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: