During our trip to Austin for our Renegade Craft Fair: SXSW Edition, we had the opportunity to stop by and visit a few of our Makers. Our first stop was the Fox & Brie studio in North Austin. Jess Decelle, who has been a part of our Austin Markets in the past, graciously gave us a tour of her studio and talked about her beginnings and the inspiration for Fox & Brie.
When putting together a collection, I try to offer a variety of different patterns that work well together but are still interesting enough to stand out individually. I’m always on the hunt for unique prints and eye-catching color combinations that lend a modern twist to the idea of the Southern gentleman.
Every aspect of Fox & Brie is created in my home studio–sewing patterns, packaging, graphic design. From the first cut to the final stitch, each item is made with my own two hands, allowing me complete control over quality and construction.
As a child, when asked by well-meaning adults what I wanted to be when I grew up, I answered politely, “I just want to make neat things and go on lots of adventures.” It’s taken 27 years and two college degrees to realize that I just need to create useful, beautiful things for people to enjoy. I began Fox & Brie as a side project while working on my MA in Advertising. As an art director, most of my days were spent staring at a computer screen; so, I began to fill my nights with tangible projects and odd little creations. After graduation I behaved accordingly and worked as a designer for a short time, but missed the simple, tactile act of creating something with my own two hands. Finally realizing that my naive childhood wish was a possibility, I took a chance and started out on an adventure.
I began working full-time as Fox & Brie in March 2012, constantly trying to improve my methods, seeking out unique vintage & dead-stock fabrics, and looking for new opportunities & sources of inspiration. It’s been an incredible experience, filled with long nights of work, a lot of trial & error, and an amazing sense of fulfillment that I never really expected to feel in my lifetime.
Sometimes, it’s going to be the worst. You’re going to face exhaustion, self-doubt, failures, naysayers, and every other problem you didn’t even know existed. Some days you may look in the mirror and ask yourself, “What am I even doing here?”
Keep going. It means you’re on the right track.
If you are so afraid of failure that you never take risks, the best you can hope for is mediocrity. Failure is essential to creativity. Embrace your mistakes as a chance to grow, learn what doesn’t work and then find out what does. Become an expert at your craft and continue to experiment with new techniques & designs. Each time you overcome an obstacle, you will grow stronger and more confident in your abilities and in yourself. Yes, sometimes owning a creative business is the worst, but it is also the most rewarding, fulfilling, fantastic experience of my life and it has made me a better person in spite of myself.
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