I spent years being embarrassed that all of the garments I designed were created on a little home sewing machine. Just me and my tabletop machine. I’d pull it out when I was ready to sew, and then pack it up when I needed to cut and create patterns on the table space. I felt like I couldn’t call myself a professional if I didn’t have the right equipment. I didn’t have the right machines, I didn’t have anyone to cut or create my patterns for me, my kids played with toys in the studio and because I didn’t (still don’t!) have a nanny, I couldn’t always get a straight hour of uninterrupted work in. My blog didn’t look like what I wanted it to, I didn’t have a website that matched my pricepoint at all, and I didn’t think anyone would take me seriously. After all, if I was still sewing on my old home machine, I wasn’t anything more than a crafty sewer, a seamstress. Definitely not a designer, right??

We tell ourselves so many lies in our efforts to convince ourselves we’re not good enough for what we’re trying to do, that way it’s easier if we fail, since we never truly believed we could do it anyways.

But here’s what I’m learning; instead of being embarrassed by the places we feel we don’t live up, that’s what we should be embracing. These are the details that are creating your story; the place you are in right now, the nitty-gritty you work in every day to create your art: that is your story. And friend, never forget that your brand is absolutely nothing without you, and the story you bring to it. So don’t let the place you are in right now embarrass you, embrace it and celebrate your story.

Here’s mine; I’m a mom of three, who works from home while my kids run around the house. I create during naptimes, sometimes while they watch tv, and up until 2 weeks ago, everything I designed was completed on my trusty tabletop home machine. I finally updated my blog and designed a new website after years of not being willing to hand my business card to anyone for fear they would laugh when they pulled up the site, and I still have to remind myself now to share my website with people, because I spent so long wanting to hide it. My brand is personal, I take on very few custom clients at a time, both so that I can pour my heart into my brides and their designs, and also so that I can still be with my children. This is my story, and I know that my brand would not be the same thing at all if I didn’t have those constraints. In some ways, yes maybe it would be easier, or better, but it would not be this brand, this story, that I’m learning to love so much.

So what’s your story? What embarrasses you the most about your brand, and what should you be embracing instead of trying to hide?

xoxo, Katherine

p.s. If you need a little more encouragement on embracing your story, and never being ashamed of it, please read this little love note that Mary Marantz wrote just for you! It’s a good one!

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