I think i’s a little known fact, that Eat Me Ink Me has been around for a full decade now. November is both mine and the brand’s birthday month and each year it just keeps surprising me. It’s been a long and hard road and it’s definitely not over yet. Things have come close to that over the several years, including this one, but it’s hard to just give up entirely on something you love doing.
I think the best part about looking back to how I started is to see how I’ve grown in how I do the designs, construction and quality. I always valued the chance to try something new and challenging and that’s where some of you guys come in! I’ve had so many creative souls contact me – of all people – to try and realize their dream pieces and, although I wasn’t always sure, that I would be able to fill your dreams, I accepted the challenges and did my best. Thank you to all who did – you made me realize, that little is impossible, when you put your best efforts in!
And thank you to all, who have been part of this journey so far – both new and clients, who have been coming back for more with each release – I really appreciate you! ♥ You make all this happen and I just hope I will never disappoint you!
To backtrack a bit I feel like this a great place to mention my last trip to Helsinki for the Eternal Twilight event. Hellocon was the very first lolita event I went to – I remember being so nervous – I had never met so many lolitas in one place, for one; two – I felt like such a noob in all the live-event selling thing! I was sure, that I could bring back all, that I brought, but you guys proved me wrong!
I kept coming back for the following events and loved every one of them – the organizers were always so helpful and welcoming! You could always see and feel the efforts they put in these events. I know how frustrating it can be, when you think people don’t see the ‘blood, sweat and tears’ behind what you do, but the efforts always showed in all of Hellocon Ry organized events!
This year started rather dark for me, so there was no surprise, that I had quietly decided to quit EMIM. Offers to attend events started rolling in as they usually did at the start of the year, but I knew, that I wouldn’t attend them, save for Hellocon Ry event. Later, when I found out, that Mana – the person, who had gotten me into lolita fashion – was the special guest, I felt like it was the perfect closure for the full circle of EMIM.
I kept asking myself, if I make a big announcement on the fact, that I was planning to close EMIM or to just stop posting and selling off the last of the stock I had. I considered perhaps keeping a small stock in Lolita Collective, but wondered, if there was any point in that.
The year went on and as I sat on the thought of ending it all more and more, I realized, how little I actually wanted to give up on that. I realized, that it was more of a quiet burnout thing, than ‘I have nothing to share’. Over the years I hadn’t actually taken any actual vacations or ‘off-time’. If I closed the shop temporarily – it was usually, if I had to be away physically for family things or attending events. 10 years of little to none “off-time”. I never showed any physical symptoms or had any mental breakdowns really, but the constant “behind the scenes” stress in my head kept eating at my nerves and it just ended making me very tired and uninspired.
Lesson learned – you have to take care of yourself, or there will be nobody to do the work.
Either way – once I was close to actually going to Eternal Twilight – I was behind on everything. I had started a new second job, that took way more time and energy than I had, resulting in me absolutely neglecting preparing for ET. Thankfully my best friend had my back and without her I would have probably fallen to pieces at the event from stress (both about not being prepared enough, that I felt like I was betraying both you guys and the event organizers and about some issues, that had to be solved with my new job).
The event was organized wonderfully. I always loved how the Hellocon crew was always available for anything I needed. I finally managed to meet miss Emma in person, that I was so happy about! She had been taking care of all the things related to Lolita Collective since I started working with them. I was so glad to hang out with her and some of the other American lolitas, that I’ve been following on social media. I could look at all the amazing creations from I Do Declare in person as well as other overseas brands! Being in my little cave of a country, I’ve always felt very distant to all the things going around lolita – it made me realize, that I needed to go to more events and travel to other countries perhaps, to meet people in the fashion (shout-out to the Estonian comm! Hope to meet you again, soon! ♥).
I met the man, the legend himself. Mana has always been such a distant idol of mine, that I almost considered him a sort of cardboard cutout – a picture on the internet, that I would never actually have the chance to meet. But it was short and sweet – perfect way to meet your idols.
One thing, that really brought me back to life was people recognizing my work and actually wearing it at both the event and the tea-party. I literally wanted to cry, when I saw that. It meant the World to me and I don’t think there’s a way how I would be able to communicate it, even if I tried. Tag the indie artists, share their work – when we see our things being used – it’s the best feeling! ♥
Thank you to the Hellocon Ry team and especially Tuulia! Thank you for having me over the years! I hope I can visit in the future, too! ♥
This would be the place, where I would ‘announce’ some changes for the brand, but, to be honest, I don’t think there’s any real changes in the way I do things – the brand is constantly evolving in both design, construction and the way how I present it all. I always make these small changes in efforts to make it more straightforward and easier for you guys and I always appreciate any feedback – good or bad – so I can see, if you like how things are going or not. I’m always open to hear your constructive criticisms, ideas or wishes to collaborate.
Which seg-ways nicely to the fact, that EMIM and My Inspiration has made something very special for the Grand Embassy fashion show next week. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled at the event or the social media over next weekend. I have been wanting to collaborate with miss Akari for years now and finally we managed to. I hope you guys will like the very elegant and classic designs! ♥
So – happy birthday, Eat Me Ink Me! And here’s to ten more years!
(Eat a slice of cake or drink your favorite beverage commemorating the small people trying to make it big ♥)