You Mess with Bacon, You Get Porked

red red and red

The second saga of production for the bacon design is as rife with turmoil and hair pulling moments and gasps of exasperation at the bottom of a lonely, dry well as the first.

First round found difficulty mostly with the garments being embroidered, and this round finds its antagonist within the very threads themselves. I hazard a guess that most of the details of variegated thread vs. candy cane thread is of little interest to the general populace. I also propose that most people are not interested in how much of my profit margin was lost on UPS faster than ground fees for various threads in an attempt to match the original designs’ thread color.

I would, however, surmise that those few who ordered the second run of the bacon shirt, would wonder why the hell is that taking so long? Indeed. I have received several emails to that effect, though my kind customers did not use the word ‘hell’ in their questioning. They are a civilized bunch. And quite forgiving.

But the tale is as follows:

The original threads used in the first prototypes and the final production run of the first bacon shirt came from Australia. How did I get Australian threads to begin with, here deep in the US midwest, would be a fair question that I would at this time ignore. Those original spools ran slightly thin, and I worried that they did not contain enough thread left for the second production run, so I set about finding supplemental spools within the continental bounds of my country. There was driving to local threaderies, as well as online orders placed. An additional and finally acceptable set of two spools were finally decided upon. Forward momentum was resumed.

Then in quick succession of events everything tumbled to dust again.

All spools were sent to the embroiderer. All spools were received by embroiderer. All blank shirts were received by embroiderer. Embroiderer calls me and says that they will not do the job without at least ten spools of each color thread. This is not entirely unsurprising, as most embroiderers have large multiple head machines in order to stitch out a design quite a bit faster than one-at-a-time. I’ve seen pictures of some machines that can do up to twenty four stitch-outs at a time. Huge. What made this surprising, though, is that they did these one at a time previously, and now they were laying down the law. Said law was not mentioned when the original discussion was had about second run, or even when the purchase order was submitted.

In order to comply, I would need to purchase an additional twenty two spools of thread. Please bear in mind that this thread is not inexpensive, especially the glow thread. My lunch today was less than one spool of the non-glow. I generally don’t have much margin on designs, and purchasing these spools would effectively eliminate a profit margin, as well as being to eat into the money being held to cover the eventual shipping of product to customer.

I ran through all the options slowly for a few hours that afternoon, covering everything from buying the spools to tossing in the towel, collecting whatever refunds would be available for supplies already procured, and issue refunds to all bacon customers. I also tried calling around to other local embroidery shops and seeing if anyone would handle it based upon the spool count already possessed. I even checked craigslist for a production quality machine to do it myself. Found one for about two grand. The best, and ultimately, the only, option, was to have the current embroidery company handle the job, to reselect two meat thread colors based on what they had in house and procure the needed six extra spools of fat glow thread to get to the total of ten.

There have been a few aftershocks since that final reroute.

The supplier of the glow thread didn’t receive their backorder. The embroiderer picked a pink that was far too light. But all this is a far cry from the surprise twists and turns experienced thus far. That I can handle.

The thing that worries me a bit, but only a bit, is that the bacon with not look exactly like the one pictured. Now, my poor photography plus your monitor settings equals who knows what you are seeing in comparison to actual product photographed. But this might be more noticeable, since the lower of the two meat threads will no longer alternate between a pink and a light red. It’s going to be all pink. Not the end of the world, at this point, as long as the damn shirts happen at all. And this does differentiate the first bacon run from the second. You want limited edition, you got it.

And as always, when these roll into your mail receiving receptacle, or even beforehand, if you are all, like, “this is bunk!” then I will certainly refund your monies. I am here to earn your love with my interpretation of bacon in thread.