Collaboration, pushing your creative boundaries to success

Two lessons I am taking from Alt Summit are: 
- having guts to take risks pays off, and 
- design collaboration pushes your creative boundaries and can produce great results.

This struck a chord with me specifically because in the the last month I had two unexpected design successes.  Both came from collaborations (from Alt Summit related contacts) and both were out of my comfort zone, both meant I had to take a chance and face possible rejection.

The first came out of a collaboration with Ashley Pahl, a wonderful blogger I met during an Alt Summit online lecture.  Ashley needed submissions for her ezine, Snowed In and I worked on a few ideas.  One was an embroidery DIY, I haven't done embroidery for years but I saw something quite basic in a high end children's design store and thought I could improve on it.
Not only did Ashley accept the DIY for her magazine, but a few weeks ago my embroidery was picked up by Apartment Therapy!  In the blog world this is big!  I still can't quite believe it so I included a screen print just to make sure!!

The second collaboration came out of a competition run for 2013 Alt Summit SLC attendees by fashionABLE.  FashionABLE is an inspiring organisation.  A grassroots business creating a sustainable business in Ethiopia, empowering vulnerable women, helping them create new lives for themselves and their families.  They weave and sell beautiful scarves and when you buy a scarf you are not making a donation, you are buying a desirable item and giving the woman who made it hope, a future, a purpose, dignity.  Touchingly each scarf has a handwritten note from its creator, telling you simply what they are ABLE to do because you made this purchase.  As I said before, very inspiring, go and have a look for yourself.
The fashionABLE challenge was to design a scarf, the best designs to be woven in Ethiopia, presented at Alt SLC, and voted on by attendees.  The winning scarf to be made for Mothers Day.
I was inspired by the Africa I love, sketched madly at 3 in the morning and sent off multiple designs, and I was totally honoured to discover that two of my designs were not only created but chosen for the top four.  The top two below are mine.

Ultimately neither won the contest (the beautiful black and white was the champion) but it was exhilarating to have something go from my imagination to reality.  I really do feel I won the jackpot anyway.  And there is a good chance the yellow design, called "A Prayer for Rain" will be made this year, I will certainly let you know!!  Thats me below modelling them at Alt!

Hopefully the true winners will be the women whose lives and families are being changed forever.    And I hope it is not the last time I collaborate with the fashionABLE organisation.

For me taking the plunge, pushing my creative limits, risking rejection, its been very worthwhile.  I look forward to future collaborations, meeting incredible people who are taking on the world, to working on projects that will make me grow, its just a part of this wonderful journey that blogging is taking me on.


  1. Wow, Eva that is superb!!! So glad you are exploring your creative side, those scarves are beautiful.

    1. We are both putting ourselves out there, scary but sometimes rewarding. It was very unexpected!!

  2. You go girl!!!! Hope your year is full of inspired creativity and lots more gets featured. Welcome back - look forward to catching up sometime soon.

  3. Yay Eva! I was thrilled to see your scarves as finalists (they should've won - they are so gorgeous!). Looking forward to following your future successes.

    1. It was so lovely to have you to share it with Haeley! I have a good feeling about this year for us!!


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