Tuesday

On Creating a Brand for Yourself

MY STORY: I never would have guessed that one day I would want to create my very own brick and mortar store just like my Grandmother Kutch did. When I began collecting vintage and antique clothing from my Grandmother Kutch, I was a freshman in college (2008). But really, I've been gifted vintage items from her my whole life. When I was small, she would gift vintage sheet music to me and children's books from the 1960's and 1970s. I didn't have much of a direction when I started collecting old things... I just knew that I was drawn to them. I thought the untold stories of each item were boundless and the owners- limitless. I knew I wanted to know as much about antiques and the past as I could possibly gather. I started to collect so many items that I began to realize that I was hoarding vintage and antique for a reason. My room mate, Alexis Kikoen, recognized this in 2010 and decided to make a video about my collections. This lead me to start thinking more about my addiction to old things and also my dreams in life. What really made my heart beat in life?
BEGINNING THE BRANDING: During the winter of 2010, I picked through possible names for my brand and my dream store that only existed in my mind. I knew that I wanted it to be Paulie Antiques after about two grueling days of branding and deciding exactly what I would and would not sell in my store from day one. Paulie Antiques is actually named after my family. My Great Grandmother Pauline Whitmer Lindsey, my own name, and my Grandmother Patricia Jane Lindsey Kutch are the inspirations of my brand. You might have heard me talking about how my Grandmother Kutch used to own an antique store in Taylorville when I was little called, "Plain Jane's Antiques." I spent a lot of time in her local shop after school waiting for my parents to pick me up. In a way, I was thrust into antiquing because my family has always been VERY THRIFTY. It's also a huge past time in my family as well!
(an article in the paper announcing the opening of my Grandmother Kutch's antique store, Plain Jane's Antiques)
I CREATED MY BRAND..... NOW WHAT? After I created the name for my brand, I started creating social media for that same brand so I could share my creations. I created a Paulie Antiques shop, blog, twitter, facebook page, pinterest, instagram..... and the list continues! I knew I had to get out there and start networking if I wanted my dreams to become a reality. I started working more with my very talented friends Nathan Adhikari and Anna Longworth to create vintage lookbooks for all of the seasons of Paulie Antiques so people would start to get a sense of who I was as a fashion stylist. I also took a leap of faith and created over ten pieces completely and totally by myself for a real life fashion show! The fashion show was so rewarding and it was very wonderful to really get Paulie Antiques out there. I had several fittings with each model and as I created the clothing for the models, I got to know each and every one better and created a real bond with them. I soon learned that creating a brand would never work if others weren't involved. 
(My friend Hannah Gottlieb-Graham modeling a skirt and blouse I hand made for the Paulie Antiques fashion show. See the rest of my Spring Handmade Look Book here)
COLLABORATIONS: I soon started to have photo shoots with a multitude of models and I began to get more experience on how to perfect my artwork. Unfortunately, some lessons are always learned the hard way... and I have definitely learned some valuable ones while on location. I started creating look book videos as well to capture the feeling along with the shoot. Styling vintage and antique pieces I have collected over the years has really turned into a creative outlet for me. I started getting recognition in the most unusual places where I least expected. Paulie Antiques even got a page and a half in color in our local newspaper! People responded to the fact that I created a brand and it wasn't just in my imagination anymore. Girls would constantly message me about modeling for me, and photographers often contact me wanting to work with me. It was all quite a lot to handle, but I began to be more and more selective with my time and creativity. I really put myself and my brand out there.... and if you want to create a brand for yourself, too..... you must remember that collaboration is key to survival. Details are another key to survival! They matter!
(Allegra and Elena Wentworth for Paulie Antiques Vintage Look Book Summer 2012 by Nathan Adhikari)
(Rachel Fenton for Paulie Antiques Vintage & Handmade Look Book Summer 2012 by Anna Longworth)
(Bella Ritz modeling for Paulie Antiques Vintage Look Book Summer 2012)
(Paulie Antiques styling by me for the Vintage Look Book Fall 2012)
(Me styling the Paulie Antiques Vintage Look Book for Fall 2012 taken by Nathan Adhikari)
THE FUTURE: I have been in collaboration for about a month now with a store in my town. The details are being paved slowly and I am trying to take as much time as I need to understand the situation at hand. I have been offered a physical store to house Paulie Antiques, which has been a big landmark. No matter what happens or where I go, I know that I will keep the dream of opening Paulie Antiques one day alive and well. If you can dream of your store, you can make it happen with your hard work and determination! Keep dreaming every single day!
(Hannah Gottlieb-Graham modeling a Paulie Antiques Handmade Flower Crown Summer 2012... flower crown is sold)
love, polly

4 comments:

Meg said...

I loooove Taylorsville! Cute pics :-) I support Paulie Antiques being a store!! I would definitely come ;-) Good luck!
megthecoolgirl.blogspot.com

Liz Brown said...

What a neat story full of hard work and determination and creativity. Someday you'll be famous. :)

irene wibowo said...

i like this post.. :) wish you a good luck.. Thanks for sharing.. :)
Irene Wibowo

Dus of Cuddly Cacti said...

i'm glad you have this linked in your sidebar! i loved hearing the background about how you created Paulie Antiques, & how adorably little does Hannah look? : ) amazing work on your shop girl! fun to read that little newspaper clipping too & take a step back in time.