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The Last of My Spirit Cat T-Shirts

Posted on May 07 2016

It’s been a dream of mine for a long time to have a creative business and for some time, I thought creating t-shirts would be a part of that business. I would sit and sketch out the different products that I wanted to offer and it all felt so fun and exciting. Then a couple years ago, after starting Spirit Cat, I started making and selling t-shirts with my original designs. It felt so exciting at first. I was selling shirts, people were loving them, and I thought I had found something that I wanted to do. I had photoshoots done which was so fun! I loved the finished product and the idea of people out there wearing my shirts felt awesome.

But as time went on, I started to feel like something was missing and I wasn’t quite sure what it was. Something just felt off and I didn’t feel happy. I was at the point where I was going to start getting them printed on a larger scale and this feeling kept persisting. So I took some time to honor that feeling and turn inward to find some answers. I know by now the importance of listening to my intuition even if it doesn’t always make sense at the moment. I was starting to understand that my intuition was guiding me in another direction and away from doing t-shirts. Every time that I tuned into what my heart and soul wanted, the answer to whether I should continue doing shirts was a clear “NO”. But my mind and ego were telling me otherwise. My mind would say things like, “but I love my shirts, how can I stop doing them?”, “I’ll be a failure, what will people think?”, “but I’m a graphic designer, so this makes so much sense for me,”… and the best one…“I can still do my shirts and do the other things I want to do… it won’t take up too much of my time.” I had to laugh at this one! Having a business takes a lot of work and each part of it takes a lot of time. I resisted the idea of letting my shirts go for quite some time. Every time I would look at my gorgeous photographs, I would resist and struggle more. I would let my mind and ego take over and tell me all the reasons why I should continue.

Then last year, I enrolled in a year-long painting class and everything changed. Over the course of the year, I began to see just how much my soul craved creative freedom and expression. Part of me had known this for years but that creative free part of me had been shut down and suppressed in a 20 year graphic design career. Last year, I really began to see how important it is for me to create on a regular basis. With t-shirts, once the design is created, it’s all production and inventory management… and a whole lot of it. Which I found wasn’t making me happy. Once I found what my soul wanted, it was easy to let my shirts go and it actually felt really good and freeing. I was able to let go of the fear around it and embrace what I really love. And isn’t that what life’s all about? Being happy and following our heart! And the great thing is, I really don’t regret pursuing a direction that ultimately wasn’t right for me. I’m proud of myself for having the courage to go for something and for trying it out for a while. I learned a ton which is always valuable. So… any whooozies, if you’ve had your eye on a shirt, I have a handful left of each design, so feel free to head over to my Etsy store to see if your size is still available.

And I want to give a HUGE thank you to all of my amazing models who helped with these shoots… my awesome friends Lynn, Dawn, Kathleene, Gianna and Chris from the Rust Belt who we snagged at the last minute and happened to be wearing the perfect blue shoes to match the mural behind him. Couldn’t have planned that better! Thank you all so much! You all did such an amazing job! And the photographer that took all of these gorgeous photos is my cousin Riva. She’s an amazing wedding photographer. You can check out her work here!

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Hey! I’m Janelle and this is where I share my recent work, inspirations, thoughts, and whatever else moves me!

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