I love setting myself a good, solid challenge. Currently, my existing “challenges” are things like “running to the next car/ tree before walking”, ignoring the ice cream in the freezer and not engaging my housemate in conversation when she is watching television… All fairly safe and standard but not exactly huge… (Having said that, the no talking policy is testing me.)
Over the last couple of months though, I’ve felt a deep desire to ‘up the anti’ on the challenge front. I’ve been looking for a “go hard or go home” type project that will push me out of my comfort zone and into a churning pool of unfamiliarity and regular “Why the hell did I do this?” type thoughts.
Ah… Yes… I can hear you…
WHY THROW A SPANNER IN YOUR OWN WORKS?
It’s a bloody excellent question to ask.
The reason WHY I’m looking for/ look for challenges is because of the following:
For me, the only way I seem to grow as a person is to set myself challenges which often scare the beejeesus out of me but mostly they just excite me! I like ‘achieving’ and creating things, I like the feeling that is attached with achievement and creativity, and I like the opportunities that come from of achieving and creating. A lot of my energy comes from being and feeling stimulated, learning new things and problem solving. When I feel these things or have access to them, I “Do Me” exceptionally well. They give me added purpose and what a golden little egg that is to have in your hot little hand!
CUT TO THE CHASE, WHAT’S YOUR CHALLENGE?
WHAT is my challenge?
As of 1st August, I will be, “Consciously Spending Less to Create More” for 12 months. I want to challenge myself to create more by spending and using less. I want to focus on quality over quantity, design over trend, style over well dressed, and all things innovation.
AMBIGUOUS and DARE I SAY, EASY… WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU MEAN?
Ambiguous perhaps but definitely NOT easy.
Now, I’m not someone who is a regular contributor to the ‘fast fashion’ economy nor do I buy things ‘on a whim’. I don’t have a substantial sized wardrobe bursting at the seams with clothes (in fact it is quite the opposite) and I don’t have, nor have I ever had, significant credit card debt due to my spending habits.
I do however, LOVE clothes so when or if I see something that I love, I have no problem buying it (and potentially paying a bit more than average) because I’m a (self diagnosed) mindful consumer. A large and significant part of my job is working with fashion brands and related industries so it’s important for me to make sure my style is representative to my brand and the brands I work with.
Whilst I don’t spend a lot or shop a lot, I still know that I can.
I want to challenge my inner creative to create more style, more fashion and more outfit combinations using less money.
HOW DO YOU PLAN TO DO THIS?
1.‘Shop’ and style from my existing wardrobe
First and foremost, I will (where I can, ) create and style outfits using existing items from my current wardrobe.
2. Design and Create
If I need or want something specific, then I have to either design and sew it myself using existing fabrics I have in my sewing room, or fabrics I have purchased specifically which will work with the rest of my wardrobe. I can also engage the services of a patternmaker and seamstress to have something made specifically to my measurements (remembering I am trying to limit my spend so this is not something that is readily available).
3. Engage a Professional Stylist
I decided to reach out to Anna from Anna Mabin Styling to assist me throughout this project. I will, undoubtedly reach some low points over the next 12 months so I decided I should engage the services of a top notch stylist who can hold me accountable to my challenge and provide me with support when I’m struggling.
I’ll document the project through a weekly blog and will let you know of any struggles, pain points, tips and tricks, advice and information I gather along the way.
I’ll explain and share with you my creative process for any of the outfits, accessories or other items I design and create and will show you how they create more, in return.
SO WHEN DO YOU START?
Today, Tuesday 1st August, 2017 is Day 1 of my “Consciously Spending Less to Create More” Project. The project finishes on Wednesday 1st August, 2018.
DO YOU THINK YOU ARE GOING TO STRUGGLE?
Yes and No.
I think I’ll struggle because fashion and style plays a huge role in how I express myself and a lot of my confidence comes from self expression. I did a large clothes cull at the end of Summer ‘16/ ’17 therefore I know I don’t have a lot to work with when it comes to ‘smart/ casual’ options, so I’m dreading having to work with what I’ve got. Finding the time to design and sew is going to be a challenge for me so I’ll have to make sure I’m incredibly organized and planned in advance for any events I have coming up.
I don’t think I’ll struggle with the limited spending concept. As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog, I’m a fairly considered consumer so I’m not too worried about that part of the project. Famous last words! I’m also not worried about designing and making my own clothes and accessories… My fashion designing days are never too far from my mind and to be perfectly honest, this is the part of the project which excites me the most! I’m looking forward to designing and creating beautifully made clothes from quality fabrics.
HOW MUCH CAN YOU SPEND?
I haven’t given myself a maximum or minimum amount of spend over the 12 months, purely because saving money isn’t the main driver of this project. The main driver of the project is creativity, that’s my focus. Second to that is being a mindful consumer.
IS THERE A SECOND PART TO THIS BLOG?
There sure is!
I’ll post Consciously Spending Less to Create More – PART 2 tomorrow night which will explain the project in a little more detail for you. I’ll explain how it is going to work and will detail some of the hurdles I’ve already encountered and am struggling with!
In the meantime, feel free to ask me any questions you might have regarding the project but most importantly, enjoy following along!
I’m a fashion illustrator, designer, storyteller and ambassador who helps brands in the fashion, lifestyle and travel industries, build brand recognition, credibility, loyalty, and trust whilst offering a fresh perspective.