The Real Journey
Let’s be real. It’s been a journey creating this brand, but out of this crazy path beautiful things have come. I would love to tell you that it has been an “easy, breezy, beautiful” experience but in reality, it was fraught with self-doubt, a pressure to be the best and a lack of understanding.
When Greg and I first started this brand back in September of 2016, we had about three styles of jeans (mostly with hand distressing) and a jacket that had hot glued details on the back. I had only taken two sewing classes ever and made everything up as I went. Pictured below are the first two AndAgain designs ever.
Though I come off as a very confident person to those who have met me, those first six months I really struggled telling people that I had started a business with my boyfriend (something shunned by most people over 50...) and that I was sewing and hand ripping vintage jeans. Telling fashion professors and industry professionals scared the shit out of me, being in fear that I wasn’t good enough and that I couldn’t possible do it with the very limited range of knowledge that I had.
Throughout all the designs that we have created, there was a pressure to make something loved by everyone. I felt my aesthetic getting weaker and following trends because of what people around us “wanted” at that very second. Though I have always sought to be different and make pieces that stand out, I heard time and time again that my stuff looked like it came from LF. No hate to this company, but the goal of AndAgain is not to be aligned with a brand targeted towards college girls wearing the trendiest clothing possible. I’ve always wanted to align this brand with luxury/street style but was constantly pulled from this by something inside me that wanted the praise of my peers mixed with doubt that my sewing was not worth the price.
After many experiences selling AndAgain at pop ups, my confidence began to grow and I began to feel okay that not everyone was going to agree with every elements of the brand (ie, price point, aesthetic, and overall vibe). But a word of advice, no one I have spoken to about this brand has ever said something negative or derogatory about it. Tell everyone you know about your goals and your dreams even if they make you uncomfortable because in reality, everyone wants to help.
Fast forward to August 2018.
Since graduating college from the University of Delaware this past May, a lot has changed in me. Many business decisions pushed my discomfort to new levels, I was emotional after long days and late nights and now Greg and I were working alone instead of amongst our school peers that would always give us positive energy and laughs. I think that these changes all brought out a new designer in me. I no longer felt the need to get the approval from others. I am comfortable making items that not everyone would be okay with wearing. And I am confident with my construction and sewing skills. It blows my mind everyday that a mere 5 years ago I didn’t know how to use the sewing machine my mom bought me from Costco. And with the 3 months since I’ve graduated from college, I’ve seen a change in myself that I feel in this collection.
I am confident in this collection, I feel my love for design and quality coming out in every piece and I am finally able to loosen the reigns of control I’ve felt that I needed to have over this brand. The amazing styling of Grace Coury pushed this line in ways that I knew I’ve always wanted and the creative direction of Xander (instead of Greg as it has always been) brought the emotion and feel of this collection to life.
I laugh a lot when I look at the first items ever created for AndAgain. I am embarrassed that I didn’t finish the interior seams of some of the first few pairs in thought that it would be “ok” (Btw this is never ok). Maybe in another 3 years I’ll laugh looking at this collection but right now it is everything that excites me about this brand.
I sincerely hope you enjoy it, but if not that’s ok too.