Honestly when I made the first t-shirt, my only intention was to express myself and start creating. I didn’t have an intention to start a brand or start a business. Now, 3 years later, those intentions have obviously changed.
We have all been through a lot in the past 3 years. I'm sure we all wish we could have appreciated "normal times" more when we had them. We truly didn't know what we had until the completely unexpected came, and now we can look at the past and try to understand how we got here.
Much has changed. Collected as a brand has evolved drastically, you and I have changed and grown, and the world feels a lot different. The only constant IS change, just as it always has been. I am realizing that if you can’t learn and adapt as the world changes, then you will be left behind. Maybe “left behind” isn’t so bad, but maybe it’s not necessarily a place you want to be either.
To continue that point, for Collected as a business, as a brand, as a community; in order to survive in this ever changing world we need to constantly analyze and adapt how we live and work. This brand continues to be an ongoing project. From making the very first t-shirt to now creating a blog, creating videos and hosting events with friends, to meeting hundreds of different people, it has been a miraculous journey indeed. Don’t get me wrong, there has been countless hours of work and conversations to keep this ship afloat. “The grind” isn’t always a pretty process, it actually often isn’t.
When I posted those first Collected photos to Instagram in 2019, what I felt most was relief. I felt relief that I finally put something out in the world. Relief that I didn’t just have an idea, but I acted on that idea. Relief that I'm not just here to exist and get by, but that I am instrumental to the workings of society and culture.
I’m sure we have all been there at some point; that feeling that you are just watching life go by or watching others make it happen while you sit on the sidelines. But oh man, stepping into the game itself, now that’s the fun part. When you realize that everything you say and do directly impacts the people and the world around you, life starts to get really fun. This realization also places a lot of responsibility on your shoulders because, on the flip side, the stupid things you do also directly impacts the people and the world around you. I suppose this leads me to a question that I commonly remind myself of: What kind of impact do you want to have on the world?
Many people have a lot of good ideas, executing those ideas is the hard part. Honestly, crossing that bridge from idea to action can still be a struggle for me today. In my experience, to get myself to take action on an idea it is either one of two things, or a little bit of both. One would be my emotions: putting passion and emotion into the thing I want fuels me up to go after it. The other would be information: if I don't know how to do something I will do research, study, and have conversations with more experienced people until I have enough knowledge to give me confidence to take action. Information is unlimited these days, so don't wait too long.
The first Collected shirt ever made is symbolic of taking action on your dreams. It’s symbolic of bringing ideas to life. It’s symbolic of taking a step towards the highest potential that life could be, even if you don’t know what the next steps are.
This isn't about clothing, or logos, or marketing, this is about making the most with what you have to work towards a more ideal future.
What idea have you been waiting to act on? What has been holding you back?
What small step can you take to bring that idea one step closer to fruition?
Take the step.