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Price drops and changing

First and foremost all shirts have been dropped to $5 plus $1 shipping. I’m trying to get rid of as much as I can before I leave so I don’t just have shirts sitting around for two years, the money will help me on my mission and it will be closing the door so I can open the next (my new brand).

And with that, is what I want to talk about next. As I stated in my previous post, I love A&A and what I did with it, even if it wasn’t much and nothing came of it like I expected, I’m still grateful for it and what it taught me. I started it 4 years ago when I was in a different place and a different person. As I grew up and changed, so did my style and desires and appreciations (appreciation? – you get what I mean). As I changed I wanted what I was producing too as well but I felt held back by an identity, and I tried to change this identity but I couldn’t, I couldn’t make it into what I wanted to be. Whenever I created a design and slapped that identity onto it, it never felt right, and that bothered me. I could never make A&A look the way I wanted to, no matter how hard I tried.

Sure I would create logo’s and retouch the identity so I was happy temporarily, but love for it quickly faded because it still wasn’t right. I even tried changing identities once with Silna Viera, which worked for a while but still wasn’t what I was looking for (but I’m still keeping that in my back pocket as well). Even though I love the message behind the identity and what it stood for, it didn’t work; I had to change A&A and keep the message.

Which brings me to where I am today. I’ve been searching and looking at myself and things around me that influence me. Looking into the history of my church and of ME. Where I am, who I am, what I love, what I appreciate. And everything keeps bringing me back to this same setting, mindset, this thing that felt so familiar but something I’ve never known. And it finally dawned on me. What so much of what I know, what we know, has come from. Who I am, where I’m going and who I’m leading. It all keeps coming back to this one thing and still maintaining the originally message I wanted to maintain. I sketched out some branding, bam, loved it; it fit with the style I wanted to go with. It fits the look and feel of being handmade and craftsmanship. And out of a name, some branding came designs, and I loved them! Other designs I’ve been coming up with lately, prior to this new identity, felt complete. It was kind of amazing. And each day from that point on I would go back into my sketchbook and just look and observe and ponder. Did I still feel that same initial joy and and excitement? Yes, I did, this has to be right!

Now you may be asking, why does all this matter, just for a brand, an identity. I don’t want create some business just because. It’s an extension of me, of what I love. My ideals, who I am, how I want to influence the people around me and those I don’t. What I want to contribute to my community and how I want to spend my time creating things I want to create, and I want to be proud of the name, the brand, the identity I put to those products I’ll make. When you connect with your brand on a deeper level than just a name and cool designs or products, it shows and people see that and recognize that and are drawn towards that. And I now realize that’s what I was missing with A&A.

Anthem & Anchor, I still love you and have ideas of what I want with you in the future but you won’t get me to where I want to go, not yet, not now. This new thing, brand that represents me because it is who I am. It stands for who and what I am and it’s pouring out of me and I want to share that with everyone. I have two years to sketch out as many designs that I can, different logos different ideas that I can put together when I get back from my mission. It’s going to be a long two years for many reason but to see this new idea come to fruition will be exciting and long. But I’ll have time to work out ideas and put time into planning without just diving in and using good ol’ hindsight.

I can’t wait to share this new brand with you reading this and everyone. I can’t wait to spend time just sitting somewhere making stuff, doing what I enjoy. To be creating using my hands and making things just like they used to be.

I may be posting again periodically in the time before I leave, just with thoughts that I may have. Until then, let’s give you a little tease of some the new brand. “Let’s all be ¬†_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.”

Time for some changes

Long time, no post. The usual MO for me. Even though it has been a while, doesn’t mean I stopped working. I was doing a lot of leather work, making bowties, made my store a little better, and other things here and there. But alas it is time for some changes around here.

First and foremost, I will be going away to serve a mission for my church for two years. So that means all work and production will stop, which is kind of sad for me but exciting as well because I’ll finally be doing something I’ve been planning on for a few years now. But the ideas will not stop, I will have a notebook with me to draw out ideas and write down bits of inspiration I get and hold onto them for when I make my triumphant return. And in that return will be some rebranding. Yes, this thing that I tried probably this same time last year and come up with a new identity for my creative outlet.

For a while now I’ve really felt stuck with A&A. I love it, don’t get me wrong. It’s like your first love, it’s hard to let go of, no matter how much you try and change it, manipulate it, and make it work with the new person you are. I can’t use it to do what I want to do creatively, it just doesn’t fit. I love A&A and it’s a brand and an idea I’m not going to let go of, maybe something that resurrect in the future but for right now, it’s time to lay it to rest.

I’ve already started on my new branding idea and I’m LOVING it so far. So much inspiration, so many ideas. I’ve just been drawing a lot of different logo variants and I love the branding of it, it fits the style I want. I love A&A and the meaning and message behind the brand, I love what I created but what I’m in the process of building now is more personal to me. It’s something I really connect with, because we talk about it a lot within my church because of how our church was re-established. It’s something I connect with because I feel like I am one. I know, I know, I’m being vague but I don’t want to say what it’s called or the direction I’m heading, guess you’re gonna have to wait two long years (as will I) to see it come to fruition.

I know I keep saying this but I love what I created with Anthem & Anchor, but it always felt too clean, too polished. If I was to further the idea I think it would almost be better branded as a ‘high end’ kind of brand with the polished A&A logo and name. Which, maybe that’s something I’ll want to do but it’s not what I want now. And who knows, maybe this will all change in two years, but I have this idea for a brand so I’m just going to run with it. But I think that’s why I never liked what I created with A&A is because I was trying to fit a style to a name that didn’t fit; it’s putting squares into round holes – ¬†doesn’t work. I want to create a brand that’s a little rough around the edges, style wise, and something that will fit with handcrafted-ness. I want to handmade things, I want to make something that you wear on the road, you travel and explore in and not afraid to get it ruined. I want to make things that will hold up to the road and you can tell a story when you hold that wallet in your hand, or wear that handmade shirt. I want to put in the time into every stitch, being a counter for every moment that can be made in that one item.

I like looking good and want people to look good in what I create but I don’t want it to be ‘high end’ look good. I want it to be night on the town, traveling from city to city and discovering; finding what is within that person. I hate to be called a hipster but I guess that it comes down to, a dapper hipster, a dapster, if you will. One that wants to go and discovered the unknown, discover something about their own self and have a story to tell. It’s all the same of what I was trying to do with A&A, it’s the same idea, just spun a little bit different. Just a little bit rough and a little bit worn. This is going to be the biggest hint as to what the new brand is.

Who knows, maybe when I’m gone I’ll meet someone that will completely alter my path and lead me to a different career. Maybe I’ll never be able to fully develop a brand like I want and maybe this will never be more than an idea on some paper. Or maybe it can be something more. Maybe it won’t be my main focus but it will still very much be a creative outlet, I may not make it a full time thing but maybe I can still make it tangible and use some skills that I’ve taught myself and share the things I make with others. I don’t know what awaits me or what life holds for me but I think that’s the most exciting thing about it all. I think that goes back to the core of what I was saying, going on an adventure, venturing into the unknown and discovering, learning about myself.

I do hope that I can make this new brand I’m developing into something, that I can share it with people and give them some amazing handmade items and do things like the were in the days we never got to experience. That I can bring a little bit of that craftsmanship into these modern days and have some cool pieces of clothing and accessories that will stand out from the rest. As I sit here and type these out it makes me all the more excited for what I’m creating, the ideas I have and want to share because what I’m saying is justify what I’m creating and that makes me happy. And that’s what this life is all about, is finding happiness, happiness in what we love and enjoy and sharing that with others.

Ready for sale!

 

 

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Look at these! I’m so excited and proud that I finally nailed it! Handmade goodness. I’m going to be starting on a shirt here in the next few days and will be posting the bow ties for sale soon. I hope you guys are excited for these as I am. And the shirts will be posted for sale and the next few days following.

It’s all in the details

So yesterday, I’m working on my new shirt prototype. Coming along swimmingly, I almost finished in one 4 hour sitting. I go to finish it today and some things we’re just a bit off. I didn’t like how the collar turned out, but that’s just how it was with the new pattern I’m trying out; so I’m gonna make adjustments to the collar pattern piece.

Also, the way I was assembling all the shirt pieces was making the finishing stitches not as clean as I’d like so I have to figure out a better way of putting it together. It’s little details that no one would really notice but if I’m gonna be selling a handmade shirt, I want all the details top notch. Other than the collar area, I really like how the shirt was turning out, so we’re close. We’re very, very close. Since this was a new pattern and I was kind of combining it with the former one I was using and making changes on the fly, I’m not too disappointed with how it went.

I’m not sure if this is making much sense cause it’s pretty late for me. But the whole point is that the A&ACO shirt almost came out like I wanted. I have a feeling the next one will be it.

Handmade goodness

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Hello folks. I’m back posting again and got some news. I’ve been bit by the cut and sew bug and really trying to make it happen this time around (my laziness killed my momentum). Today, after work I’ll be working on a shirt, just to make sure I got it down before selling happens. But there will be a lot of cool short sleeve shirts coming out for ya for the summer. Custom fabrics and prints will be used along with some cool denims and some nice solids. Just wait, you’ll see.

I made this bow tie last night. I think it came out well for my prototype. I see the adjustments I need to make to get it right. I’m gonna try and throw another together tonight and be ready to sell those. Really excited about it, I was even working on the packaging last night for them.

There’s a few other things ill be working on and keeping quiet until I iron them out. But I’m really excited about the now ties and shirts.

Make sure and follow my Instagram, I’ll be posting lots of ‘in progress’ shots and wonder mirror modeling pictures. So go ahead and follow me at dustin_anthem.

Shirts are a little delayed

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So I have this little gem share with you guys. This shot is from my printer and this sight makes me so excited. The look perfect and I couldn’t be happier. The shirts were suppose to ship out the other day but was delayed because they forgot to print an area. Whoops, hah, things happen. But I’m just happy to get this and able to show you guys. I can’t wait for them to get there and out to you all :)

Hope you guys are as excited as I am.

The wheels are turning

So yesterday, I had the very cool opportunity to go and play with a lot of cool toys. I was in an artists version of Disney World. I got to play with metal engravers, laser engravers, DTG printer, and an awesome printer that can print out car wraps. There were also embroidery machines, but those will have to wait until another time.

The coolest thing by far, had to of been the laser engraver. That will open up so many door for products and it has been turning my head-brains wheels on branding, products, and a whole bunch of other things. In the pictures below the wood necklace, acrylic necklace, the keychain, the earrings, the wooden cuff links and the leather bracelet were all made by this machine. It was so fascinating to watch, and listen to for that matter. It’s amazing how small and how much detail can be retained. But, getting to products, this can help me, very easily make these wallets I want to do.

Oh, and ladies, would you want to rock some A&A earrings? This is now a possibility that I never thought about doing. One thing I have been wanting to do are cuff links, it’s not something I’ve mentioned but I’ve been fostering in my head. The wooden cuff links turned out really cool and have an awesome look, but the engraved ones have a beautiful, classic look to them. But really, I just love how the wood looks so I’ve been thinking about things to do with that.

The keychain was awesome mind blowing. And I’ll be thinking about things I want to do with that, ways you guys can simply show off your A&A pride. The last thing we made were those A&A stickers, so now it got me thinking about stickers. Ahh! So much. But I have about a dozen of the stickers in the pictures, anyone want one? :)

There’s not much else I can say, it was a super cool learning experience and a dream for anyone who likes to create. I was drooling to say the least and I can’t wait to go back with some ideas, and create some cool stuff that I didn’t even consider before. Oh, and the embroidery machine. We didn’t play with that because you have to have your imagine digitized so hopefully that will be done so next time I’m there we can have some fun with those guys.

I don’t know what else to say, there’s just too much to put into works so I’ll let you guys look at the pictures and if you have any ideas or like anything you see and would want see more of let us know. Like I said before, this opens up doors to making products I never would have considered so girls, if there’s some kind of jewelry you’d like, please let me know.

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Shirts being printed + more

It’s been a while since any updates have been posted on here so I wanted to fill everyone in on what’s happening at the A&AShop. First of all, as I type this and/or you’re reading this, we have new shirts being printed right now! I’m really excited and really happy with the designs.

Second, I’ve been kicking around the idea of new hoodies. The last one’s I had printed three years ago now have been my most popular product so it’s time for another design. With the hoodie, there’s a design I’ve been working on that was was doing for a hoodie specifically but I love it and want it on a shirt more than a hoodie. So on instagram and facebook you can see what the hoodies are gonna look like and I used the color scheme of the shirt for the hoodie. Confused? I hope not. So I think I’m gonna release them together because I like that idea.

Along with that new design, I’ve been working on a few others and A&A-izing some Silna Viera designs, which happened to be some of my favorites I’ve ever released. Unfortunately I didn’t release them under the A&A brand but that’s okay, I’m getting them up to brand :) When will they be released…eh, I don’t know cause I still have a lot of the SV stuff still laying around.

Along with that, I’ve been thinking about how I’m gonna do these necklaces cause they take a couple weeks to produce and somewhat costly, so I think I’m just gonna get a TINY batch made and see how that goes. I might put them up for a preorder as well so if I get more purchases than what I was gonna originally order, than I can do that. Hmm…we’ll see how.

Anyways. That’s it for now below are the three designs being printed, just the mock ups of course, and also the hoodies I want to print, again a mock up. I still have yet to release the new design I’ve been pouring so much time into because there’s a certain element of it I’m working on that I keep flip-flopping, turning up-side-down and changing. Once I get it more to where it’s kind of set in stone, we’ll be good to go. The thing I keep changing is I want to add more of a religious element into my designs but not too much so that people who don’t share the same beliefs wouldn’t want to still wear it, so that’s what I’m trying to work out.

Thank you guys as always, and I love you. Stay grounded.

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‘Watch’ us…

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Ah, dad joke or bad joke? Anyways…

So what do you guys think? I know I talked about watches a little bit but not much just kind of wanted this to be a surprise. I need to figure out some things to make them available for you guys but I love this!

Things like this, the necklaces, are my steps towards a supply company. Which brings me to my next point. My main goal, as you shod know, is to share a message of faith, love, and hope and for us to know who we are as individuals so we can know ourselves as a greater world. Sharing that message is easier with shirt cause I can just say it. So how do accessories help? Well I believe the way we dress says a lot of how we feel. Let it reflect who we are inside. Now I’m not saying be vain, it’s all about outward appearance but when I feel good I want to look good and visa versa.

And hopefully you guys know what anthem & anchor means, what the name and brand stands for. What our logo represents. And so I want people yo be reminded of that every time they look at that.

Does any if that make sense? I wrote it at 5 in the morning. Love you guys, until next time.

New designs

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I’ve been really trying to hammer out some designs that I’m way proud of and I think I’ve finally done just that. The ‘Songs of the soul’ shirt is a very new version of a favorite. This was the first shirt I designed and I think that this quote is very much the basic, core, ideals of A&A. A lot of people have been asking for it, and as much as I love the original design, for what it was, I wanted to do something new.

Next is the ‘Salt & Light’ shirt. This one I’m way happy about. This design comes straight from scripture but I think it’s a great way to say, “be the best you” even if you don’t find yourself to be Christian. I’ve been really trying to push the hand drawn designs, and a lot of what I’ve been doing recently has been that but then I would make a nice clean vector image with a lot of computer drawing on them. But this design, is just hand drawn and the color intensified so it would be easy to print.

The last one, I know is more branding but we know what A&A means and stands for (at least we should, if not, go study up). I designed this just for branding purposes, business cards, other things like that but I really liked it and so thought, why not?! Right?

There’s one other design I’ve been working on that I wanted to include with this order but just haven’t gotten the right look so I’m gonna keep trying to hammer it out and release it later.

I may try and throw one of these designs on a hoodie for the coming months but we’ll see.

There’s other things I’ve been working on for you guys, still trying to get this necklace situation worked out, another cool accessory, and gonna try and hammer out quite a few keychains for the shop. I think these are all the updates I have for now. Thanks guys. <3

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