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Meet Mitchell Dolphin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mitchell Dolphin. 

Hi Mitchell, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
My journey as a creative began in elementary school. I picked up my first musical instrument in second grade, playing bass for my childhood rock band. My earliest experiences recording music were for our two albums, as well as performing live at historic venues along the Sunset Strip. I soon learned drums, guitar, and piano throughout my youth and eventually found my way to music production during my time at Calabasas High School. I further pursued my education at the University of Colorado Boulder. While traveling back and forth between my college and hometown, I began releasing collaborations as Mitchell Dolphin, producing the instrumental music for an evolving cast of artists. As a producer, there are well over 100 songs with my name online. I’ve lost count of how many exactly, but hundreds more that are in the vault as well. At some point during the Corona Virus pandemic, my sister taught me how to sew by hand. Soon after, my focus shifted from music to clothing. Since then, I have learned my way around the sewing machine and started my own custom clothing hustle. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Life is never a smooth road, more like a rollercoaster. You have to learn to embrace the ride. I have been very lucky throughout my life to have incredible experiences, but every journey has its hills and valleys. I’ve come to realize that nothing is as easy to accomplish as it may seem, and not to let that deter you. As a creative, the greatest struggle is to create when nobody is paying attention. I’ve learned to keep running my race, and every acknowledgment from friends, family, strangers on the street, or an interviewee from VoyageLA reminds me of my value in this universe. Knowing that me or my friends might break into the spotlight overnight keeps me afloat through my personal struggles with creativity. People are given opportunities and careers where their creativity bring a means to success every day, why not you or me? 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
My clothing brand gives old clothing new life, reworking fabrics into one-of-a-kind wearable art pieces. All of my products are made second-hand garments that are either donated to me, sourced from local thrift stores, and even some that were taken directly from my own wardrobe. Cutting apart pieces of old tee shirts, tablecloths and bedsheets alike, I hand assemble all of my pieces, stitching graphics with colorful embroidery threads, as well as some heavy-duty patchwork on the sewing machine. Every piece results in an exclusive one-off piece of artwork and brings a second wind to the old canvas. It was never a dream of mine to begin making these in larger quantities, but as soon as I showed my social media feeds my first experiment, I was forced to turn up my production to meet the demand of my friends. It has now turned from a hobby into something much more serious, and I hope to take it to even greater heights in the future. 

We’d love to hear about how you think about risk-taking?
I would consider myself a risk-taker more than not. In a creative’s journey, you have to be willing of the risks if you want to reap the rewards. Sacrificing your energy, time, and money is draining, but what you put out, you will get back ten times over. This is just part of earning your stripes and an essential step to make it as far as you can in whatever you pursue. I like that Wayne Gretzky quote about missing 100% of shots that you don’t take cause in the end, I have nothing else to lose. The only thing I would not want to risk is my life, my health, or well-being. 

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Image Credits
Michael Kokorine, The Idiot, Alf Bordallo

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