I do not consider myself a creative person, and certainly not artistic in anyway. I DESPERATELY need the help of photographers, writers and designers to help create our brand. Each individual person has their own personal creative process. Some sit in a quiet room, some play loud music, others prefer to be outside. It’s usually a space, sometimes a time of day and may or may not include caffeine or certain foods. The creative process seems to require this lovely combination of physical, mental and emotional details to really flow.
Until recently I’ve learned about this only second hand. We started doing model photo shoots a few years ago, it is so much fun to find beautiful places in our city and reveal an entire clothing line to the photographer and models in beautiful spaces. Model shoots are the first time I have experienced diving into the creative process. What I love most about our shoots, is that it’s the creative process happening in community. A communal creativity. When it works, it is easily the most inspiring and energizing experience I have ever had.
We spent the morning laughing, exploring, talking, creating and making beautiful photography. Through the process we felt connected, uplifted and in general walked away saying over and over again “that was so much fun”.
How do you create? When and where and with whom?
Route is about not just purchasing consciously, but living consciously. Being aware and watching for those precious moments of connection with other humans, enjoying and valuing and sharing life with them. I LOVE that the route of connection today for us was a communal creativity. SO FUN.
The beginning of November is the deep breathe before the parties and the shopping and the family and the crazy. At Route, we know the holiday time of year so well, we work hard to prepare for it and we breathe. We do what we can to create space in our time and our thoughts to remember why we are here, what we are doing and why it is significant. Selling anything can feel like selling your soul, pushing products, encouraging people to spend money on items they may or may not need. Balancing simplicity with social expectations-what we may want and what we may need. Longing to give generously and hoping deeply that the gift will be just right, appreciated and communicate our love.
The holidays are a step for us, a step in the direction of world change – we sell more in the next two months than the rest of the year combined. We work hard to choose what we will offer wisely, to maximize impact and to communicate clearly that giving a gift from Route is also giving hope and sustainable change. We want to have pieces that you want to give. Pieces that are beautiful and well made, that you would be proud to wear and carry. So please, buy more! In doing so, know that we are proud to sell to you, to stand behind each beautiful piece and are confident that the purchase you make will bring happiness, joy and everything that we work so hard to remember during this season.
Breath with us, and remember the change, then celebrate the difference we are making together!
We met Liz over coffee and tea in her kitchen on a cozy, rainy day with her dog, Olaf. Liz currently works as an emergency room nurse in the city of St. Louis, and also happens to be on the Route board!
Route: What are you currently struggling with?
Questioning the value of employee loyalty is something I am struggling with at the moment. Loyalty was ingrained into my psyche by my mother. “Do your job to the best of your ability, go above and beyond, always be honest” my mother said. As of late I’ve had experiences that make me question whether my employer holds my value to the place where that hold theirs. What am I worth to my employer, am I a dime a dozen? And if the true answer is that I am of little worth, do I continue my level of loyalty regardless? Should I base my work decisions on my selfish gains or the betterment of the business? At a certain point character comes into question and integrity will guide my actions. Perhaps there is a middle ground.
Route: Where do you find your peace?
I find my peace at night lying in bed with my pit-bull Olaf curled next to me, my tea on my coffee stand, and reading material in hand. My competing place of peace is my neighborhood park early in the mornings. Nature has a way of bringing me out of my thoughts and back to the realization I am but a blade of grass in this large fleeting world. I have much to learn and life isn’t all about me.
Our time with Liz has taught us how to cherish conversation and enjoy quiet moments. Her confident and caring personality inspires us to enjoy each relationship more. Her passion for righting wrong and pursuing change keeps us focused everyday.
Thanks, Liz, we are inspired by you!!
P.S. Liz recently started a blog about thoughts on global issues, specifically tailored to women and ethical fashion. Check it out here
Here at Route we get inspired by the stories of other women, whether it’s a friend, a maker of our products, or even a “celebrity”. It’s so good to know there are other real women out there working for good and passionate about change.
We met Kendall a while back and were inspired by her passion for public health, travel, and ethical fashion.
Route: What is your current job?
I just moved to New York from St. Louis to do my part to help shape the next generation of global leaders as admissions officer for a bridge year program between high school and college. I just graduated with a masters in public health. Finding my path has been a continued balanced of hearing and seeing what others are doing around my, and being true to myself. After serving in the Peace Corps, I went to grad school, and then PhD seemed like the next thing to do and I was all set to go, but on my way to a short term summer work trip in Ghana last summer I just had this feeling that I knew it wasn’t right and PhD school wasn’t going to happen. It was hard but at the same time empowering to consciously make that decision.
Route: What are you currently struggling with?
I’m really struggling on how to maintain a positive work/life balance. I just started working from home as well, so it can be hard when you enjoy your job to know when to turn off. I also wonder why its so hard to make friends as an adult.
Route: What do you find peace with?
I couldn’t live without wine and chats with good friends 🙂
Kendall has been an incredible encourager to the Route team, sending us ethical fashion blogs she reads, having incredible conversation (over wine, of course) and talking about Route at every opportunity.
Routes are created, paths are crossed, and relationships are made when we purchase goods. At Route we believe that understanding a product’s journey is equally as important as the product itself. To acknowledge the significance of that journey is to transform a customer into an ally for the makers. By embracing the relationships that their transactions foster, the we can understand how their purchase changes the world.
This relationship means ending slavery and workplace abuse. It means engaging in commerce with an eye towards social justice. It means celebrating the connections between makers and allies and revealing how they are equally different and alike.
Know your route. The journey begins with a purchase from our community. We invite you to share our products, our stories, our lives, and to be changed.