Now that the Paraders Originals collection is complete and IN STORES(!), I want to share all the dirty details and behind-the-scenes information with you.  Creating the collection was such an exhausting experience that I took a vintage break from the new line for a few months, but am now jazzed to tell you all about it!  Over the next few weeks I’m going to be posting about the process and the many steps in creating a clothing line.
Creating a collection from scratch is such a great experience and I learned A LOT.  I began the process with an open mind and made sure to keep it open for the duration of the experience.  There were a million ups and downs, questions and fears, but keeping it all in perspective and not getting ahead of myself was the best move I made.  I knew that this collection wasn’t going to be perfect and although I wanted it to be, I decided that just doing it was more important than waiting until I had all my ducks in a row.

paraders originals

Today’s post is all about the beginning steps:
1. Dream big. (But, keep it small.)  
Dreaming big is important because I wanted to start out on the right foot.  I knew that I wanted this collection to be a launching point for future collections and wanted to create everything with the professional frame of mind.  I wanted a quality product that represented my brand and didn’t want to be a knockoff brand of rockabilly / pin up style dresses or reproductions that could be made by just anyone.  I wanted quality and a unique product, which guided my design process from the start.  I say “keep it small”, because even though dreaming big is important in order to see the big picture, starting out small is imperative to future success.  If you go to big the first time without knowing much, you’ll for sure blow it and won’t have the option of a “next time”.  Even if you choose to be a handmade brand and do everything yourself, starting small NEVER HURTS.  You can always improve after you have the basics down.
2.  Accumulate inspiration.
Inspiration comes from wherever you find it.  (How profound right? Hahah kidding…I hate it when I hear or hear myself saying things like this that are so obviously the case and sound so stupid but are so simple and true.)  Get inspired!  Look everywhere for inspiration in color, shape, texture, proportion.  Gathering tons of inspiration is a sure-fire way to ensure that you don’t get stuck on one idea without exploring more options.  If I have tons of great references to pull from, it’s easier to complete a theme than it is if I have a few inspirational pieces that you want to expand upon.  Some of my favorite places to start from are : Pinterest, Etsy,, and Netflix.  These were my go-to references for vintage inspiration.  Load up on inspiration wherever you can find it and explore different options.  
After I decided on my brand and direction, I gathered as much inspiration as I possibly could and started designing!  Stay tuned…my next post will be all about the design stage!