My Journey To melissaAnne COLORS Textile Products

My Journey To COLORS Textile Products

If you have followed along on my photography journey over the last 8+ years you know that I’ve had a long-time dream of putting my abstract style images on textiles for a branded line of melissaAnne COLORS textile products. The dream began many years ago with a single image, a desire to create my own handbag and evolved into research and design of pillows several years later.

I made a prototype collection of pillows from my Water Colors and Urban Colors images but never got as far as taking them to market.

Why? Well, a list of reasons, including the financial commitment required, “life” happening around me and my desire for fine fabrics and quality production. That last part has been the hardest to come by. When you are a small business, requiring customized small production runs your options are limited. I tried many companies and either the quality was not the right fit or the customer service was not what I expected and required.

When I was building my melissaAnne COLORS brand the personality was all about color, vibrancy, and uniqueness.

It was about getting up early and being in the right place at the right time for that special moment of color. Or staying up late to capture more moments. It was about taking adventures and not playing it safe in my own back yard. It was about seeing the world differently and sharing my passion for color!

When it came to textiles, there was a sensory expression that was of equal importance to me. I wanted the colors to FEEL as vibrant and special as they looked. I could only do that with the right products, textiles and vendors. Without it, it just wasn’t worth going to market.

Fast forward several years, lots of Google searching, trials and errors and some down right failures in working with vendors, persistence…and letting go of expectations…and here we are.

Persistence pays off…Letting go seals the deal.

Last year I found a new company that offered custom printing on textiles. Some of the requirements I’d set early in my search didn’t fit but I decided to let them go and take a chance. After all nothing had quite worked out so far. “Let’s just see…”

So I ordered fabric samples and they were fantastic! Rich, soft, luxurious…FEEL – check.

I ordered product samples with my designs and they were fantastic (like stopped on the street with comments from strangers fantastic…)! QUALITY…check.

I emailed with questions and support and the company was timely and supportive, even on weekends. Partnership-worthy CUSTOMER SERVICE…check!!

Getting Started With Scarves

It’s time. I’m going for it and I’m taking a slightly new direction with melissaAnne COLORS textile products and starting with fashion accessories instead of home accessories. The next step in my journey is a Spring Scarf launch with melissaAnne COLORS Impressionist Photography Designs. I selected two of my favorite and most popular images, one representing my current home in the Pacific Northwest and the other my soul home in Amsterdam. I can’t think of a better way to start.

 

 

 

 

Thanks for sticking with me. Thanks for listening to my textile dreams and not giving up on me…so I wouldn’t give up on them. And now, let’s do this! And, stay tuned…sample pillows are next on my list.

Dedication, Persistence, Letting Go…To Make It Go!

 


I’m placing my launch collection order on April 10 and as a supporter of melissaAnne COLORS I’m giving you an opportunity to purchase direct from me by April 9 at a special launch price. Scarves will be shipped in 4-6 weeks as each scarf is custom-made to order. 

Purchase Details


 

Fan Favorites – Life On The Ferry

Fan Favorites – Life On The Ferry

If you’ve followed my photography over the years you know that you don’t see many people in them. I find my creative expression inspired by nature scenes, urban settings and nautical environs. But this year I had a goal to push myself out of my comfort zone in all areas of life, so I took a photography workshop a few months ago and pushed myself out of my comfort zone and dedicated my eye and camera on people. The workshop involved one of my favorite things, the Seattle ferries, so it was a safe and inspiring place to get into the unfamiliar.

 

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On Tuesday evenings, over a 3 week period, we rode ferries. Three different ferry routes around the Puget Sound to communities across King County. We visited Bainbridge Island, Bremerton, and Vashon Island. Well, we didn’t exactly visit the destinations, we visited the route there and back. As the ferries loaded, moved, and returned commuters and tourists, workshop participants took pictures of life on the ferry.  Each participant had their own style and way of seeing the ferry experience, from focusing on the shapes and light to black and white studies. While I pushed myself out of my traditional comfort zone and focused on people, I came away with photos that still reflected my love of color, shape and texture…but with people in them!

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Love Letter To Amsterdam

Love Letter To Amsterdam – Passions


December 20, 2015

 

My Dearest Amsterdam,

Over the last few days I’ve met some amazing people who are passionate about their new businesses! It’s always inspiring to connect with small business owners. Today I met passionate tea producer Edvina, owner of Lemon Poppy.

Love Letter To Amsterdam

DESIGN! What great packaging and design elements on this product.  And, the colors! My favorites!!

 

I sampled her Çaj Mali tea and it is as delightful as she is. The tea is full of iron and antioxidants so in addition to tasting good, it’s good for you.  Win Win!

Love Letter To Amsterdam

 

I enjoyed her and her tea so much I bought several boxes to Christmas gift someone I love back in the US.  LUCKY loved one! Check out her website for more on the tea. All you do is pour some water over these beautiful blooms, let steep and drink.

Love Letter To Amsterdam

Tasty, healthy and beautiful. What’s not to love?

Amsterdam, I love you for special gifts and inspiring women the world over who follow their passions!

Love Always,

Melissa


#LoveLettersToAmsterdam

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Refill Your Creative Superpowers

Yesterday I woke with a bad feeling.  Do you ever start your day that way?  I didn’t want to get up.  I wasn’t sure I could face the day.  Something was just “off” (I even skipped my morning Doodle!).

I felt small. I felt insignificant. I felt lost. The day ahead had this feeling of being totally insurmountable.  I felt…vulnerable.

 

 

I finally got the nerve to get up and face the day anyway and started with a quick check of my Facebook Page and News Feed…

and there it was.

“Vulnerability” staring me in the face.

I’m not even sure where it came from but someone posted the Brene Brown TED video about vulnerability.

 

 

I’ve seen it before…but I watched it again and reconnected to the beautiful and powerful message she shares.   I shared it on my Facebook page, admitting my day’s “vulnerability” and went on to read other posts.  Apparently the universe knew I needed more, knew my vulnerability quotient was a little too high and needed some superpower infusion. I received it with more golden nuggets of goodness from Brene Brown and also a new discovery of Jamie Ridler who is doing great things with creativity and inspiration.

Brene became my superhero of the day.  Her honesty and authenticity around vulnerability and comparison is inspiring and refreshing.  In an interview with Jamie, Brene talks about her own journey of discovering her “creative side” and what it means to her and to others.

Join me for a little creativity superpower infusion courtesy of Brene!

 

Courage and Vulnerability – It’s Just Part of the Creativity Package

Did you know that creativity takes enormous courage and vulnerability?  I do…well, I sorta do.  I think inherently I knew it because I’m living in this vacillating state of courage and vulnerability every day as I move through my creative journey.  I’m never quite sure from one minute to the next which is going to be stronger:

My courageous self saying “I can do this!  This is who I am meant to be.  I’m going to share this gift I’ve been given.”

or

My vulnerable self saying “I feel small, insignificant, lost, fragile…SCARED!”

I now feel like I’ve been given permission to feel them both.  To be OK with not knowing which will come next.  To embrace both of them as shiny badges to proudly display for playing my part and standing strong in my creative journey.

I feel them. Brene Brown feels them.  Do you?

 

 

Comparison!

One of the downfalls of creativity is comparison.  In her interview Brene says there is a mantra for comparison:  “Be just like everybody else…but better.”  I find that whole sentence to be completely, utterly TERRIFYING!  Can you imagine holding yourself to that measure?  Can you imagine a world where we’re all the same…but we want to be better than the same?  Exhausting really.  But we all do it!

So consider her words:

“I’ll never be the ‘best’ _____________ [fill in the blank with your job, hobby, passion, dream…] but nobody will be able to bring to their [fill in the blank] what I bring to mine.  To sacrifice that, to make it look like everyone else’s…I’m sacrificing ME.”

That’s pretty powerful stuff!  I get it Brene!  I really do!

I’ll never be the “best” photographer, but nobody will be able to bring to their photography what I bring to mine.  To sacrifice that, to make my photography look like everyone else’s…I’m sacrificing ME!

 

Abstract Photo from the Water Colors Collection of images from the bottoms of boats

 

What do you bring?  What part of YOU are you sacrificing?

 

 

 

Own Your Story

“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.  Expressing our creativity is the most loving way to own our story.”

We all have a story.  We all have something we can teach others.  Something that will touch another and change their life for the better.

An experience.  A lesson.  A journey.  Our STORY.

Sometimes it’s not easy to share.  I know this! And, sometimes it’s not easy to love ourselves through the process.

It isn’t easy because we get vulnerable.  And, we compare.

I realized today that I need to love myself more.  For the courage I have to maintain my creative journey.  For telling my story with creative expression.  For the “me” I bring to the world and to my passion.

I don’t need to try to be the best or like everyone else.  It’s enough to be fully, completely, expressively me.

And mostly, I need to love myself in the vulnerable days and be brave in the face of fear and comparison and stand strong in courage and individuality.

 

 

When you are brave, you make everyone around you a little braver…

Where are you being brave?  Who are you touching with bravery?

 

 

 

Thank you Brene Brown for inspiring me all over again!!

 

You can listen to Jamie interviewing Brene here.

 

What Touches and Inspires You?

 

A link to the bulletproof musician blog was posted on my Facebook Page this week.

I enjoyed reading the post about “Why It’s Better to Be Better Than Different” and thought about Dr. NOA KAGEYAMA’s comments:

 

“Take a moment to think about the things that touch and inspire you…Consider how you might then take these elements and create something memorable of your own, something uniquely you, requiring the unique blend of talents, experiences, and perspectives that of the 6.93 billion or so people in the world, only you can bring to the table in quite that way – where transcendence, beauty, and emotion is the target, rather than novelty or originality per se. Something that you are proud of, tickled pink about, can’t wait to tell the entire world about – and not because it’s “perfect” per se, but because you think it’s just so darn cool and can’t imagine a world without it.”

 

For me, the thing that touches and inspires me is COLOR! Using it in my own unique way.  Communicating through it.  Telling stories from it.  Finding beauty in the unexpected because of it.  And maybe…just maybe…changing the world (or at least a few people) by sharing it my own way.  My hope is that my journey and my voice will inspire you to share whatever touches and inspires you.  And that you, too, will find a way to put YOUR “color” into the world in YOUR own unique way.

I can’t imagine a world without THAT!

 

Matteo Negrin’s Inspiration

Take a few minutes to watch the Music Painting video from the post.  It is beautiful and inspiring!

 

 
Another example of coloring (and “playing”) out LOUD!  A great message and very creative way of communicating it.

Comment below and let me know what inspires you and how you share it in your unique way. I want to know!

 

 

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