How do you build community through Fashion?
With everything happening in the political landscape today, it is easy to become defeated and give up on what you have worked so hard for, albeit your education, career, or any other personal achievement you may have some pride in. But despite the craziness that currently plagues us, despite the constant bickering of one political party to the next, despite the unfathomable drama that mimics some Real Housewives episode, we are seeing a renewed determination within our communities, one that does not depend on government or large corporate entities, but one that is energized and fostered through the community members themselves.
At some point, we lost the importance of community as mass-market consumerism began to take over and we overproduced and overspent on non-necessities just to meet the status quo. All the while we have these talented individuals within our communities that can offer a level of uniqueness and craftsmanship that big brands cannot. More importantly they offer a story, their personal journey which can never be duplicated. As their story is told and as their wares are sold, their community grows becoming more prolific and self-sustaining.
When Mai and I first launched Bishop in 2013, we wanted to make change within the industry that would impact all stakeholders but, more importantly, change that our community would be proud of and change the fashion industry would strive to imitate. We were fortunate to launch during an administration that fostered entrepreneurial thinking but our drive came from those who surrounded us, the community of thinkers and makers that also wanted to see positive change within our industry. Their encouragement (and sometimes free advice or a set of helping hands) has enabled us to remain in the retail landscape today, despite uncertainty. This is the concept of shared fate, the idea that you are only as successful as the community that supports you and to foster it, you must put in what you hope to get out.
Welcome to our community.