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The new official TOJ thread - updates, complaints, etc... - Page 2435

post #36511 of 52734
Originally Posted by impolyt_one View Post

Time for an update. From all the discussion it just seems like people are kicking around. We'll stop taking orders completely before the end of the year, and production will go into 2014. I don't know what we'll do when we apply that last TOJ label to the final order and send it out, but I imagine it will be a pretty emotional one. Perhaps it might be relieving, I guess. MTM was a hell of a lot of work.

We're still balancing the restaurant life with TOJ. Dan and Sally are doing the weekly production on those. Charly communicates with them, but frankly the scale of our workload and the variety of the orders means that hunting your place down on the assembly line gets to be, well, annoying. If I could've paid another person whose job it would've been to constantly go back and forth minding the line, then yes, that would've added to the cost of the pieces.

Speaking to that, and to tie in some things from my restaurant life - TOJ was never built on any particular model, just a lot of common sense. In the real world I was able to find flexibility and the model created itself. It was good. However, as you guys know, we ran as slim as possible in order to offer fair prices. Hence things like the plastic bags for shipping versus boxes.

TOJ model:

1) extremely high labor cost due to absolutely individual production+the best materials we can get our hands on+flexible production system
2) lowest possible overhead (almost $0, apart from this thread) - no office, no brick and mortar, no sales reps wasting time away on a floor, no fancy packaging, no glitter or show
3) minimal markup (just enough to recoup losses in case of lost/error items)

Traditional fashion model:

1) low labor cost (trimmed as low as possible, factory production) + varying range of materials + inflexible, set production
2) huge overhead costs, the sky is the limit.
3) fixed markup at wholesale (5-10x manufacture cost) -> 2.5-3.2x retail middleman boutique pricing

What I felt long ago but really am coming around to now is that TOJ pricing could've been a little more expensive in order to stay healthier. There was no fixed markup ratio, but it always remained low. The wallets were almost to the point of being a charity project. Things like that happen when you work this way.

As for restaurants - well, I spent years rationalizing a lot of TOJ processes as being analagous to restaurants - and it turned out that I was right after all..... for the most part. We went into this shop with another person who also believes in the virtuous low pricing models, delivering high quality for a surprisingly low price - I think that doesn't work in restaurants, after all. In clothing, we were able to cover the gap by slashing all the unnecessary costs; in food and drink, it turns we can't really do that. It's only been three months for me, but I am seeing that more formal computations are required, and that lavish offerings and add-ins simply don't have the same place as they do in clothing, at least in my current restaurant setting. There will be some fine tuning there, but I learned a ton about that business for very little money, so I guess it was worth it.

I have been cooking on the line. I got two cooks to help me, and I plan small menus that balance movement, efficiency, inventory turnover and freshness, and I compensate for the shortcomings of a tiny tiny kitchen with technologies such as sous vide. It's still a hell of a lot of work, about 12-14 hrs a day at the shop. The two cooks are fantastic workers and have really changed my outlook on a lot of things. One girl came in to interview, wearing a fitted hat and carrying a skateboard, and said she was just told to show up; I didn't really know what to make of her so I told her to go over to the corner that was less busy and mince me a half a dozen onions. She ended up doing so with technical proficiency and speed, and I was impressed. She did a few more tasks and I realized she was good for the job. That's been a month or so now, but she has really impressed me with her work ethic and her ability to get the job done. It has been humbling to work alongside her. We're scrubbing down deep fryers, taking out big food refuse bins, it's ugly and the pure essence of work, the constant doings, standing on your own two feet. I was working hard and trying to work harder than anyone else, but these kids try to out work me. Anyway, that part is good. I am glad to have had this experience if only for getting back into the real world, off the internet fashion sphere for a short time.

I obviously spend a little time thinking about clothes while I'm standing there all day cooking. I know for sure that I don't want to return to the TOJ MTM model again. To me, it was an added bonus that you could MTM while being a million times more work, but I still feel that 90% of people could fit into OTR sizes. As you can see, people have been able to B+S used TOJ mostly successfully, fit-wise; I feel prices on the secondary market are even too low, considering. Also, I still contend that I never liked 90% or more of the 'custom' deviations from the original baseline offerings, and I want to take back control of the design.

I will make clothes again at a later date. I don't know when, and it would be completely from scratch and independent of TOJ, new factories, new ways of procuring materials, I want to cut some of the lavish costs that were involved in TOJ, in order try things like nicer packaging and better visual and short communications. Answering questions about lead times gets old, so MTM has failed itself if people don't understand the fundamental concept of human-made things to order. Most of all, I want to make something different, and I want to one up myself while having learned what I liked and didn't like about TOJ. We made a ton of leather jackets, yes, but we also made clothes in general, plus small leather goods. We never explored the latter fully enough. We never explored women's clothing. There are so many things left to do, but I have to find a way to organize them into one house. Nothing more to say on that, as absolutely zero has been made yet, but I have some thoughts swarming in my head about the separate entity.

They might of already stopped
post #36512 of 52734

Who will order the final TOJ?

post #36513 of 52734
Or has... Dun dun dun
post #36514 of 52734
Originally Posted by killerfrenzi View Post

anyone who ordered a ma-1 or qbcdr/bcdr get a tracking number yet?
My girlfriend's in week 23 for a women's QBCDR, no tracking yet.
Anyone know whether men's and women's jackets of the same style would be made in the same batch?
post #36515 of 52734
Oh man, I just realised Cole and Colm aren't the same person.
post #36516 of 52734
didn't somebody already offer to jump to the back of the line so that they would be the last toj? was that you, @distorbitant?
post #36517 of 52734
Originally Posted by hooker4186 View Post

Oh man, I just realised Cole and Colm aren't the same person.

lol. don't know how you could mix us up.

anyways week 25 now, still truckin
post #36518 of 52734
Originally Posted by ghdvfddzgzdzg View Post

didn't somebody already offer to jump to the back of the line so that they would be the last toj? was that you, @distorbitant?

Aw hell no. I'd only do that if it came with that prototype helmet bag Drew has laying around...

post #36519 of 52734
Originally Posted by Distorbiant View Post

Aw hell no. I'd only do that if it came with that prototype helmet bag Drew has laying around...

Helmet bag is reserved for transporting Duck Confit now. Should've emailed son
post #36520 of 52734
Duck Confit is very lucky. Also, delicious. What's your recipe Drew?
post #36521 of 52734
Drew would have made a post if they stopped taking orders, which he hasn't.
post #36522 of 52734
I received an email today saying that they still are taking orders
post #36523 of 52734

Maybe they'll literally end on the 31st

post #36524 of 52734

this varsity is probably my favorite TOJ. until my BCDR gets here at least.

post #36525 of 52734
Just put in a order for a black lamb 13' DR and part of me still is considering changing it to calf...hmm
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