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The Launch of Something Navy

Over the last few weeks I’ve been interviewed by more press editors than ever before. I feel like I’ve been answering the same questions over and over: how do I feel regarding my launch, where do I see myself/my brand in 5 years, how did Something Navy get started, who am I, and so forth. While I’m grateful to be able to talk to editors and receive press exposure, I want to share my deeper thoughts about it all with you here, on my own platform.

A year ago, I was offered the opportunity to create a capsule collection for one of Nordstroms in-house brands, Treasure and Bond. Before I’d gotten the news, I’d been wondering what’s next? What do I want Something Navy to become? I knew immediately this was a step in the right direction, that this was going to be an incredible experience. I was going to learn the design process, create pieces for my followers, and collaborate with Nordstrom, an unbelievable retailer.

Creating the capsule collection was a really fulfilling project.  I flew to Seattle and designed 30 pieces with an incredible team at Nordstrom.  Sadie, the designer I worked most closely with, is seriously my style soulmate.  She understood my followers and I to a T, and helped me bring my vision to life.

To give you an idea of the process:

Nikki and I put together a giant mood board, discuss it with the design team at Nordstrom, and specify exactly how we envision the pieces to look.  Then, Nordstrom’s team sketches, and we make edits, choosing colorways and fabrics. When we receive the first round of samples, we go through rounds of fittings (Nordstrom uses fit models, but I have to try on every single piece to make sure I love how it feels and fits). We then make a final round of adjustments to the fabric, fit, color and other details.  If we receive final samples that are different from our expectations, we will drop them from the collection and revisit those ideas later down the line.

It all sounds so simple, but each piece of each collection endures a long process; however, it feels incredible to work with the styles from start to finish. When we received the finished product, we were obsessed. We couldn’t believe we had developed a collection of our own, and that we were about to showcase it to the world.

Little does anyone know, the Sunday night before my SN x T&B launch, I was in bed with Brandon and just started crying.  I had no idea if anyone would buy my collection.  I was questioning the entire thing, “Why did they pick me? Will I disappoint them?” Brandon kept telling me that it would be fine and to relax and go to sleep.

The next morning, after a little blip with the Nordstrom website (I was quietly freaking out), I couldn’t believe the reaction once styles went live.  Within two hours, Nordstrom called us to let us know that almost everything had sold out. They even had to pull from stores to replenish the website because of how quickly things were moving!

Nikki and I were in complete shock. We were so happy that we danced around my apartment (with Ruby–who had NO clue what was going on). We couldn’t believe how many of you were excited to add to your wardrobe from the collection. There was seriously no better feeling than getting DMs from followers telling me they’d just placed their order, and seeing pictures of them wearing the pieces. Once in a while, when I would see a follower wearing the pieces out, I couldn’t help but stop them and be like “MY SHOES!!!”

Following the launch, Nordstrom knew we had something really special together.  They approached me and offered to launch my own stand-alone brand.  They were so happy with our collaboration and wanted to be the retailer to launch Something Navy. It would be a complete Something-Navy-girl vibe, and I’d have the creative freedom to design anything that I wanted to. This was a dream come true. We jumped at the opportunity and got to work RIGHT away.

We flew to Seattle and learned that we’d be launching EIGHT collections throughout the next few years.  As of today, we’ve launched September and November, and are working on the next launch for December. We’ll be introducing a new category with each launch (stay tuned!), which I think everyone will be really happy about!

The process has been exhausting but rewarding at the same time.  We’re already in the midst of designing September 2019–that’s how many collections we’ve wrapped up at this point!  It’s definitely been eye opening to realize how long the lead times are to develop and deliver product.

When I first started my blog nine years ago, I never imagined I would be in this position one day. I never imagined I’d launch my own brand.  I’m not the type of person that plans things out, but when an opportunity arises, I make a decision and commit to it.  I’ve been decisive throughout my entire career, and I knew the moment that Nordstrom presented this new adventure to me, that my life and career were about to change.

I took on the role of designer and mother simultaneously, so I knew there was going to be a big shift in my life. My personal instagram account was just a documentation of my everyday life and outfits.  I knew it was time to give the Something Navy name to the brand account and make my personal account my namesake. It only made sense, and I want my followers to start thinking of Something Navy as the brand rather than me.

I no longer consider myself a “blogger”. I don’t know exactly what to call myself–an influencer, maybe… but because I dedicate so much to my brand, I feel it’s my primary career focus at this point.

I don’t know what’s next or where I’ll be in 5 years, but I do know that I love what I’m doing and who I’ve become while doing it. For now, I’m focusing on being present in this moment with my children and the birth and evolution of the brand, Something Navy!

 

By Arielle Charnas

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