Hello old friends,
It feels strange writing this post after starting this blog over 11 years ago when I was only 14-years-old. I remember starting this blog and thinking no one would ever read it. Now 25-years-old, I have met some of my truest friends because of this blog and for that I am grateful. Thank you for growing with me and keeping up with my work over the many years of change.
After being inactive for a while now, my heart is feeling a beautiful sense of closure to officially write what will be the last post on this blog. And I am excited to leave you with something new: I am now growing-my own namesake bridal knitwear brand – Esther Andrews
I started working on this brand last year, in the fall of 2019 after moving out of NYC. Z and I were staying with his family in Atlanta while we caught our breath healing from the stress and hustle of our life there. I had been working as a knitwear designer for several labels at the time. I even got to design and work with a few of my childhood dream labels, which that 14-year-old self would be over the moon about. But a dream of what an industry is... is not the reality. And I saw a lot of reality while I was working. And I got burnt out, and angry by that reality, and I needed to leave.
So Z and I left the city.
In Atlanta time shifted and moved much slower. I had time to cook, eat, and sleep again. I had time to think and daydream. I could sit outside and let my mind wander. And it wandered to Indiana. To my knitting tree. That maple with the perfect branches that I would climb at age 8 with my skeins of yarn and knitting needles. I wanted that life again.
I slowly started working on a business concept that was centered around that. I started knitting again. I saw a need for winter bridal attire that was warm and still flattering for brides of all ages and body types. So I started sketching and researching. I took my time and over the course of 9 months my only art was my business plan. I didn't want to rush the process. I wanted to define what my intentions and values were first.
I learned that kindness and sustainability were the most important elements. Sustainability to me is taking care of those you love- treating people and our environment with the care and respect they deserve. I saw too many cases of underpaid sample makers, hand making luxury garments that sold for $4,000 and being paid cents on the dollar for their art that they'll never have their name on. I saw first hand the piles of fabric waste that were taller than the seamstresses sewing the pieces. I saw my industry, an industry that I had always loved and admired, not taking care of their own people.
I became really angry and cynical throughout those years in NY. I was making art that didn't have a purpose, because I couldn't think of one. Slowly, thankfully, I have been coming out of that cynicism, and have been moving to a place of purpose again with this new business, and trying to grow something that hopefully brings a little bit of change. What I have written on my website is the first few steps of my new voice. I hope that you'll continue to follow with me on this journey as I grow this new phase of life.
I will keep this blog going, but my presence will be inactive. Sincerely thank you for all of the encouragement, kind words, and friendship over the years. I am sincerely thankful for the beautiful butterfly-effect-gifts this blog has given to me <3
Below this note are all of the online places to stay in touch. I hope that you will comment with your own social handles so that I may follow you back in return :)
Pinterest: Esther Andrews Bridal
Congratulations on your new path, Esther!!!!ReplyDelete
I have followed your blog for many many years and your work has always inspired me. I have loved watching your imagination and creativity grow, and am so glad you have found happiness in what you are doing. You deserve it!!
I'm not on social media but l always do look at your instagram for inspiration and will definitely continue to watch your journey. I hope one day to own an Esther Andrews original.
Many well wishes from Australia, Tamara:)
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I was so excited to read your announcement on IG! I've been following your blog for a decade. Your art, your voice, your style, and your story have been a source of light, and I'm so excited to follow you on this next adventure! All of the congratulations, Esther! ~ IG @geostatstacyReplyDelete
Oh Ester! I can so Identify. I have given up almost completely on my small one man label because of so many of the things that you have mentioned. I had a moment of facing the reality that I was working for half of minimum wage here in south Africa . I am not sure If I will continue making and creating for any one other than my self , but I will never stop. The thing is, like you, I need to find my love for it all again. But after reading your post, I have hope again. Your blog and IG have inspired me through the years and I will definitely follow along on your new adventures.My ig handle is @katinkaponders and I have a blog by the same name katinkaponders.comReplyDelete
I saw an article from insider about the business today, and I was so excited because just a week ago I thought of you and this blog, but I couldn't remember your name. So glad to still be able to look at your old projects and read the posts that felt so meaningful and important to me. And so glad you're making something beautiful that you love. Blessings and thank yous.ReplyDelete
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