It is very easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our lives. Running from work, to the gym, to the grocery store, and back, only to have enough time to brush your teeth before you go to bed. I don’t know about you, but I jam pack my schedule, thinking that being productive is better than having free time to do nothing. I really like planning my schedule; on Monday morning I pick what spin classes I want to go to, which friends I need to catch up with, and what restaurants I am going to try on the weekend. But as I move through the week of pre-planned activities I barely make it to Friday without falling asleep walking home.
Having a hobby is always a good idea, and for me it had to be something relaxing and not the gym. I started bleaching clothing around April of 2014 after I came across this cool pair of bleached leggings on Pinterest. What was a hobby for about a month slowly turned into a business when I realized I made way too many for my own use. And once I decided that I could sell them then it exploded into “what else can I bleached??” Now I make shirts, scarves, dresses, baby/kid clothing, toques; everything.
Without fail the two questions I always get asked are where I get the ideas from and if I use a stencil. My ideas and inspiration come from a variety of places. My main sun design idea actually came from a native blanket that I saw one time, and I was able to play with it and make it my own. Other times, its random Aztec art that I see or a cool combination of triangles somewhere. I don’t use a stencil for the designs which helps the ideas flow; as I go I just paint whatever flows well with where the design is going. I have only ever had 2 stencils, one for the 9 triangles because it is easier to make them even and lined up without spending the extra time measuring it every time and for the new rose design. To make sure that the rose is centered and actually has a shape, I have each of the “petals” cut on thin cardboard that I can place on the shirt before I outline them. It still gives me the freedom to switch up where the shapes are or add different ones as I am going, but I can see it first. But for the rest of the designs, I use bowls for the circles and a ruler for straight lines but it is all freehand which I think adds a personality to each design.
What is great about The Bleached Tee is it still is a hobby for me. I find it relaxing to sit down and design/paint a few shirts while watching Suits. It takes my mind of the day but doesn’t require a huge amount of thinking. People ask me if I think about making it my full time job. For one, I barely make any money off it so I would have to seriously uptick my sales, but I actually wouldn’t want to ruin a hobby with the pressure of relying on sales. This way I can choose which sales I want to be in, and casually get ready for them. A hobby isn’t fun after you are forced to do it, and I don’t want that to happen to it.