I’m finalizing everything for my first production order, so this business briefing may be all I write today. The reality of placing this order has actually paralyzed me. Yesterday, I found myself browsing the mall–ostensibly for the great finds I’m going to report on this blog–but truthfully, shopping is my classic avoidance/comfort strategy. Read after the jump if you’re up for the self-analysis and pep talk I’m giving myself. I would certainly appreciate your thoughts!

Even the buttons are paralyzing me. The plastic buttons above cost $0.78 per shirt. Shell buttons cost $5.83 per shirt. Shell buttons are nicer, but not $5.05 nicer. Or are they?

(By the way, do you want to know why “white-white” shell buttons cost so much? I learned this on Tuesday. It’s because each shell only yields a limited surface that either (a) doesn’t need to be cleaned or (b) is thick enough to withstand cleaning. The more cleaning that is done, the thinner the surface becomes, which makes the button more likely to break. One shell may only yield three white-white buttons.)

And then there are the measurements. First, in writing them down, we’re discovering that size 8L (for G/H cups) may have different measurements in places like sleeve length than 8S and 8M (for D/E/F cups). I’m inclined to move forward rather than revise the pattern because I know the shirt sample from this pattern looks great on my H cup model. It seems foolish to put the time and expense into revisions that I’m not positive will matter. However, when a customer tries on an 8M and an 8L, the only thing that should be different are the bust measurements. The current situation has the potential to confuse customers. On the other hand, what if 8L customers are happier overall with their shirts than 8M customers? See what I mean about paralysis?

Don’t get me started on the correct measurement for the collar stand width. Is it edge to edge or button to buttonhole?

When I step back, I think the real issue is fear of commitment. I’ve spent two and a half years preparing to place this order. Now that it’s time to jump, I’m inching back from the edge of the diving board.

I’m also a perfectionist. It should reassure me that I’m calling this first order of 48 shirts a “soft launch”. I’m placing such a small order in case I’ve really miscalculated something and everyone needs to return their shirts. Plus, I’m offering women who purchase during the soft launch a rebate for sending me their honest reviews.

But it’s hard to convince a perfectionist to put down her pencil. I need your help!