JANUARY IS A TIME FOR TRANSFORMATION & REFLECTION. EVERY GREAT SUCCESS STORY BEGINS WITH A SIMPLE IDEA AND JOURNEYS THROUGH UNEXPECTED WINDING ROADS. ON TODAY’S BLOG LAURA SHARES A GLIMPSE OF HOW IT ALL BEGAN , HER APPRECIATION FOR THE CHALLENGES AND HER EXCITEMENT FOR THE FUTURE OF THE ODELLS.

IT WAS JANUARY 2003 WHEN IT ALL STARTED. I WAS LIVING IN SILVERLAKE WITH 3 GIRLFRIENDS AND WAS WORKING A FULL-TIME RETAIL JOB ALL THE WAY ACROSS TOWN AT A BUSTLING BOUTIQUE IN BRENTWOOD WHEN I FIRST HAD THE IDEA TO START DESIGNING. AT THE TIME IT WAS SIMPLY A MEANS TO ADD SOME SPARE CASH TO MY PIGGY BANK. JASON AND I HAD BEEN DATING FOR A LITTLE OVER A YEAR AND WE DREAMED OF TAKING A TRIP TO SPAIN TOGETHER.

MY BOSS PITCHED THE IDEA OF HAVING ME MAKE SOMETHING THAT I COULD SELL IN THE SHOP. VALENTINE’S DAY WAS COMING UP AND I CAME UP WITH A PLAN TO REPURPOSE VINTAGE DRESSES I NO LONGER USED BY CUTTING OUT HEARTS FROM THE FABRIC AND WHIP STITCHING THEM ONTO THE TOP RIGHT CORNER OF TANK TOPS. I DISPLAYED THEM IN HUMBLE STACKS NEXT TO THE REGISTER AT WORK AND THEY SURPRISINGLY SOLD QUICKLY.

I CONTINUED DOING THESE AFTER VALENTINE’S DAY, BUT CHANGED THE HEARTS TO FLOWERS. LONG STORY SHORT, I WAS ABLE TO RAISE 2K BETWEEN JANUARY-AUGUST, AND IN SEPTEMBER JASON AND I TOOK OUR TRIP TO SPAIN.

I CAME BACK FROM THAT TRIP REALIZING HOW MUCH I LOVED THE PROCESS OF CREATING SOMETHING THAT I COULD SELL, SO FROM THAT MOMENT ON I NEVER STOPPED. AT 25 I TOOK THE LEAP AND QUIT MY JOB AT THE BOUTIQUE TO PURSUE MY PASSION FULL-TIME. BEING MY OWN BOSS AT 25 WAS THRILLING AND LIBERATING BUT ALSO HELLA SCARY. I DIDN’T HAVE A FINANCIAL SAFETY NET TO CATCH ME IF SOMETHING WENT WRONG.

THERE WERE SO MANY CHALLENGES ALONG THE WAY, BUT I LOVED WHAT I WAS CREATING. EVERY DAY WAS A FUN ONE; FROM PACING IN THE LOBBY OF AN EMBROIDERY FACTORY IN VERNON ON A RAINY TUESDAY REFUSING TO LEAVE UNTIL MY SAMPLES WERE DONE, TO SITTING ON THE FLOOR OF MY FACTORY HAND-PACKING ORDERS AND DRINKING ARMENIAN COFFEE WITH THE SEWING OPERATORS ON THEIR BREAK.

FLASH FORWARD 17 YEARS TO PRESENT DAY. WE NOW HAVE A BRICK AND MORTAR STORE IN SILVERLAKE, AND AN AMAZING OFFICE IN FROGTOWN. OUR TEAM CONSISTS OF 23 TALENTED, HARDWORKING, CREATIVE SOULS WHO NOW MAKE MY JOB A LOT EASIER AND SMOOTHER. I NO LONGER HAVE TO WEAR ALL THE HATS, BUT STILL LOOK BACK FONDLY ON THE DAYS WHEN I DID.

EVERYTHING WE MAKE AND DESIGN COMES FROM A PLACE OF HUSTLE, PASSION AND INSPIRATION. WE’RE SO GRATEFUL TO OUR CUSTOMERS FOR BEING A PART OF OUR JOURNEY, AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO ALL THE ADVENTURES THAT AWAIT US IN 2020.