Sunday, April 25, 2010


week #10 entry #2 04/19-04/26: academic journal
(source: here)
This week I focused on this question:
  •  What packaging is environmentally-conscious, but maintains a professional appearance?
Last week in my Environmental Science class, we talked about how often there is so much excess packaging in a box.  For example, you could order a plastic ring.  the ring is wrapped in paper then put in a box and the box is wrapped in paper and it has a ribbon around it, then it is covered in plastic wrap, which is put in another box.  And now you have wasted so much packaging on one little ring and all the packaging is probably going to be thrown away.
So I've been doing a lot of thinking an research about sustainable packaging.  The first step is reducing the packaging as a whole. I am sending a shirt.  A shirt really cannot be damaged, therefore I do not need bubble wrap. I could potentially send the shirt in a tube.  The tube is cardboard, recyclable and the two plastic plugs at the end are recyclable.  Currently, I have been using 5x4x3 boxes, neatly folding the shirt, wrapping the shirt in one piece of tissue paper, and slipping a business card with a note into the collar of the shirt. I tape up the box and stick on a label.  I also silk-screened the side of the box with a boat design.  This worked out pretty well.

(source: here)
It is reasonably priced and easy, however, I don't think it has the most professional looking appearance.  Additionally, I would also have to raise my shipping prices because $2 is already spent on the box. So I looked harder for more packaging ideas.  I found inspiration in packages sent from abroad.  I liked the European feel of wrapping a box in brown paper.  The brown paper is simple, but makes the box an even canvas.  I can stick on a label and tie some twine around it, and perhaps even use some beautiful stamps.  This is what I would like to do for the future. It fits right in with the driftwear whimsical, earthy feel, but also does not seem too amateur.
 (source: here)
It also may be interesting to wrap boxes in maps. It would be very beautiful.  If I can find some old books with maps in them on the library discard cart, this may be perfect.  My goal is to make receiving a driftwear product a fun occasion.  It is as beautiful on the outside as it is on the inside.  It is so difficult to balance price, sustainability, and appearance!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Late Hours & my First Love Package

week #10 entry #1 04/19-04/26: personal journal
Drying driftBEARs
Holy cow, it's week 10! Focus is coming to a close.  (At least writing journals is coming to a close) I still have a lot of work to do to prepare for my presentation and portfolio, which seems kind of overwhelming right now.  So it is 1:25AM and I am still up making shirts. My body is getting tired, but I honestly do not mind making the shirts.  The boring stuff is ironing, folding, and washing screens.  These are the kind of tasks I need an assistant's help with.  Anyone interested... heh... seriously? :) But, I do like making the shirts.  I have to be very careful not to get ink on the rest of the shirt and I get to fill in spots where there isn't enough paint with a paintbrush.  However, lately it has been exhausting.  I have had Calliope (the literary arts magazine) meetings everyday late after school.  I am so lucky I have not had a lot of other assignments due recently.  I screened 8 shirts tonight!  I need to make a bunch more. I want to finish ironing and folding those in addition to creating a few new ones.

I got my first love package! Two of my blog readers, Austen and her mom, have been following driftwear since the beginning.  Austen said "Congratulations on your launch!" and handed me a package.  I was awfully surprised to receive any driftwear love token.  I didn't know anyone was as excited as me about the launch! I am so happy to have such supportive fans.  But anyways... the gift was in an Anthropologie bag and I knew it had to be good.  Inside was a beautiful notebook with paper made in India bound with beautiful mustard color thread with twig colored pencils.  The gifts were so cool and so driftwear.  I totally loved them and hope to sketch out the Summer line in the notebook!
1st driftwear Love Package

I am trying to keep driftwear in people's heads and stimulate my fans so I also thought it'd be a cool idea to see how different people style their driftwear t-shirts.  So I have a contest to be posted on the website: driftwear How do you rock your driftwear tee? Upload a photo and have a chance to be showcased on the driftwear website! So post a picture on the driftwear fan page for a chance to be featured on  Thanks everyone for your support. I really appreciate it. After seeing how many sales I had in one week, I was so psyched. You guys are the best.

Drift on,

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Preparations for the Launch

week #9 entry #2 04/11-04/18: academic journal

This week I focused on this question:
  •  How can I best prepare for the launch of
Sneek Peek #4!

In preparation for the launch, there was much to be done.  I organized a pre-sale for all my models with a $5.00 off on the shirts that were worn from the shoot. Additionally, I offered $10 off any shirt that had been washed since the shoot.  It was a huge success. I sold over fifteen shirts and my models rocked them in school before anyone else.  It worked out very well to promote the launch. Aside from hanging paper boats around campus and making a promotional stop-animation, I came up with a new contest.  I posted the question on both my blog and Facebook fan page.  I e-mailed the school announcing the launch and posted daily updates on the driftwear fan page. I asked people to name the bear design and I would use their name in my shop.  Over fifty people commented on the Facebook page and 16 people commented on my blog.  It was amazing to see everyone's participation.

My art teacher, Marisol Diaz, hosted a giveaway on her blog in unison with the name-the-bear contest.  The rules were that you had to comment on the driftwear blog/fan page, and leave a name for the bear.  The lucky winner would be chosen at random and would win a limited edition bear shirt in one of four colors. More than twenty people entered the contest and a classmate of mine won.

 my mock-up for the website

Chris's final design for the Enter Page
Christopher Lo, my mentor, agreed to make a driftwear website.  This was truly a great help to the professional look I sought with my project.  I was able to link Etsy, an easy tool for selling items, along with a professional-looking website.  I made some mock-ups for Chris to show him the kind of design I was looking for.  However, I gave him artistic freedom because he has a great graphic eye.  He did an amazing job!  Check out his site!
Chris's design for  the home page
Take a look!

Monday, April 19, 2010

10PM Nightmare

week #9 entry #1 04/12-04/19: personal journal
(source: here)

My shop was supposed to open tonight at 10:00PM. I cannot put into words my frustration as the clock ticks to 10:54.  This morning, Chris finished the site.  I was so excited after being woken up at 5:20 from him asking for more pictures.  The adrenaline rushed through me as I uploaded pictures for Chris.  I couldn’t fall back asleep.  Around 10:30AM my site was up and running, but not on purpose.  Chris did an amazing job and I was so excited.  I disabled the site for a bit.  Then around the middle of the day, friends told me that my site was up.  This was news to me, as I thought I had disabled it.  So I tried my hand at disabling it again this afternoon.  That is when I royally screwed up the site.  Somehow one host site mixed with another and was nothing but a page of godaddy scams.  It was only about 4 minutes to 10 when I realized that my site wouldn’t work.  I tried not to panic and calmly tried to forward the host to driftwear, but this was not working and was processing.  I franticly texted Chris and he couldn’t figure out the source of the problem.  After a phone call with GoDaddy, he informed me that it could take up to 48 hours for the real site to be fordwarded to the URL.

I am so disappointed.  I updated my facebook status and the driftwear status with: “due to technical difficulties the driftwear site will be temporarily hosted at“ That is what the site looks like and everyone who saw it loved it, but it still stinks.  I had about 15 people text/IM/e-mail me that the page wasn’t working.  I felt like I had not only let down myself, but my friends and supporters as well.  I know it will all work out fine and the website will work, but I have been leading up to this day for so long and I have gained excitement from supporters, and I don’t want to mess it up now.

Tomorrow I think I'll sleep in.  I only got 5 hours of sleep last night because of FOCUS.  I also need to print a few shirts, because I got some orders tonight. I'd be nice to deliver some on Wednesday.  Plus, I have to order some more Small mens and womens tees.  Hopefully things will pick up before next time. I know they will.


 (source: here)
Week Nine

Senior Focus Field Work Log Dates: April 12th-April 19th
Name: Isabella Whitney
Monday: 2.5 hours; sorting through photo-shoot pictures, washing & ironing shirts, indie biz,
Tuesday: 4 hours; drew the driftwear & .com font on bristol board, read non-fiction tee's descriptions, looked at different examples of t-shirt descriptions on Etsy, read an article about product descriptions on Etsy, looked at Urban Outfitters t-shirt product descriptions, talked to Ms. Diaz about a possible giveaway, E-mailed models about pre-launch offer, got sales, packaged sales, made shipping labels and business cards
Wednesday: 2.5 hours; screening shirts
Thursday/Friday: 30 minutes; designing website ideas, (college trip)
Saturday: 1 hour; designed all the mock up website pages
Sunday: 10 hours; added "driftwear, Photo by Harrison Co" on like 60 photos for facebook, printed shirts, made a sizing chart and looked at other sizing charts on etsy,

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Schedule 04/12-04/19

Schedule for the week before the launch
(source: here)
Monday: clean & iron all shirts from shoot,
Tuesday: final logo, upload photos to flickr/facebook from shoot, write shop policies & descriptions for products, retouch photos,
Wednesday: edit etsy, etsy banner, edit photos, add logo on photos & send to models for FB, make help shirts,
Thursday: away
Friday: away
Saturday: engage FB users, upload brand video, decide on packaging
Sunday: upload products to shop,
(source: here)

Name the Bear!

Name the bear! Comment on the driftwear fan page with a name idea and have a chance to have your name be showcased in the driftwear shop!

Whoops! & logs

week #8 entry #2 04/05-04/12: personal journal
(source: here)
The amount of progress driftwear has made in the last two weeks is remarkable.  This past weekend, my focus has been the driftwear photo shoot.  I spent the prior week creating silk-screens and printing shirts.  I thought I had my whole week planned so well until something went terribly wrong…

Over break I had created the driftwear t-shirt designs to print.  I initially wanted to create five shirts, however I decided because of time restraints I would only create three.  I wanted three different shirts that I really loved so that it would be easy for me to sell them.  As I learned during my first semester project, it is hard to sell something you don’t love and believe in.  Thus, I picked my three favorite shirts that were most well liked from the public and printed the designs on transparencies.  Monday, I set a time with my dean and teacher Mr. Emery so that he could help me through the silk-screen process.  He had some emulsion that we coated the screens with and we waited for the emulsion to dry until Wednesday afternoon.  By Wednesday the screens had dried in the dark and we were ready to place the transparencies over the coated screens and to make the screens.  But something went wrong.  After the screens had sat under the light for seven minutes, the emulsion wouldn’t wash out of the designs. 
Silkscreen Fail #3 by you.
Silkscreen Fail #2 by you.
Mr. Emery scrubbed vigorously at the designs with no luck, he finally created a big blob of uncoated screen where my design was.  I was so frustrated.  I didn’t know what had gone wrong with my screen.  We did everything right.  Mr. Emery and I came up with a few theories on why the screens did not work. A) Someone opened the dark cabinet where the transparencies were placed; subjecting the light-sensitive emulsion to light B) the emulsion was old and did not work properly anymore. And C) My printed did not print out the transparencies in dark enough black ink.
Silkscreen Fail #1 by you.
Aggravated, I washed the emulsion out of the screens and went home.  Mr. Emery promised me that he would help recoat the screens and that I could re-try making the screens Thursday.  When I came in Thursday, I arrived in the art room with a blessing.  My three designs had been transformed into screens thanks to Mr. Emery.  I started printing screens that day and worked over Friday with help from Royce, Allison, and Mr. Emery to print twenty shirts.  With their help I got all the shirts printed that I needed for the Friday/Saturday driftwear photo shoot.  Everything worked out!  I am so lucky to have the help and support of so many FOCUS students and my art teachers.
Bear Screen by you.
Friday and Saturday were so much fun.  Harrison Co, a talented photographer peer of mine, agreed to be the photographer for my photo shoot.  (Check out his Flickr!)  I asked 15 DE students to be models and many of them eagerly agreed. Friday, I drove two models that couldn’t make the Saturday shoot to the Englewood boat basin with Harrison.  I briefly styled the girls and we found a few beautiful locations to shoot as the sun lit up the George Washington Bridge.  I was surprised to see that it took two hours to shoot only two girls, but the photographs turned out brilliantly.  Saturday, Harrison and I came back with 12 more models.  Royce G., a focus peer of mine, stylized each model.  Royce and I had talked the week before about inspiration for the shoot and what vibe I wanted to convey.  David V., another focus student working on public service announcements, came to the shoot as well.  David had dreamed up and awesome idea for a brand video for driftwear and I put him in charge of directing the brand video.  He worked with models who weren’t shooting to get some footage.  After a little over six hours, the shoot came to a close.  It was so much fun to work with fellow students and to get more DE students involved in driftwear.  Photos of that to come!

driftwear opens April 19th!

Over break logs:
3/30: 3 hours; drawing logos and getting feedback
4/1: 2 hours; making brand video
4/2: 5 hours; drawing designs, scanning them, making brand video
4/3: 4 hours; work on brand video, draw new logo, e-mailed cults, band
4/4: 4.5 hours; editing video, uploading icons, video, and bios on vimeo & youtube,  worked on mission statement, edited blogger logo, updated flickr, made vimeo account,

Week Eight
Senior Focus Field Work Log Dates: April 5th-April 12th
Name: Isabella Whitney
Monday: 5.5 hours; invited friends to drift group, mission statement, coated screens with emulsion for silkscreens, edited website, hung up boats, photographed boats,
Tuesday: 2 hours, uploaded photos from The Paper Boat Project, printed designs on transparencies,
Wednesday: 2 hours, coated silk-screens, e-mailed faculty about boat project,
Thursday: 4 hours; practiced silk-screening on newsprint, decided on hairstyles for models and printed inspiration for photo-shoot, printed first shirt, wrote journal entry, updated flickr with pictures from today's silk-screening, edited photos,
Friday: 5 hours; silk-screening shirts, shot two models, sending Chris a package,
Saturday: 7 hours; photoshoot, ironing shirts, getting props together, styling models, packing up, driving to boat basin,
Sunday: 1.5 hours; journal entry & planning for next week, updated quickbooks,