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