First Pick profiles Daub + Design

It’s a new week, and we’re already feeling rushed getting things ready for the show: delivering postcards, inviting retailers to our event, meeting clients… It can be really hard to keep everything in check and to enjoy a healthy life/work balance, especially in Vancouver. We work so hard just to keep up with the cost of living that sometimes it feels like there’s no time for the actual “living” part, so we have to sneak it in when we can: walking when we do errands, getting up early to go to classes (or heading there straight after work), or hitting the seawall for a run with friends, every bit counts, even if sometimes the real effort is getting motivated to get going. We need to do it, and we know we feel better for doing it.

As part of making it count, we are spotlighting First Pick brands that remind us to keep it local while we keep it moving, and one of our favourites around these parts is Daub + Design, and sister label Daub Active. We’re excited to have both lines back for First Pick Spring, and can’t believe it’s already been a whole year since the Daub Active Kickstarter.

Daub + Design Creative Director Lexi Soukoreff was interviewed this week by Creators Vancouver (read the post here), so here’s a bit more about what it’s like to run two companies…. We can’t wait to update our spring athletic looks, and Daub + Design/Daub Active make it easy! Check it out!

Daub Active is a year old now, what was it like launching a second company?

February 15th, 2017 was the day we launched DAUB | ACTIVE. It was the culmination of 2 years of planning, production, design, smiles, laughter and tears. We were amazed to reach our goal on Kickstarter within 24 hours with the support of all our amazing clients. I had had NO IDEA how much work went into planning and executing a full collection to this extent.

We finished the Kickstarter a month later, almost doubling our goal. It was a nail biter at the end, reaching our stretch goal at noon when a friend placed her order for a pair of Luxe Black RILEY Leggings. Our SKINNY Sweat came into existence and we crushed our goal.

After that came production. I had thought we were going to pull this off – No problem! I knew the samples fit for the most part. I had chosen fabrics. I had a factory lined up and ready to go. We had a kickass photoshoot. Lookbooks and line sheets – yep! I had the funding. Clear sailing right?

Then it hit me: The funding was a drop in the bucket. It doesn’t actually go a long way when you’re printing and manufacturing in small runs domestically. Fabric, duties, import fees and fair wages add up! I say this joking but the cost of doing business here is HUGE. There is very little room, if any, for error.

What lessons did you learn along the way?

The biggest lesson has been talking to other industry people and them telling me that it is “normal”, that there are glitches in EVERY run of production. If something doesn’t go wrong, then you’ve missed something.

Needless to say, we finally finished shipping the Kickstarter in August. We did a soft launch at our summer shows and a full offering at our Holiday shows. Surprisingly – I couldn’t have asked for it to go better, knowing where I started from 8 months prior. It was a success and sales/feedback were strong.

What would you say to others thinking they would like to start their own line? How do you stay in balance? What advice can you give?

A huge part of this path I’ve chosen called *entrepreneurialism* is going with your gut. Trial and error. Flying by the seat of your pants. Knowing the carpet underneath you can be pulled out at any time. Being confident that somehow things will work out. Knowing when to pull the plug and knowing when to give it your all. Learning to rely on yourself first and foremost because you never know when your support system around you will change. Knowing when and who to reach out to when you need a friend. Going to a yoga class or gym to reset your mind/body.

What life adjustments have you made due to running your own companies?

Letting go of normal societal constructs of paycheques and work life balance. You make your own and serve yourself. Long hours over a weekend, means Tuesday or Wednesday off for me. It means sleeping in when you need it. Eating healthy to keep the mind sharp. Going for a run mid-day if you need to clear your mind. It means being broke-as-anything one minute, hustling hard and living-the-dream the next. It means appreciating and keeping the good, solid people in your life around and letting the rest go. It means constantly reevaluating what works and what needs to be shelved. Knowing that nothing lasts forever and there’s always something else around the corner. Above everything I’ve said – making life a priority, not just work.