August 03, 2015

Graymarket and beyond


July 2015...... here we are, two years in! Cliche as it sounds, it really does feel like yesterday that Matt and I drove to our first trade show in Oakland, CA. When my first order came in, It was so crazy to me that these designs I had sketched, painted and sent to this workshop in India months ago had come back to me hand-block printed on actual fabric, and I was terrified that no one would like them.  I had visions of standing at our booth as people streamed by without looking or stopping, and of us sadly packing up at the end of the day having sold nothing.

Luckily that ended up not being the case, but the first year was definitely full of a very specific kind of fear and uncertainty, and I told myself that I would give my little textile business one more year to try things out before I resigned myself to getting a real job. Two years later, I can say that starting and running a small business is certainly the hardest thing I've ever done and has tested me on pretty much every emotional, mental and physical level, but the longer I do it the more addicted I get to tackling the never-ending business/creative/logistical obstacles and pushing onward and upward. Learning more about the production process and developing a real relationship with the artisans we collaborate with has been incredibly fulfilling, and I honestly think of them as true business partners at this point. What started as a sort of textile project has turned into a little business with a big textile vision.... so no "real" job for me yet!

A lot has changed in two years, including our base of operations for order fulfillment. The Bay Area remains our part-time home and is central to our design process, but we now also spend a lot of time in a small town in Kentucky. On top of giving us our country living fix, it's incredibly affordable, and has allowed us to open a deliciously spacious order fulfillment center. The front of the space has huge windows, great light and old hardwood floors, and we're in the process of making it a little retail space and showroom. We'll also use the space for photo shoots, and I'm loving the thought of having all of our props, backdrops and inventory in one place. 

This third year feels decisively like the start of a new phase of the business, and this blog will cover developments, progress and growing pains, as well as events, new collections and inspiration of all sorts. Thank you for reading along!