Process of starting a little clothing line – and coming back to the “why”

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A few years ago I started a small Etsy shop – it began with just art prints because it was the easiest route – but I had the goal in mind to eventually sell screenprinted tees & accessories. Between my process of creating new designs being super labor intensive, and not making the shop in general a priority of mine – I’ve been sporadically focusing on growing it. It’s still a small little Etsy shop, i’m not being humble. I started to wonder if I was actually passionate about it or not.

constantly revisit your “why”

I spoke to my life coach about how I was feeling and that I didn’t want to half-ass this venture. We talked about it for awhile and got down to my “why”. Why was I doing this? Why was I choosing a labor and time intensive way to do things? Going back to my “why” helped tremendously and reignited my fire.

Through asking those questions, I realized I didn’t want to be like most other screenprinted clothing brands. I don’t want to be able to crank out 10 new designs in a month. I’m putting out a premium, original product. It’s OK that I have a slower process – and I need to own that process and perfect it, not let it deter me. Now i’m being more diligent about growing my shop and having it be a priority – now that I went back to my why. I’m driven to want to grow it to a legit little clothing line.

change up your process

Any fellow screenprinters, especially amateur ones like myself know that IT IS A HUGE PAIN. So, I simplified my process a little, but one that didn’t infringe my values. I still design everything by hand and print each shirt one by one, and I still use recycled shirts that I rescue from the thrift store. I realized something had to change in my process, because it was holding me back.

be persistent

T-shirt designs are interesting because you have to know that it will sell. It’s harder still if something doesn’t have to do with an existing brand. I know what I like but i’m not always sure what people will want to wear on a shirt. This is different then a website or other things i’m used to designing – people aren’t buying your services, they’re buying your design to wear on their chest. If something doesn’t sell don’t think of it as a failure – use that as a learning experience.

real artists ship – resist perfectionism

I challenged myself this past weekend to finalize a design in a day. No overthinking, just going with my idea and getting it out there. There were a couple designs I could have gotten ready to print but I went with this new one, after not getting any feedback on it. I purely went with my gut. Maybe it will sell, maybe not – I’m still learning.

Back to Blogging

Hello internet! I let my domain name expire awhile back and let this space go along with it. Recently though, I had the urge and inspiration to start blogging again. I know blogging isn’t the same as it was – a couple years ago when there was a big ‘boom’. Is blogging dying? Should I be putting all of my efforts into Instagram? Maybe, but – I found myself missing a lot of aspects of it. I feel like I still have a lot to say on the topic of navigating life as a multi-passionate creative. I’m still figuring things out of course but I feel myself getting closer to zero-ing in on my purpose, and i’d like to have a space to express that again.

I’m doing more of what I want to do these days – and right now I want to write and share. So, I brought my blog back from the dead and it’s new home is over here at amie.design/blog.

Some of what i’ve been up to recently:

• Trying my luck at having a t-shirt design up on Cotton Bureau. With one day left!

• I did an interview with Femke from the Design Life podcast on how to overcome lack of confidence as a designer/developer

• Currently working on (2!) side projects that will feature creative spaces

• Growing my little Etsy shop

• Learning Shopify web development

• Creating a Skillshare class on how to design an event flyer, for beginners

More to come soon – Cheers <3

The Sunshine Experiment & Autumn

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Taking advantage of the fact that it’s technically winter here in New York but still feels like Autumn. A preserve out east I took a walk around with my dad and uncle.

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I didn’t notice this until recently that I’m a huge fan of changing up my routine based on the seasons. In autumn/winter that means heading to bed earlier so I can wake up earlier and soak up more of the daylight since it’s dark out when I get home from work. When I was first trying to have more time in the morning I would just force myself to get up a hour or so earlier while going to sleep at the same time, which is pretty much a recipe for failure.

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Transitioning from a night owl to an early bird hasn’t been easy. I’ve deemed this the ‘sunshine experiment’ and I can literally feel my mood change negatively when I fall off the wagon and don’t leave myself time in the morning and have to go from getting dressed to directly out the door.

Aside from my sleep/wake schedule, I’m trying the whole slow down with the season thing. Forcing myself to go out less, work on less projects, focus on myself and setting up my goals for the year. I’ve never watched so much Netflix :) I’m thinking when March comes i’ll feel super energized and refreshed and ready to tackle everything in high gear.

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An Update

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Hey Everyone! Wanted to pop in and say that I’m not abandoning this blog. Spring came and I found myself taking an accidental break from blogging. I was feeling a bit unmotivated & overwhelmed and felt it would be better to take some time away from this space instead of putting half-assed stuff out there.

I have spent the summer so far working on myself, planning & going on a bunch of short trips, and just doing less. Narrowing down on what’s important to me. I’m working smarter these days. Lately my priorities have shifted from constantly keeping busy to chilling out and enjoying the company i’m with.

I also developed & put up a responsive version of Completely Unfinished. I’m been doing responsive websites for awhile now and i’m glad it’s no longer bugging me to look at my blog. The visual design is pretty similar (I still really like it) – but with totally updated code and some UI improvements.

My August is getting pretty booked up! This weekend i’m making the trek to Weapons of Mass Creation Fest in Cleveland. First time flying by myself & first design conference i’m attending. Pretty stoked.

Hoping to be more consistent with this space real soon.

<3 Amie

Unrecognizable Sticky notes

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Ever scribble something down on a piece of paper in an attempt to get it out of your head as quickly as possible so you don’t forget it, without any context attached to it? Yep, I do that all the time.

While cleaning out my desk drawers I found a bunch of said sticky notes and thought it would be fun to put them all together & try to decipher them.

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My favorite would have to be “patty mayonnaise, red + light turquoise.” Not a clue what that was supposed to mean, guys.

Do you do this, too?