Saturday, March 20, 2010

Inspiration Borne of...Laziness?

I've been thinking a lot lately about what inspired me to start my business, as I get asked this question quite a bit and feel I owe people a better explanation beyond simply saying I have an affiliation for all things "subtly eclectic and understatedly quirky." I love this phrase as a tagline, it has a contradictory nature that reflects the contradictory fabric combinations I use when designing my bags. However, I can't help but feel it's a bit elusive. Maybe once people see my shop it sort of clicks ("ah, yes indeed...this is subtly eclectic and understatedly quirky!"), or maybe (and more likely) they don't give it a second thought. Regardless, I want to be as authentic as possible when it comes to answering this question about my inspiration. What on earth made a marketing account manager who didn't even know how to hem pants 2 years ago suddenly decide to sit down behind a sewing machine and start making bags? In a nutshell: laziness.

Yes, I am lazy. Quite possibly one of the hardest working lazy people you'll ever meet (yet another contradiction) but lazy nonetheless. How so? And more importantly - how does a declaration of laziness relate to this post? Here's the deal: for as long as I can remember, I've never had question or doubt about my personal style or the clothes I want to wear to attain what I might deem my signature "look". It's easy, it's effortless...I know what I like and haven't changed it much in over 10 years. However, there are 2 problems with this (well, problems in the creative sense):

(1) I only want to wear the same basics (t-shirt, skirts, trousers) every day, every occasion. Lazy (and boring).
(2) I only want to wear solids pretty much every day, every occasion. Again...lazy. (*yawn*)

Submitted as evidence (and no judgment on how much I buy from Forever 21 - we all shop there; at least I fess up to it):

June 2006

July 2007

July 2008 (and appearing to be up to no good in this pic)

January 2009

July 2009

Staying true to these rules has allowed me to build a wardrobe that has a timelessness to it...but it doesn't offer that much variety (no crazy patterns, textures, cuts, hems, folds, pleats). I like basic shapes in basic colors. I buy in bulk, and I buy the same brands - t-shirts (Forever 21) skirts (American Apparel and Gap) jeans (Level 99) and the occasional splurge piece that amps things up a bit when the occasion calls.

So when it comes to adding some spiff to my look, I lean (like most women) heavily on shoes, bags and accessories. And herein comes the answer to the question, the conclusion to this long-winded blog post. My wardrobe "basics" are like my blank canvas, waiting for splashes of color to be thrown against them in a sort of Jackson Pollock meets Ellsworth Kelly kind of way - an explosion of colors but isolated to one specific eye-catching area. I wanted - needed - the kind of bags-as-accessories that fulfilled this need of being the "splashes" against the blank canvas of my wardrobe basics. B.H.B. ("Before Handbag Biz") I either couldn't find them...or I couldn't afford them. So because I was too lazy to get out of my wardrobe basics rut, I instead decided to go whole-hog and produce the very thing I needed to give me that certain je ne sais quoi.

Being an art major in college (well, for one semester at least) definitely had some impact on my "blank canvas" sense of personal style.

And there you have it. Hopefully this is a bit more insight into the madness behind the method.

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