This month I am so pleased to feature the incredible art of Ursula Vernon at Red Wombat Studio. The first five orders placed in April will get signed 8.5 x 11 copy of this cool print as a birthday gift from us at Alt.Kilt.
Alt.Kilt has decided to retire our originally Woodsman's Kilt - one of the first art kilts we ever made - and have added a new specialty kilt in its place.
Made from olive green 100% heavy cotton, this kilt with withstand the outdoors! It features a fully removable swag side pocket with antique brass box latch and three utility loops. The right hand side has a permanent cargo pocket and an antique brass key hook. Each belt loop terminates in a d-ring, the buttons are subtle with a burnished antique brass star on each one and there are antique brass rivets and grommets as decor.
Because this is a handmade product, there is always some slight variations in each kilt produced and design elements do shift positions as the size of the kilt increases. You can purchase this kilt in our specialty kilt section - its individual page is located here: http://www.altkilt.com/animakilt
This kilt was a design collaboration between Alt.Kilt and Anima Lifeways & Herbal School: http://www.animacenter.org - especially Jesse Wolf. A portion of the proceeds of this kilt's sales will go to benefit the school in New Mexico.
This month I am so pleased to feature the incredible music of Seanan McGuire. She is a wonderful writer of multiple urban fantasy books and other short stories - check out the October Daye series, if this is your style. We are going to be giving away 5 copies of her newest album Wicked Girls to the first five orders placed in March.
From her website: The followup to 2007's Stars Fall Home is finally almost upon us! Fairy tales and wolves, carnivals and crows, this is a once upon a time that has been a long time coming. With fourteen original songs and two covers, this is Seanan's most ambitious project yet.
Wicked Girls features performances by Kristoph Klover, Michelle Dockrey, Amy McNally, Paul Kwinn, Margaret Davis, SJ Tucker, and Dr. Mary Crowell, along with special guests and musical surprises yet to be announced. With sound engineering and production by Kristoph Klover, cover art by Tara O'Shea, and interior design by Beckett Gladney, this is an album that Seanan could not possibly be prouder of, and cannot wait for you to have the opportunity to hear.
I have had this album on repeat in our car since I got it in the mail - I love it and I am so happy to support Seanan as an artist and share her music with Alt.Kilt fans.
A few months ago I came across a website for an incredible company in the UK called Dashing Tweeds.
Dashing Tweeds is Britain’s latest tweed textile company. Opening up a contemporary arena for a classic quality fabric, Dashing Tweeds has created a range of tweeds for the 21st century, designed by photographer Guy Hills and weaver Kirsty McDougall.
A unique weave of wool worsted and reflective yarn, LumatwillsTM appear by day only in their smart combination of colours. By night, under illumination, hidden reflective lines shine out, offering an inventive and stylish solution to attire for the pedestrian, cyclist or scooter rider.
I ordered in a few samples and I was in love with the fabric. The tweeds are beautifully woven with smooth textures and deep colors - but it is the LumaTwills that really captured my attention. As their website says quoted above, these fabrics provide safety for those out and about on the streets and I personally think they will be great for clubbing and other activities.
We now have three of these weaves available in our Accent Pleat Kilt as an add-on for $50.00. Currently we are stocking Red Raver, Grey Raver and The Dashing. There are more photos of this fabric in action on our Flickr Feed so please go take a look!
First of all, my lovely assistant and her husband are having their first baby (yay!) but that means she is going to be out for a while with the little one. I am currently interviewing some intern help to make sure that things keep running as smooth as possible while she is out. We are so happy for them!
Second, we are going to be starting the Alt.Kilt Birthday Bash for the year. There will be more information on this soon but because I cannot keep good news in, here is a little info. Alt.Kilt is turning 5 this year and we are having a year long hobbit style birthday party! Over the years, we have meet a lot of really neat artists and craftsman and we want to share that with you all. Each month, we will feature one of our favorite artists - the first five kilts ordered that month will get a free sampling of their work mailed with their order. So far we have all sorts of different items and styles: cast kilt pins, handmade leather pouches, music CDs, caffeinated baking mixes, posters and prints. I am planning on posting a schedule so that people can see what is up and coming. We are really happy to be able to help support these other independent businesses.
And thirdly, due to economics of a small business, there is going to be a price increase on our kilts. In four years, I have not had to change a thing but unfortunately, it is time. It will only be a modest $20 on the Alt.Kilt Classic and many of the designed kilts will have a rework to see how little I have to raise them as well. The new pricing structure will be in place on February 1st. I hope you all can understand. Thank you so much for your business and support.
Get ready for the Holiday Geek Expo! This is an intimate version of the geeky-goodness found in the CONvergence Dealer's Room just in time for Winter Holiday shopping! We'll have everything from kilts to corsets, jewelry to comics and nearly everything in-between. The Expo happens December 4th and 5th, 2010. Doors open at 10am both days and close at 6pm Saturday and 4pm Sunday. Sponsored by Mohr Creations, Sprite Creations, CONvergence Inc., GPS and Anime Twin Cities. The Expo is located in the Waterbury building; 1121 Jackson Street N.E., Room #135, Minneapolis, MN 55413 (Northwest corner of Broadway & Central Ave).
Do you want to win a $200, $150 or $100 Gift Certificate from Alt.Kilt? (And really, who wouldn't?) Enter our contest! Send us your photos of the coolest, hardest to get to, most exotic places you've ever worn your kilt. Have you climbed Blood Falls in Antarctica in your kilt? Let's see it! Ever ridden a camel wearing your kilt? Bring it on! Managed to get to the deepest darkest jungle? We'd like photographic proof, please. Spend all your time hanging around the local coffee house checking facebook? Well.... just show us that it is the best place in your town and we'll add it to the list. So, submit your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.flickr.com/groups/altkilts/ October 26 through November 16, 2010. Winners will be notified by November 22, 2010.
We have prizes for any kilt (any maker - tartan or contemporary) in an exotic place and some special ones for Alt.Kilts being featured in the photos.
Share this around the web... the more photos the better! These photos do need to be kid-friendly.
Up until this point, I have been the sole employee of Alt.Kilt. I sew every kilt that I mail out (over 150 so far this year) - and I do every step of the process from washing the fabric to sewing the buttons to doing the shipping. It is important to me that my work isn't mass produced - that I actually do each order one at a time for my clients. It is hard in the modern world to think that choosing to be a one person factory is a good choice since everything out there seems to scream that you should be outsourcing and growing fast and furious. That isn't what I do and though I have gotten pick up help from time to time on the sewing, I realized that it isn't something that I want other people to do. Part of what makes my kilts special, is the fact that I make them myself for each individual client.
I work hard to keep my prices reasonable for the work that I mail out. I love my work - with a passion - and I don't want to compromise what I do in order to "keep up with the Joneses".
But, after now going on four years of a steadily growing business, I have finally decided that I do need some help and there are things that I can pass on to someone else. I wanted to introduce my new assistant, Melanie... she is going to help be a voice for Alt.Kilt, working specifically on answering email and keeping track of things like Facebook and updating orders quicker. This will give me more time in my studio to get orders filled.
This summer has been extremely busy - I have been working 15 hour days since mid-April and though it has been worth it, it has been hard. Having another person to rely on will make it much better and allow me to continue to do the work I love. She will be able to get to emails and voicemails much faster than I can. I am getting really close to caught up from bit of a backlog of orders (which is what happens when you are one person) and I think that the newer system we have worked out is going to make a world of difference in production and responsiveness.
I am still reachable and I am still wanting to build custom work for you - I can be found directly at email@example.com and Melanie will be answering both the firstname.lastname@example.org emails and her address, which is email@example.com. She is a bit new to the kilt world but is learning fast so please give her a little time to get her feet on solid ground. I am really happy to have her on board!
Thanks so much for understanding and supporting Alt.Kilt.
We spent three and a half years in treatments – ranging from daily oral chemo, sedation, spinal taps and surgery. I was a single mom with two young kids, trying to get through college and barely able to work. There was a lot of crying, toughening up, fighting and worries. My eldest son missed school and having a normal childhood and my youngest had his entire reality shifted. We were poor, tired and ragged… but we survived. My son is in remission and has been out of treatment for two long years.
One of the best gifts we were given during that terrible time was trip to DisneyLand via Make-A-Wish and the people that really made it home for us while we were there was Give Kids The World Village (http://gktw.org/).
Give Kids The World is a non-profit organization that exists only to fulfill the wishes of all children with life-threatening illnesses and their families from around the world to experience a memorable, joyful, cost-free visit to the Central Florida attractions, and to enjoy the magic of Give Kids The World Village for as long as there is a need. 100,000 children have had their dream come true at Give Kids The World. No child in need has ever been turned away – and no child ever will. Give Kids The World is a place where families find joy, laughter, serenity, and a lifetime of memories. Through the tireless support of our volunteers, employees and generous partners, we dedicate each and every day to these special families.
Kilted for Kids' Cancer
We believe in gifts. As a family, we have been through a lot of hard time but have come out on top and we want to thank all of those people who helped us through it all. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month but our gratitude lasts all year round so we have started a movement to help give back that will not end when the month is over.
First and foremost, we want to thank our customers who have made Alt.Kilt what it is today. For the rest of the month of September, we are giving away our kid's kilts for free. Each one will have our Kilted for Kids' Cancer screen printed small on the front apron. Shipping will be added to each free kilt order. As an option, we are also collecting donations for Give Kids The World so you have the choice to write in a donation amount with your order of a kid's kilt - there is *NO* requirement to donate. Either way, the kilts are free for all kids until the end of September.
We are hosting an eBay auction for the next seven days featuring a "Custom Build Kilt" - you can have any thing you want (excluding full leather)... all of our fabrics, customizations - including screen printing, embroidery, unique pockets and color combination, and this even includes any of our specialty styles (as is or modified). 100% of the profits of this auction will go directly to Give Kids The World.
For our adult kilt fans, we are also offering the addition of the Kilted for Kids' Cancer logo (as seen on the right) screen print to your Alt.Kilt order. A $25 donation has been added to the cost of the basic classic kilt and this will be passed directly on to Give Kids The World. The kilt can still be built with all available options and fabric choices. Please check out our KfKC Store: http://www.altkilt.com/catalog/34.
We are also offering a selection of T-shirts and accessories that will have our Kilted for Kids' Cancer logo on it. We are donating 100% of the profits from these items to Give Kids the World for this year and every year. These will be updated as the month goes on - so check our Twitter and Facebook as new items are added. Most of these are pre-orders (as with the patches) or made-to-order as with the t-shirts. Suggestions are always welcome.
Thank you for your support of Alt.Kilt and our dedication to Give Kids the World.
Being a one person shop has left me to come up with interesting ways to solve problems. When I first started making kilts, I delivered every single one to clients. But soon, Alt.Kilt grew to be a more mail orientated business and I had to figure out how to package and send a kilt. I couldn't bring myself to just put it in a box and send it off but I also didn't have the desire or the resources to invest in plastic bagging systems. I wanted something that respected the handmade nature of my work so I started to wrap each kilt in spare fabric and tie the bundle up with ribbon, slipping in my business cards on the top.
Many of our customers have found ways to reuse their kilt packaging - mainly for storage of their Alt.Kilt but some have also used it as fabric for other projects. But I assume that many others are unable to use that packaging again so I think it is time to have a recycle program for that aspect. My kilts are made with new materials so that I can guarantee the quality of my product but I use the scrap to make my line of spare pockets and other accessories. Reusing the kilt packaging wrap would be the best new way to cut down waste produced by Alt.Kilt.
Each kilt order that mails out starting July 26th, 2010 will have a small envelop tucked inside the Priority Mail box. This envelope will be stamped and ready to go. If you decide you don't need your packaging wrap for the storage of your kilt, please just fold it up inside and drop it in the mail. I will reuse all the packaging I get back in the mail. If you previously received your kilt and still have your wrap that you want to return to us, please send it to our address on the Contact Us page or email me for a pre-set envelope.