Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Thomas Edison and I, eye to eye


To outfit my pretty spare new blog page, I hunted down my favorite quote which is by Mr. Edison (it's to the right of this page). It goes without saying that he had a genius mind. His efforts crystallized so many different technological concepts into the everyday household. Where would we be without him?

I think this quote illustrates my philosophy about work and life pretty well, and I thought the overalls inclusion was just perfect. I make overalls quite often these days, for work! I'm not sure what the biggest motivation is to dedicate my career to making these wonderful vintage reproduction clothes--is it the style, or that I love a challenge? I was a professional chef (mostly pastry) for so many years; that certainly was a ton of labor, put into a creative outlet that made a lot of people very happy. The clothing business is not so different. My success is reliant upon translating what inspires me as an artist to a commercial medium, successfully joining what my customers are looking for and what I love to tinker around with.

As for the style, I know when I like something when I see it, and spontaneously stop breathing--as I did when I first ran across the 1930s patterns for sale on ebay. Thus began my obsession with hunting down the vintage patterns and fabrics to create the versions of the clothes that didn't exist for a 6' tall Amazonian like me. At the expense of sounding totally self-important, I am a chronic finisher. My friends know that I don't flake out on anything, I have to see it through til the bitter end. Thank God sewing these clothes using these cryptic patterns is a fun ride. It's kind of like an anthropologic study, they were written in the context that every woman knew how to construct these dresses, aprons, blouses. I feel like I'm connecting with our savvvy sisters from another era while I make it, and afterwards while the garment is on either myself or one of my customers. With all of my efforts, I hope to inspire others to pursue their unique creative voice and enjoy the wondrous variety that the world has to offer, namely artisanally made handicrafts!

I've read a lot of books about finding your passion in life, and one idea resonates with me: you should pursue what is nagging you to change about the world. Yes, there are so many ways to interpret this, and I have a lot of issues with how the world works. Making these clothes is an extension of me being completely bothered that no one else is doing what I'd like to see. I'm no expert, but I thought I'd get my work out there and see what happens!

As I was perusing, there were so many other fabulous quotes by him that I thought were so perfect. Here's a few!

Restlessness is discontent and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure.

Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.

I never did a day's work in my life. It was all fun.

Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.
One might think that the money value of an invention constitutes its reward to the man who loves his work. But... I continue to find my greatest pleasure, and so my reward, in the work that precedes what the world calls success.

I start where the last man left off.



and a non-work related topic:

Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.

5 comments:

  1. Loved reading more about the roots of your enterprise, your philosophies. Edison was one insightful man! It's so amazing that you've been able to follow two careers that both centre around taking creativity and channeling them into tangible things that can be shared. Very admirable and wonderful!

    I have one question that I've been dying to ask (if you don't mind): where did the name for your shop/label come from and what is its meaning or significance?

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  2. Thanks for the wondeful comments, Baroness! I do feel lucky. I still want to feed hungry children and fix the environment, will have to work that into the sewing schedule :D! As for the name, I chose it in a panic--or moment of inspiration? I wanted to choose something that would be entertaining and cute even if you weren't interested in the products I had to offer. The barrage of branding hurled at us on a daily basis I feel is largely annoying (I cringe every time I see the yahoo home page). I thought I might as well choose something that would put a smile on someone's face. And the reference to Nudie suits doesn't hurt either. I've since discovered a men's repro denim line by accident in a shop called Nudee something--total coincidence.

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  3. Very inspirational and fine words from the man that made us see the light! I'm glad to hear where so many of your view points stem from. You're driven attitude itself is positive and like we talked about today staying positive and developing that within yourself creates the needed change for us and this world.

    So, glad we met this afternoon. You really got me thinking about things and I think this will be a beautiful friendship. Thank you and I look forward to more of your writings.
    - Darlene

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  4. I particularly loved this comment, "I never did a day's work in my life. It was all fun." - that's exactly how I feel about my job!

    xx Charlotte
    Tuppence Ha'penny Vintage

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