This past Friday I attended the Laptops and Smalltalk launch party at the Society Hotel. For those who may not know, Laptops and Smalltalk is a strategy and consulting brand for emerging and independent fashion designers. Laptops and Smalltalk has grown meteorically, going from a platform to host monthly discussions about how to grow a fashion brand, to having an online platform, blog posts, and ebooks that I personally plan on reading.
Instead of having the usual launch party of music and drinks, Brittany Sierra, the owner of Laptops and Smalltalk, decided to host a panel of Fashion designers and influencers in the Portland community who are thriving in their craft. The panel consisted of Myriam Marcela (of Myriam Marcela), Tiffany Bean (Tiffany Bean Designs), Eden Dawn (Fashion Editor for Portland Monthly Magazine), German Madrigal (of German Madrigal), and Jae Fields (of JaeFields).
The Panelists answered questions about their journeys and even dabbled into the struggles of being a designer in Portland, such as not having enough fabric options and trying to stay local with fabric choices while also staying true to the needs of their designs and collections. Designer Myriam Marcela answered this by broadening the scope of what it means to stay local, as for her Portland is a community that she belongs to and desires to support, yet she also comes from Guadalajara, Mexico, so she can also get fabrics from there, and stay local in the scope of the communities she belongs to.
Although I am not a designer, I found this event to be extremely helpful because
One: I think it is important to know about all aspects of the fashion industry.
Two: Hearing from Fashion Editor Eden Dawn opened my eyes to all the roles there are in the fashion industry, even in a smaller city like Portland.
Three: It was a good opportunity to meet others in the Portland and Pacific Northwest fashion community. The only way to achieve that is by showing up.
Of the events I have been to, this was one of my favorites because of the great conversations I had and lessons I learned. One important takeaway for me was a unified answer from the panelists that emerging designers have to be creative when finding ways to support their business, be that financially or through the designing process. I find that to be true for me as well, because I don’t have a staff like some bloggers, but mine still has to be professional. That means I have to be more creative in how I accomplish what I need to get done, be that using a timer and running in front of the camera to get pictures, or using masking tape to hang up a background. Whatever it may be, I can have nearly or just as good results as any professional blogger, I just have to think outside of the box.
Thank you Laptops and Smalltalk for the inspiration and conversation!
Speaking of being outside of the box, when has being outside of the box helped you with a goal or project in your life? Let me know by commenting below!