Screen Shot: Vanilla
City Based: Wollongong, Australia
What inspired the brand name?
I don’t think there was a specific inspiration, at the time when starting the company was a vague idea. A big part of my time was thinking of a good name I looked at it like a tattoo once I decided there’s no going back it’s permanent so it had to be perfect. I spent a good couple months thinking of something and I still wasn’t happy. I searched a random word generator and said to my self you’ll know when you see it. Flicked through for ages till the word ‘Vanilla’ Popped up. I starred at it for ages it was a simple word could be read and pronounced easily and used simple letters. I wrote it down and asked my friend about it. He said he didn’t like the name at all. I doubted my self and kept flicking through the generator. Another couple months past and with nothing. I knew I had been spending too much time on this and said fuck it I’m just going to use the name vanilla regardless who thinks it’s bad it’s my decision. The company name was born out of my impatience. Looking back I’m glad it happened even though the name was never meant to be directly inspired by anything or mean anything it unseeingly correlated perfectly to my personality and the brand I wanted to build.
At what moment did you realize you wanted to start a brand?
I realized I wanted to start a brand when I was in year 3. I was into surfing at the time I liked drawing surfboards and designing my own always payed attention to designs on board shorts and thought I could do the same. The idea of creating something my own way was a big deal to me. I remember all I thought about was making a surf brand I drew out logos and even had a name for it ‘greenhouse’ of course being in year 3 this wasn’t possible. Fast forward into to high school and the idea of starting a brand came back.
What helps you get over creative blocks?
To stop. For me the best way the get over a creative block is to just stop and do something else. You can’t force an idea to come to you and I’ve found the more you try to think of a good idea the more you dig yourself in a hole or the worse the idea gets. Just stopping and letting things come to me has always helped get past big blocks.
What is the biggest mistake you have made?
Not being as organized as I should have been. The first official drop of vanilla was meant to drop at 10pm on September 15th. Everything was ready but I left actually setting up the site to the night of the drop. I thought I could set up a new site , take product photos , deep etch them and upload them in only a few hours. I ended up rushing stressing and having to push the drop time to 12am. I was annoyed I didn’t give my self enough time to prepare for the drop I wanted to release the drop comfortably and happily I went to bed feeling the opposite. That is since a mistake I’ve learnt from and the biggest I’ve made so far.
What is the biggest success you have had?
At the moment the biggest success I’ve had is the release of our first drop of 2018. It was my most organized drop so far so much so I dropped it while I was at my girlfriends house, everything went exactly as planned. For just releasing, It was also the most successful in terms of sales and engagement.
A source of inspiration people may find weird?
Standard corporate design. There’s an odd beauty in very basic standard corporate elements which I find so intriguing. For something that goes so unnoticed and is seen as boring I find it as a gold mine of ideas. I don’t know why.
Favorite color to use?
I have no specific favorite color there’s so many colors and so many combinations of colors thats it’s impossible for me to pick just one.
Are there any retail shops you would love to see you brand in?
I’d love to have the company stocked in boutiques and the big online fashion retailers like end, farfetch , mr porter etc even if it was only a couple pieces. I’d be head over heels.
Another Brand that inspires you and why?
Theres a lot but Vetements has got to be the largest. It’s such an unorthodox brand which has the power to create pretty much anything they want how ever they want out of what ever they want all while being made at a high quality. They are completely free to create whatever they want. That’s what I want in the end.
Where do you see yourself and the brand in 1 year and 5 years?
In a year I’d like to see the brand have built up a larger audience which fucks with us , follows us and what we do. I hope by that time I can have a few more obscure ideas of mine come to life and have released more then just hoodies, shirts and caps. Aswell as better quality and solid loyal manufacturers I can refer to for the brand.
In 5 years damn I haven’t even thought that far. But if I could have the whole brand manufactured out of Italy and with a larger following that’d be great.