Today we’d like to introduce you to Annie Chang.
Annie, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I graduated from college right before the worst financial recession. I was studying for my law school exams and working part-time in a yarn shop. There, I fell in love with hand-knitting.
The economy eventually picked up, but I never attended law school. I was offered a textile sales assistant job at a global fashion firm. Eventually, I moved to the merchandising and sales team where I learned so much about the fashion business and how things work on an institutional level.
During this time, I turned vegetarian and realized that we’re pushing so many animal products. I left my job with the mission to create my own animal-free, plant-based luxury brand.
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I make plant-based knitwear and for many people, they’re not sure what this really is or how it’s different from other clothing. Many vegan alternatives contain synthetics, which is essentially plastic. We only use natural plant-based materials and we make full-fashion knitwear which is very technical and the process is a lot more intricate than traditional cut-and-sew. Each garment is programmed for technical fit then knit by machine.
Because of this, minimums are typically higher to offset the more expensive sample costs and the knitwear can really range in terms of quality. I think our brand is unique because we’re one the first exclusively plant-based knitwear brands out there! I want people to know that luxury quality can be achieved without using any animal products.
Artists rarely, if ever pursue art for the money. Nonetheless, we all have bills and responsibilities and many aspiring artists are discouraged from pursuing art due to financial reasons. Any advice or thoughts you’d like to share with prospective artists?
I get up every morning loving what I do, but you absolutely have to be mindful about sustaining a viable business. Finding ways to stay true to your vision while thinking about the business side of things can be a tricky balance.
For me, it has been helpful to connect with other entrepreneurs and artists who are also self-funding their work and going through a similar experience. We rely on each other to share our experiences and help keep each other accountable. Everything is better as a community. 🙂
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
You can find our pieces through select retailers and on our website at www.orelse.co.
- Website: https://www.orelse.co
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: weareorelse