Posted on 15 August 2019
"Our store is closed until September 26th 2019. Theo is a very small business, and I have called a big time out to pause, reflect and move forward with intent.
To join a community of like-minded slow fashionistas, click through here and stay in the know. Follow our holiday adventure here on Instagram too, for live updates! For a long-winded version, keep reading below. Thank you for understanding."
It's official, I'm on holiday mode. If you're a keen follower of all things Theo you will have picked up on an eerie silence coming from our corner of the web - I've been MIA for around 4 months now! A few things have contributed to the lack of communication from me and there are more than a few 'feels' involved too.
I'm not sure why I do it but I have an unhealthy tendency to put pressure on myself to achieve this or that, and I rarely celebrate a win. It's always onto bigger and better things! and this time I just couldn't handle it mentally. I stopped emailing you with updates and I stopped oversharing on Instagram stories. I stopped everything and dug myself a little hole filled with self doubt and imposter syndrome. I dragged myself to the commitments I had already made and was very encouraged to see many of you in Adelaide, Brisbane and the Melbourne markets - thank you! Your friendly faces meant so much more to me than you would have known. I guess the thing about stopping though is that it makes it SO much harder to start again, so 4 months later I've still not mustered up the courage to show my face online!
Walking the talk.
I rave about slowing down and consuming consciously so when it came time to produce the next summer collection I just couldn't do it. I went to all my usual fabric suppliers in April, determine to source the best available eco-friendly fabrics and deadstock textiles in Bali as I usually would. This time however, it all felt same-same and I was hugely uninspired. Creating from a space where I was mentally exhausted and insecure was not possible, and as the weeks went by and deadlines for production drew closer and closer, I still didn't have any idea how I was going to pump out a fresh collection.
Part of me thought just suck it up, design something, anything, and get it out there but I didn't like how 'fast fashion' that sounded even in my mind.
How wasteful to use up resources and put makers to work, only to produce and market a collection that was half-hearted and largely the result of a fashion business cycle that demands fresh, new and NOW. How could I repeatedly telI my audience to stop buying into the vicious cycles of fashion and consumerism when I was basically living out a business version that had the same result?! I found myself in unhealthy cycles of eco-anxiety (it's a real thing!) and burn out, mixed with some premature mid-life crises, and I still haven't decided how to move forward. Honestly I'm not sure if you'll see a summer collection from me this year!
Please don't get me wrong, I appreciate your support so much, and I do feel like I'm letting you down by not having a new range for you in the foreseeable future. I wanted to write this for you to be transparent because if there's anything I can do at this point, it's that. I just need a breather, a little time-out, and already, relieving myself from the immediate pressure of a new collection is giving me space to dream again. What could Theo look like without a hard and fast summer/winter cycle? What can I produce that could better align with my sustainable ideals long-term?
So where to from here?
Well, come Sunday I'll be flying over to London to kick off 5 weeks of European adventures, just Tim, myself and a couple of 20L backpacks to celebrate a little milestone of turning 30. Future me must have known I needed this trip back when I booked it in January because the timing is wonderful. We're challenging ourselves to a very light travel capsule wardrobe (carry-on only!) so feel free to follow our journey @honesthimandher on Instagram to see how we go.
Theo orders are fulfilled solely by me in my little spare room, so I've decided to close the online store for the whole time I'm away, which is why you won't see any products available online. E-commerce suicide? Likely. I still don't know if I'm going to regret all of the above (not the travel, no one regrets travel!) but thank you for bearing with me. I appreciate your understanding and patience, and I don't take your support for granted one bit - it is in fact what excites me about the future of sustainable fashion.
Thank you, until next time,
What a beautifuly vulnerable post. Grateful for your passion & integrity! My support always x
This superwoman works so incredibly hard. And she doesn’t work hard for herself, she hopes to instigate change for a better world. Such a big dream creates a big burden for one little person. Know that your impact is bigger than you can see, and who is for you is greater than the world. Come back refreshed!
Thank you, Esther. For creating Theo the Label, and also for your incredibly transparent and heart-filled posts. Have an awesome time travelling, and wishing you inspiration, renewal and love!
So lovely that you took the time to fill us in …. please don’t feel guilty at all. – no need for that !
Enjoy your 5 week challenge, I’m sure you’ll have a ball.
Remember that in my Coaching one of my specialties is Resilience (particularly with come backs) so if you need some support down the track please call. We can even zoom from some English forest ! Happy Birthday & take good care. Blessings x
Have the bestest time ever Esther & Tim!
You deserve it. Yes, refreshing mind and I am sure you will come back inspired more than ever.
Happy 30th Birthday!
Cannot wait to get back to wear my new Theo dress in Melbourne.
It is good to follow your heart although sometimes we do have to follow the head. I’m glad you realised that you are almost at a burnout point and decided to have a break. Many people would have burned out and fall into mental health problem and find it difficult to bounce back. The percentage of mental health issue in Australia or even around the world is shockingly high especially in younger generation. Today the pressure of high performance and expectations are appalling. The most important thing is you have followed your passion and worked hard for it. You have enjoyed it and people have enjoyed what you produced and input, then it’s a success. Success shouldn’t be measured solely in money and fame. Success is satisfaction and getting some results on what you aimed for on the first place. Enjoy your timeout and rest.
Your family and friends are always there to support you.
Fully support your decision, Esther, and I don’t think it’s e-commerce suicide! Your loyal supporters will be here when you come back. You’ll thank yourself for taking the time out and making the most of your travels. Will be following your journey! Have a blast! <3 – Molly
Courageous decisions and open communication.
I think that’s a beautiful way to live,
I’m wishing you so much the very best,
I think this is a very inspiration post.
Do you have to design things that are new? Instead of concerning yourself with the seasons and the fashion cycles that have been created can you have products available all season in classic styles and essential basics, that never go out of fashion? In different weights different fabrics, textures for seasons and make more as you need and then when inspiration hits and you have a new design to market or a tweaked style market that?
Just some ideas. I love your styles and colour palettes too. Thinking of you during this time of hardship. Take care of yourself and your creative mind.