Posted on 39 Comments

What is my relationship with Orchard Corset?

Last updated on April 2nd, 2021 at 06:51 pm

I don’t know if there’s something in the water, but many people in the corset community have been under scrutiny this past week. Quite frankly, I’m a bit bored of all the drama.
Since my trip to Washington, a small handful of people have come forward – one asking me about whether I’m paid by Orchard Corset, one telling me not to undervalue myself by associating with OTR companies, and one who has felt that my channel has a bit too much of a marketing feel as of late.
I thought I would answer this openly, to set the record straight. I have always tried to be as transparent as possible while still maintaining some semblance of privacy, and I thought I had made my sentiments towards OTRs clear before, but this situation is worth addressing publicly because for every one person who mentions something, there are usually 100 more thinking it but not wanting to speak up.
My trip to Washington was hosted by Orchard Corset. The owners had gone to lengths so that I wasn’t in debt for the trip, but that is just what a good host and a friend does. However, they didn’t pay me for my time there. I am not an employee and don’t consider myself affiliate – we are friends, but I don’t receive a cut of any sales and they have never paid me to do videos.
They wanted to privately show me how they operated. We also talked about what happened on ABC 20/20 last autumn, and how the corset community on Youtube is evolving as it allows corseters to speak about our experiences without fear of editors twisting our words or taking phrases out of context.
They never asked me or even expected me to film a tour – I just thought it would be something that my audience would find interesting – I had asked Orchard permission to show their place. It was also entirely my idea to interview them, to get a handle on where an OTR company sees itself in the spectrum of the corset market, amongst all the corset makers. The interview wasn’t scripted (I had prepared my questions, but I had no part in how they answered). If the interview sounded contrived, it might be because we had to film it twice – the first time there was a bunch of noise picked up from outside; truck engines and people talking loudly so we had to re-film it – so naturally they had smoother answers the 2nd time around.
I broke even on the trip financially, and can say in all honesty that I didn’t gain from making these videos. Not even a real jump in views or subscribers. I feel richer in experience though and considered it an adventure. I had documented it not only for my own memories, but I wanted to take my viewers along.
In terms of the sample corsets – of approximately 100 corsets, I kept two that had broken in on my body during my stay. I chose about 15 more for auction on Ebay – I could have used all of them for another giveaway, but I personally made the decision that Sidney’s health and raising funds for her was more important.
I’m not trying to defend Orchard Corset, and I’m not saying that their corsets are as good as custom-fit, coutil-based corsets out there, because they are not – even the owner of Orchard says that they are not at that level (and they have no desire to compete with that – OTR companies and bespoke corsetieres can co-exist peacefully).
If you got the impression that my channel was turning into one big commercial and that I promote too many products or makers, that barrage of unwanted media was not intended – but either way, it’s my fault and nobody else’s. If it is a commercial, then I am sure as hell benefiting the least of everyone on a financial level. The money I’ve spent on my channel is well into 5 digits now. And I say this without bitterness, just with truth.
If any of this were “just for the money”, I would be long gone. I have no secure future in maintaining my channel; I keep it because I love it. And I agreed to the trip because it would be a great experience to meet other people who love corsets as much as I do. For anyone who says that I have undersold myself by meeting with perfectly nice people, let me point out that perhaps it’s not me who is undervaluing myself, but maybe it’s others who put me on a pedestal and overestimate my reach. Opportunities to meet other corset makers/ sellers don’t come every day for me, especially where I live.
But I am really appreciative of those who had the courage to step forward and tell me their thoughts, because as they say – where only one person speaks, there are 100 others thinking the same thing.
I’m sorry if I’ve disappointed any of you. And one more reminder that Youtube is not my livelihood – I keep making videos because I enjoy it, because of the great people I’ve met along the way, and I try to support those makers whose livelihood actually does depend on creating beautiful corsets. But if what I’ve been doing has been detrimental to the community, I will have to put some deep thought into what I will do with this channel. This is no way meant as a threat to shut down completely, but perhaps after reviewing the corsets already purchased this year, I will stop doing them.
It’s a sad day when people are suspicious simply for one wishing to share her spotlight with others.

39 thoughts on “What is my relationship with Orchard Corset?

  1. Your name stands for quality.
    The only reason I care who you are affiliated with is I want to buy from companies that listen to you.

    When I see certain quality features on an otr corset I know you had a hand in it.

    Consumers have learned to be Leary of gurus promoting garbage to make a buck.
    That has never been your M.O. so I’m confused why anyone would criticize you and lump you into that category.

    You have contributed so much. You freely give your time and valuable information.

    Personally I think it’s about time you start getting paid your worth. These companies should be throwing money at you and so should ur viewers… Me included.

    Your viewers watch because we are benefiting from your knowledge. It’s ridiculous they say anything to you other than thank you.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and support, Shanda – it means so much to me to have people like you who understand my situation and are willing to stand in my corner. <3

  2. Lucy, if there is a reason I like your corset reviews, it’s because I feel like you can be objective an unbiased. I like that your reviews show the details of the product. You look for those details were the quality can be measured, which makes it easier to compare one corset with another. You review corsets of all price points using the same standards. This is great because it helps the costumers decide what corset they will buy by balancing what features you want, what features you care about less and how much you are willing to pay. So the way you do reviews if fair both to off the rack companies and individual corsetieres.

    Your reviews are not detrimental to the community of corset buyers. The reviews make it easier to decide from where to purchase and give you an idea of what can you expect. Your channel really is all about giving information and it shows. There are more profitable ways to make money on YouTube and if you wanted you could expand to other areas (like beauty) since you already have a big number of followers. I think your watchers should know that you are not doing this for the money.

    I can see how corset sellers would be affected by your reviews. Because all corsets are reviewed to the same standard guidelines, it’s possible to find that some corsets that are similar in features have different price ranges. I’m not talking about comparing otr corsets to bespoke ones, I’m talking about comparing a Vollers to a Timeless Trends or something. Of course, the price will depend on a lot of factors like the cost of living and operating on your country, the time and resources it takes to make the corset, etc.

    Maybe the corset selling community gets scared that buyers will not buy their product because a similar product is available cheaper. This is what causes the OTR vs bespoke war. They are scared that corsets will become a commodity, that the skills necessary to make a quality corset will be more common and they will be forced to lower their prices or accept that they will sell less. But as long as each corset maker has a signature style or technique, they should be able to find their place in the industry. It’s like eggs are a commodity, yet some people will pay more for organic eggs.

    Sorry if I wrote so much and went maybe a bit off topic… what I wanted to say seemed much shorter in my mind.

    1. Thank you Lorraine, I think you hit the nail on the head. The corset community/ industry can be quite competitive (especially with new makers popping up all the time on Etsy) but at the same time when competitors can also remain friends, this competition can be the source of wild inspiration. I hope that bespoke corsetieres never feel that they have to reduce their prices to compete with OTRs – actually when some makers like Sparklewren and Electra Designs price their corsets high (i.e. fairly) I find it to be a representation that they are on a different level altogether – and it becomes a matter of priority for the consumer, I guess like in the case of organic eggs. :)

  3. Lucy, over the years I have found that when you begin to grow in a positive direction be it creating garments, writing, going to school to achieve a degree or certification people are at first supportive. Then when you seem like you are achieving a modicum of success. Some of these same people who just a short while who seemed to encourage you start vocally berating you and say how phony you are, that you are a poser or some such rot. The truth is they are either insecure or jealous or both and what they say matters not a wit. You are doing what you love and are having fun while you are learning and growing. Continue to do so!!

  4. Lucy my teen daughter and I started watching your you tube videos over a year ago now and we love you and we both enjoying keeping up with your latest finds – and we’ve both learned lots and spent fun “mother/daughter” time hanging out with you on you tube and you helped me find my playful side so I could bond with my daughter in playing dress ups lol. Let the haters hate – let it fall off you – their reaction to you is not about you – it is all about them! Please don’t stop what you are doing if you love it – there are thousands who are quiet but who really appreciate all your work and knowledge <3

    1. Thank you so much Violet, your support means a lot to me. :) <3

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