One of my favorite little shops, Every Little Counts, today launched its Spring 2010 line. Just like the former seasons, this line is wonderfully nostalgic and doesn't disappoint.
Inspired by all things dreamy, owner Amy, and her husband Adam, hand-create each piece in their Brooklyn Studio - showcasing their love of great literature, old romantic films, and beautiful typography along the way.
I had a chat with Amy about her gorgeous line of tees. Here is what she had to say:
Tell us about Every Little Counts. A little background, please!
My husband, Adam & I started Every Little Counts just about 2 years ago in LA. I had just lost my job after the company I was working for decided to close it's doors. I had always wanted to start my own business, so it seemed like the right time. I had been working in the fashion industry for awhile in both NYC and LA, so I felt like I had enough experience behind me. Now, we just moved back to Brooklyn - we both lived here before moving out to LA. It feels good to be back!
Explain your role versus your husband's role in the company.
Well, Every Little Counts is really my thing. Adam has been amazing enough to help me along the way, but he is also an artist and works full-time as a web designer. As for who does what - I do all of the design concepting, sourcing, sales, marketing, PR, and shipping...and I'm getting better at the graphic design part of it all. Adam does most of the graphic design, web design, photography, and screenprinting (although I do act as his assistant!). He also brings a lot to the table in regards to art & design...since he studied them both. He's also a total geek over typography, which is helpful since a lot of our styles have been text based.
Each of your shirts is so unique. What inspires your designs?
Thanks...we try! We wanted Every Little Counts to reflect our obsession with romance, nostalgia, and young love, but in a cooler, more reserved way by combining elements of modernism through typography and design. I have always been obsessed with the '60s and '70s, and now as they seem further away, the '80s and '90s. A lot of our designs reference old films (mostly French), new wave pop from the 80's, New Order, for instance (which is where we get our name), art & design, literature, and and just general romantic sentiments and daydreams.
What kind of work goes into the shirt-making process?
First we come up with designs. We research garments, styles, colors, fabrics that we want to work with for that collection. There's a lot of brainstorming, looking at books, taking pictures, talking. I come up with the concept and Adam & I design the final graphic together - thinking about color, the overall style of the piece, and placement. From there, we need to burn the design onto the screen and then after doing numerous test prints, we print the shirt. After that, the shirt needs to be cured with a heat dryer so the ink doesn't wash off. Custom labels need to be put in and that's about it.
LOVING the spring 2010 line, tell us a little about the theme behind this one.
Thank you! This collection is called "A Girl in Love" and that's pretty much where we are coming from. I was sort of channeling back to being a young girl in love - dreaming of falling in love and far away places and spending hours getting lost in the lives of others through books and film. It's all very dreamy and romantic, but also smart - I hope so anyway! Specific references in the collection are Henry Miller & Anais Nin, Anna Karina (who doesn't love her?), Sylvie Vartan (French ye-ye songstress and style icon), and Ali MacGraw (the star of everyone's favorite sob-fest "Love Story," although she also happens to encapsulate the 70's for me - so beautiful in a totally natural way).
Out of all your tees, what's your favorite?
It's hard to pick a favorite. They are all so personal to me, but right now it's "Henry & Anais." I was a little obsessed with Anais Nin in high school and college. All of the books I own by her have underlined text all over them - I'm a big underliner. But I really am in love with the whole spring collection - it's my favorite yet, although I think I say this every time. I also have a big soft spot for our first collection - full of nostalgic music references like Olivia Newton-John, Fleetwood Mac, and Bryan Ferry. Olivia Newton-John's "Physical" album was one my very first album ever and I still love her to this day - Adam, however, does not share my love for her. He's pretty vocal about that.
What do you love most about having your own business?
I love not having to work for someone else's vision. I love not having a boss. And I love making my own schedule. With that said, each day is like an emotional roller coaster - it's so personal and so consuming - it's hard to put it down and I often go to bed dreaming about work (although I used to do that anyway).
And any tips for those trying to get their biz off the ground?
As far as business tips - get started on the right foot- get the proper licenses/ permits, get your finances in order, and keep good records. In regards to everything else - be prepared to work all the time, talk about your business all the time, promote your business but don't be obnoxious about it, and don't lose track of where you are coming from - stay inspired and keep creating.
What's better? NY or LA? :)
Wow, loaded question. They're really hard to compare because they're just so different from one another. California as a whole feels like a different country to me, and LA specifically feels that way. I grew up in the northeast, so moving to LA was a huge change for me. It definitely has some great things about it, otherwise we wouldn't have stayed for as long as we did (6 years). It was great being able to go out for a hike everyday in Griffith Park, travel up and down the coast of California, drive out to the desert, and then there's the whole novelty of being in "Hollywood" - occasionally working freelance on films. It was great, but ultimately I discovered I could not live without the changing seasons. I love autumn & winter - two of my favorite seasons that did not exist in LA at all - that was heartbreaking. Adam definitely began to be driven crazy by the traffic, the sun, the heat, and a job that he hated. I desperately miss my friends who had become family and I miss being so close to both the mountains and the ocean, but ultimately it was time to come home. Our families are here and we love the culture of New York - something we thought LA kind of lacked. We love that New York is always open, always on the move, and so easy to get around in. We love good bars, good food, good museums and movie theaters that's all so convenient you can almost take it for granted - almost. And of course, we love our friends in New York too, some of whom are our oldest and closest.
Any big plans in the works for your company?
Right now we are just working on getting settled back here in NY, but we have a lot of ideas brewing - collaborations, more experiments, more limited edition pieces, and developing the overall lifestyle aspect of the brand.
Shop the Spring 2010 Collection.