iPhone “Sweater” Case

I was looking around Etsy for a new iPhone case and I came across very cool and innovative designs.

by ArtizanWork (Etsy)

This case is hard and durable and it’s knitted by a robot using 3D printing to make it look like actual knitting.

The funny thing is, for a while I’ve had the idea to knit a similar kind of case (not a cozy/sock like most other knit cases) with a pocket for my student ID for when I didn’t want to lug around my clutch or a purse. The only problem I could not get around was finding a way for the case to stay on the iPhone without obstructing the screen, side buttons, or camera (much like the cases above do). The closest I came to was coming up with a design that would have a hole for the camera and light that would have to be sewed or glued onto another plastic case. Basically it would look exactly like the second design pictured above but it would actually knit from a fiber!

And here I thought I was being clever, but someone already beat me to it! Maybe if I actually find a way to attach it to my phone I could make the next big thing.

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Vintage Party Dress Search

I love shopping vintage and thrifting! That goes for everyday clothes and special occasions. I’ve done it once before when I bought a vintage dress for my high school senior prom and I’m in the process of doing it once more!

Every year the marching band holds a band banquet at the end of the season in December, which is like band prom, except it’s 10 times more fun than regular prom. Last year, I just wore the same dress I wore at prom, but this year, I’m looking for a new dress. It’s basically just an excuse for me to splurge a little more than my usual $5 at the local Goodwill for a vintage/thrifty find.

When searching for a vintage dress, it’s difficult to find that perfect balance between something that is unique to it’s era (hello 80s!) and something that will fit in with current trends. Thankfully, vintage-inspired is very in! However, I don’t want to buy a dress that is too similar to the one I previously bought.

Banquet 2011: That’s me in the 80s sequins and bow!

So I’ve been scouring Etsy’s vintage section for the perfect dress. I’m keeping a list of favorites so far and here’s a few dresses/themes that I love:

Red

ragdollvintage @Etsy

Vintage 70s/80s Cherry Red Flapper Fringe Cocktail Party Mini Dress – $155

It fits our marching band show theme: Western! I love the fringe. This dress just screams “fun” and “I want to dance!” It’s also perfect to pay some homage to the the flappers of the 1920s who paved the way for women in America. However, at $155, this dress is way over my budget. A girl can dream, can’t she?

ragdollvintage @Etsy

Vtg 50s/60s Cherry Red Stretch Diamond Rhinestone Embroidered Cocktail Dress – $175

Sigh, another dress I can’t afford. I love the playfulness of this dress. The high-low skirt makes this piece the mullet of dresses. I also like the coverage on the arms. The modesty of the cut definitely plays down the color and makes this super wearable. The rhinestones also get rid of the need for any neck jewelry. It’s simple, yet makes a statement.

StellarVintage @Etsy

Gorgeous Red 90s Bandage Mini Dress – $28

Something in my budget! The 90s had some crazy trends, and some of them I question about ever returning, however this dress is something the 90s did right. You can barely tell it was from the 90s. The cut and fit of this dress is so typical of any other party dress you’d find on a college girl on a Friday night that it kind of loses its appeal to me. It’s hard to believe that clothes from the 1990s are considered vintage because I was alive then! But still, I like the zig-zag detail on the dress and the color is unique and it’s cheap and vintage, so it’s definitely worth considering as an option.

Lace

POMPOMCLOTHING @Etsy

70s Coral Lace Dress – Romantic Sheer Floral Lace Dress – $56

This dress is not only red, but it’s also lace! I love the fact that this dress has a little length. Lace is a really popular current trend in fashion. It also works for semi-formal events and can be dressed down with the right accessories. A versatile piece always lengthens your wardrobe. The price is also just about right. That’s probably as high as I’m willing to spend.

AppleBranchesVintage @Etsy

Vintage 1960s Black Sleeveless Beaded Lace Dress – $49

This black lace dress is super classy! Rather than the dress being made entirely of lace, the lace top portion makes a subtle statement. I love how the flowy skirt contrasts the fitted lace top. Black is also a much safer color to wear, although I was trying to stay away from black and white this time.

Ruffles

GypsyStardustDesign @Etsy

Vintage 70s Purple RUFFLE TRIMMED Mini Party Dress M – $52

I’m not sure that I’d be pull off this bold color, but I still like it. In case you haven’t noticed, I really like balancing out lengths and proportions by either having a modest top and short skirt or a more revealing top with a fuller-length skirt. This dress does it all.

LastDanceVintage @Etsy

Girly Gala Glam Party Dress. Vintage 1970s. Little Black Dress. Cascading Chiffon Handkerchief Ruffles. Size Extra Small. – $30

You can’t see it in this picture, but the back of this dress is a huge SURPRISE! It’s super low cut. I’ve definitely never worn something so… provocative! But again, a balance of skin and modesty. It’s all about the balance. I’m a little on the short side, however, so I’m afraid that the longer length of the skirt would only make me look more like a midget.

StellarVintage @Etsy

Black Sequin Ruffle Party Dress Small – $30

The ruffles on this dress are a little more understated but the sequins make up for it. My other dress also had a black sequined top so I’m a bit reluctant to getting one so similar. This dress definitely conveys a different feeling, though.

1980s Ruffly Skirts

AppleBranchesVintage @Etsy

Vintage 1980s Floral Colorful Gold Iridescent Prom Party Dress – $61

I have an obsession with bows and this dress is just another manifestation of it. It’s black but has a sort of gold, glowy floral pattern. It’s just the right amount of color to make the dress stand out. However, my other dress also has a bow so getting this dress is a little questionable in terms of getting something different.

AppleBranchesVintage @Etsy

Vintage 1980s Dark Blue Rose Velvet Embellished Tulle Party Dress – $63

This dress is my absolute favorite one that I’ve found so far. And it’s only slightly more than my budget so I’d definitely be willing to splurge on it. The main reason why I love it so much is that it reminds me of the Japanese Loli trend. Everything about it is just perfect! The little lace detail, the ruffly skirt, the balance between girly and edgy, the dark color. I wanted to stay away from black and a darker jewel tone is just enough. Gah, I just want it so much. If no one buys it in the upcoming weeks, this one might be the one I buy.

Now that I’ve shown you all these awesome dresses you’re not going to go and buy them all off of Etsy, right? Haha, who ever gets these finds are going to be lucky girls. I’ll probably be making my decision within a few weeks. Banquet is only a month away! Boy does the semester fly by fast.

Are you as obsessed with vintage as me? Have you worn vintage to a special occasion? Which dress do you like the best? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Eager (Etsy) Sellers and Stony (Etsy) Buyers

I’ve been through quite a week, and it’s not exactly over yet. This morning I had my second Marketing exam of the semester and although I wasn’t as prepared as the first (I had only started studying 24 hours before the day of the test) it wasn’t too bad. My exam was on consumer behavior, market segmentation, and product development and management.

I was in lecture this past week when we discussing an article that we were assigned to read in the Harvard Business Review called Eager Sellers and Stony Buyers by John Gourville. In it, Gourville talks about something called the endowment effect. Now, I didn’t realize it while I read the article the first time, but like everything I learn in Marketing class, it is highly applicable to my life.

The endowment effect says that you value something more if you feel like you own it. Thus, if I were to give you a pen, you would value it at a higher price than you would if you had to go out and buy that same exact pen. You would have to be paid more to get it off your hands than you would be willing to pay for it to get in your hands.

There is also loss aversion, which means that consumers do not want to lose benefits they have when switching from one product to another and status quo bias, which means exactly what it sounds like. We tend to stick to the status quo.

Together, these three phenomena work together and make consumers value the products they currently use by a factor of three.

Now here’s the interesting part. Producers, or innovators, feel the exact same way about the products they develop. And it’s not surprising. Imagine working on a new product for a long time. You’ve invested so much into. Of course you are going to value it. Innovators feel like the products they development are in a way their “children.” This is how the endowment effect works on producers. They also see the benefits of their product and sees not using them as a loss and set their product as the status quo. So combine the factor of three from the consumers with the factor of three from producers and you get the 9X Effect. This diagram from the article neatly sums it up.

So how is this related to my life?

If you’ve been reading my blog, you’d know that this past summer I tried to launch a new collection on Etsy of knitted bow ties, bracelets, and collar necklaces. I was super excited to get it going. I thought it was unique, fun, and original, and that it would be a hit! Over the summer I worked diligently on knitting up my products in different colors, sizes, and styles. I amped up social media promotion on my blog and Tumblr. And while I started getting a lot more views on my Etsy storefront, I wasn’t getting many likes and sales were absolutely nonexistent. I didn’t understand why.

At first I believed it was because I was relatively unknown on Etsy. It takes a lot of money and time in order to promote yourself as heavily as some other Etsy sellers who get tons of sales and I wasn’t willing to put that much into it. That’s why I switched to Storenvy.

But now, I realized that it was also in part due to the 9X Effect. I thought my items were so cool and that there was this need for them. I had never really seen items like mine when I spent hours searching on Etsy for things that already existed so I could differentiate myself from the competition. Yeah, I did my research. But it turns out that I valued my products too high and Etsy buyers weren’t seeing what I saw in them.

I think what I and other innovators out there need to consider is that what you might think is unique and awesome and need-fulfilling others might not. They don’t want to leave their comfort zone. So when coming up with new products, be sure to remember that the 9X Effect will form this gap between what you want and what your potential customers want.

With all that being said, I really hope I get an A on my exam because I doubt most of my peers go home and write blog posts about marketing in their every day life. And if you want to know a fun fact, Etsy appeared on my exam. The answer was c) Etsy is an example of niche marketing. If I got that one wrong, I don’t know what I’d do with my life.

Look forward for some more posts this weekend! I’m ready for a relaxing one. I’m planning on writing a few blogs, knitting some of my sweater, and watching some TV!

Friday Etsy Finds: When The Band Comes Marching In

This will sadly be my last Friday Etsy Find as this Sunday I’ll be shipped off to endure a long week under the blazing sun at band camp and off to my studies as the school year rolls around. But it hasn’t left me without a theme to collect for this week. Enjoy some of this nifty vintage band paraphernalia with When The Band Comes Marching In: