I've been told that people don't read blogs anymore.
Plus this is a blog with very little picture intrigue - so you DEFINITELY won't read it.
Let me take a second to get real with you:
I've had this little business of mine for about a year now. Alex + Ikat, formerly known as Project Sewing Workshop, has been around since July of 2014, and let's be honest, I've been pretty clueless about this whole 'owning-my-own-business' thing for most of it's duration. From filing tax forms to simple marketing strategies, I've learned that this business thing is definitely not a game. I've had this dream for quite some time - this dream of changing the world and teaching people to sew and helping people and creating things and loving on women and kids and creating something beautiful with my life. I thought, 'Why not just start my own thing and make it happen!' Yet, I have found that most of the time the site has sat pretty idle. I've built most of the content and even have items for sale on the site; I've got an actual Facebook and Instagram page and have actual business cards and everything. However, I realized this: that I've done most things regarding this business out of fear. I fear posting on social media becuase, "What if I don't get enough 'likes' from it?", and I fear putting my vision out there because, "What if it changes later?". I fear blogging because, "What if people make fun of my typo's and don't think I'm smart enough." Legitimate concerns, let me tell you. For the past year, I've been afraid to figure this out, and as a result, I realized that I have been afraid to fail. So here I am, admitting that I want to invite you all into this process of figuring this out and letting you in on the authentic part of my business, and even more so, the authentic part of my life. So let's just grab some basics to help you see where I'm at:
Why change the business name from Project Sewing Workshop to Alex + Ikat?
While Project Sewing Workshop was a simple name choice for me since my mom, Linda Lee, owned the rights to that name through her company, The Sewing Workshop, I found that the name became something that was less personal than I wanted it to be.
Alex + Ikat was a name that dropped into my head one day mostly because I liked how it sounded. It was fun, seemed fresh and youthful and came across with a bit more mystery and intrigue than the former name.
Alex = Me, Alex Woodbury. I liked the inclusion of my name as something that allowed ME to be a part of the process.
Ikat = pronounced [ee-kaht], it is an Indonesian word that describes a method of printing woven fabric. The resulting textile that that is produced is very intricate and colorful. Not only do I like how this word sounds, but I love how it represents something that is cultural, bright, exciting and is very much a statement word.
What is the company about?
This is the part that is still a work-in-progress. I thought I knew, but I feel like it is evolving even more, still! In short, I want Alex + Ikat to be about this:
First, it's about a girl named Alex. It's my story. It's personal. It's real and authentic. When you see Alex + Ikat, you see the person of Alex and can relate to her.
Second, it's about a company that designs products with the nations in mind. Right now, it's bag patterns and bag kits. The designs on the site were designed for a particular nation or region in mind. And I truly believe this is just the beginning.
Join me on an epic adventure. Join me as I take the next step to really pursue my dreams and tap into the 'more' of this business venture. Join me as I say yes to this dream and taking Alex + Ikat to the next level!
I'll be headed off to Paris, France this summer to attend ESMOD School of Fashion Design (beware, the website is entirely in French!) in their Fashion Design summer program. The focus of the program is about building your own design look; your own fashion line and brand. There's emphasis on illustration and building a portfolio, as well as things like patternmaking and construction.
I designed a fun T-Shirt that will help support going. It says 'Paris in July' with a sketch of the Eiffel Tower + my business name, Alex + Ikat.
If you'd like to support and purchase a T-Shirt, leave a comment below with size and quantity. I will be placing the order by the end of this week! I'm asking donations of $20 in support of pursuing this dream. You can pay me directly and securely through the Cash.Me site: https://cash.me/$AlexWoodbury
Details: Tultex Unisex Fine Jersey Cotton Crew Neck in Heather-Gray with Black Lettering. Sizes XS-3XL. And, I get to support a local printer while I'm at it ~ Aaron Powell of the Bearded Buch. Check them out, for sure!
So, follow me on this adventure, in both business and in Paris! I may blog about it and share what's going on - typo's and all!
Here's what I can say to you about dreams and business and taking the plunge into new things:
- Don't dumb down your dreams and desires that you want to pursue in life. Believe me, I spent many-a-year thinking I wasn't enough or worth pursuing something beautiful. Your dreams are the real deal. Kris Vallaton says, “If your memories are bigger than your dreams then you are already dying." My dream, Paris in July, is becoming a reality, and it's because of people that championed my dreams and believed in me even when I didn't. It's becuase of taking RISK and stepping out in FAITH even when I can't see the end result.
- Don't be afraid to make mistakes in your business; to sit idle for a while to give you some time to figure things out. There's so much pressure out there - so many opinions and such a invasion of other businesses that are doing other things well, it's so easy to compare. Be real. Be you.
- Don't be afraid to take the plunge. Whatever your 'Paris in July' is, go after it.
Seriously, go after it. It's what you were made for.