I’m excited to announce that we’ve finally launched Hummus Apparel. I’m one of the c0-founders. I’ve been working on this with two friends from work on our nights and weekends. After a ton of prototypes, epic fails and a whole lot of fun, we launched our first major product, the Booyah Belt.
We’re pretty excited about it.
Please support us and help spread the hummus!
For some context, I am launching an apparel company with a few friends from work. It’s been a ton of work, really fun, and more educational than I expected.
A few nights ago I was sewing the samples for our first major prototype. Ordinarily working late when I could be inside with my partner would be a drag. But this work is different. For me, the act of making, and more specifically, sewing, connects me to so many people that I love. There’s my mom, the quilter, who first taught me how to sew. My dad’s side of the family who weathered the depression by making blouses. Gaza Bowen, who taught me how to make shoes as well as what it means to truly be an artist and craftsperson. My friends from grad school who continually inspire me with their wit and creativity. As the sewing machine beats out it’s rhythm, I feel that all those folks are there with me. And it’s pretty great to feel that connected.
I’m excited to be running through a demo on how to build Ballet Flats at Maker Faire again this year. For those of you that don’t want to wait until May, you can view the break down of the demo from a prior post. Looking forward to seeing folks!
I’m a bit obsessed with beautiful lines.
For this pair of shoes, I’m experimenting with ways of combining functional and non-functional straps. With the right material, I’m hoping that these will have a playful bounce as the woman walks along.
I used the sole design that I’d created on our 3d printer to test these out, but one could easily do a similar thing with a hacked pair of clogs.
Now that we have a 3D Printer at work, I’ve been revisiting some of the work I started in grad school around modular shoes. After muddling through AutoCad’s 123D Design this weekend I created this version that I’m planning to print tooday. (and maybe tomorrow – this is going to take a while).
My hope is that it’ll be a great platform for experimenting with modular shoes in a far more controlled setting that the hacks to existing shoes that I shared in the Craft article a few years ago. Stay tuned.
Time-lapse of a lasting a prototype boot that I’m working on for my father.
I’m in the process of building a shed which was first featured in ReadyMade Magazine. (sadly no longer around.) I managed to grab the plans and some photos from the site before it went offline.
These are the plans for the MD100, by architect Edgar Blazona. It’s something that you should be able to do yourself for about $1500. I’ve modified his 10 x 10 foot design to work in our backyard.
I’ll post the full set of pictures of our building process once we’re done. In the mean time, here are the plans from ReadyMade.
In order to make use of my daily commute to Mountain View, I’ve started listening to audio books. I started with Quiet: The power of Introverts, by Susan Cain. Her TED talk is below.
For more on Cain’s work, check out her TED talk.
I had a few key takeaways from the book.
- I see a lot of parallels between design thinking extroversion
- I’m also seeing lots of parallels between the craft of design and introverted personality types.
- Prototyping requires both mindsets
1. Extroversion and Design Thinking
Extroversion is about getting energy from groups of people and lots of stimulus. This creates the ability to make quick decisions with limited information, which allows you to move quickly and tackle new situations. On the design thinking side, you can see how this mindset would work well with rapid protoyping, space saturation, brainstorming, and exploring the unknown all call on similar types of skills or proclivities. Spend any time at the d.school during a class and you’ll feel the energy buzzing off the place. There’s no shortage of stimulation.
2. Introversion and Design
In contrast, introverts are drained by environments with a lot of stimulus. They are more energized by serene environments. And although they may not have the same decisiveness as their extroverted brethren, they tend to stay with problems longer and have better patience for complexity and ambiguity. As a designer and introvert, Cain’s description felt spot on. I’m drained by too many people, I prefer one-on-one interactions or, at times, putting on my headphones and working through the problems of a particular design challenge. Dialoging with the challenge at hand. To me, this is the craft of design.
3. Prototyping – The Bridge
So here’s the tension for me. I’m a design thinker. I’m also a designer, and an introvert. And all of this comes to a head with prototyping. To be an effective prototyper you need to have a bias to action (a strength of extroverts). But you also need an ability to shift from group conversation (more extroverted) to the typically solitary act of making. To do that, you need to focus and solve the complex problems that come when moving from any idea to reality (strength of introverts). Paul Graham’s Maker’s Schedule idea touches upon this as well. So we’ve got to move fast, and we’ve got to go deep. What’s a girl to do?
My solution. You’ve got to be able to slide between the two axes. (Cartesian, not Bunyan). Cain talks about the need for introverts to “perform extroversion” in order to be successful in business environments. I think of it as popping out of my hole, peeking around, sharing, then dropping back down. The trick is to do it enough that you get the benefits of sharing, of feedback and dialogue with your team, customers, etc, but not stay out so long that you start to get drained by the experience. Make sure you know where you get your juice and structure your work, your teams and projects in a way that allows you to be there as much as possible.
Handmade shoes and shoemaking classes. I saw these guys at Renegade Craft Fair when I was in Chicago a couple of weeks ago. Looks fun!
And, if you want some custom shoes, check out Moxie shoes made locally in Oakland! Woohoo! If you are in the Bay Area, check her stuff out. I saw her a few months ago at First Friday in Uptown. The shoes look great. Support a local business!