Saturday, May 10, 2014
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
Let's be real for a minute.
I hate that word.
I make what I make because it appeals to me at the moment. Humans are complex emotional beings and as such I am inspired by every single fucking thing that drifts past my senses. Packaging that up for others I find constricting and a tinge insulting.
Spending a good chunk of my artistic life living in an artist collective was obviously creatively nurturing. No one questioned the WHY. Everyone is encouraged to just create because that is how you learn. Whether someone was building a sculpture out of found objects, painting 5 foot tall lemon slices on the wall, cooking an epic 5-course meal or sewing LED lights onto a furry coat so you can look cool at Burning Man; there wasn't a whole lot of accountability there. Just freedom. In only 4 years of living there my skills in design, pattern making and sewing skyrocketed because of that freedom.
Enter the real world. I've honed my skills and I'm ready to graduate. I'm not a fine artist. My clothing isn't avant-garde nor subversive, unless you consider a hot pink contrast lining to be treasonous---> in which case your name might be Kim Jong Il. That's just not me. I create a tangible attainable product because basically I love 'pretty' things and I'm compelled to create. Though fashion can be art, and starts as such, it is essentially commercial. I understand that.
Jumping from a creative position to a commercial one has been challenging. Separating myself and my emotions from my business is a struggle, I'm not going to lie. When you're not a tech wizard and you've spent a week building a website only to have someone say to you,"Eventually you're going to have to move to wordpress. Katie won't even look through a site that's been built on Wix", your feathers might get ruffled a bit because who is Katie and why should we give a shit about what a 22 year old thinks? We should give a shit because Katie has about a billion Tumblr and Instagram followers and this is the fashion Business.
Women wear my dresses because they are joyful, and when they slip one on they feel beautiful and sexy and strong. They understand that femininity and feminism aren't mutually exclusive. They don't buy my dresses because the ABOUT page on my website spun them some glittery story or because my web host is 'cooler' than another. If I must BRAND I do know that it's not built on pretension. It's built on real women with class and humor. Real women like my girlfriends who are creative, smart and beautiful and make me laugh from deep in my heart.
All of that being said, I want my business to succeed and I am going to do my darnedest to merge the two worlds without losing my soul and my mind. I have two wonderful people on my team who are helping me and challenging me to take my business to the next level. They have my best interests at heart and I hope they know how much I appreciate their input. My job is listen, to learn and most importantly to be honest with them.
As far as 'Branding' goes: I'm going to make sure that what I put out there is consistent, I'm going to make sure it is true to myself. I am going to continue to build professional relationships that are centered around mutual respect and I am going to continue to raise my eyebrows at bullshit.
And after all of that
I'm still optimistic.
I just had to put that down to understand why I'm rebelling against it so much. Thanks for reading this long ass rant!
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You don't even know me, but you're going to publicly trash me on your label's blog? Not even a personal blog or something? This is the image that you want to project to your customers...that you're spiteful and immature? So, so weird and unprofessional. Good luck with your business (with a lower-case "b" of course.....cause that's how common nouns work).ReplyDelete
I sincerely apologize Kate, I wasn't trashing you. I'm trying to understand this industry and I realize that comment was hearsay and perhaps not even true. I don't know. It was an overall statement to prove a point of how overwhelmed I feel sometimes in this business. I suppose this might not be the best forum to express these thoughts and I really meant no disrespect. You are correct in that I shouldn't have mentioned your name because I do not know you at all. I was just pushing back and writing that down helped me to understand my thoughts. I wish you all the success I know you will have.Delete
I have no idea who Katie is - might as well have been a made up name, since there is no link or direct reference to the person and their blog, so how is it trashing? I didn't take it as such at all. It WAS helpful in making a point, which I found to be admirable and interesting and genuine - which is pretty damn rare in any art that is also a business (or, I guess, any art in general). Sorry, that's Business with a capital B - and is the business that will always get my dollars first, by first creating great work, and also by being the least pretentious.Delete
I like this post, but maybe I just like feathers being ruffled - that's just the kind of ignorant, backwards thinking person I am. I also like pretty clothes made with heart, that aren't as concerned with the number of hits a blog gets or what gets the most attention. Creating your own compelling art and having an attitude when it's genuine - THAT gets my attention, and my cash.
Good post lady! ...and you are a brand...because I can always spot a Mena (and that's a good thing!!)ReplyDelete