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All-In on Fade: Leaving behind the 9-5

All-In on Fade: Leaving behind the 9-5

Starting Fade Clothing has been an incredible and rewarding journey. What first started as some fun t-shirts for friends has snowballed into what we know today. Along the way we’ve been able to build this rich and meaningful brand and the best community, our Friends and Family of Fade. We’ve been privileged to collaborate and meet some amazing creative folks and of course, release some cool things that we’re so proud of! It’s crazy to think about how much has happened since 2019, even crazier to think we’ve been at this for almost 5 years… that said I’d be lying if I said that realisation wasn’t scary. I’d be lying if I said there was absolutely no guilt around not being able to grow our brand more or to have gotten it further than what it is. Yes, success is linear and comparison is the thief of joy but it’s hard not to feel comparison and say that business is all wins. After all, you are your biggest critic.

Despite some hiatus during 2022 & 2023 for our personal travels, 2024 is looking a lot different. Although there was lots of planning and conceptualising last year, a reoccurring struggle was never having the time to execute these great ideas we had. It’s the age old conflict between the golden handcuffs of your full time job, still operating in a limited mindset and viewing our business as a side hustle - which meant that the intention to grow and improve it, has always been serendipitous and based on whatever leftover energy we had at 5PM on a weekday or on the weekend alongside our social life. So to be frank, Fade Clothing has suffered as a result. We’ve felt it and we see it. Having big dreams for our business - yet not giving it the time, love and attention it deserved, and somehow thinking it will magically produce results, it's giving delulu.

All that to say, what’s changing for us this year?

As the title suggests, I’m excited to announce that I’ve left my full-time 9-5, to pour my time and energy into Fade (alongside creative freelancing here and there). It sounds like a no-brainer decision and although I’m happy to have arrived here, it wasn’t always an easy decision. It took me 6 months to even resign. I’ve been through the wringer for sure, dealing with the fear of failure, the good ol’ self doubt, not wanting to leave the stability of a full-time salary, I could go on. So, here we are (well 1/2 of us), self-employed, giving back time, finding opportunity. Besides some drastic lifestyle changes, the biggest and most important change (in my opinion) has been a shift in mindset for what I see for us. It’s the act of unwavering self belief, rather than self sabotage. I’ve started looking at why I could do it, rather than rehearsing why I couldn’t. Searching for solutions and best case scenarios and ‘this could actually work’ or ‘let’s just try it’. It’s not blind optimism, but taking a chance and backing myself because I know ultimately it’ll work out. That’s the script as some would say.

So there’s no doubt 2024 will be a year of firsts. We’re working towards 4 smaller, curated capsules expanding our ‘A Love Letter’ experience. Seasonal pop ups will be our next project as we want to prioritise getting our pieces out there to you all, so you can experience the look and feel first hand. We’ve also got a lot of new cut and sew designs in the pipeline, which we’ll show more of later in the year. For now, for those reading, I hope I can leave you with some bitesized pieces of courage. Not necessarily to quit your job, but some of my top tips on what’s helped me mentally prepare for such a transition like this one:

  • Do the internal mental work ok - confront the overly critical self talk and bad habits you’ve adopted overtime.
  • Practice positive thinking - think about the best outcome for yourself. Your negative thoughts are there to protect you, so don’t feel bad about it.
  • Be clear about what you truly want, like super specific and apply this to your goals and planning.
  • Have a good support system/circle - partner, mentor, industry friends, it’s not just people who love you but people who can validate the tough choices and see from an outside perspective, or people who have gone through what you have before. Don’t just seek and take advice from anyone.
  • And a note to self, you rarely see other peoples shortfalls and failures, only their wins. It’s either not talked about or documented.

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