We're always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we've spoken with enough people to know that it's not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has been a very bumpy road. I started Nerd Square in middle school/high school. So there I was, a student coming out with a clothing brand called "Nerd." Clearly, that was not cool, and people did not want to wear that. Students would tell me that they like the shirt, but they just don't want to walk around with that word on it. I did not get a lot of support from classmates or parents. I did the funding myself. I worked at Six Flags during high school, and I used my checks to create clothes. I made a lot of designs that didn't sell at all and have been to numerous conferences where I didn't sell anything. I spent so much money to get there just to sit there for hours and see people walk past my table. Many nights I have cried, given up, and thought maybe I am wasting my time. The thing was, I put myself in such a predicament that I couldn't turn around. Sometimes you have to just take a huge leap of faith and put it all into something and not even think about what would happen if it didn't work. Then when you jump, you just prepare for the landing in the best way you can.
My whole brand is about individuality, positivity, and education. I am proud that I am creating a safe space for people to truly express themselves. I am not trying to be cool or be anything I am not. I am myself. I express that in the way I market my brand and by my designs. I feel like I make clothes for people who do not fit in and do not want to. Just my brand slogan alone is a message of individuality:
We are just a couple of uncool kids who want to make really cool clothes! Nerds Welcome. Everybody else is tolerated.
I like to believe that when someone goes on my Instagram or my website that it's a certain feeling that I give off. A very positive, playful, inspiring energy.
Below is a poem that I wrote for fun, aka to express my inner thoughts in a healthy manner when I was in high school for fun.