Well hot damn! Someone in the house has got a birfday!
(....well, tomorrow, that is, but wtf.) We're slangin' deals to celebrate and giving you a little inside scoop on the behind the scenes deets at Charla Tedrick. Read on and then get to shopping with discount code: HBDCT at checkout for a lil' birthday hookup!
While my personal anecdotes are somewhat few and far between in regards to my brand, this occasion is a lil' different. Mainly, and somewhat selfishly, the need to verbal vomit is for me; And for my need and responsibility to myself and my future to stop for a fucking second and look at (and appreciate) what's really going on. In a live-fast lifestyle, it's way too easy to do just that...LIVE FAST; And completely overlook the major growth and accomplishment that's happened. The idea of success can be like an insatiable appetite. It's been a year (tomorrow) on this new wild venture running my own company, and there may be others out there who are dreaming and scheming the same way I had been (my entire life) and need a little push. This past year hasn't been a walk in the park, but I'd do it again any day. Any night. Any weather. Blindfolded. In platforms.
1 year ago on July 8, 2016, Charla Tedrick became an official LLC. While it might sound like NBD, for someone who'd been scheming of starting their own company since childhood, this was EVERYTHING. It meant finally taking that step, that LEAP, and pulling that hundred pound trigger catapulting me into the unknown; Leaving the stability of working for "the man" (aka someone else's dream) instead of my own. However let's get one thing straight: Getting some state certified document with a fancy signature doesn't ensure a damn thing. It DOES however open doors to some totally un-fun additions to your life like the need to have general liability insurance. MORE TAXES (4x a year, are you even REAL!?). A bunch of other red tape jargon that will take you 20x over to read and, with luck, you'll retain a few sentences. Has it been worth the struggle and the learning? FUCK YES. Would I make the decision again? ABSOFUCKINGLUTELY.
The coming year would bring a multitude of highs, lows, sleepless nights, endless tears, near-nervous breakdowns, smiles from ear to ear, tons of celebrations, little victories, big steps forward and a genuine feeling of pride. If that's not a mixed bag of crazy I don't know what is! But after over 10 years building a career in the fashion industry, seeing my ideas become successful profitable products, yet never feeling totally satisfied,... this is what dreams are made of. It's a package deal... You don't get to take the credit without enduring the bullshit. You don't get rad shit without really really hard work.
I've had some amazing opportunities in my career, no doubt. Every single position I've held since my very first designer role in 2006 has been completely invaluable in the big picture, though I may not have realized that at the time. My career path gave me the opportunity to dance around in different areas.... Fiddle in tons of categories, see what I liked, try out different markets of the industries, different cities, different states. Working with Betsey Johnson in NYC allowed me to fulfill a lifelong desire to move to the big apple. It introduced me to some amazing people and allowed me to design graphic tops and other products that were in BJ stores across the US.
Working in the graphic tee biz allowed me to have product in massive retail chains like Urban Outfitters, Forever 21 and Nordstrom. I got to see my ideas come to life on the backs of celebrities and on strangers on the street.
My time at Hello Kitty opened up tons of doors, working on amazing collabs with brands like Jeffrey Campbell, TUK and Minnetonka.
And coming to San Francisco and creating the in-house design department for Dolls Kill gave me the chance to put all the pieces together; To design products in every category, build a huge collection of work and see that hard work on some incredible faces.
But at the end of it all.... if you have it in your heart to run the show on your own, none of this will ever be enough. While there were great opportunities and fond memories, being the anonymous and faceless brain behind tons of successful products and ventures was painful in a way difficult to describe. It was finally time to do the damn thing.
1 year after pulling the trigger, here we are; The 2nd Charla Tedrick collection is about to launch next month. The 3rd will be in production this Fall and the 4th is being designed as we speak. Next month, Charla Tedrick will be sold in retailers in 4 countries. I've shipped my shoes to customers in countries I've had to look up on Google maps. But at the end of the day, the most rewarding moment is packing up that box and sending it out with my name on it.... because more than packing up and sending off a pair of rad platforms, I'm packing up and sending off a lifetime of dreams and a shitload of hard work.
We're 1 year down and a lifetime to go. While the measure of success for any given person is always changing, the ultimate goal for this brand will always remain the same: Only making products I believe in; Making products I would personally be stoked to wear; Making products that are comfortable, stable and safe; And never deviating from my vision. This isn't about a fickle fashion cycle. This isn't about trend setters, the color of the year or "what's hot for 2018". This is about a lifestyle. Rock n' roll is a lifestyle. And if you're like me, you don't even have a choice; It's just who you are. The goal for me is to continue doing this, doing what I love, on my terms, for the rest of my days. And by hook or by crook, that shall be the story.
To all who have encouraged, supported, purchased, followed, liked, and loved over the past year, I cannot thank you enough. It really means everything.
And to those who are dreaming and scheming, miserable at their desk job but not sure how to proceed, a word of advice: Decide what it is you want. Write that shit down. Make a fucking plan. And work on it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
Thank you again for supporting me, my family and my platforms. Enjoy a light recap from Charla Tedrick year 1, and don't forget to take advantage of that birthday hookup! Sending so much love & rock n' roll.