As many of you know, I have been hinting for a rather long time that some changes are underway here at Untitled Thoughts. I am sorry to have eluded you all for so long, leaving you with more questions than I have offered answers. I promise there was no ill-intent; I was not trying to build suspense or keep you in the dark. The truth is, I have been wanting for a change for sometime, but it wasn't until recently that I fully understood what kind of change I was after.
Let me be totally honest with you guys: I have been unhappy. Not so much in life as with my business. It's been a hard fact to swallow. I started Untitled Thoughts after years of planning and research and feeling as if I should have begun my entrepreneurial career so many years sooner.
When I first began this journey I was excited by all the possibilities! I was ready to take on new challenges to showcase my design talent and sustainable vision to the world. However, it was very quickly I realize just how difficult running a business on your own can actually be. Don't get me wrong-- I LOVE to be challenged and face curve balls head on. However, the path Untitled Thoughts has taken seems to have led me further away from my vision, or perhaps my vision has shifted in a way I didn't quite comprehend. I just knew something wasn't fitting properly.
But since I didn't quite understand where my issue lie, I have let it slowly churn on in my subconscious over the past few months. I have allowed myself to become more attuned to what makes me happiest when working and what feels like pulling teeth to complete. I have steadily dropped items from my list that cause me internal strife (or-Let's be real- external bitching).
Within the past several days, I have been able to actually express why I have struggled with the business, and it all boils down to a stark contrast between what I believe in and what I need to do to be successful in the fashion world: Selling Products that no one honestly needs.
I love fashion. I love clothing. I have been sewing and creating and been inspired by fabric since I was 13. That's 12 and a half years of my life boiled down to a simple passion. However, I am also a firm believer that we as a society consume too much stuff. It's overwhelming and disheartening to see how much excess we have in our lives, my own included.
This simple rift has been at the core of my problems with running Untitled Thoughts. I feel so disingenuous trying to sell anyone anything that is not needed. I guess I should have recognized this fault long ago when I worked retail and struggled to sell fast fashion or shoes or a myriad of things to people because I just didn't believe they were necessary.
And yes, I have had many talks with people around me about how my clothing line is good because it provides an alternative to purchasing fast fashion and allowing a destructive, unsustainable chain of manufacturing and consumption to continue. But to be honest, I know of so many other people doing what I do better. There is the amazing Emily at Margu, Kristine at Responsive Textiles, Ania of Kaliko, Natalie of Alabama Chanin, Safia of People Tree.. The list goes on and on. To be honest, I think I am just not a very good business person like these amazing ladies are.
I am sure there are some of you anticipating that my next words will be that 2018 marks the end for Untitled Thoughts, but that also is not true, at least not entirely. 2018 will mark a significant change in how Untitled Thoughts is promoted and shared and the content it will move forward in providing, so in an essence, the old brand is being put to rest and a new brand is coming forward.
With this new brand, I am taking control back in the studio. I am working on projects that light a fire within me because life is short and I don't want to waste another moment stressing out over projects that will feel insignificant in the next few years.
I will come out with collections when I feel inspired to do so, not on a traditional fashion calendar. I am taking slow fashion to an entirely new level. I will also primarily be working on made-to-order garments. This will not only alleviate the guess work on my end to who might want what in a certain size or color, but it is also so much more environmentally friendly to tread down this path.
There will be more tutorials on sustainable living, especially as I have already begun my own journey down the Zero Waste rabbit hole. Expect more fun DIYs, awesome recipes, and even gardening tips! When I start making soaps, I'll be sure to bring you in to that process and show you how awesome it is as well as sustainable!
I have also recently rekindled my love affair with sewing after a brief period of wanting to quit altogether, and I owe this all to Leigh at Topstitch Studio and Lounge. I recently started a part time job working with her because I felt it was where I needed to be. Boy was I right! Since working with Leigh, I have grown a deeper appreciation for the actual process of sewing. So be sure to expect more pattern reviews and drooling over fabrics and slow sewing in the months to come!
Lastly, many have already guessed it, but I will be releasing my own line of patterns as well! I am so excited to take this next step into the sewing world because I feel so much passion when working with other sewists and gabbing over new techniques and best practices. So to be able to share my designs in a new way with you all is just the direction that I was looking for.
With all of these changes about to occur, I expect my personal life to improve for the better as well. For so long, I have had people tell me that they admired how strong my work ethic was and how impressed they were at ALL the things I seemed to be doing all the time. I was a busy little bee. That's not what I want people to admire me for, though. That lifestyle is unsustainable and stressful and tiring and lonely. I would much prefer my close friends and family to admire how at ease I am in my life and how often I smile or stop to enjoy a nice summer day or a stroll in the park. I want to find the time to read and write and enjoy what life brings, not stay on this constant grind until I run myself into the ground.
I want balance- a concept I have struggled to achieve in practice my entire life. And I am in the fortunate enough position to manifest such a concept, I only need try.
I expect great things to come to fruition in the coming years. I hope to see Untitled Thoughts flourish in a new way and continue to evolve organically. Who knows, you might even see a book coming your way soon *hint hint*
Thank you all for taking the time to listen to my own untitled thoughts today. If you made it to the end of this spiel, you are incredible and I love you and I hope you weren't disappointed!