On Starting a New Thing – OptimistCollective

On Starting a New Thing

Elina Pasok

Origins. How to start a new thing, or Why OC was never going to happen.

From our bio: “In 2020, during the lockdown, we felt the need to transform random ideas into real tangible things. The first Optimist collection became reality. You will notice lots of our designs are inspired by music and arts, but we are also excited by the Zeitgeist series, where we will channel our hopes, dreams and worries of the weird and wonderful life that is 2020 and beyond.”

It sounds like the Optimist Collective kind of happened, but it's only partly true. I often tend to overthink things. And I tend to collect ideas that are sitting in my sketchbooks for years because I think either the concepts are incomplete or I believe I don't have the skill to make them happen. In reality, it’s just the “impostor syndrome” trying to creep in.

With Optimist Collective, I tried another strategy. Dan motivated me to discard any doubts and JUST DO IT!

First, Dan and I made a huge list of ideas in a doc and I regularly use it to find inspiration for the t-shirt designs. Some of them came to us during the “NightFM” sessions (read the “working together” post)

So far the ideas range from music to art, from witty phrases to activist slogans. Optimist Collective is something Dan would wear, for example in the recording studio or on-stage with @plasticbarricades and I’d wear...well, anywhere. And we do, though mostly at home now due to the numerous lockdowns :)

The second step was to find a trustworthy and eco-friendly printing company. We chose Printful who print and carefully ship your orders. We chose Eco over Fast. Our orders may ship a little longer but we are confident we (and you) make a choice towards sustainable production. Additionally, we like anticipation in the world of instant gratification.

Thirdly, we built a simple Shopify website that continues to evolve and become better every week. My next plan is to update the main page that looks too minimalist now.

The inspiring Jar of Destiny, ever present in our stories, lives with me. Don’t underestimate it’s advice! It works in mysterious ways, try following it for a week, see what changes, and tell us.
The best strategy is to fragment the mega-big-daunting-project into small actionable steps and find joy in completing even the most tedious of tasks. And JUST DO IT! We'll figure how it all works on the go...