Collaborations are Sprouting…literally

It’s been a couple of weeks since I posted on the blog…did you notice? Okay, don’t answer that but either way, I’m sorry but not so sorry! It has been quite a busy and productive few weeks for me and my brand, Natty Neckware. There were A LOT of meetings and deadlines that I had to meet. Quite a few people that I needed to speak with and I’m glad to say that all went rather well. However there will be more updates about those things to come later. What I do want to detail is one of the collaborations we that were about to sprout (pun intended). I am pleased to announce that Natty Neckware is now a collective member of Sprout Patterns!

Sprout Patterns is a new service that combines curated patterns from independent patternmakers with Spoonflower designs to create custom cut and sew projects. What makes Sprout unique is not only the vast availability of designs and customizable patterns, but also the ease at which you get the fabric, print and pattern in one project. No more tracing and cutting multiple times. This is more environmentally friendly and it makes the process of sewing garments easier and more efficient. Sprout looks to combine the designer and maker worlds combating the ever so popular trends of fast fashion. I would say they’re on to something and I’m proud that myself and Natty Neckware can be apart of it.

We officially launched with Sprout at the end of April and it has been a breath of fresh air because the initial phase is complete which has simultaneously brought a boost of energy. This collaboration with Sprout was a perfect fit! One of my goals for 2016, was to move Natty Neckware in a direction more focused on design. How I was going to do this I didn’t fully know but I was open to any viable opportunities that presented themselves. So, not only does this give us more exposure in the design world, internationally might I add (check the site), but it will also give us (read: me) forward progression toward accomplishing one of my brands goals in 2016.

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Until next time…stay Natty!

Strength. Courage. Wisdom.

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Strength. Courage. Wisdom. All terms for inspiration, encouragement, motivation and more. They’re even in a song by the artist, India Arie. Side note, If you haven’t heard it, check it out  the audio video below and let me know what you think. So, what inspired me to talk about these words? Well, because I was listening to Pandora and this song ( “Strength, Courage and Wisdom”) came on while I was at work. At that moment listening to it wasn’t initially special, I’ve heard the song many times. But oh, was I wrong. I kept listening and there was something different about it this time. I actually heard the lyrics and for the first time let them resonate. So much so, I stopped working for a few seconds and intently sat with the words that she was singing. Some of the lyrics read like this:

[Chorus]

“Strength, Courage and Wisdom

It’s been inside of me all along

Strength, Courage and Wisdom

Inside of me”

Pretty simple huh? The rest of the song supports the lyrics wholeheartedly. She talks about stepping out on faith and showing her face (paraphrasing) but the lyrics are just dope and hold so much truth. A truth that I have been told for many years, many times by many different people. But there is something about music and in that very moment those words caught me and even held onto me. As the lyrics lingered in my mind I really heard what she was singing and what so many others had told me prior to this moment. YOU (I Marcus) have everything inside you to do what you need, want, and have to do. Strength, courage and wisdom are some of the things that I have needed and continue to need on my entrepreneurial journey. I’m a runner and these words also explain much of what’s needed for long distance running. Entrepreneurship requires endurance and is no cake walk, which I didn’t expect. There’s been many times when I’ve wanted to give up, not work so hard and not “be on” so much. But honestly, it comes with the territory. Being an entrepreneur is not meant to be easy. It takes embodying all of these words everyday, several times a day. One needs the STRENGTH to say, okay, I’m going to try this and change the way in which I do this and see what the outcome will be. I need the COURAGE  to, step out of my comfort zone, talk with people I normally wouldn’t engage with and do the things I usually wouldn’t or maybe even shouldn’t (still legal, though, come on y’all). Lastly, using WISDOM to learn from my mistakes and failures while finding the positivity within them and using that for my favor in the future. These words have been a boon in continuing to build my personal brand and my business, Natty Neckware.

Strength. Courage. Wisdom. All things we already possess within…we just have to dream, go, believe and DO.

Thanks for reading!

Until next time, stay Natty…

 

What’s in a Name…Natty Neckware

IMG_1168A name…it can explain who you are, who you want to be, where you want to go and beyond. Quite often, I’m asked about the origin of my business’s name, Natty Neckware. Let me keep it real, most people have assumed my name came about because of my personality or things I like. I have gotten questions like: Are you from Cincinnati? Did you name it after you locs (dreadlocks)? To both questions it’s an overwhelming, NO! Honestly the task of naming my business wasn’t nearly that complicated or intriguing. In fact, it was pretty simple. The formula went a little something like this:

Synonyms + Alliteration + Out the box thinking = Natty Neckware

Natty Neckware has a little bit of all these…so let me give you the answers those assumptions/questions above.

How did you come up with your business name?

Natty Neckware was conceived from the notion that I wanted a dapper look but I didn’t want to use the word “dapper” to describe it. So in came the thesaurus to reveal synonyms for this often overused popular term. Lo and behold, the word “natty” was there waiting for me to give an identity to my brand. So in the end, no long drawn out story, just a love for synonyms, alliteration and being out of the box.

What does natty mean?

Natty = fit, smart and fashionable.

Why spell neckwear like neckware?

I see accessories as statement pieces and furthermore the equivalent of wearing art around your neck. Since I’m making unique neckwear I thought it befitting that my company be called Natty Neckware.

And that was the birth of my brand…

Up next on the blog: The white button up shirt

Until next time, stay Natty…