In August 2018 Amanda and I decided to start a clothing line. We created roughly ten designs and gained a good amount of traction on the site and store along with a great amount of feedback. The clothing line wasn’t necessarily a source of income as we both have had solid jobs, but it was a way for us to create something together, for me to do some artwork to remain creative while working a non-creative job. It was basically a way for a new couple to bond and connect even more.
We spent a few months working on it a little bit every day. I got to sketch and draw which I haven’t had the chance to do in years; I found an amazing app for my iPad Pro: Procreate to create all of my designs in. Around October we were in the process of creating a Halloween-themed line with some fun phrases like “Bats the Way I Like It” and “Consider Me So Spooked”.
Just as things were starting to pick up, we were hit with a cease and desist order for having a name similar to another brand when we were just doing a play on words. I spoke to the lawyers for that company and handed over the domain, shut down the site, killed any avenue to our products, and shut down all social media accounts. They dropped the charges which could have been up to $100k. Again, this was never in any way a source of income, but a bonding project so we had no issues shutting it down.
We had a lot of fun creating a brand from scratch, developing designs together, and investing ourselves in a fun project. In December 2018, I came up with a name for a future project that meant a lot to me about our lives together… West+Away. We travel as much as we can. For my 30th birthday, we went to London, for Amanda’s we did a cruise in Mexico, and we’ve been to almost 10 states together. While we like to go away, the west is our home. West is where we are, it’s where we started, and where we plan to stay. So the name West+Away was us, where we are now, and where we will end up.
In March 2019, my back issues came back up again (I’ll touch on this another day), but it halted a lot of our plans. I wanted to propose on April 22nd2019, but that had to be pushed as my medical bills were racking up to almost $4,000 in the first few weeks. After three months of physical therapy multiple times a week, I set another plan in motion to propose, this time September 22nd (I’ll save this for another date as well). With physical therapy and engagement plans handled, we wanted to revisit this project… Now we have.
We’ve taken three of our previous designs: Release Me into the Wild, I Wander, and Take Me Anywhere with a new color scheme and new design elements, as they still fit the main idea behind our brand… To follow our wanderings in life.
Our plan moving forward is to take elements from our trips and experience to build a travel blog, along with some “souvenirs” we create inspired by it all. We plan to release prints of Amanda’s incredible photography, some apparel based on things we saw, and even tips on places we traveled.
This project is incredibly dear to me, and whether it makes any money for us or not, it’s something I’ll always be able to look back to with a great sense of pride.
I love you, my Amanda.