Welcome, Vision, and Hey, Nice To Meet You!

Eric Willis

Wow. I can't believe we are finally here!  It's been a long journey, and I am so grateful that you are here with me, taking the time out of your busy life to read this and celebrate this new venture!  YOU are the reason I'm doing this, and the reason I'm here, blabbing on about feelings and all that good stuff. So here goes, feelings and all that good stuff...

Years ago I had vision, what I thought was big vision, for life and for change.  I realize now that at the time, I was rather myopic in what I saw.  I was born and raised in a small town, with little to no knowledge of the rest of the earth.  To me, my town was my whole world.  It was THE whole world.  And then, I lost it all.  My vision gone, my life turned upside down, I spent a long time not knowing who I was, and thereby not knowing how to express who I was.  And while I would never repeat that time again for how horrible it was, I am thankful for it, because now I realize how many other people have been or are experiencing seasons (or even lifetimes sometimes) of knowing who they are.  And when you don't know who you are, you can't express who you are or have vision for your future.  I came out of this time almost like I was a newborn, starting all over again.  I had to find my vision again, and this time, it wasn't just about my little world. 

I will never forget the day that it all came to me.  I was driving my kids to go grocery shopping, experiencing a little bit of peace and quiet (which is at a premium with two toddlers), and I just SAW it.  In my mind's eye, I saw the vision for this clothing line, this thing that I'm doing here.  And I knew I was ready to start.  Velvet California was born, in a simple drive to the grocery store.  Because I believe that great things can happen in the midst of the ordinary when you are ready to dream.

So what is Velvet California, you may ask?  For the California soul?  What does that even mean?  I am a Californian, my formerly myopic vision was for a small beach town in California, so this is where it all started.  And here's what I love about California.  California is very diverse when it comes to style.  From the north end to the south end you will see a huge variety in clothing choices, style icons, and personal expressions of fashion.  There is no one "California dress code" to be found.  Even in my small part of the world, all you have to do is drive fifteen minutes and you'll see beachwear and board shorts instead of cowboy boots and wranglers.  I love individuality.  And THAT is what Velvet California is all about.

One of my favorite stories about fashion comes from the book written by the girls who started Juicy Couture, also a California born line.  One of them writes about the time when her business partner and good friend wanted Hermes leather fingerless gloves.  When they went into the Hermes boutique, there were no fingerless gloves to be found so she promptly purchased a pair of regular gloves, asked the sales lady for a pair of scissors, and voila!  Fingerless gloves!  I laughed out loud when I read this.  Because THAT, my friends, is how we should all be.  Knowing what we want, and not too afraid of offending people to get it.  

When you get your Velvet California piece, wear it the way YOU want to wear it.  If you want "fingerless gloves" so to speak, make fingerless gloves.  I will be the most happy to see YOU wearing these pieces in YOUR creative style, not mine.  These pieces may have come from my brain and my heart, but once you purchase them, they are YOURS to treasure and use.  Be YOU and I will never be prouder than to get to be a part of that beautiful expression. 

So what's my promise to you?  I won't create or sell things that I don't love.  That what you see on here are things that excite me and that inspire me.  That I will be responsible and do my very best to use materials that I love and that came from healthy sources.  That I will know the names of the people who are sewing and helping me produce your clothing.  This is a small brand now, but I have big vision for it, and I am so thankful for you, for your love, and for your support. 

Velvet California Creator/Designer

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