From Then To Now.
Where to begin...
So for all of you who know this platform, thank you. For those of you who don't know, this is OHKAY. For the past twelve months, I have used this website as a platform to share my artwork, showcase my photography, display an array of collaborative pieces I have worked on with other artists, and create a shop for OHKAY WORLDWIDE, a collection of clothes that I have hand made over the past year.
So twelve months ago, I came up with this idea. I had finally pinpointed a certain type of vision. I guess that's the word. I had come up with OHKAY and clothes were the mission. I think that I had gravitated towards clothes because I was getting annoyed with photographing other brands and following the same old Instagram trends. I always found it fascinating that I could add a sense of depth to photographing people when I was the one styling what they were wearing. Furthermore, designing clothes allowed me to use subjects as a canvas. I put out two different full lines, and OHKAY has sold over 1,000 units. In the past year, OHKAY has shipped different items to 49 different states as well as 5 different countries. When I put that capital lettering in there, I mean OHKAY as a team. If you know who I am, then you know that I don't have some assembly line of workers overseas making clothes and sending them out. I print all of it by hand and my best friend Hudson and I have worked together over the past year to bring the products to life, curate an image for them, and get them out to the world. That, to me, was always the most important part about the brand. It had meaning. I guess I never came up with a cleaver meaning for it, in its' entirety. But I just hoped that it would prove to people that anything is possible. From day one, I just hoped that people would look at it and just smile. I just wanted people to like what I was making. I wanted the image to create a sense of euphoria and the brand to have a true meaning. I just wanted it to prove to people that you can be whoever you want to be, and you can truly do whatever you want. I never let anyone tell me no, and I just believed in myself, and in OHKAY. Hudson, too. Even when we would work eight hour nights packaging pieces and shipping them out, we knew that in the end of the day we were making people happy when they came home to a cool T-Shirt or a new dad hat or something. It's just how things were.
During the past twelve months, there have been 100,000 views on this website. That to me is a milestone I never imagined this to hit. I just wanted there to be a place where I could freely showcase the production I imagine in my brain. So thank you, to everyone. If you're viewer 100,001 then welcome. I am trying to switch things up here, and change the feel of the place.
I want this to be a place where I can write and post videos. Yes, we're going to do videos. If you've been following OHKAY for the long run, you know we've been around the world in [what feels like] eighty days. The stories we have, the things we've seen, we just feel like we need to tell it. Somewhere. So I want to transition this into a place where that can be done. And as I continue to grow as a creative, I want there to be a solid platform for me to showcase my new work on.
I also want this to be a place where I can set up different portfolio-type profiles for friends in my circle, and show some of their work too. Let's say you don't know any good photographers in New York, well I want this to one day be a place where you can easily come and check out the array of individuals that I call my friends. The creatives who inhabit all corners of the country. From the perky app developers in SF to the Rooftop Urbex Photographers out here in Boston. I want this to be a place where you can find anyone and everyone you're in search of.
Along with that, I want to somehow set up a pretty gallery for my photography. Every day I work on creating new stuff. If it's a new piece of clothing or some cool graphics to look at, a single Instagram photo just doesn't cut it to me. I think that people need places to come to see more than a 1x1 upload with a (most times) cheesy caption.
But I don't want to miss out on this still being a web store. I have so many cool things that are in the works right now. And like I said, and instagram photo here and there doesn't cut it.
And as for branding, I want to write a full thing on how to make a brand. How to screen print. How to get tags made, and how to sew them in. I want to show people how to make a nice website easily and I want to show people the right and wrong ways to owning a brand. To my best knowledge, of course. Because at 18 years old, I've been through this.
But I also want to make sure that I'm focusing on continuing clothes, because that's what makes me most happy. If you've read this far, you probably know that clothes are so big to us. And bringing ideas to life is what continues the work flow in my brain.
I didn't release a summer collection because I learned that I never want to put out anything that isn't spectacular, and I found myself in a busy lifestyle, graduating highschool and traveling the world a bit in the past month or two. I hit a tough creative block that I just recently learned to escape from.
From the very moment I write this, I have one month and seven days until I leave for college.
I have about 100 different pieces of OHKAY stuff still in our workshop, either misprints or extra pieces or blank stuff.
I am going to be selling those as sample sales and 1/1 available items in the shop.
I am also going to work on what is going to be my favorite project yet. I have 300 shirts in my house, from size S to XXL, from t shirts to long sleeves to button downs to crew necks. All are either vintage thrifted items that I find fascinating, or name brand pieces like polo, tommy, supreme, vineyard vine things, and tons of RANDOM shirts that i've accumulated growing up.
I plan to do an "OHKAY MYSTERY SHIRT" where you can purchase one of a few items. You could buy a THREE STAR mystery for the lowest increment of money, and receive an OHKAY print on an already existing T shirt. These could be shirts from any place in the world. They are not name brand shirts, but they will be very cool. You could get a FOUR STAR mystery and that's when I am going to start printing on very nice brands like polo and stuff. It's just going to be tons of OHKAY ink prints hand done on cool shirts. The FIVE STAR mysteries are going to be a bit more money and those are going to be cool things like Vineyard Vine button downs and Polo stuff, stuff that is already really expensive. But it's all going to be cheap. Because I have so many (and when i say this, i really mean it) SO many shirts that I own. Around 500-600. And if someone wants to own an OHKAY thing that NO ONE in the world will ever have besides themselves, I want them to be able to do that for only ten or twenty dollars. Like I said, cheap. This is a project for the people. This is something that I want to sell, not for the money, but for the joy of people having something completely unique. Something that is personalized. Each one will come with a cool letter from me and a sticker. When each person makes an order, there's going to be a place for the person to write a little paragraph about themselves, or what they like, or why they bought the shirt. This way, we get to know a little about you before we hand select and print your shirt. This way, we can try to give you the coolest thing that we know you'll find as fascinating as we do.
This project is going to begin on Monday, July 25th. I really hope you like it. If you've read all of this by now, you should just go find ten or twenty dollars and get one of these cool shirts. It's going to be the first time I ever offer a 1/1 that everyone can have, for a reasonable price.
So yeah. That's that.
I am going to be working on this website a lot over the next, i don't know, couple of days or whatever. So check back in from time to time. Click around. I hope this looks good on the iPhone. I never go on this website on my phone. I think that's because I built it to be viewed perfectly on my Mac. But 61,000 of the 100,000 users viewed this on their phone, not a computer. Whatever. Life goes on.
Hope you enjoyed reading this. Every time I write I listen to piano music. It's been the only way I can tap into my creative state since I was like fifteen.