Update from our side; some explaining of our added delays and other issues brought to me.
We started the summer off pretty well, things were getting made and shipped - and then our production manager’s father fell ill and so he had to go to the States to be with him. That was about a month. In the meantime I was given the production and shipping to handle, but my pace on that wasn’t up to speed and I hit some difficulties with shipping (more on this in a sec) as well as a technical glitch with the backpack (zipper, again, in a sec). Not too long after, the production manager’s fathers condition worsened and then he passed away, and so he went back to America once more to be with his family. It’s been a rough summer for him, it was nearly impossible for me to do his job on my own over here, and we are just now picking up some of the momentum to get back into it these days. I wasn’t really wanting to share this level of information with the public, but that took a lot of wind out of the sails and caused time to get on, and that was that.
I have been sending jackets throughout the summer and will have a few lots to ship soon once addressing is sorted; when I was shipping them alone I was accessing the db for addresses and sending to the last updated address I could find. Unfortunately a large number of them got returned to me due to listed addresses being outdated, or being the addresses of mothers/sisters or whoever the PP originated from. I shipped them again once I got updated addresses. Some of you may have noticed that the boxes looked like they’d gone around the world twice; they did. To bypass that hassle there may be email confirmations pre-shipping to make sure we get your current addresses before we ship, but let us contact you so that we get the information into the right venue. Some of the jacket types are going into November and December dates due to ease of batch making and some are still in a glut of the more individualized styles.
The backpacks and wallets were the summer project and were affected by our summer delays. I apologize for the wait and didn’t foresee this happening. The batch run on them is queued and the maker is ready with pattern dies made and the spec list on materials, but I hit a sourcing snag because the zipper we used last time turned out to be a mongrel piece consisting of a genuine Lampo pull on a YKK excel slider head. I found out why this configuration even existed and how it ended up on my bags - they were originally made for imitation Balenciaga bags and YKK is local (Japan) while Lampo is European (Italian) and so this was their solution for those. When the sample bag maker made my bags he had these as his #8 zipper on hand and I liked them, but just assumed they were YKK. The slider is YKK stamped and functions as does on YKK tape, but that pull was put there originally for the imitation Balenciagas made and sold locally I guess. I went back and asked if I could get the same thing but they are order-only thing with a lead time. That was a small issue that turned into a big hassle. Now that we are back in working mode we are going to be working to knock those out asap.
A side note, I have been receiving some strange PM’s and emails through the year from people I suppose looking to be in the clothing business, offering to buy TOJ’s patterns, the TOJ label for rights, and TOJ’s business itself in various messages - none of these are for sale. When we stopped taking orders a few months ago, that was to effectively end TOJ as I had planned and not continue the MTM leather jacket services. The patterning is five years of work and has probably hundreds of styles in it and I can’t put a price on them, the label itself can’t be anything on it’s own without the design and production, and the whole operation is a business I’d rather not sell to someone who isn’t set up to carry out properly, so I’d like to put an end to those inquiries.