17" x 17"

I fall into the "shoot first, ask questions later" category of human behavior. So, naturally, that's how I operated when getting into manufacturing. After I flipped through my Sourcing Guide and found a place in North Carolina, and got all that going. I was satisfied that I knew what I was doing. That was easy! Geez, what's everyone always whining on about? You just call, get a price (don't negotiate, just agree to everything) and voila, you're like me, a manufacturing legend!

Not so much. I'm still paying for the mistakes I made then. The number one offender: 17x17 pillows - the bane of my existence. Now, if you're reading this and you purchased a 17x17, don't freak out - there's nothing wrong with the goods. In fact, it's an excellent pillow: down-filled insert, covered with our colorful 100% linens, topped off with our lovely zipper and signature tassel (like how I did that?). Seriously, it's a great throw pillow and a good price; the problem is that I have too many of the those pillows - hundreds of them! I'm drowning in them. A direct result of having no clue what the hell I was doing and agreeing to anything.

Now here's how that happened. David in North Carolina, the good old boy with southern charm for miles, the one with the Dually and moonshine - that guy. One day, he calls me up.

"B, David here. How are ya, darlin? Now look here, sweetheart, I got a lot of waste from the cut of your tote bags, seems a shame to waste all that cloth..."


Right there, I should've said - "Well why do you have so much waste?"

Instead, I said - "Oh no! Really?"

He now knows I don't know what the fuck I'm doing. "Yea - it's a real shame you don't want all that waste..."

And I say - "Oh right... no I don't. What should I do?"

If he had any doubts before, it's confirmed now. My fate is sealed - I'm a neophyte. 

"Well I don't know darlin' it's a real problem..."

Now, I'm anxious, and my voice tightens. He's got me.

"Now don't you worry those blonde locks of yours darlin' here's what I can do for you..."

When anyone says, "Here's what I can do for you," that usually means "Here's what I'm going to do for me."

"It turns out the waste is coming in at 17x17 squares, so for every tote bag we cut, we can make you two pillows, for a small price!"

"Oh David - thank you! Thank you so much," I said. I actually thanked him. What a schmuck.

And pillows did he make. I must've had over 4000 17x17 throw pillows at one point. They started showing up, boxes of 'em. Now, like I said, there's nothing wrong with these pillows at all. They are fantastic - it's just that I have too many of them, and they are just hanging around on our balance sheet. They are inflating our inventory! It's ironic, too, because before I came up with the Hedgehouse Throwbed, I thought about making throw pillows, but then I was like, "yeah, I don't have anything to add to that already saturated market."

The other big lesson I learned in manufacturing is waste is bad, and if there's waste, that's usually a warning sign that something is wrong. If someone says that there's waste, that's a sign to ask questions, put it back in their lap, make it their problem. Everyone in business ultimately is doing what's best for them. The good business people will have you convinced that their best interest is your best interest.

Basically, never let anyone in business call you darlin'.


Cortina Coral

Cortina Black

Toulouse Brown

Sur La Mer Red Narrow

Meribel Metallic

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