Behind the scenes No. 1 – Product planning
Attention to details from the very beginning
At A.Y.Judie, we have two in-house designers in charge of the initial process for creating a new product.
Taking ideas from their rough sketches, the designers start discussing about the product's attributes including its design, function, size and material. Once they have reached a stage where they can see the product taking shape, they then proceed to making a sample.
Most of our products are small in shape, so adjusting the size by just a few millimeters can make a big difference in its overall look and functionality. That's why we are always so diligent in improving our samples. To us, making samples is just like conducting an experiment—we create it, review it, and remake it, over and over again.
Taking pride in being A.Y.Judie
Meetings to evaluate the samples take place at our headquarters, and center around three members: our two designers, and a member from our Tokyo office's marketing team.
Everyone shares their honest opinions in these meetings. "Don't you find this is a little hard to use?" "It might look sharper without this piping here." "Maybe you could make some fine adjustments here." We have no doubt that establishing relationships and a company culture where everyone can honestly and openly say what they are thinking has a deep, positive impact in the way we create our products.
More than anything, to hear our meeting members say, "This is nothing more than a regular pouch. Why would someone need this?" reaffirms that what we do makes A.Y.Judie what it is.
While we pay particular attention to design, our first job and our most unique feature is offering products that are easy to use and functional, and motivate you with a sense of elegance and beauty. And because we take pride in our uniqueness, we, at A.Y.Judie, are always in search of creating products that are "beyond conventional."
Beyond trial and error
It is not easy to come up with a new product.
There are many obstacles in the process of transforming an idea from a simple sketch into a final product and a great deal of energy is necessary to overcome them all.
For instance, we improve the samples of each of our products at least five times; we've even had cases where we did it well over 10 times. Despite that, our designers say that they "have never felt reluctant in remaking a sample." They note: "Even if we think a sample is good as it is, people point things out to us and we realize many areas to improve on. We get happy because the samples get better and better every time we remake them."
Our eagerness and sincerity towards creating things is what keeps up the high quality of our products.
When we produce a sample that satisfies us, we finally then move on to the next step of the process, and produce the patterns.
Advancements in printing technology have enabled us to take orders, even for small items and small-lot production, that have customized, original fabrics, and given our designers more opportunities to use all their skills and put in a little personality in their work.
And, to our joy, such products have been received really well.
More and more buyers have been praising us by saying that they "can't go wrong with A.Y.Judie's products," and that we are "getting more and more sophisticated by the day."
While every department of our company has some sort of involvement with the products, they are all unique in their own way: some check fashion magazines or read financial newspapers to stay in line with the times; others collect different fabrics and accessories, sit down with staff from different departments, and analyze trends in the shops which sell our products; or address the straightforward reviews left by our customers at our online shop.
At A.Y.Judie, we want to continuously create products that our customers consider easy to use, that they consider a good buy, products they can cherish forever. We want to create even more beautiful products, to even more people. These are the feelings we share at A.Y.Judie.
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