Do you ever talk yourself out of a deal?
I do, more often than I realized or like to admit. Should I take a class, buy new gym shoes to replace the sole-less ones I'm currently sporting, put creamer in my coffee or upgrade my laptop? Everyday there are countless decision to be made that affect our health, wealth and overall quality of life. More often than not, the answer is no to these questions. I am pretty good at restraining on indulgences which comes in handy when trying to get in shape. However, it also keeps me from investing in things that could improve myself, my work and/or my health. Such was the case with the project I am sharing with you today.
I've always admired brands like Paul Frank back in the day, TokiDoki back in the recent day and creative start ups like Threadless.com. It just seemed like the coolest job to have. Create character-filled, design-driven products and apparel while having a blast.
So why the heck not? After all, I've spent many a commute daydreaming of product ideas while sitting in the brake light parade that is the 405 freeway. I have a ton o' character art hidden in various folders on my MacBook. Plus, I'd always have something cool to wear.
This is when the story takes it's turn. Whenever, I'd have a free moment to create this new business endeavor, I'd conveniently find a way to chicken out. No, I didn't run and hide under my desk. I just conveniently found ways to fill that extra time. The mischievous jawas in my head would say things like: your inbox is full and needs to be cleaned out. Oh look, Johnny needs me to get that thingy over to his office stat! Sure it could wait but you don't want to look like a flake to him, do you? Throw in a few meetings, a slew of social media updates and one too many coffee breaks and my free time went "poof" gone. All in the name of business, or busyness. Sound familiar?
To continue, when I actually did work on these self-initiated projects, those clever jawas used new tactics to talk me out of that too. You've never done apparel much before, it'll cost too much, and do you know how to prepare the taxes for tangible products? Taxes is one helluva scary word, damn those jawas are good.
The truth is—I was scared to try. Despite always encouraging my business clients, students and peers to step out of their safety zone and be bold, this one dream project made me freeze up. After years of getting comfortable selling my freelance design services, products seem to up the personal ante. This makes for some real dragonflies in the belly.
So how does one resolve this? Well, it's a process. I had, over time, managed to get some product ideas together. I simplified those ideas into starting with apparel, mainly shirts. I reduced 20 plus shirt designs down to three. Took the three designs and simplified them down to two. I kept minimizing steps by simply eliminating them or doing them. Eventually, I had nothing in my way to take the plunge. At last this summer, I was staring at a large box full of my shirts. Happy day for sure. However, the story continues…
Was the mind-numbing chatter of those pesky jawas silenced? Well, not exactly. Despite all of the above, the real challenge, for me, has just begun. That challenge is to share it all with y'all. To put my own products into the world. My shirts are real but have basically remained a secret. This week I am sharing it with the world. The jawas saved the biggest sand dune for now.
So here is the 411 on these shirts:
· Designed by the award-winning Ambidextrous Studio (which is moí, which is me in Français).
· They are printed on 100% organic cotton, so it's good for a sustainable world.
· These shirts have been known to make people smile when they see you coming.
· They were printed by Cory and the good peeps at Kindle Kreative.
· They look good with jeans, a pair of Toms or Chucks and your favorite headphones.
· They promote the arts and creativity and I will donate a percentage of all sales to arts education charities.
Check them out at the Ambi Online Store!
What do you say?