Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Me, myself, and I...


How tragic is it that my title is so reminiscent of that of a truly appalling Jim Carrey movie...(though, let's be honest here, is there any other sort of Jim Carrey movie?)?

Anyway, here I sit in the studio, Abigail frenziedly filing silver sheet behind me, my eyes dry and tired from a day of pottering on photoshop- cleaning up files and choosing colour combinations for the patterns involved in the grand launch of "abigailryan".

Oh, I should probably mention (and here is as good a point as any) that i'm the "ryan" component of this little collaboration- the yang to the yin, the Jerry to the Tom, the wee Jimmy Krankie to the...erm...slightly pervy dude who pretended his wife was a small boy...(I won't begin to imagine their sex life, but the mind surely boggles).

The Abigail component has insisted that I write a little "summary of me", a kind of introduction to the whys and wherefores of "abigail*ryan" while she "does some real work" and, so, here I sit...in front of the computer again, eyes drier, tired-er and increasingly bloodshot, (the great ally of the internet entrepreneur is his lack of visibility...no one needs to see your friendly textile designer sitting in his boxers (which, believe me, have seen such better days that they are now rather obscene) with the afore mentioned bloodshot eyes, and greasy hair...I feel like I need to brush my teeth, too) thinking desperately of something to say...

So, erm... "textile designer", eh?

Well...I am now, I suppose.

I originally trained as a photographer- my degree in Fine and Applied Art, specializing in lens based media- but then decided that career path was not for me. After a rather convoluted series of events, with a rather heavy dose of random chance and pure, dumb luck, I started in a part-time office job, and ended up running my own business making handbags. Nobody told me I couldn't, so it didn't occur to me that I shouldn't...I designed my own patterns, sourced the most incredible materials, and taught myself how to sew. To be honest, i'm a bit of a perfectionist (though why I say that slightly apologetically, I have no idea...surely there is nothing better than being the best you can, then telling everyone about it...Oh,right...yeah... that's probably the downside, isn't it..?), so I worked hard until the range was as good as it could be...my art training coming in useful for tricky things like proportions and colour combinations, my mum and two sisters coming in useful for tricky things like how many pockets, and how big does an evening bag really need to be (apparently, just big enough to bring everything you need, but nowhere near big enough to bring everything you want...helpful, that...)?


While making and selling handbags, I met Abigail...my other half, and the other half of this business. From the start we knew we wanted to work together (she even taught me how to make jewellery...silver becoming a material I loved so much, I designed and made two distinct jewellery collections (Menagerie and Woodland) and added them to my retail catalogue- "handbag designer" quietly morphing to "accessories designer" on the CV in my head) and this desire to collaborate on a project grew, evolved, and mangled itself until it became another entity entirely- a whole new business that brought our hitherto unexplored love of pattern and home-wares to the fore.

So, "abigailryan" was born...a protracted delivery, but a truly exciting and overwhelmingly pleasurable one. Since our decision, we have both been juggling our other businesses manically, eager to produce a dynamic, stylish range that we are both proud to put our names to.


Little, by little, we have been getting there- patterns have been designed, colour stories decided on, suppliers contacted and, soon, samples will be ordered. This blog will document our journey to total world domination...and it's a journey we hope you'll share with us (come on, you don't get an offer like that too often!).

2 comments:

kelly said...

impossible to resist! i'm weak at the knees already for your new venture and am happy to stalk you both as you take on the world. {and direct others to your shop with my wishlist in the coming months whilst i pay them back in baked goods} cheers to you both on such a wonderful wonderful adventure. Xx

Jay (UK) said...

Ok, the evening bag explanation made me laugh out loud to the raised eyebrows of my husband! This venture sounds cool and I'll be watching attentively (hmm, that sounds creepy!). Good luck!