Now that this year is ending, I had the idea of looking back at what I did for the shop and the changes in designs — from sticking to just basic black leather to now using various colors and themes, the intro of spikes and more headbands and a lot more to note about. The previous year I was in hiatus due to conflicting feelings towards it — I felt that I never “grew” with the design and they [the accessories] seemed to be repetitive in kind. Nothing special anymore, I thought.
And being that kind of person who strongly dislike “repetitive” things, I decide to pick up my favorite material and just try again. We shall begin with the first quarter of 2012 when I was commissioned for a Steampunk theme designs…
Good client Rommel asked me to design certain accessories for a pre-nup shoot of a fantasy setting — Steampunk (to what I gathered, that was? I hope I’m correct with this!). I personally like Steampunk myself – the colors, elements, technology and fashion – but my knowledge with it still lacked to design something akin to it. Making research and sharing this predicament with fellow enthusiast Carmel, I came up with a simple design using brown leather. Brown leather has been just as quite useful as black but my specialty teeters more to the darker color.
I was glad that it was liked. The steampunk commissions, that was. I then decided to include the genre among with the others I use frequently when introducing Dark~Sweet~Soul: Gothic, Punk, Rock, Lolita and Steampunk.
On the latter part of the second quarter this year, spikes suddenly appeared in the market and boy was I thrilled. Spikes have been a rare kind of raw material treasure; I had been looking for a long time now. Boy, I was just thankful I was able to buy them near my place. And because of the appearances of spikes in my designs did a good kick start with my previous clients and new ones, I was coming back to business again.
I wasn’t sure what triggered the whole Iron Maiden series but I knew I wanted a spiked headband myself. I won’t deny I saw them designs online from international sellers, I kind of hu-hu-hu-ed at the idea that I couldn’t get my hands on it. So when I couldn’t buy it, might as well make one!
And then I introduced it to the market. They were very very well received and liked. Even foreign watchers liked it. It was one of those moments I realized that maybe I have a shot of designing and selling to international buyers. Well. Maybe.
I even remembered designing an Iron Maiden without spikes and only a leather ribbon and silver dome studs. It was during my first special event attendance to Fantasy Quest II at Fernwood Gardens, QC, that I gave one design to popular cosplayer Yuegene (a fan-gift… I SERIOUSLY WON’T BE DOING THIS IMPROMPTU THING AGAIN! a;sldfksd;fk) and the other was bought by my good friend and spazzmate Rizachi. I honestly stayed with my shop’s policy of “not doing the same design again.” DSS and I have been living through that oath for years already and still at it.
Third quarter of the year, I decided on opening a Facebook page for the shop since Multiply would be doing an overhaul with their system. Until today I’m still looking for an easy and simple platform to station my online shop and be accessible to everyone. Facebook somehow provides what I need and everyone – and I mean eeeveryone – are logged into FB. But… I wanted a different platform altogether.
Still, using FB made me experience a much closer interaction with my clients. Before then I just relied on text messages or sudden meeting during events with how my loyal patrons loved my works. Although I was already satisfied with breezy and hassle free transactions, I had no idea DSS is demanded among a lot of people and it warmed me ten-folds. I met a lot of people through DSS honestly.
Before then I was able to release sets of designs every month and each of these accessories were sold. It truly made me happy.
The fourth quarter of the year was a hectic time for me — juggling major academic requirement and other commitments — but I squeezed in a time to join an event. BLush Con 2012 with ScottWM of Cinnamon Rub, our Meatballs Fetichinne pair up. A first personal interaction with buyers.
It was really unforgettable watching their sheer interests with the accessories and gleefully buying a piece or two. The experience somehow boosted my confidence, growing convinced that I wasn’t still out of the creative loop among other specialized accessory makers and sellers. Me losing confidence for a year previously, the event really helped me to pick myself up and tap into more of my “accessory-designing” self. Now I’m even more determined to take DSS up a notch next year. Can we expect bags? Well… it’s on my list.
What an eventful year indeed! I couldn’t thank enough for my loyal clients — years and years of business relationship and more! — for still staying with me. And for new patrons who are giving me the anticipating cheers and enthusiastic hoots to be even better. There are also special individuals who encouraged me to continue with the pace I’m most comfortable with, reassuring me that what I do were real treasures: Kuya Raymond, Jennifer, Rizachi, Mou-Lei and Kuristwin. Thank you, you gaaiz.
Everyone, you won’t see the last of Dark~Sweet~Soul! Please anticipate more of my works this coming 2013!