So I’ve finally launched my new Neckwear collection. I can’t lie it’s been a long tough slog but I made it!
I’m filled with mixed emotions; part of me is tinged with nerves, another part feels relief but the largest part is super excited.
The nerves partly come down to how well I am able to translate what is in my minds eye and in turn how this will be received by others. Why? Because I care. I put so much hard work and passion into what I do. As with many fledgling businesses, it has taken me most of my evenings and weekends to get to where I am – spare time is a rarity. I function on limited time, tight budgets and the kind support of others but I still strive to create my minds creations to the very best that my ability and resources will allow and aim to position myself as the best at what I do.
There were 101 tasks involved in preparing this collection and I was faced with challenges in equal measure. At times I wished I could split myself in two (or maybe three or four). For every task completed, another one popped up. Yet I remained focussed. I remained focussed because I didn’t want to let anyone down including myself. I’ve worked so hard behind the scenes this year but ultimately I will be judged only by the things that people can see.
Months of developing ideas, sourcing fabric and creating garments culminated in one single photoshoot. Aside from preparing the Neckwear, in the lead up to the shoot I spent lots of time praying for good weather (if you are British you will understand!) and pinning down the perfect models with the right look to showcase my garments.
The challenges of creating the perfect look whilst you are the ONLY wardrobe person who is working from the boot of their car, dressing models with one hand and making sure that the garments are lying correctly for photo shots with the other is no easy fate. It’s times like this that you realise that the camera picks up every wrinkle or tiny speck of lint. It’s times like this that you dream of one day having a team of people armed with a pair of hands to help, an iron and lint brushes. I tell you this because sometimes we can overlook just how hard small businesses have to work behind the scenes to achieve even a fraction of the look professional shoots create. I tell you this so that you can appreciate just how hard small businesses have to work to get themselves on the map.
There’s nothing much better than seeing pieces that you’ve painstakingly created transformed into a set of beautiful images. But after the short felt relief of completing a successful photoshoot, work was by no means finished; selecting and editing the photos was another mammoth task not to mention uploading and updating the new designs on to websites and on-line shops all of which were tasks I singlehandedly completed whilst snatching the odd hour here and there whilst burning the midnight oil.
My aim was to use this photoshoot to show my commitment to stepping up my business game and thinking big. Every move I make has to be better than my last and this shoot was my attempt to share with those watching the vision I have to steadily build and create a brand unlike any other. I wanted to create images of my garments that were not only visually pleasing but aspirational and create a collection that would show the versatility and wear-ability of my designs.
So what did I learn about myself from this latest challenge in my business adventure? Three things: Firstly, that it’s okay not to have every detail worked out – sometimes you have to be guided by your intuition. The second, I need to trust in my ever growing ability rise to a challenge and get the job done. The third, don’t sweat it – only I know if things haven’t gone perfectly to plan.
My feelings now are ones of excitement both in terms of what I have managed to achieve and how it is received by the people that matter the most. Like most artists, my creations are an extension of me; The boldness in the fabrics I use, the strong shapes I am able to create and the powerful elements in the design all make a statement about my personality, attitude and approach to life.
Over the coming months I will be drip feeding images of my creations (and may even introduce a few more!) and my sincere hope is that everyone sees my progress, appreciates the process it took to get there and loves the final results as much as I do.
None of the above would have been possible without the help and support of the following people:
My amazing models – Antoinette, Jade and Darius
The phenomenal up and coming photographer Marcus Branston
Music producer Daniel James for supplying his original music for the launch promo videos
Breaking Free Design for their continual sterling support with my website
Studio Dais for my fabulous new garment labels
To check out my NEW COLLECTION click here
In the meantime, here’s a little taster of the final results of the shoot…