Back to Basics

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Beginning Backward

When we first had the idea of creating TSHU, Thomas and I had “other lives”, professionally speaking. We knew nothing about design, fashion, sowing & everything between.

Thankfully, we were (and are) resourceful, and we quickly found talent to help us build our dream.

The Talent Team

At the time, our team included a great pool of talent, including:

  • Professional seamstresses
  • Embroidery specialist
  • Printing shop
  • Graphic designer
  • Photographer
  • Website designer
  • Packing shop (yep, the TSHUs used to be packaged in recycled cardboard sleeves!)

And, soon after, we had someone ironing and packing the TSHUs and mailing them out to you.

At some point, we even had people creating content for the website.

Far from the Eyes, Close to the Heart

Why so many people? Well, for several reasons.

1_ Again, we knew nothing about sowing, printing, embroidering, photographing or packing.

2_ We had no time to spare, what with both having “serious” day jobs and quite a few kids to care for.

3_ We really believed that our vision for TSHU would work and we preferred to make it happen, even if we weren’t close on a daily basis.

Taking It to Another Level

In 2019, at 36 years of age, I learned how to sew. First, out of curiosity—just to understand what I was asking of our seamstresses. Soon though, it became a passion. I simply couldn’t get enough. I invested in a sewing machine… And another… And even an embroidery machine. I was having so much fun! And I was seeing the handkerchiefs in another light. I could make them better and better, I could create new designs, fine tune existing designs to make them more durable, more pretty. What a thrill! 

Of course, in the process, I made a lot of crooked, funky-looking handkerchiefs. And sifting through the pile of existing handkerchiefs we had, I became more critical of the finishes. So, we ended up with a bunch of orphan handkerchiefs, which we’ll be giving out to our TSHU fans throughout the month of February. You can sign up to our newsletter to be the first to know about this awesome giveaway!

Simultaneously, I started following online tutorials to figure out how to take photos for the website. Equipped with a little light-box and my I phone, I invested in a graphic pad and was soon skilled enough to remove backgrounds from images and put up my own handkerchief photos. Are they the best in the west? Certainly not… But doing everything myself gave me a freedom I had never had before. A freedom to react and offer personalized service anytime, without waiting on others or putting pressure on suppliers.

TSHU Today

Today, TSHU handkerchiefs are 100% made here in our little workshop. When you order handkerchiefs, I cut out a piece of fabric, iron it, put it together and embroider it if required. I cut the little threads, iron it again, address your envelope and take it to the post office at the village. Today, the whole process happens here and I promise, is carried out with a smile on my face.

What are the things you learned as an adult and changed your lives? Share your stories with us!

Marion Poirier
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