At this point I have already re-started this blog post about three times. Right now it's 7:30 am on a Sunday and just opened my laptop with a need to write again. Why has it been so hard to post something? Is it a winter funk? You know, like when it's winter and all you want to do is hibernate into a ball in your favorite chunky blanket and cat socks all day? Is it an inspiration block? Although I've had plenty to inspire me and I have made lots of things, I am not motivated to write anything. Like, the actual action of writing- getting up, opening my laptop and putting my thoughts into words. When the muse hits, it's go-time.
I don't want to bash myself for this because I know every creative goes through it. It happens when you are constantly producing to a point where your mind gets drained. I think I'm going through a bit of that. Some of you might know that in December I left my job at a luxury fashion design house. The main reason why I left is because I wasn't getting to be creative enough and I wasn't given the opportunity to do my job properly. The direction was such a disaster that when it came to textile design that at such a late point in the development process there was no time to create textiles from scratch when I was competing with mills that already had fabrics ready to go. So when things are running so late, of course the ready to go stuff was the front runner. My job was reduced to color changing designs that weren't mine- intern work, really. They never fully understood my role there. I was given other projects like footwear and accessories, but that is not what I was hired to do and it wasn't what brought me happiness. So I left. It hurt because I loved my team so much. It's rare to find a team with such good vibes in fashion, but my team doesn't pay my bills nor were they responsible for my professional growth.
January was the first time I spent with no full-time job in a long time. Technically I was still "employed" by Lilasuds but it feels completely different. It was a time of change for me. While I was working to condense 3.5 years of work into just a few pages for my fashion portfolio, I decided that Lilasuds needed clarity and direction. It was getting messy and truth be told, a bit childish. I know a lot of people in business will say "Business is business" and "You are not your customer.", which I fully agree but to a certain extent there is still a bit of you in everything that your company stands for. Like, your ideal avatar still has a bit of yourself, your taste, and your beliefs in there and I felt like Lilasuds was getting away from me. I wasn't clear on target market so it affected my pricing, the style of things, the voice.
So while I was busy working on landing another day job to pay my bills and student loans (because Lilasuds is actually quite small, still), I was diving into branding and marketing strategies. I closed up shop and gave myself one month to find Lilasuds' new voice. I knew this time was coming months in advance. That month was all about the hustle. I think I worked more that month than when I was in my wedding planning- full time job- business owner- business class time last fall. I knew I wanted to hone in on a NYC market because after all, that is where I am located and it is where I have to pay my bills/taxes. I was trying to cater to so many different people in so many different places with so many different price points that it got messy and was affecting my business. January was a month of brand tightening and standing my ground as a business owner. Soapmaking is tricky because it's hard to get out of the maker mentality and focus on the business owner mentality. At the end of the day, the maker mentality can be crippling to a business and Lilasuds is after all, a business.
Now Lilasuds has a new voice- she's streamlined, modern, inspired, and forward thinking. She speaks her mind and holds steady to her beliefs. She's educated and professional. She knows her worth and can splurge on the good stuff because she's earned it. Confidence is a keystone here now. I'm so happy the re-launch was welcomed as it was. There is still lots to do at Lilasuds, but I'm confident that this brand will keep growing and connecting with many other people out there with these same beliefs. I'm so excited for the new Lilasuds.
Going back to my initial point, I found a job in a bigger company with the budget to actually understand and provide the correct tools for my job. Honestly, it makes my old company look kind of sad. I wonder, "Why didn't I stand up for myself sooner when there was so much better for me out there?". Sometimes we do get wrapped up in the glitz and glam of the fashion industry, but it's SO important to stand up for ourselves. In the short month I have been in this new role I have already done 3 times the amount of print design I would have had in a year at my old job. So maybe this new routine has got me a bit drained, but I love this new role so much. It's exactly what I wanted to do. I get to actually create and draw every day. I know I still have a lot in me to keep pushing. I'm still getting used to this all so I think I just need to pace myself and not bash myself for it. I'm confident things will balance themselves out.
So, tell me in the comments what new content do YOU want to see here in the blog. It doesn't have to be soap related! One thing is for sure, you will be seeing my face around here a bit more. I think this one woman show needs to connect more with you all and the first step is to show up.