When I first got to college, my parents told me "learn & develop your own set of skills. Skill is something no one can take away from you.". At the time, I wanted to study art or graphic design, but instead chose math and computer science, knowing that the things I'll learn will be unique to me and have set of skills you can't just pick it up that easily.
With a technical degree and work experience in the software field, I'm able to build my own websites and deal with the technical side of things in business a lot of people must hire out for. This is the same approach I take with my designs. I'm a firm believer that you must experience and understand the process before you can manage or direct. This meant in order for Jaefields to work right, I must learn the process of fabric creation, pattern making, sewing methods, marketing efforts, sales revenue... the list goes on!
Jaefields' designs and products are very unique. I've made some horrible shirts because I didn't factor in fabric content. I've made some horrible decision when choosing the fabric. I've made an awful measurements and curvatures when making a pattern that didn't fit well with the production fabric.
Nearly two years of trial and error with fabric, construction and pattern making, I finally understood what it takes to make a simple t-shirt to your own exact specific details. I think it's this process that I cherish and something that no one can take away from me.
Now, if I wanted to expand, I know who I need to find to replace myself in certain roles.
Every piece that I develop, I carefully examine, curate the right fabric, create the right pattern and construct it with the right type of threads. From the outside, we might only be selling essentials or simple pieces but don't worry! I've been stepping it up a notch in the past year to really be able to show case a full collection.
In the end, t-shirt is a t-shirt, but knowing the story where and how the t-shirt came about is as powerful right? I compare it to the brand people want to be seen wearing or holding onto. Jaefields will always be uniquely designed by me or other collaborators, Portland constructed and sold in quantities where we don't contradict the quality over quantity.
Take time to see what other's are doing. Some hire the best marketing firm, some are backed by influencers, and most all are driven by money. I'm not saying none of that is wrong, just like people choosing generic vs brand at a grocery, but understanding why certain things are the way they are, it might shed some light.