The vests are here in our hands, making our project, Design Junction, that much more tangible. It’s kind of crazy to think of how far our project has progressed and developed since that cold day last February in T.A.N. cafe where Local Buttons: An Ethical Fashion Show was born. Since then we have developed our business, tweaked our ideas and launched on an adventure we would have never seen coming just one year ago.
Holding the vests in our hands, we can almost imagine how a mother must feel the first time she holds the child she carried for 9 months. Well maybe not quite the same feeling but you get the idea. It was a milestone for us. These vests were once just a figment of our creative imaginings. And now, here we are looking to further develop the clothing line ‘Pep’, meaning ‘people’ in Haitian Creole.
Throughout this quest we have learned a thing or two. Many of these practical lessons would have been tremendously helpful to have discovered along the way in our University education, i.e. true project development and management. Launching a project seems so simple in its essence. When you think about it superficially it appears as though it should be easy to have garments made ethically and sold readily. It’s slightly more complicated. In a recent meeting with Lalla Haidara, the project manager for the African and Haitian branch of the Trade Facilitation Office Canada (TFO Canada), we discovered just how much there was to importing and exporting (we were shown a 22 module manual on the ins and outs of exporting…we were slightly overwhelmed to say the least). Regardless, we left the meeting in good spirits as she fully endorses our project. All that is left now is the funding…the never ending conundrum of funding.
However, we have been met with warmth, enthusiasm and tremendous support along the way. From friends who readily listen as we ramble about our plans, to mentors who sit down and help walk us through processes of project development, grant and proposal writing and to our supportive families. We honestly cannot wait until we can in turn help everyone who has helped us.
As we prepare for our trip to Haiti, laden with new patterns to be developed into beautiful, refurbished, ethical clothing, we are re-energized and enthused. Just this week we added photographer to our repertoire as we had a fashion shoot showcasing three vest designs with our dear friend and talented actress and model Sarah Jurgens. For more information on Ms Jurgens please click here.
Here, photos from said photo shoot are featured. We are excited to return from Haiti with new garments and to launch a fashion show event launching Design Junction to the Toronto fashion scene, featuring the line Pep.