About 10 years ago I got burnt out totally unexpected. Well, unexpected, in retrospect my body gave me quite a lot of signals, which I more or less completely ignored. Although I even went to the doctor, who pointed out that I might be overly tired, I was convinced I could go on and on. After all, I was young, just graduated and just started my own label… No excuse to take it easy … .. in my opinion!!
I worked day and night and also in my personal life there was quite a lot going on, but I thought I should be able to handle everything. My body apparently thought otherwise. After my second show during the Amsterdam Fashion Week I literally collapsed. My body just stopped. I couldn’t get out of bed and my voice was literally gone. I was nailed to bed for a while …. a bizarre experience.
It forced me to take it easy for at least six months. It turned out to be a fruitful period in which I changed many things. I wrote a plan where I wanted to go with my company. I even won The Green Fashion Competition with this business plan. It turned out to be a significant and important year. It was the foundation for how I, as a label, would move to an even more sustainable way of working.
Now more than 10 years later a lot has happened, a lot has changed and the course of SEG is proceeding as I had hoped. With the expansion of my own store in the Fashion Quarter of Arnhem and the webshop still growing steadily.
My daily duties also expanded and so did the time pressure. Although I do not work with seasons and follow my own rhythm at SEG, I do want to meet fast delivery times and the retailers expect their orders on time. My time is spent mainly in getting everything done before the deadlines. Creating new designs from concept and / or research, as I prefer to do, was increasingly compromised.
The reason I started my own business was because I wanted to be free, apart from the capitalist and poluting fashion system (read world!). That sounds ambitious and it is. I wanted it different, better, more sustainable and more beautiful. And I wanted to create! And if I couldn’t do that my own way, I’d rather do something completely different. That has largely succeeded. The only thing I miss now is time. Time to freewheel. Time to try out things without the pressure of having it to lead somewhere. This is precious time that designers need. You cannot always create great things under enormous pressure. You can only create if there is a sense of freedom. The freedom that it can and may without obligation. It is actually much more productive to occasionally do nothing, look, listen, feel, and reflect.
In the meantime, the dizziness, that so forcefully warned me 10 years ago, has returned.
I feel empty despite everything goes well, and my body is tired …. very tired.
But this time I won’t ignore what my body is telling me, and that is why the store is temporarily open by appointment only on Saturdays. I’ll be freewheeling a bit more and will see what it brings!
It is time for reflection !!! Who knows what this will bring …. I’ll keep you posted <3