"We grew up wearing, doing and saying what we wanted. We believe this is how life should be lived."
sTitch Leggings is a London based fashion company which designs and manufactures leggings for men. The brainchild of Tom Hunt & his two mates, sTitch Leggings aspires to a day where men can wear what they want as opposed to what they should. In this unique and practical entry for theVproject, the boys share their insights on the barriers of merging creativity & business and how to remain resilient in the face of uncertainty...
‘Creativity is not reserved for a select few. It's available for anyone who has the courage to take it.’ Why is leaning towards creative outlets often met with fear?
Being creative involves an expression of one's self, revealing part of your true self to the world, where judgments of success or failure can be given by external parties. Courage is not the suppression of fear, it is acting in spite of fear. It takes courage to acknowledge and accept this fear of judgement, in order to create.
When starting the company, my two co-founders and I acknowledged this fear of judgement by external parties and continued on our journey. But how did we do this? I think there were two factors:
- The relationships between the three of us were strong and hence the external judgments held little weight against our own judgments of success and failure
- We came to the realisation that regardless of the external judgments of other people, the venture we were about the embark would be a success as long as we made an attempt towards it 's completion regardless of the outcome
Worthlessness, lack of self-belief, perfectionism – there are many blocks that prevent us from leaning into vulnerability. How do you move past them? What do those blocks & blurts look like for you? What do you think we can do to make them less controlling/dominant?
For us at sTitch Leggings we felt that there were two main blocks preventing us from launching the company and hence becoming vulnerable:
Self-belief - Reality is subjective and is filtered from the world into your mind through your beliefs. There are a variety of beliefs to choose from, I think that it is best to select those beliefs that give you the greatest chance of becoming who you want to be. We wanted to start something that would make a difference to men around the world and decided to set up sTitch Leggings with this goal in mind. To enable us to achieve this we had to adopt the self-belief that would give us the best chance to succeed: "We can do this"
The great thing being, that once this belief is fully engrained within you, it often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, enabling you to complete that task that you initially believed that you could complete. This then fuels further self-belief in an ongoing spiral.
“When you breathe into fear it becomes adventure.” What was one of your most terrifying/rewarding experiences?
After trading for six months, we had the opportunity to meet with one of the largest male fashion retailers in the UK, for them to potentially stock our product in their stores. With little fashion/business experience under the belt of all three of us, this was definitely a terrifying experience.
Though, we believe that when you acknowledge fear and act regardless, this makes you feel alive. You are operating on your edge, outside of your comfort zone.
The great thing is that every time you acknowledge fear and act regardless, the fear reduces it's hold over you. We have found the repeatedly acting in spite of fear, is a fantastically liberating experience.
So, back to the meeting, we seized the opportunity and prepared the best we possibly could and headed to the headquarters of the aforementioned retailer. The meeting went well and was a great experience for all involved, in the end we did not secure the deal, but it was most definitely a rewarding experience.
Tom recently spoke at TEDx Russell Square in London, where he explored the concept of the "idea" and how it may not be the most important contributing factor to a successful business...