Monday, March 10, 2014

The Road Ahead

The next road ahead is 2,250 miles. I'm not exactly sure what life will bring at the end of the road, but what I do know is that it is time to move forward. It's the road from Columbus, Ohio to Los Angeles, California. I have wanted to move to California since I was 15. Maybe the craziness of life in L.A. wasn't on my wishlist, however the career path I have taken has chosen L.A. as the next destination.

I have had an amazing design career in Columbus for the past 11 years. Most of you only know the evolution of my own brand over the past 7 years, but it's only a fraction of my career, although a very important part. My degree from CCAD is in advertising and graphic design which translated into packaging and accessory design for Bath & Body Works then later with vendor, Atrium, where I was able to work with dozens of retail brands. If you could actually see my design archives of all the work I have done for over a decade, you would probably wonder why I ever needed my own creative outlet. That would probably be a good question that I could never really answer. I love to learn new things and take on new challenges, which is why my own brand, now called Rox+Royalty is ever evolving as well as my professional work.

As I was cleaning out my studio I can't even imagine how much I have spent on materials over the years. Stationery, jewelry, blank apparel, fabric, embellishments...I was always shopping at JoAnn's or Michaels, the only resources here in Columbus. It's been more than a hobby as it can often consume my life. My husband Steve will vouch for that. But I always loved doing it. Since freelancing for the past year, I began to take on more challenges. I competed in HighBall Halloween again, and won. The costume was incredibly fun and very challenging. I also took part in a few fashion shows, including one during NYFW where I had to show 20 looks. I loved designing the collection, but making it was another story. I had high hopes of moving forward with it. I was planning on using the show as a platform to get to the next level to work with manufactures and obtain buyers...but it is a very very very expensive process. And I'm not sure I'm ready for the commitment. I started out making handmade jewelry and apparel and selling my work online or at ComFest. I enjoyed that for a few years, but the cost of materials and time just never made it worth it. Making this clothing collection further solidified my desire to step away from construction of ready to wear. Costumes on the other hand don't necessarily need to be as technical. It's more about creative concept or embellishment that can never be achieved in RTW. You make one piece and move on to something else. You don't have to figure out how it can be reproduced or sold at reasonable prices to the general public.

I look forward to the opportunities that L.A. will bring me as a designer, but also to the new life that my husband and I are about to create. I may step away from Rox + Royalty for awhile. It's drained me emotionally, mentally and financially. I don't regret a moment of the last 7 years. It's a creative outlet, but it needs to be fun. I had a taste of what it would be like to be my full time job for the last 3 months. I didn't enjoy it. Probably because I took on too many challenges with too little experience.
Living near Hollywood will hopefully bring more opportunities for costume couture work than I would be able to get living in Columbus.

With less than 2 months before the big move out west, I am looking forward to spending my time working with new clients and with my friends and family. My studio is completely packed up and my office is ready for me again. I look forward to being able to hit "delete or command Z" when I make a mistake. Something that could take me an hour to fix on the sewing machine.

You can check out my collection and professional portfolio here:

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Resolution of the Week: Procrastination

As this cold Arctic Blast recedes and I am finally recovering from my own cold, I find myself ready to cross off the dozens of things on my to do list. I've been hard at work in my studio these last few months getting ready for my NYFW show in February (details to come) and with only a few weeks left, I'm seeing the semblance of a life I had resumed over the holidays dwindle away. Working for myself has it's advantages, but when I don't have any looming deadlines, I'm not quite sure how to stay focused.

What I HAVEN'T DONE: I have several new clothing pieces started, but nothing finished. I've started graphics for my new brand name, Rox + Royalty, but haven't finished the website so I haven't announced it yet. I still need to book travel to NYC and make arrangements with all my friends there. I need to write a Press Release and figure out who to send it to. I need to get a kick starter project started to help me progress my collection this year. I owe thank you cards for Christmas, which if I get to them, they will be the cards I bought to send to my HighBall helpers. Oh, and I started a blog after HighBall with my behind the scenes photos, which is actually finished, but I just haven't posted it because I wanted it to be perfect and have all photos. I still need to order more fabric and supplies online because JoAnn's just doesn't do the trick anymore, although my credit card statement says otherwise. I need to learn how to use Twitter in the sense of understanding what the heck @ and # mean, other than when I get mad and everything goes to @#$! I started a tumblr page, but nobody knows it. I need to get back in shape because all the weight I lost before HighBall came back with the Holidays. I haven't been on a plane for two months when two weeks used to be my dry spell. I refuse to play any games on my iphone other than solitare because I don't need an addiction to something like Candy Crush or Words with Friends. I don't really read Facebook anymore, so if you actually posted something "important" I'm likely to miss it because it takes 2 hours to get through a days worth of random crap that people post. Yesterday I resolved to watch one YouTube video a day about sewing, so maybe I can learn enough without needing to take a class...I have 7 minutes left today to keep that resolution, so my guess is it's going to fail. So I guess my immediate New Years Resolution should be to quit procrastinating. Having extra time on my hands these days is leading me to it.

What I HAVE DONE: I did get quite a bit done around the house this winter. We now have a guest room and 1/2 a garage to park in after our basement finishing this spring to give me a studio and Steve a theater room. I actually decorated for Christmas.  I've had time to catch up with friends, family and my husband more than I ever had before. I learned to shop more at Trader Joes, even if it's 20 miles away. I do the dishes and make dinner as much as possible before Steve gets home. I make the bed some days if the cat isn't cuddled up in the blankets. I started drinking coffee thanks to Keurig and a lot of wine. I've watched so much daytime TV these last 6 months that shows like The Price is Right, Dr. Phil and Ellen no longer have a nostalgic feel, but I do love me some Kathie Lee and Hoda at 10am. The early afternoon work hours have been spent watching Full House and Fresh Prince. I did spend 3 days this past weekend in bed, only because I was too sick to do anything other than watch 3 seasons of Shameless. It took two days to recover from the fact that I have to wait until Sunday for the next new Episode. I watched all six seasons of Breaking Bad just before HighBall madness. With 3 days in bed sick, I also read every interesting article on Yahoo or Facebook. One of them just so happens to be my motivator for writing this blog...which by the way, was something on my list of things to cross off.