“Life is like playing the violin in public and learning the instrument as one goes on.”
- Tom Butler
When I started KOCH, this is exactly how I felt. I didn’t know anything about manufacturing, designing patterns, or grading and marking for patterns. I had to learn as I went along. From the beginning we created our own textiles with original designs. Today, this process has changed as we have grown. We have learned to digitize them. The things I knew for sure when I started KOCH is that I was curious, loved anything creative. I believed in the power of hard work. I wanted to manufacture in America. I imagined a place I wanted to create that was filled with products manufactured in our community, deep connections, laughter, ideas, and a positive message we believed in. I wrote the details of these in my journal. I wanted to create a place that believed in life and others, despite difficulties life threw at you. I love fashion, but many times when I left a store or event, something felt a little off. The spirit of the human being always felt secondary. The energy in the room didn’t illuminate me. Rather than walking away feeling excited about creating, I often felt drained by the value system.
I wanted KOCH to feel different.
I wanted there to be a constant focus on our mission to get girls to make their mark on the world by being Joymakers and Risktakers... and most of all, for our community to build each other up and believe in one another. I knew you could buy all the beautiful things in the world, but if you didn’t feel good on the inside, it didn’t matter. I wanted to talk about this idea of identifying how you feel when you walk away from an experience, a person or a place.
My hope is that whether you buy KOCH or not, the things we talk about make you feel worthy to build whatever dream you have.
A place that nurtures your belief in your ability, helps you define your power, and discover your purpose- but most of all, a place that talks about the need to see failure as a part of the story of human existence and the path to achievement. The first five years of building my company felt a lot like failure to me, but also felt so exhilarating because I was building something I cared deeply about- and hopefully doing it in a different way. There were brutal moments of anxiety and worry. These feelings came from cash flow issues and a learning curve understanding the manufacturing side of making and producing clothing in America. On top of that, there was the extra layer of learning to make sense of the margins because of higher costs related to workers' pay when producing in America. I also had to learn the lesson to listen to my gut, shut out the noise of the world, and stay focused on why I wanted to build this thing called KOCH.
It always has to be about the WHY.
If you haven’t read Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why” I hope you will check it out. I have learned that, in the end, the things that looked or felt like failures forced me to dig a bit deeper, study more, and force myself to follow my own path, not the path of others. But there were many times when it was truly hard. It is difficult to get to the other side of the challenges when the boat feels like it is sinking. My hope is when you feel this way, you can visit Nicole’s Notes, join a live concert, or come hang out at The KOCH House and be inspired to add your own note card to the joymaker & risktaker boards. My hope is that our brand can be a paddle to help you get to the other side.
“An expert is someone who has made all the mistakes”
Someone recently sent this quote to me and said he was an expert. I loved that he said this... I guess I’m an expert too because I’ve made so many mistakes, it is hard to keep track. You are not alone when you make mistakes or fail. The thing that makes them bearable is to talk about them, laugh about them, and take their power away. Screenwriter Nora Ephron was the very best at this- she was a trailblazer who made you believe in the love she writes about in Sleepless in Seattle. I recently watched her documentary, “Everything is Copy,” and couldn’t believe the life she lived and the impact she made through her writing. Everyone from Steven Spielberg to Tom Hanks talked about how much they wanted to please her. Looking back, I wish I would have failed bigger & earlier, and talk about it, laugh about it, and own it.
That’s why I’m asking everyone to share their failures this month.
Please send me questions about failure to email@example.com and I’ll talk about mine. It’s going to be a fun conversation on our live. Let us hear from you so we can all fail upward together. I might even give a few things away in honor of failing.
We released our “Shoot for the Stars” Zodiac collection.
I LOVE this capsule. It includes our Luna Cardigan, Cali Crop and Charlie sweatshirt. They are the perfect birthday gift for my families + friends. And of course, the Virgo pieces for myself! Because you are reading this, we are giving you a 10% code to shop the collection! The code is SHOOTFORTHESTARS10
Our brand new Ocean Drive capsule releases next week.
If you want an exclusive first look at the collection, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you a link to the lookbook! I’m in LOVE with this collection! I can’t wait for you to see it!
Don’t forget to sign up for our emails & texts to receive exclusive offers.
Just text " KOCH" to 855.693.1298
Lastly we have a new concert contest coming!
Tune in to the live to find out more details! It is going to be such a fun contest that includes tickets, shopping & so much more!
Quote of the week:
“When you slip on a banana peel, people laugh at you; but when you tell people you slipped on a banana peel, it’s your laugh. So you become the hero rather than the victim of the joke.” Nora Ephron