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Conversations with the Inspiring Annie Meub

Today we’d like to introduce you to Annie Meub.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Annie. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I starting sewing in high school, a symptom of wearing a lot of hand me downs being the youngest of six kids. I took a sewing class and slowly began teaching myself more than the basics through YouTube, commercial patterns, and taking apart things I love to wear. Sewing is now my meditation and my happy place, it has become something I can use to connect with people. Annie-Made began with ultra short-term goals and a lot of self-interest. I figured I would buy some nice fabric two doors down from my apartment, design a couple of dresses that people I know would like, I’d sell 10 and be done with it. Just a little rent money and some free fabric scraps.  I never imagined that it would give me a platform to share ideas and be political or artistic. I’ve been able to do much more than sew. I am on year three of keeping Annie-Made as my second job and am still content. This past summer I choose to close up my online shop to begin the work of building my first home. It has been nice to have more free time to sew small projects and think about a new design to add to my shop.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I’m lucky to say it has been a fairly smooth road, just a lot of learning along the way, a lot . Lesson one, a constant struggle, is that I am the only one who works at Annie-Made. Sewing alone take so much time and skill I found that no matter how capable I am it is worth it to to hire out even just one part of the business. Wether it be the website or business cards it is impossible to do it all and do it well consistently. There are many moving parts to make a product a “go” no matter how small you are. A logistical problem when operating as small batch meant I had some struggles finding the fabric I want in the quantity I need. I didn’t have enough storage to work with giant bolts of fabric but couldn’t sustain the cost of buying strictly retail either. My biggest struggle would be with pattern making, I’m still new to the concept and I’ve had some patterns I’ve poured a lot into just not be successful garments. My advice for anyone with an idea would be to go for it. I’m the type of person who believes if you say something to the universe it will bring you the people or things you need to make it happen.

What should we know about Annie-Made? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
My designs are entirely self-sewn one at a time which I think is rare these days. What sets me apart is the fabric and the notions for every item is bought through my locally owned fabric shop in Portland. I’d like to think that buying wholesale through Mary’s shop I am keeping money in the community. I also feel my goal with the clothing is a unique one, each garment is relevant in fashion as well as long-lasting. I’m most proud of the clothing I’ve made that is still being worn every season by my first customers. I love that. It is a joy making anything with the intention for someone else, not just anyone else but customer x. You start thinking about where they will wear this garment and what their current style is like.

Do you have any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general? What has worked well for you?
Instagram. Networking online is not as cold as it sounds and you have the entire world (it feels) to connect with. I’ve reached out to business owners on there who had businesses I would want and asked them the same questions you are asking me. I also did a lot of selling at small markets and craft fairs which had makers further along than me in their process who was always willing talk. Finding a mentor is a really good place to start when figuring out how to begin.

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Image Credit:
Abby Ruscansky-Johnson

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