Today’s is my 100th Weekly Letter, since I started in September of 2015.
To be honest, it has been a challenge to write these in the past few weeks because I so much want to report a steady pace of progress with the beta-testing for custom-made womenswear. Yet we are still finalizing the digital pattern adaptation (programming the pattern to adapt to individual women’s measurements), which has proved a much longer process than we had anticipated. (My apparel veterans respond “Oh yeah, that is a really tough part of the process. You just got to hang in there with that one.”)
I have begun to recognize a habit I have with my work: I come to a big decision with my company–in the latest case, pursuing a custom-made womenswear model– I carefully consider it, then go for it with an idea in my head about what it will look like and the timeline, which I come to realize, in spite of my efforts to build in time for delays, is not realistic, and then I have a few weeks of time where I have to adjust my thinking, which proves to be really difficult. I want to do this thing the way I thought it would happen on that timeline! But eventually I become a bit wiser and realize that I am doing something new, that no one else is doing, and I really can’t know how long it is going to take. If I am only in it for some fast reward, I need to pack up my things and move on. No, the big gains come with patiently putting one foot in front of the other. And that is what I will do. One step and then the next. I can set goals, do my best to make a timeline, but the point is creating something new and awesome, namely an apparel line that respects women, their form, their time, their movement, their work.
For those of you just joining us on these weekly letters, perhaps my openness is not something you are used to. For the 100th Weekly Letter I would like to set down why I write these and why I think it is so important to be open about this process. The reasons in no particular order of importance:
- To make sense of the work I am doing. To piece together a full picture of what this process looks like. To piece together something of a trail for a new way of doing things. So that others who follow don’t get lost. So that I don’t get lost in the forest of each step of creating something new.
- To inspire others to take risks to bring their ideas, creative visions into the world. To often painstakingly describe the process so that we don’t buy into the idea that doing something new is quick and easy and just comes out of nowhere as is often portrayed in the media.
- To provide a counter-narrative to media coverage that focuses on problems rather than solutions. To help bring into focus our attention on solutions.
- To articulate and build support for a new type of women’s clothing, high quality, great performing, made to last for her form, built with the understanding that she is not to be limited by her garments.
- To show by doing that one woman with an idea to do something differently can do it with determination and an eye towards the horizon.
I am extremely grateful for how many of you read this and when I hear that my writing is having an impact on your lives. You continued attention and support on this long and winding road is certainly having an impact on my life.