Studio Scenes: Behind The Summer Collection


Earlier this week I launched my Summer Collection - full of bags, apparel, and tea towels!  This was one of the most exciting collections that I have ever done because it allowed me to step back and work on products that are not only fun and cute, but that also serve purpose in your every day life - which is something that I have been really striving toward.  

With this collection I wanted to really explore a couple of different avenues that I've been wanting to get back into - I've made t-shirts before, and while they were always a big hit, the way that I was doing them as a made-to-order item with a long turn around time was just not working out and seemed to always leave me and some of my customers a little frustrated. I've had an (honestly, unsuccessful) run with tea towels and tote bags in the past - but they were both items that I loved and really wanted to offer.  So with this collection I really took some time to revisit these ideas, revise my plan, and recreate these specific products in a way that made sense and was fun - and I really think I got it right this time!

In the past I've done all of my t-shirts and tote bags as DTG (direct to garment) prints.  This makes for a full-color print that looks just like the original painting and while they're really cool looking, they just don't hold up in the way that I want my products to.  I was really disappointed when some of the t-shirts that I had made and kept for myself started to fade even after I kept up with the wash instructions and I hated knowing that the same thing was happening to my customers, so I stopped making t-shirts all together for quite some time.  I've obviously always known about screen printing as another option, but I just didn't feel like it "fit" with what I was doing or wanted to achieve with apparel items.  It took a lot of thought, and really honing into designing in a thoughtful way but these designs are some of the best (in my opinion) that I've ever done and I feel so much more pride in putting these out there.  Not only are the designs more concise but I know that the printing truly will last for as long as you can wear the shirt which makes me so so happy.  For all of the printing in this line I got to work with a fellow small business, owned by a husband and wife who do phenomenal screen printing.  Working with other small businesses and supporting fellow entrepreneurs is so important to me when it comes to designing new products so it made me so happy to find the folks at Goodfella's Merch and click with them so well.  They took my vision and made something that when I got to finally hold it in my hands, exceeded even my perfectionistic expectations.  Not only that, but I was able to find and source some of my own product selections and choose pieces that were natural and had a low impact on the environment which is something else that is so important to me.  This collection hit all of my marks for production and I'm so proud of that!


With these pieces I wanted to just tap into some fun inspiration to make some things that were quirky and really suited for every day life.  I like to think of the Flock Off t-shirt as the perfect "Monday" shirt.  Or the perfect shirt to wear to an event that you really, really don't want to be at.  I choose to work with a relaxed fit ringer tee because not only are they super soft and comfy but the relaxed fit looks great on every body type and is so versatile in styling.  I love the bright coloring, the tropical vibes, and of course the sassy message behind this one!  The screen printing is flawless and as dorky as it sounds I LOVE that they have legit tags in them - this is something that I was never able to do before due to the insane cost associated with DTG printing, but this little thing makes a HUGE difference.

A few years ago I attempted to make tea towels and as much as I loved these towels, it just didn't work out.  I was printing custom fabric, and then cutting and sewing them with a friend - which as cool as the process was it was expensive and incredibly time consuming which resulted in me having to have a really high price point on these towels.  It broke my heart to discontinue these, but I knew it just wasn't working and sometimes as makers we have to make that call.  It's been a while since I have thought about tea towels but when I started to brainstorm this collection the idea to screen print my designs onto already made sustainable towels came to mind and my printers were really open to testing it out and making my idea come to life. For the designs I really wanted to make something that had a bit of a minimal color scheme so that it could really fit and stand out in so many different spaces.  Sometimes it can be really hard making a kitchen have personality and I think these are the perfect way to do it!  These towels are printed on 100% Organic Cotton and the printing on these exceeded my wildest dreams.  I couldn't have imaged from my mock ups how perfect they would turn out!  My favorite here is definitely the "Fuck It, Let's Get Takeout" towel - because .. you can ask my husband, I always start the week out with good intentions, grocery shop for the healthiest foods and menu plan everything but when it comes to 6pm I'm exhausted and these are the words that come out of my mouth 90% of the time.


Finally, the tote bags that I made this time around are some of my favorite products that I have ever, ever made.  I'm a big proponent of ditching plastic and opting for re-usable bags to help reduce waste, so I have known ever since my initial flop with tote bags that I just had to revisit the idea.  The first bag that I made had to be funny, and I've been toying with the idea of an Emotional Baggage tote for a year or so now.  I wanted to make something that while it was funny, was also super cute.  I think this is the perfect bag to carry all your feelings (or maybe just your beach towel, who am I to judge?).  The second (and I guess third) design that I wanted to make was something to really ground in the idea of using re-usable bags thus "Save Our Fucking Planet" was born.  I LOVE the idea of seeing someone in the grocery store using this bag and it making someone else that's using one-use plastic bags maybe rethink their decision and hopefully opt for a more earth-friendly option next time.  With this design I did decide to make a more "safe for work" version too (mostly because my son really wanted one, but also because I think this is such a great message that I don't want it to be lost on people who don't appreciate a little swear word here and there) so that everyone can enjoy this one!



This collection was such a good experience in returning to the drawing board (literally) to try a new way of doing things and finding the process that really works.  I am so enjoying making more functional products and I'm so grateful for the response that this collection has gotten so far! What other functional products would you like to see me tap into?  I'd love to hear your ideas!

Shop the collection here!

Comments

  1. Love love love!!! I use my emotional baggage tote as one of my sewing bags that I take with me everywhere! What about a make up bag? Or more pin holders =) whatever you come up with will be amazeballs as always!!!

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