Sunday, August 29, 2010

My Personal Creative Journey- How I got here

I made this little badge all by myself! GO ME!

Vintage Harvest is my Autumn collection. I wanted to show you what I've been working on as well as formally "introduce" She Loves Me Not Clothing Company to you. Today's post is about how I got to this moment. Later this week I will show you lots of photos of my collection and let you know where you can shop for it too!

In 2000 I graduated from Marvel College with a degree in Fashion Design, soon after that I moved to Toronto where I lived for six years. It was during that time I launched She Loves Me Not Clothing Company. Until now it's been a side project, something I'd work on when I had a few moments or when someone needed an indie designer to showcase at an event but honestly my skills have most often been put to use hemming pants and doing mending for friends.

After moving to Chicago in 2006 my sewing machine stayed packed away as I worked 60 to 70 hours at the new job that brought me to Chicago. Though I managed to take a few film photography classes, my opportunities to be creative were often pushed aside by a demanding job and a lack of ambition to make creativity part of my everyday life. I was traveling so much that I kept a suit case packed most of the time, my life got to the point where I didn't make social plans because I always had to break them for work or I was to tired to put any effort into the few great friendships I had managed to form. Looking back on that time of my life I promise myself that I will never allow myself to be swept up in a stressful job that doesn't fulfill my desire to create with my hands and have a balanced life. Brian and I got married in 2008- it wasn't planned which is just the way I like it ( we decided to get married and had our wedding all within 3 hours of each other). Being with him has pushed me to be more spontaneous but also more conscious that I have to work each day to use my talents and do what I love.

Last year, Brian and I decided that we wanted to move to New Orleans (He is from Louisiana and had lived here for 10 years before moving to Chicago). I  excitedly agreed to make this move because I needed to be in a place that would stimulate my creativity, I needed to be in a job that wasn't so demanding it left me devoid of energy to do what I loved, and we wanted to be in a city that we could invest in and put down roots in. Also, being from Northern Canada, I had never experienced a winter with out debilitating cold and plies of snow and I wanted an warm place to live. Luckily the perfect job came up which I was chosen for with the same company so we made the move. I feel fortunate that the timing has worked out so well. I also LOVE my current day job and it allows me the time to work on SLMN.

During my 3 years in Chicago I started reading craft blogs and books and this is when I discovered the Austin Craft Mafia and learned there was a chapter in New Orleans.  As we were planning our move I made the goal for myself- that I would take all the necessary steps to be able to apply for the Mafia before the next year arrived- even if I wasn't accepted I'd be ready to push myself to the next level with everything I had to do to apply.  Early this year I was accepted into the New Orleans Craft Mafia, which had been a really good motivator and kept me focused on molding my business, slowly making improvements.

In 2010 I've:

Attended my first Art Fairs to sell my own handmade accessories and clothing
Joined NOCM
Started this Blog
Opened an Etsy shop
Had this blog Featured in a local magazine
Made some great crafty friends
Made friends with digital photography and am currently learning a fun editing program
I now have a Flickr account and have started a fun Flickr group
I've gained 1000% more confindence in my abilities to run a business for myself
Been more accountable to myself for actually being crafty, creative and moving towards bigger things.
Printed Business cards and clothing labels
Taught sewing classes at NORD summer camp
Given my self over to the world of craft books and blogging- I get enjoyment, relaxation, inspiration and motivation from it.

It's been refreshing to take stock of my accomplishments this past year, but also to stop for a moment to see where I need to go in this upcoming year.  I'll be making New Years Goals in September around the Autumnal Equinox. I think Autumn is a great time to take stock and make fresh goals for the coming months.

1 comment:

Mallory said...

Congrats on all you've accomplished in the past year! I'm so excited to have your work as part of my shop - it will be up for sale soon, as soon as this dreary weather clears up and I can get outside to take some pictures!