Updated: Feb 27
I share my creative process, before & after photos, thrift hauls + time lapse videos because going behind the scenes is fun. Also, it’s the kind of content I want to see from other makers. And DOG GONE IT I just like to.
As my business & I have evolved over the years, focusing on sustainability has become more & more important & the fact that CRAVE is only one person means that any up-cycling efforts or swaying towards secondhand feels kinda like spitting in the ocean. Which is why I hope this content also INSPIRES.
Inspires YOU to do something. To thrift an outfit, re-purpose a pool, re-use a jacket, mend a pair of pants, to play, have fun, borrow ideas, learn the ropes, heck- copy my techniques. THAT’S HOW WE LEARN. Then MAKE IT YOUR OWN, & don’t take it so dang seriously. Be a good human with decent intentions (AKA don’t be a dick), but go forth & create!
I say this because it’s what I truly believe, but also because I recently felt an eye roll in my general direction for re-purposing a material that someone else decided to re-purpose first. To which I roll my eyes (#fightingfirewithfire).
I firmly believe it sucks when someone flat out rips off your design or steals your work but I also think our “original” ideas are not completely our own. We go through life picking up pieces & putting them together in our own way to create something new. At the risk of sounding terribly cliché- you sprinkle in your YOUness to allow you to go boldly where no one has ever gone before.
However, what really rubbed me the wrong way is that someone whose passion is to eradicate waste is annoyed that someone else is also trying to eradicate waste…? Seems counter productive. Can’t we all exist in this space?
I’m declaring the answer is a resounding YESSSSSSS (insert mountainous echo here).
And the point of all this is that I hope that sharing my journey inspires you to think the opposite way. That you never NOT choose to up-cycle because “someone else is already doing it.” What I’m trying to say is that THERE IS ROOM FOR YOU, TOO. Even BEYOND the world of re-purposing! May you never think, “I can’t do that because so & so already is” because you bring your own unique spin to the table.
Here’s a prime example: think of the 2 major cola soft drink companies (not naming names because I don’t know how legal stuff works… but one rhymes with “sexy” and the other is also a white powdery substance). Their flagship product is essentially the same: COLA. Sure, their recipes are different, but I’m sure a few people could fail a blind taste test.
My point? If two giants in the same industry can both co-exist (& both be gazillionares), you can enter the realm of whatever field you desire. There are enough customers, there is enough money, there is enough demand (given you’re not crocheting socks for baby ducks… but then again I could be wrong- these duck diaper people are killing it on Etsy), THERE IS ENOUGH ABUNDANCE TO GO AROUND.
I’m not the first & certainly won’t be the last person to up-cycle, to reclaim goofy materials, or to freaking encourage others to do the same. If I was, that’d be a pretty lousy movement. You don’t have to be the first, either. You just have to stay in your own lane instead of worrying what everyone else is doing.
Photo by Anne Victoria Photography
Disclaimer: I'm not asking Target to knock off my designs or saying it's OK to blatantly steal someone's life work- this falls under the "Don't Be A Dick" clause. However, if some big box retailer wants to start incorporating discarded materials or Joe Schmo down the street wants to play around with a new tassel earring design I'd welcome it with open arms.
Truth is- if Joe Schmo started making tassel earrings out of vintage leather jackets I might vent to my BFF about it & then she'll recount everything outlined in this blog post & put me in my place. We'll both continue attracting our own niche & the world will continue to turn (with a lot less ugly jackets roaming around).