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BLOCK ISLAND

Block Island is a small New England island situated 13 miles off the tip of Montauk and 14 miles from the coast of Rhode Island. It’s less well-known than it’s counterparts, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, and that’s partly on purpose. Block Island is modest. You won’t find expensive shopping, fine dining (although there are some excellent restaurants) or scenesters. There’s no golf course. And while there is a small airport, it’s not big enough for commercial jets.

Block Island’s values center on the land. 44.7% and growing of the island is protected land, thanks to the Block Island Conservancy, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy, set up in 1972. Greenways (hiking trails (see above)) weave across the island. And the first offshore wind farm in the United States is currently being built 3 miles off the coast of the island.

Block Island also happens to be my place of residence many weekends of the year and is a major source of inspiration behind Eenvoud. There is something about the island that can only truly be understood by being there — a palpable appreciation for nature, simplicity and time spent well with each other. If there’s any place that truly values “the little things”, it is Block Island.

On that note, I want to leave you with a quote I stumbled on recently and that I think so perfectly embodies a way of living that so many of us are chasing after in life…

“To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable; and wealthy, not rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly; await occasions, hurry never;  in a word: to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common – that is my symphony.”

-William Henry Channing

Have a wonderful weekend. Hurry never.

FROM THE GUT

I’ve spent the past several weeks working on writing and editing a script for our upcoming Kickstarter. I’ve never written a script before, but knew what I wanted to say. So piece of cake, right? Wrong. I’ve spent the past 3 weeks trying to cram 800 words into the space of 200; trying to be inspiring, but also get all of the facts in; confused by too many messages; lost; found; lost. And then, Shannon Whitehead clarified everything instantly for me by advising me to just to speak to my ideal customer.

And just like that, all of the striving for the right words dissipated. I sat down this morning and wrote freely and with ease. I wrote what will be our script. No second draft necessary.

I’ve begun to notice that almost every decision I’ve made in the past year has been instantaneous and from the gut (or heart or soul). And there have been many decisions. They all felt right and not because I had rationally analyzed them. And they’ve all worked out. The things that I’ve struggled withlike this scriptare the things that I fought for against my gut. I felt like I had to fit in all the right info, say things in the right tone and in the right order. All of those things are important. But when you allow yourself to free fall and it feels right, then, it is right. The right people will feel that energy in what you’ve created and that’s all that matters. Others won’t connect and that’s ok. They’re not who you’re reaching out to anyways.

Another big gut decision I made in the last year was to apply for Factory45. I had heard about the program while in the midst of feeling a little lost and trying to decide if I should dedicate the energy to Eenvoud that it deserved or to walk away. I remember the moment that my gut jerked me awake so clearly. I was on a train home from a weekend trip and whipped out my computer. It happened to be the last day of submissions. I wrote my application on that ride, submitted it and that quick decision changed the course of my life. Turns out that I didn’t walk away, but instead have dedicated myself to that thing that I couldn’t stop thinking about for so long. And now it’s real. And our script is written. And we’re launching in less than a month.

Applications to round 2 of Factory45 opened this week. If you feel a pull, go with it.

To learn more about Factory45 and to apply, click here.

2014

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” -Steve Jobs

2014 was quite a year for us. Our foundation is poured and we’re gearing up for our official launch this March via Kickstarter. We’re so thankful for the dots that were connected this past year and since looking backwards is just as inspiring as looking forward, here are the dots that made our 2014.

  • We were accepted as 1 of 10 design companies in the inaugural class of Factory45, an accelerator program for made in the USA designers. I could write multiple blog post about this, so I’ll leave it at we would be NOWHERE close to where we are right now without Shannon Whitehead and all of our amazing classmates that we now call confidants and lifetime friends.
  • We launched a brand new website with the help of the amazing Austin-based Emily Belyea Creative. If you’re an entrepreneur needing a minimalistic and functional website, Emily is your girl.
  • We met our fiery patternmaker, Iris. She greats us most days with “top of the morning!”, trains at a UFC gym and tries on all of our samples in her Jimmy Choos. We couldn’t be more thankful for being connected to her. I’m looking at you Tara St James.
  • Pratt’s new design accelerator space, the BF+DA, opened it’s doors in our very own South Williamsburg. Iris is now working there and we’re hoping to produce our first collection within it’s walls.
  • I signed with a new fit modeling agency this year, MSA Model Management. Their management allows me the freedom and space to be able to work on EENVOUD and for that I am so grateful.
  • Black Brick Coffee became our unofficial office. The baristas ask us everyday how business is going, with genuine interest. Not to mention… their peanut butter cookies.
  • We took a deep breath most weekends on Block Island off the coast of Rhode Island. Compared to many of the other New England islands, Block Island has remained relatively untainted by the ebb and flow of tourism thanks to the Block Island Conservancy. More than 44% (and growing) of the the island is preserved land in perpetuity.
  • Lastly, we met so many kindred spirits carving their own paths in the fashion industry – Shannon, Angela, Emily, Heidi, Mikaela, Jenn, Lara, Sharon, Tina, Alexander & Jonathan, Jill, Kristin, Kestrel, Alden, and last, but definitely not least, Jed.

If 2014 was the year of building EENVOUD, 2015 is the year of being it. We can’t wait.