Creating CRMC Clothing - Part 1 "Uncharted Grounds"
Posted on May 09 2017
It was always going to be a rollercoaster leading up to a steep peak when forming a business – advantageous & naïve are two words that come to mind when looking back at the beginnings of CRMC Clothing. The brainchild and creation of myself & former co-creator, Hrafn Tocher, everything that could go wrong in a first year went wrong – but of course, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. We learnt a whole lot from our mistakes – the one thing holding it together? The vision we had for the brand; the style, the designs, the garments, the fashion scenes, eventually leading to the manufacture & creation of clothing & products we both envisioned. Have we reached that penultimate outcome with the brand? Not even close.
To be specific, 2013 was what I’d relate to as our most chaotic or “toughest” year – so much so, we titled our first attempt at a large collection “Unlucky ‘13”.
Not that I consider the number 13 unlucky, but it was 2013, our first official year trading & without going in to detail, we learnt many things the hard way, suffered many losses, tested every bit of our patience with establishing the brand that year, while both going through some heavy personal experiences. 2013 was such a brutal year; I got myself a tattoo to remind myself of it, what we went through & where we came from to get ourselves to where we are today. Tbh, I think it’s the only tattoo I have that has any sort of meaning behind it haha…
When we started CRMC Clothing, we had one huge goal – to not only design & create our own products, but to print, embroider, cut & sew our products in-house. This is a dream for the CRMC brand still today, a dream we are carefully and co-ordinately making a reality in the not too distant future.
Back when CRMC Clothing started, I had no idea about how to run a business, how to market a brand or product, how to stitch/print & label a garment. All I knew was the attention to detail I had when it came to design, the materials used & how they were constructed. Still to this day, I purchase numerous brands garments – once received, I don’t put on the item & look at it in the mirror, I turn it inside-out, run my finger & thumb across the seam, inspect the stitching, feel the material & admire the labels. It was this ritual that first brought about the idea of starting my own brand; that and, of course, art & design itself. I didn’t study graphic design, I didn’t study IT, fashion or textiles – I studied & passed contemporary art, painting. However, no matter how talented I was with a brush, that was my hobby, not my chosen profession.
Having no actual education, or basic common knowledge with fashion & textiles, I approached a long-time friend, Hrafn, who (without going into detail) was going through an incredibly tough period at that time in his life. However, he shared the same love for design and had a more educated background in fashion & textiles than I did. I figured something like starting our own brand/business, would be a huge drive for Hrafn to pull him through life at that time. It did, and I’m incredibly proud of how much he’s transformed and that I witnessed him overcome those events & weaknesses.
Both Hrafn and I had no prior knowledge in design software (Photoshop & Illustrator) , we have no idea as to the detail and requirements needed to prepare designs for print, or how much it cost, or to what extent there was in-regards to how & what can be done for printing & manufacture – particularly for myself, it was all uncharted grounds. That’s why we brought on board the third member of our initial crew, Calum “Gully” Galbraith. Gully introduced me to the world of digital design via Photoshop. I’d watch Gully work on our designs, patiently carrying out all my commands, no matter how meticulous & anal they were. Gradually, I began to observe the work/techniques Gully used to construct the designs I gave to him, and eventually learned to do them myself. For those new to graphic design, fashion design etc, with the intention of starting their own brand – YouTube tutorials & internet “how-to’s” are your best friend. Trust me, if I can learn it, so can you! The best way to describe learning these programs & creating your designs - which is actually one of my favourite things when designing - is to treat it like problem solving. There is always numerous routes to create any effect or outcome in these software’s, it’s up to you to eventually find what works best & most efficient for you.
Primarily, this is what this & the net blog post is for – to share some of the knowledge I’ve learned & experience I’ve been through to create & establish a clothing brand. If you are an aspiring fashion designer, with the intent to create a brand, however don’t have the information or advice you are looking for when it comes to creating or developing your brand – this post is dedicated to you.
As mentioned, the first year or so of CRMC was a rollercoaster (it still is to be honest), which is an understatement. We’ll save this and more in our next blog instalment, co-titled “The Learning Curve”, where I’ll cover the problems we encountered & share the lessons I learned in order to mature & grow CRMC Clothing in to what it is today.
I want to take this time to thank all of those who take the time to read my blog entries – sharing & supporting what it is we are doing here with CRMC Clothing. This really is just the beginning.
Congratulations Roy Taylor for winning our CRMC Vs Artists blog competition. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org in order to select & receive your prize.
Readers! Use discount code "UNCHARTED" for an exclusive discount of your full order. Code expires 19/05/2017.
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Thanks to you for reading & your overwhelming support.
As always, big love – G