his lunch.

  The bride spied a lace she liked and asked if I did veils too. Pfft Do I do veils?  Of course I do veils! And the lace she spied, it’s small, vintage-ish re-embroidered lace that matches her gown so well, it’s a little scary. She’s wanting a mantilla style veil and I love that style of veil! My mom wore a mantilla and I made my veil from her lace.

Oh, and notice the micro-pleating on the gown? I adore it! It totally reminds me of the Mori Lee gown I tried on in one episode of gown shopping. It also reminds me of the Essence of Australia gown with the crazy pleated train that was a contender for a day or two.

I just LOVE micro pleating! And I still love wedding gowns. Now I have to make sure that I make the time to get this stuff MADE! The wedding is in June. It’s going to be all about time management over the next few weeks.

Stay tune for more photos of wedding belt love and mantilla veil madness!

Monday
Feb062012

{VEIL GIVE-AWAY!} Designer vs. Artisan? You Decide. 

*DEEP BREATH* OK, I think I’m going to get my teeth knocked in for this post, but you know that’s never stopped me before. I do want to preface this with the fact that  I started this little give-away/contest as a personal project. I wanted to just see. For you to understand why I did what I did, you might need to read this first. They are definitely related.

If you don't care to read my ramblings on this project, just look at the pictures and scroll down to enter. But if you are even just a teeny tiny little bit of  a conscientious bride, you should read.  I'm just sayin.....

Got the gist of things? Good, let’s move on.

This is how it started: I got lost on the internet again, ended up on Pinterest again, which took me to a picture from BHLDN.com. It was a picture of their  Dotted Voile Veil. It cost $160 and I thought that was pretty pricey, as are all things at BHLDN.  I saw the alternate photo and noted that the veil had some doodads and stuff and thought that $160 was an okay price with all the little flowers and crystals and stuff.

Then I read a comment from a purchaser/reviewer on this veil:

I was disappointed just like the last reviewer. I thought that the veil came with the bow and white flower pin. It doesn't it is just a piece of fabric barely attached with clear twine to a metal clip. I can't believe I spent $160.00 on it. If you get the bow and clip as well your total cost would be $260.00. Still debating on whether I will keep it. If you can find the fabric you can easily make it yourself.

First off, her math is a little wonky. The price of the bow is $200, the veil is $160, that means together they would be $360, not $260, GAH! She also included a photo:

image

THIS for $160!

So I was all I CAN TOTALLY MAKE THAT FOR A TON LESS AND SELL IT FOR A TON LESS!  So that’s what I started doing. I have some dotted tulle (“voile” means “veil” in French, so it the same shit essentially), I have some little doodads, let’s see what I can make.

The description of the bow thing is as follows:

…spray of enameled petals and glittering Swarovski stones in the midst of a loopy tulle bow. French dotted Swiss nylon, tulle, enameled brass flowers, Swarovski crystals.

So I don’t have Swarovski crystals on hand, but I do have some vintage goodies I could play around with that include a brass filigree flower, some vintage rhinestones and little vintage white plastic flowers with rhinestone centers. Some of the pieces aren’t in the best shape, but it was just a side project, so who cares, right? 

But wait, do you want to know WHY I wanted to try this? I wanted to see what it would price out to be. I wanted to see what my time and cost of goods would come out to.

Below is what I came up with (all on the left) and how it compares to the BHLDN items (all on the right). Check it:

 BLHDN1

 BLHDN1

 20390126_011_a

  20390167_011_a

 BHLDN2

Dotted6

Not bad, right? Pretty damn close if I do say so myself. While I was making this, in my head I was a little worried about selling it. It’s a purposeful knock-off. I don’t want to steal ideas and sell them as my own. That’s not my bag. I know the material isn’t identical, the doodads aren’t the same, there’s more pouf to the bow; legally BHLDN would have no recourse against me even if I did sell it.

I just saw the pricing and I threw up a little in my mouth. It was so gross. Now, little ol’ me? Making these pieces? It cost me next to nothing. The material I had on hand, the little plastic flowers were some of my grandmother’s old missing-its-partner earrings I took apart. Same for the filigree brass flower. The tulle in the bow I already had. However, if I was going to price this out based on economies of scale, purchasing quantity buys (as a large company like BHLDN would naturally do), the materials themselves? I’m going to estimate that the cost of the raw goods is NO MORE than $10, total. A couple crystals, some enameled flowers and material…can’t be more than $10. Simply can NOT. So, let’s pretend I’m a normal retailer and I take a 50-60% mark-up, that’s would put this at $22.50 or so, thus far compared to $360.

But don’t get your panties in a twist just yet. We haven’t talked about labor. It took me about 4 hours to make, futzing around with things, taking earrings apart,  making it just so. Based on BHLDN’s info, the designer of this piece is Debra Mooreland. It also states that the artisans that work in Debra’s Ohio studio “painstakingly build each piece by hand,” according to her original prototype.

And I guess that’s where we get down to the nitty gritty. How much is that time worth? The item is made in America, which means it will be more expensive. I’m OK with that. How much should an artisan make in an hour for copying a prototype? Now we’re just talking about skilled labor, not a designer.

Let’s just pretend for a second that I am one of these artisans and I’m making this from a prototype (which is basically what I did). I have all the materials on hand and I know what to do. No futzing. Streamlined process. On the high end, I’d say two hours, MAX. Probably less after the first 3 or 4. What is my time worth? What is Debra Mooreland’s time worth? What is one of her artisan’s time worth? What’s the licensing fee that BHLDN is paying Debra Mooreland (in my décor line of work, the range is 3-8%)? How much is overhead? Let’s say I charge $50 (I totally don’t) per hour for my work. In a perfect BHLDN world, you’ve got $100 in labor, plus the $10 for the parts and that equals $110. Add in the 50-60% markup and you’ve got $220 on the LOW side. Add in licensing fees and overhead and all of  sudden, the price starts to make sense.

And what if BHLDN approached ME and asked me to be one of their featured artists? Would I object to the pricing structure to have items made here in America and to have my work distributed through a well-know entity? Is $50 an hour reasonable? Is $100? Thought provoking, no?

Me? I priced this out the same way as I do all my items. I pay myself slightly more than minimum wage per hour (which disgusts me, but it is so), I charge for materials, packaging and generally, I take less than a 50% margin. I don’t do these things because I’m stupid. I charge less because I’m not well-known. I’m relatively new in the industry. My “brand” doesn’t command a high price…yet. However, to make all things fair, I gave myself a 50% mark up on this. The total cost I’d charge? $105 for both pieces compared to $360

So I have 2 points in all this. First? Shop around. Shop on Cargoh. Shop on Etsy.  Look around and you can find skilled artisans working hard to make ends meet, creating beautiful, quality product without the licensing fees and overhead.

Second? You can get this for FREE because you were patient and read all the bullshit that went through my head on this one.

Here’s what you gotta do:

1. Leave a comment. Anything will do: rant, praise, rambling jargon. (1 Entry)

2. Help me reach 1000 Twitter followers (I’m SO CLOSE!) and follow me @T30SB. Tweet this message: Veil Giveaway @T30SB http://bit.ly/zrkuCt . Leave a SEPARATE comment here that you did it. Already a follower? Tweet the same and let me know you are! (1 Entry)

3. Help me reach 1000 Facebook followers (I’m a little further behind on this one) and hit up my page here.  Leave a SEPARATE comment that you did it. Already a follower? Tell me you are in your additional comment! (1 Entry)

4. Follow me on Pinterest (you should really be a member already!) and tell me you did so by leaving a SEPARATE comment! Already follow me? Fantastic. Tell me about in your additional comment. (1 Entry)

So that’s FOUR chances to win! The contest will run for a week, ending on Sunday, February 12th at noon, EST. I’ll announce the winner on Monday, February 13th! Just in time for Valentine's Day! WOOT!

Monday
Jan092012

Dear T30SB: Types of Tulle for Your Veil

I love questions from readers. If you have a question, it generally means that someone out there has the exact same one, so don’t be afraid to ask! Reader Courtney is having trouble telling her seamstress what kind of veil she wants and came to me to see if I could help.

Dear T30SB,

I've been 'lurking' for a while now, and I just love reading your blog. You and I would be friends, I'm convinced, if we knew each other in real-life. Your honestly and candor are refreshing when so many blogs are CLEARLY edited and photo-shopped to look like 'my life is so shiny perfect.’ And your creations are incredible. I'm getting married in May, which is the reason I first found your blog, and I drool over the winter cape you just posted about!! If I had a need .... ooh it would be hard to pass up.
I have a question that I was hoping you could help me with? I am so not a wedding-materials person, but I have been trying to describe the veil I want to our seamstress for the dress, and I don’t know what it's called. With your expertise, I was hoping you might could help your imaginary-friend/blog stalker...? :)
I die over veils made out of whatever material is in this post:

image image

Photographs by Houston Photographer Archetype Studio

I love how it's heavier than just the typical (cheap) netting I've seen... do you have any leads/suggestions on how I could explain this to the lady making my veil?? Or do you have one like it, possibly, in your shop??
Appreciate the help, in advance, internet-friend :)

Well now, Courtney. First off, thank you for your kind words and for being a continued reader. We like that around here. Lurkers hold a special place in my blogging-heart.

Now, let’s get down to business, shall we?

This is an EXCELLENT question, first of all. Types of tulle affect the cost, drape and overall look of a veil, so it’s good to understand what the hell your looking at in order to figure out what you’re buying. There are basically three types of tulle.

Bridal Illusion

image

Bridal Illusion (which is probably the lamest name ever given to a fabric) is your standard tulle. It’s used for most veils these days. It comes in a plethora of colors, styles of shimmer and widths. For basic tulle, you won’t be paying over a $1/yard for the stuff. If you are, you’re paying too much. It is made from nylon, it has a diamond pattern and has the most body of all the tulles. If you’re looking for a high ‘pouf’ factor, this is your material.

*WARNING* do not get confused by tulle and NETTING. Netting is often used in costumes and it is much heavier. It feels coarser and is definitely not the same as Illusion, although some ass-hats like to interchange the terms. It ain’t the same thing.

English Tulle

image

English tulle (also called English NETTING, gah) is made from cotton and has a hexagonal weave. It has more drape to it than Illusion. It is also a lot more expensive. I’ve seen it as low as $18/yard and upwards of $50/yard, depending on the brand/quality.

Silk Tulle

image

Silk tulle is the crème de la crème of potential veil materials. It’s super soft, way luxurious and like English tulle, has a hexagonal weave. It is also WAY drape-y. When I made my own veil and was deciding on what to use, I found that I personally didn’t care for the silk tulle because it’s a little stretchy and physically a heavier material, making it less gossamer in its movement.  Silk tulle is  less transparent than Illusion and English tulle. It’s also the Ferrari of tulle in regards to cost. I’ve not seen 100% silk tulle for less than $70/yard (if it’s less than $50/yard, doubtful it’s 100% silk, check before you buy!). It can be over $100/yard for the real good stuff. Kate Middleton’s veil was made from silk tulle, as another reference point. This picture is PERFECT for showing both the drape and the stretchiness.

image

Source

You can see how the three fabrics differ with the exact same construction. Each of the veils shown below is elbow length with a cut edge and is 54" wide. The Illusion is more transparent and has more pouf. The English tulle still has some body, but has more drape and is less transparent than the Illusion. And then the Mack Daddy is the silk tulle with superior drape, very little pouf and lots of pretty. It too is more opaque than Illusion.

image image image    

                       Bridal Illusion                         English Tulle                             Silk Tulle                            

Thank to this site for a posting these PERFECT pictures of the differences of these 3 fabrics!

Since tulle comes is all sorts of colors, it can be confusing as to what to pair with your dress. Here’s the best way to consider the color of your veil/tulle.

*WARNING* This is a guide ONLY. If you’re having your veil custom made or are purchasing online, it’s best to show a picture of your dress to the seller/seamstress to ensure a best match.

  • If you’re gown is labeled WHITE by the manufacturer and it is NOT  made from silk, choose a a WHITE tulle.
  • If your gown is labeled WHITE  or DIAMOND WHITE by the manufacturer and is made from silk, choose a DIAMOND WHITE tulle.
  • If your gown is labeled CANDLELIGHT, PEARL or NATURAL by the manufacturer and is made from any material, choose ivory tulle.

This little tulle infomercial isn’t going to get into Russian tulle, which is primarily used in birdcage veils. That’s just info overload for one lil’ ol’ post as that too comes in a myriad of styles, colors, sizes, widths, etc.

There are synthetic versions of silk tulle, made primarily of nylon. Sadly, they have a shine on them that silk tulle doesn’t and it looks uber-cheap, like you’re wearing a nylon slip on your head. I don’t personally recommend it, but someone out there might like it. And nylon silk-tulle knock-offs? Dude that shit would be HOT. Trying to wear it over your face like Kate or that Houston area bride shown above? Ick. Your make-up would be sliding off your face into your décolletage. NOT a good look.

And using Illusion doesn’t mean you’re cheap. It all depends on how you want to look on your wedding day. So there.

Hope this helps a bride out there wade through the sea of  veiling options. Education is the key to getting what you want for a price that fits your personal budget.

For more answers to your questions, feel free to email me. Just click CONTACT and send me your question!

Monday
Mar142011

Sneak Peek! 

TruLu Couture re-embroidered Alencon lace double tiered veil (not a blusher) with 3.5" comb. Lace and tulle in ivory.

I ♥ this veil. Cannot WAIT for the re-launch!

Greensboro Photographer Russel-Killen Photography

Wedding Make-Up by Make-Up by b.b.