#004 Rest Simple showcase at West Elm King Liberty

#004 Rest Simple showcase at West Elm King Liberty

🖤 We closed out Black History Month 2024 with a bang, I guess!?

Rest Simple keeps surprising me. I received a phone call from the one and only George Sully one sunny February morning, where he asked me a question, "Do you want to show your products at West Elm in Liberty Village?" I was speechless. But let's rewind a bit first. 

Rest Simple was established in December 2020. The brand was a vehicle for my creativity as I explored how far I could take such passion project over the next year. Shortly before the end of 2021, I put in an application to join the inclusive digital directory known as "Black Designers of Canada", a not-for-profit organization created by George Sully, owner and principal designer of luxury brands like Sully and Son Co. and House of Hayla. I was approved for a listing on the directory shortly after submitting my application, but that wasn't the part that surprised me. 

In February 2022, I was honoured to receive a Black Designers of Canada Award of Excellence for Rest Simple. Based on George's feedback, I had received the award as a recognition of my hard work to create quality products and a cohesive a brand identity that elevated home textiles offered by Canadian designers. It was such a boost to my confidence, especially when I was feeling a serious pinch. I'd given birth to my first child merely a few months earlier and I was struggling with symptoms of PPD. 

Ok, let's fast forward to February 2024. George calls me with an opportunity and even though there's just over one week to prepare, I am ready and I tell him, "Let's go!" What happened next was really cool. I was contacted by West Elm Liberty's coordinator, Ada Tsang, with a breakdown of the project, including how all 5 artists' work will be displayed in the store and on West Elm Toronto's Instagram feed with profiles of each artist. I toured the store with Ada on a Tuesday, set up my vignette in the store and sat for an interview on the Friday, then opened the showcase on Saturday, February 24th.

Throughout the week of the showcase, I had the unique opportunity to meet and greet with customers and West Elm Toronto staff. It was fun to chat with people about my fabric choices, brand and personal story. Seeing folks enjoy the colors and pick up some inspiration for their own design journey was the most refreshing highlight for me. 

After the showcase wrapped, and I packed up my products in the Jeep, I was filled with immense gratitude. I am still feeling the love all these weeks later. I needed some time to digest what happened and apply what I've learned, which I'll share in a few points now:

✅ Always say "Yes" to an opportunity, no matter the roadblocks in my way.

✅ Aspire to communicate effectively with my family and be transparent about how they can support me in order for me to get work done. 

✅ Lean on the seasoned professionals in the industry and lean into their advice. George's mentorship was invaluable during our phone calls before and after this collaboration. I heard his feedback about my work ethic and brand visibility and took it all to heart, making me work even harder to manifest the goals I have for my business. Thank you, George!

✅ Take the time to put words to the page about my brand story. Why am I doing this work? What do I want to accomplish? What do I want my work to say? The more I practice that skill, the more fluent I will become in the language of my business. 

✅ Take quality video and photos of my work. I knew I needed help to document the showcase properly and I reached out to Kiros Images for coverage during my installation at West Elm. Thanks, CJ! 

Overall, the showcase was well received and I got so much encouraging feedback from friends and family. It's so nice to know there's support for Rest Simple.

🚀 Let's go!!

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