Design Talk w/ Scott & Jeff

crowdworkDesign Talk w/ Scott & Jeff.

Although I showed up late (almost 30mins late. Sigh.), I made it in time to at least catch the second half of Jeff Staple (of Staple) & Scott Sasso (of 10.Deep) “Crowdwork”  Q & A at the Apple Store in SoHo. As a brand owner, any chance you have to pick into the mind and study people who’ve accomplished what these 2 have done with their respective clothing companies, it’s worthwhile. Even if you leave with just one good piece of advice that’d help you on your own path – I’d say mission accomplished. I think I left with several. The biggest thing I took away?

Maybe you’re too hard on yourself.

I think everything started flowing smoother when I stopped giving a fuck. – Scott Sasso.

I think that’s something everyone can relate to no matter what it is you do. Everything is so fast paced and a giant competition. Be the next big thing. Make a zillion dollars. Pressure pressure pressure. From you peers. Those close to you. Everyone. Yourself included. Pressure pressure pressure. You sometimes fall victim to that and forget to really just enjoy it. Happens to me too. When the tough times come (and they will come), will you be able to weather the storm? It’s a lot harder to do so when you’ve already been stressing yourself out the entire time. Maybe you will be the next big thing, then again, maybe you won’t.

crowdwork3If you don’t, will you at least take pride in the journey? That’s just something to ask yourself. Yes, I know. That all sounds noble. And noble doesn’t pay the bills. Yadda yadda yadda.  Their brands weren’t their main source of income, just like whatever it is you’re REALLY passionate about might not be yours either. They all had regular jobs. Kinkos. Internet Cafes. It just so happens what they did finally took off one day giving them the opportunity to work on it full time. It was also interesting watching them approach the same field from sort of a yin/yang POV. Jeff has an arts background. Scott was a Sociology Major and studied business. What they both agreed on is getting into design with an arts background or affinity for design and learning the business end is MUCH easier than the other way around. (The story of Scott learning Illustrator was a highlight – but I digress.)

I wanted to quit. I was done. – Jeff Staple.

Second thoughts. I always feel like you need to have some doubt. Not all the time or even allow yourself to be consumed by it, but just that moment where you sit and check yourself. If you always walk around with your nose to the sky, you miss everything happening around you. Hearing Jeff speak on his many frustrations and wanting to quit at one point really resonated with me. You tend to forget these brands have humble beginnings. And also, they have regular people behind them. People going through things you’re going through or have gone through. It’s like Hollywood. Sure everything looks amazing on the red carpet, that doesn’t necessarily reflect what things are like behind the scenes.


All in all, it was really an insightful 40-ish mins. (Remember, I was late.) Love what you do. Keep at it. Grow organically. There’s no 1 way in. Thanks for the gems, fellas!

*Photo Credit (minus my cheesy iPhone photo at the top) goes to JS instagram acct.