Taylor Made Volume 6: Night & Day

Posted by Taylor Barkin on

If you follow us closely, you saw that a few days ago, we launched our Night & Day Collection. This Collection is one that stemmed from a deep sense of meaning for how simple the concept is. It's the first collection that we've created in months that stemmed purely from passion, not from necessity or out of timelines of current events that we never saw coming this year.
I wanted to focus this month on the meaning behind why we launched it since the lead up to it was so deep this time around. While our imagery is so straight forward on this one and something we all experience every day, the ideas behind that go deeper.
This past year has been such a night & day difference from any prior. When moments got dark, they often became followed by something much brighter. Even through tough times, we were able to see beauty in those situations too.
There was a time where our exhaustion brought us joy because we knew we were growing beyond what we ever expected.
Every year we've been in business leading up to this one has been one of growth and excitement, even when the times got tough. Since we started, we watched our community and fellow business owners and friends grow and thrive. Obviously hard times have existed, but overall, the people around us were crushing it. We watched people open stores, go full time with their business and reach new heights that were so impressive. We'd catch up with our maker friends after events and would cheers over a beer about how well we all did at that market that day. We'd talk about all of the exciting things to come. Our social events became going to store openings of some of our favorite people and constantly celebrating the excitement of that growth.
*The makers market we hosted a few years back. We had 100 of our best maker friends join us and 5,000 customers flood the random warehouse we threw it at*
We all fed off of one another. It was never a competition, it was just one of those times that felt like we were all there to lift one another up and celebrate that all the time.
There was something about this insane amount of energy within the Denver small business community that drove us towards continuing to crush it and to keep going after the next thing because it was such an exciting time. Times were exciting and the potential was endless.
There was a time in Denver, for many years where every single makers market we would attend was like going to a party with hundreds of creative friends and we could all sit there at the end of the day and be proud for how great it was for everyone. These times were where we got our roots, it's where our foundation was built and a time we will never forget or take for granted.
Things had shifted with time, as things do but COVID put a complete stop to even have the opportunity to have those times this year. For all we know, it might not ever be the same.
Now, the exhaustion takes shape in the form of constantly fighting to stay afloat.
The hardest part for me through this hasn't been the lost revenue or the need to bust our ass to stay alive, but to see a complete night and day difference from where we collectively once were.
Now, instead of saying cheers at the end of a market day with our pals, we are watching businesses shut their doors, we are watching people fight with all of their might to just stay alive. No longer are we seeing things boom and getting motivation from those around us experiencing growth and success. While I believe that this time will lead to all of those things because small business owners are some of the most resilient people I've ever met, I see how hard this time has been for so many.
It's been defeating. But you know what? Growth is defeating and it isn't always easy.
We went from being exhausted because suddenly we were so busy and our business was booming which got us giddy to having a complete different level of prolonged exhaustion that we have never experienced. That type where you are so mentally drained that you feel like you need to keep fighting or it will all be over. There's a big difference in that type of exhaustion then what we were used to.
This past week wasn't exhausting because we were filling so much product to meet demand, it was exhausting because we had to put so much mental energy and effort into fighting a legal battle that should've never been a thing.
The past few months have been so exhausting not because we are out at events connecting with our community selling products, but because we had to constantly pivot and keep our guard up. If we hadn't pivoted time and time again in the past 6 months, I don't truly know where we'd be right now.
The day before we shot the photos for our launch, our stomach sank when we found out that Coleman ripped off one of our designs. As we were shooting these photos, we received communication from Coleman that they were going to do what they could to prioritize making the situation right. Just like the rest of the year, a moment that was dark started to brighten back up so that we could move forward.
The Night & Day Imagery
Tanner put it well when he detailed his interpretation of the Night & Day imagery he created for this collection. The stars are visible but there's no way to reach them-that felt so much like everything the past 6 months has brought. Things look like they could be reached but it was much harder than one might think, sometimes impossible.
Then there's the fire. If any of you have built a fire, you know how much work it takes to keep it going for hours on end. For us, our business was our flame that we've built up for years and we had to do everything we could to keep it going and not let it escape out of control.
Night is very dark, and often scary but there is so much beauty within that too. You can get through the night but if you stop and look around, you'll see the beauty that is there. The sunrise brings hope of a new day and a fresh start. Things will be okay.
The Night & Day differences of 2020:
  1. We went from having such a solid, organized schedule daily to having to see what the next day would bring and roll with it.
  2. We went from planning the shit out of everything to coming up with new, relevant collection concepts that we turned around in a week, sometimes even faster.
  3. We went from taking our mobile truck out 4 times a week to having to sell it for nothing because our landlords decided one day they didn't like looking at it and we couldn't safely bring it out anymore.
  4. We went from screen printing 5 days a week to sewing masks for 7 days a week, 12 hours a day
  5. We went from being in our shop daily, excitedly growing our brand to sneaking in when we were shut down just to keep our business going.
  6. We went from working long hours on exciting projects to figuring out how we'd get through this, everyday for months
  7. We went from spending our time on passion projects to fighting a large brand for stealing Tanner's artwork.
  8. We went from having a huge warehouse sale in person with a line of people out the door to going completely digital
  9. We went from educating ourselves on business concepts to educating ourselves on how we, as a society can do better with social justice
  10. We went from having a positive experience with our shop to having our landlords raise our rent on us mid pandemic. We felt outrage from lack of compassion.
Times have been weird to say the least. They have been dark but they have also been bright, whether we all know it or not.
Just like most situations in life, you just have to think that something good is going to come out of the bad situation. Life isn't perfect, society isn't perfect, nothing is perfect but the question becomes, how can we take this and turn it into something good?
The unexpected good that stemmed from the bad:
  1. Us being forced to not do public events gave us weekends back for the first time ever. We didn't realize just how much we needed this time to recharge so that we can actually keep propelling. We used to be all about the hustle, hustle, hustle and gained excitement from that but there comes a point where that isn't sustainable anymore. We hit that point and needed the forced shutdown to realize that.
  2. Taking a second to pause and really look at the situation we're going through made us realize that suddenly the last few years escaped us. The things on our bucket list were never going to happen hustling 7 days a week, every week. This prompted us to take a few steps back and think about our bigger purpose. Nothing is changing with Moore but life outside of that is going to look a lot different for us soon (AH I WANT TO SPILL THE BEANS BUT I WON'T).
  3. This shit storm of the past 6 months has literally made me cry looking at how our community that we've worked so hard to build supports us. When we launched our Desert Collection a few days after shutdown, it was the biggest yet because our people knew small business was going to be one of the hardest hit categories so they showed up. When we launched masks, the orders didn't stop for months. When we lost our truck, people I have never talked to personally told us some of the kindest words I've ever heard. When Coleman ripped us off, our community exploded in outrage and didn't stop until we got answers. The amount of people that have stepped up to help and keep our fire going is something we will never forget or take for granted. Every bad moment, they (YOU) have been there and that is what has gotten us through it.
  4. These times have been ridiculously challenging on us, as a married couple running a business together. Even though all of this has been really hard and stressful, we have been able to remain grateful for the fact that we are going through this together and that we are getting through this together. This time has taught me that our marriage can withstand just about anything because we've been able to problem solve over and over, in various moments of panic and have done what we could to turn that around into something positive.
To wrap things up, this year has been full of night & day experiences. Things have gotten hard but they have almost always lead us towards something brighter. If you continue to take the bad and dwell, you will never get anywhere. If you can try to dig and find the beauty in that dark situation, you'll be amazed with what comes from it.
Onward and upward!

← Older Post Newer Post →