Tis the season to be thankful, happy, travel, and spread good energy wherever you go. I've been so lucky going into year number two of ARAE. I can't even put into words how thankful I am to have so many mentors along the way, knowing there will be more people who come in to my life to help with the next step whatever that may be. The support from friends and family is also essential in progression and now, if not always, is the time to appreciate the moments you have together.
I've been observing how everyone (and me) is busy with their own schedules all the time and sometimes don't allow themselves to do the things that matter most. We need to sit back, and enjoy time with family and friends because that's the balance of life! Without balance and love, there is no way to really appreciate and properly experience a lot of the things life blesses you with. Having said all of this and also being a designer in the apparel and accessories industry, you may or may not be surprised to know that I am not a fan of Black Friday. Things get so dangerous, people instantly move onto the "next best thing to have" and forget about what the holidays are about. It's great that you can get sometimes quality things at such a low price, but as an artist, it's almost not right to do that to yourself. I do what I do because without creating things and designing I am lost. I am so lucky to be in the position I am today with the support from individuals, stores, and big brands. I'm appreciating where I am and how I got here, and not getting caught up with the madness of Black Friday.
ARAE is a specialty brand, we are imperfectly crafted and choose not to compete against companies using mass production. It's not worth it to us to be put in that position, and we hope our customers and fans believe the same thing. REI is doing an amazing anti Black Friday campaign with #optoutside. Being in the amazing state of Colorado selling quality winter outdoor gear and accessories, I would have to support REI in this and also join the movement. #optoutside and wear your ARAE as you travel and explore the world
Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays!