This week, I’ve been struck with a wave of warm, fuzzy feeling.
The amount of generosity and unexpected support I’ve received since embarking on Su by Hand, has been phenomenal.
THANK YOU to all.
It’s led me to think it really is true that when we do what we love, that is also authentic and meaningful, it resonates with people and we attract good energy from the universe.
From friends who literally sent cash in the post (they are admittedly unconventional types) and entrusted me with her wedding dress, to strangers and friends once close whom I haven’t seen for yeeeears who surprised me with their orders from all corners of the world, to those who collaborated for free, lending their time and skills to imbue each Su by Hand piece with even more beauty and meaning, and friends who actively help spread the word, the list goes on. And we’ve only just started.
I never wanted to create a brand, as I never believed in making more stuff for consumption.
We have enough stuff and enough brands.
What I wanted to do, was really, to spread the idea of clothing as something more akin to craft, something precious that is not bought and thrown away within a few months. To create an emotive connection between ourselves and the clothes that we wear. To raise awareness of craft, the beauty of the handmade and diversity within fashion. To also give back to the consumer, items worthy of its price-tag. The prices for Su by Hand now are high because alot of attention is paid to ensure that each piece is 100% silk and made-to-order with amazing workmanship in a social enterprise where I know how clothes are made.
The next collection will have some ready-made pieces (still very small batch and limited to 5-10 pieces per style) with more accessible price points. I’d also love to get back on my marbling workshops to spread the love of making.
It is not easy for a designer to start a brand. Creating a ‘successful’ (questionable term depending on our definition of what success means) brand has more to do with marketing, promotions and generating hype than it does making beautiful products.
As ironic as it may sound, designers are often like artists. We are so committed to the product with such high expectations on how it should look/feel/mean, that we never get round to showing it out to the world. It is never good enough. We are also neurotic, stubborn individuals who believe in authenticity, that an image (be it on FB, IG and the illusionary world of social media..) exists because it was made by us. The IG accounts of ‘sustainable’ brands is starting to look like the glossy spread of a holiday magazine where a women sits around all day flipping interior deco mags, sipping coffee (or healthy fruit juice) and wearing straw hats.
I’d like to have more authentic images that explain the brand story and process, but it is often not easy (and counter-intuitive to creating) to take pictures when one is actively making things, alone. More work to be done on that one.