How We Design & Develop Our Products
Collaboration is at the heart of everything we do.
The visionary behind Misha & Puff is our founder and creative director, Anna Wallack. You've probably seen her on Instagram. :)
If you're not familiar with Anna’s story, here's the short of it: After Anna's first child was born, she knitted him clothes that he would be cozy and comfortable in (no itchy yarns!). Let's just say... word got around about Anna's gorgeous knits. (She’s been a lifelong knitter, and she spent over a decade as a stylist... she’s got a GREAT eye.) Anna started knitting clothes for a couple of boutique shops, but, as you can imagine, that ended up being too much for one person to handle.
So, what to do? Anna wanted to make these gorgeous knits available to a wider audience. She wanted to use quality, responsibly sourced materials while practicing Fair Trade principles. She rolled up her sleeves, researched, and reached out to potential partners/vendors, and Misha & Puff was born. (OK, maybe it didn't happen as quickly or as smoothly as that sentence suggests. But you get the idea.)
Today, Anna continues to serve as Misha & Puff's Creative Director. She works closely with the rest of the Misha & Puff team as well as our artisan partners in Peru to design and develop our products.
Here's some insight into the process...
- When we design an item, we're usually envisioning multiple pieces that go together in a certain style. We then work closely with our artisan partners to make sure the design is translated appropriately.
- Our partners collaborate with us on designs and colors. They are truly the experts at what they do, whether it's hand knitting, making shoes, or developing colors for our hand-dyed yarn. We welcome their suggestions and ideas because they make our designs even better. This ongoing collaboration has not only strengthened and solidified the Misha & Puff look, but has also served as a rewarding experience for our Peruvian partners and our team in the U.S.
- It's sample time! The artisans make a sample and send it to us along with initial pricing. Yes, our partners tell us how much things will cost, not the other way around. Bet you weren't expecting that, right? No, the price point doesn't always work for us. We've had to abandon designs for that reason. But we can also communicate concerns to our partners. And sometimes there are things they can do with a design (for example, shortening a section) that can make a difference. Collaboration is essential. If we dictated an unrealistic and unfair price point to our partners, someone on their end would lose out, like the artisans. That's NOT the way we want to do business.
- If the sample looks great and the pricing works for our line, we include it. In many cases, we may need to drop one or more of the items from the new designs, cut it from certain channels, or take a smaller margin, which is what we often do. We work with the knitters and our vendors on fair pricing that works for all of us, meaning everyone who is involved in the process from start to finish.
- From there, we discuss capacity and timing and place a purchase order! This is truly an exciting moment for everyone involved in the process. There’s nothing quite like bringing an idea to life and knowing we’ll be releasing it into the world.