We turn a year older every 1st May, internationally known as Labour Day. This special date was chosen as a mark of our commitment to a fairer way of building a brand and business. As we turn 5 this year, here are some thoughts on our journey as a conscious brand so far.
The quiet times that come between making a life and making a living can be far and few between. But when they do, we find ourselves asking: how did we get here? It feels like only yesterday we decided to make the switch from Etsy to having our own online store, simultaneously building a brand that cares and is constantly learning about creative processes and provenance. Invaluable lessons, victorious triumphs, painful challenges; here are 5 things we’ve learned in the last five years. (Admittedly, this list was initially much longer.)
AuthenticitySocial media is a big, loud beast and it is very tempting to follow in the footsteps of the people or brands you see and admire. This is never a good idea. It is always best to ask the why in what you do and in the decisions you make. Forming a unique perspective is a result of effort + research + time. In times of doubt, trust your gut.
Creativity comes from a source inside you
This lesson has come to me time and time again. Balancing a day job, taking care of a family and just life in general means limited time to be creative. But the inspiration does strike! I used to push it for later but I have found that it is healthier to carve time for these creative bursts because it is a precursor to growth and progress. Honour your creative energy. Protect that.
Fail, fail again, fail better
Failed product prototypes. Failed collaborations. Failed schedules. Failure brings with it a feeling of despair. There is a saying that every failure comes with a lesson and while we don’t always find the lesson immediately, we know now that in the face of failure it is best to keep going strong.
Step by stepWe have grand visions for Gypsied, many of which scare me. There is always the question of how I am going to get from point A to point B. As with authenticity, I have learned that the why we do what we do at Gypsied is the ultimate guide. The vision is exciting but the work needs to be done, step by step. Trust the process.
It is easy to think in terms of the dollar sign. But we have the deep belief that it is time to think of a brand in terms of its impact. There are real people who help make our vision happen: textile makers, our artisan production team and our dearest supporters. So what do we look at? We look at working with naturally dyed textiles to reduce carbon footprint. We search for stories of Asian textiles to keep a tangible record of heritage in the modern world. The questions we ask for growth are these: How many more textile communities can we support in the future? How many more artisans can we work with to produce good quality products? How many more Asian textiles can we discover and share with the world? How can we keep our stories alive?