After four wonderful years of creating special, one-of-a-kind pieces for our loyal customers, we have decided to shift our focus to our ready-to-wear collection. We will be taking final orders for any Made-to-Order items until the end of March. We know there will be many questions about this evolution and what it means for the business and you, so we’ve attempted to answer some of them through the following Q&A.
If you have further questions or you would like to speak with a stylist about an order, please send us an email at email@example.com.
Why is this happening?
While our Made-To-Order offering has been such a special and important component of our brand from the very beginning, the pandemic turned our business model upside down and in doing so, gave us a fresh opportunity to revaluate what's working, what's not and where we want to take this business. Our ready-to-wear collection of classic wardrobe essentials has experienced strong growth over the past couple of years (but especially post Covid), so we've decided to seize the opportunity to focus on this side of the business. While this was a really hard decision for many reasons and we are sad to say goodbye to something so core to our brand identity, we are excited about this next chapter and continuing our brand promise of providing timeless silhouettes, the best quality fabrics and excellent craftsmanship. These elements have been the essence of the Alice Walk brand since day one, and we are committed to the same quality and aesthetic as we move forward.
Practically speaking, what does this mean for the business?
We will be moving out of our beloved Boston studio at the end of April, which has been the home of our appointment-based showroom and production space for the last five years. This is not only where customers come to experience the full Alice Walk semi-custom process (i.e. meet with a stylist, try on our samples, see and feel our fabrics), it is also where all of these speciality items were designed and sewn from scratch. We used to say that shopping at our studio was truly "farm-to-table". While we may continue to offer some of our most popular styles and fabrics from our made-to-order collection in small batches (this is still TBD), we will no longer be able to offer the customization options of selecting fabric, length and sleeve type.
What does the future of AW look like?
Our business will live primarily online and will look very similar to the way it does on our website right now, aside from no longer offering some of the items currently labeled as "made-to-order". The good news is that we will now have the bandwidth to expand and improve upon our current offering of wardrobe essentials and already have some exciting new products in the works! We are still big believers in the in-person shopping experience, so we are looking forward to resuming occasional events and pop-up shops when it is safe to do so.
Is there still time to order a MTO (made-to-order) item?
Yes! As we will be moving out of our Boston studio at the end of April, we will be accepting orders of MTO items until March 31st. However, depending on the volume of orders that we receive, there is a possibility we will modify this deadline. If our production team still has capacity at the end of March, then we will extend it by a week or so, but conversely, if we reach capacity on orders that need to be produced by the end of April, we may need to close orders a little bit sooner.
How do I make an appointment at your Boston studio to try on MTO items?
You can make a showroom appointment by using this link. As of right now, our showroom is open Monday - Friday. Depending on demand, we may open for one or two Saturdays in March.
If I’m not in the Boston area or can't come to the Boston showroom, can I still place an order for a MTO item?
Yes! We have listed all of the MTO styles that we are currently offering in this final wave on our website here. To see images of our available fabrics, we've posted them on our website here. When you click into a specific product page, you will see what fabrics are currently available for that particular silhouette (not all fabrics work with every style). There are a few additional fabrics that are not listed online that we will have available for customers that come into our studio. In terms of sizing, here is a link to our size chart. But of course, please feel free to reach out to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions you may have! We are here to help!
How should I go about taking my measurements to find my size?
Our size guide (linked here) is the best reference in determining which size works for you. While we are not a made-to-measure brand and instead carry standard sizes, we've found this YouTube video (linked here) helpful in determining how to properly take your measurements that you can then use to compare to our size guide.
Do you have photos of every style in every fabric option?
While we don't have photos of every style in each fabric option, you can see images of every fabric swatch on this page here. If there is a style and fabric combination you are interested in, please let us know and we might be able to find previous customer photos to give you a better sense!
Are we able to ship out samples for sizing?
Unfortunately, given that we only have one set of samples in our showroom for each style and size, we are unable to ship out samples. That said, we work with customers virtually all the time and can help you determine sizing based on body measurements.
What is the return policy be for any final speciality Made-To-Order items?
Given that we will no longer be offering this service going forward, all specialty Made-To-Order purchases will be FINAL SALE.
Given the Final Sale return policy, what do I do if I am unsure about sizing?
We can help guide you on sizing as best we can based on the style(s) you are interested in (more so than just providing our size guide). But if you are still unsure, we recommend rounding up one size (as it's always better for it to be too big vs. too small) and then bringing it to a local tailor if needed for a final tweaking.
Will the South Boston studio stay open?
We will sadly be closing our studio space in South Boston at the end of April. We look forward to seeing you at future events and pop-ups though - and we will keep you posted as these are scheduled!
Will there be a sample sale at any point?
Yes! We are planning to have a sample sale sometime in April at which point all of our samples and any excess inventory will be marked down. More details on this to come! If you do not already receive our emails, please sign up for our newsletter here as this is the first place we will be announcing details on the event!
Will you ever reintroduce your specialty Made-To-Order offering?
Never say never! The operational backend of a semi-custom concept is fairly complex (which is why we always did everything in-house, under one roof), but if we think building that infrastructure back up again is the right business decision, we would absolutely explore it!