A Stitch at a Time

by Emily Moody
Starting a clothing line has been in my blood from birth. I don’t know if it was the donning of my first pair of Calvin Klein jeans before I was a year old, my Grandmother’s always amazingly gaudy (but somehow she pulled it off) jewels, the 3×5 cards I used to draw outfits on during long family car trips or a culmination of it all, but here I am, a few days back from a showing of my first collection in Los Angeles!
After years in the making, the in-house brand came about rather quickly. I do not know what made me do it, but about a month ago I googled “emerging designer trade show” and up pops a site about FOCUS. The show was offering special “recession pricing,” that was a fraction of what most trade shows in the fashion industry cost. After some serious urging from someone who knows me all too well, I decided to do it. It was full speed ahead from there. I would need a booth design, new hangtags, new business cards, logo tote bags to giveaway (everyone loves a freebie), order forms, photos of the pieces for a catalog, a catalog, oh yeah, and as many samples of clothing and jewelry as I could make. Over the next few weeks I became accustomed to getting little sleep and sewing and making jewelry until my fingertips were raw, but knew that it would be worth it once I got to LA.
A morning flight landed at 9:30 am and it was straight to the California Apparel Mart for booth setup. After four hours of setup, it was off to the hotel to finish tagging samples and prep for day one of the show.
The first day did not go at all as I had planned. The show was a ghost town, I had not written any orders, and I was beginning to think this gamble was a bad idea. Where were all the magazine editors and elite boutiques that the show’s bio promised? The hours drug by and eventually, looking away so I would not be seen, I burst into tears. Feeling completely defeated, I was very pessimistic about the next two days. The second day started off slowly but that afternoon I got a nice big juicy order from a company in Japan. That rebuilt my ego enough to give me hope. The next day and a half were spent meeting people, making contacts and writing orders. I even got a mention in the California Apparel News!
Although there is a lot of pressure and stress in running the store and starting the line, when I am checking e-mail at 3 am, I remember that I am lucky. Although there is a lot of stress at times, it is balanced out by the fact that I get to bring my son to work with me or that I can show up an hour late and not get written up. My mother always told me, “Do what you love and love what you do.” I have my moments of wanting to throw in the towel and seek refuge in the stability of a nine-to-five corporate gig. But then, I wake up from that delirium and remember that I would be absolutely miserable. The fear of having to turn to that keeps me working harder to make sure that I will not.
For more about the clothing line and store check out www.emilyisananomaly.com. Plus, get a sneak peak at my new spring collection at the Anomaly pop-up store in the Old Library at November Art Walk!