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Building Felice Donna Sleepwear: Part 1

One day my wife Maria’s friend Veronika was shopping for a silk robe or a silk pajama. Much to her chagrin, products she looked at were either costly or poorly made or combination of both. You’d think that the price would correlate with quality, but it’s definitely not the case for this category of products. She called Maria and told all about it. Maria, in turn, performed her own independent research, which ultimately confirmed Veronika’s findings.

So they had an idea: what if silk sleepwear products could be both affordable and made of quality fabric, what if these products were both comfortable and good looking? Thus, Felice Donna Sleepwear was born. Felice Donna [felitʃe dˈɔnna] means “Happy Woman” from Italian.

The work has begun in mid-2018. It was a lengthy process: from the inception to sourcing the Italian fabric and French lace to tinkering with numerous variants of patterns for prototypes to finally nailing it down and sewing the finished product.

None of it was easy, and I applaud Maria, who was juggling her primary job, pregnancy, and the new business. And I wanted to support her beyond encouraging words and an occasional idea or commentary.

Seeing how I don’t know much about the fashion industry in general, and even less so about silk sleepwear, I could only offer one thing. I promised to build the brand’s website when the time comes.

After all, I’ve been a web developer for more than half of my life, and it seemed only logical. Sure they could use one of the shopping platforms, but that would mean they’d lose a chunk of the profit and be subject to a vendor lockdown. Sure they could hire somebody to build a website, but that would mean extra expenses on a razor-thin budget with a hard-to-predict outcome. All my career, I’ve been developing someone else’s products, so it’s time to create a product for myself (well, not for me; for her, but she’s my better half, so that checks out). And with that thought, I’ve embarked on a fascinating journey.

Admittedly, there were challenges I haven’t anticipated. Some of them were technical. Others laid purely in social dynamics because, of course, having your immediate family as your client might get tricky for many reasons. I’m going to spare you from the “soft skills” part and instead focus on the technical aspects.

In the next part of this series, I’ll talk about some architectural and design decisions I had to make and the reasons behind them.

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Personal

Hot Take: Problems and Solutions

Coming up with complex solutions for complex problems is easy.
Coming up with simple solutions for complex problems is hard.

What I mean by this is, generally speaking, a problem can be solved by breaking it down into smaller problems and addressing those. Once the individual pieces are taken care of, one can tie those together neatly, thus addressing the original issue.

But that’s in theory. In practice, each new small piece might create its own set of problems. It’ll likely introduce new inflection points at which things might go wrong. Little did you know, instead of one big problem, you now have a set of small ones, each of them potentially leading to new ones.

So yeah, coming up with simple solutions is hard, but, at the end of the day, you’ll do yourself a favor by not having to deal with the complexity you may have created otherwise.

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Personal

Welcome to the N-th Iteration of My Blog

Most likely, it’ll end up abandoned just as previous iterations were. But I’ll give it a shot. I hope it’s going to consist of a healthy mix of personal rants and web development tips and tricks.