Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What are Photopantz?

Hi Everybody!

Guesss what? That "mystery thing" I've been working on for the past several months is ready to be revealed on the blog. Or at least, I'm ready to reveal it. Have you ever heard of the phrase "building readiness"? Well that's what I've been doing. Building readiness in my own heart to be able to shout to the world "I invented and designed custom pants for women wedding photographers and I am launching a Pantz company!"

See those pantz? Those are Photopantz! The fabric is stretchy but looks formal. The pockets? NINE OF THEM (don't worry, some are hidden). My rear? Can't see it if I bend over! lol

I have spent ten LONG years worrying about what pants I wear while I am photographing weddings. You wouldn't think it's that complicated, but let me tell you. When I used to stand in front of my closet the morning of a wedding, these were my choices:

Pants 1: they fit and look fine but have NO pockets. I can't bend over without tugging at my shirt/shirts/tanktops, whatever I have to wear to be covered back there.

Pants 2: they are roomy and NOT cute, but they are comfortable and HAVE 2 hand pockets. My rear still shows if I bend so I have to wear certain shirts.

Pants 3: feel great, look great, BUT my rear shows if I bend and the slanted cut pockets means I can't put things in them because things slide RIGHT out if I squat or sit down.

Pants 4: you get the idea

So for the past several years, I have been designing, in my mind, the PERFECT pair of shooting trousers....after officiating Lindsey & Casey's wedding emergently (see past blog post), I had a lunch date with the legendary Me Ra Koh . I told her about the wedding, then I told her about my aspirations to speak and share what I've learned about the psychological side of pursuing a photography business. And finally, my idea for pantz for women photographers came up.

Let me tell you...when Me Ra Koh encourages you....

Fast forward about eight weeks, and I am at PartnerCon, Pictage's professional photographer convention in New Orleans, wearing the prototype pair of "Photopantz". Jeff Jochum, marketing and business guru (omg, just read his resume...that's all I'm sayin'), has my back and it's almost unbelieveable. Women want my pants.

So since then, I've spent hours and hours learning the ins and outs of textiles, pattern grading, cost ratios, international versus domestic labor costs, hard good marketing, and lots more.

And you know what? It's oddly exhilarating. It's totally risky. There are TONS of unknowns. But throughout it all....I have this gut feeling that I was made to do this. This opportunity is for me. Is it daunting? Um....YES. Terrifying? YES. Is everyone But at the same time, I have this weird calm. It's kinda like when you know you have a hospital procedure you have to go through. It's not life threatening, but you know you are going in for it and everything will be fine afterwards. That's what I feel like. I have to go like, get my tonsils out. Okay maybe bigger than that. But when I filter out all of the distractions in my life that do me no good (ooh gotta blog about that), and I focus on what my gut tells me, and on my life experience.....I mean.....starting a custom apparel company sounds perfectly sound.

Who do you listen to? Who brings you down with their perspective? Whose opinion should you listen to less? Whose opinion should you listen to more? Who means well, and has good information, but makes you feel less than capable of pursuing your dreams? You really do have the control to not allow hurtful and unproductive content into your world. It's not easy for me. It takes mental discipline that Allan Knight helped hone in me. I know there are certain people that just DIG right under your skin....but they don't have to. You can learn to view their "output" in a different light. Their lips keep on flappin but it doesn't have the emotional effect on you anymore lol!

"You are only free once you have lost the desire for anyone elses approval but your own."-unknown


Melisa said...

Congratulations Julie!!!! I totally get it when you say "when Me Ra Koh encourages you...." man oh man!!!! I am following my dream because of that women :) So exciting I can totally see a market for your pants!!!

Unknown said...

OMG Julie, you are just SO AWESOME! I'm so happy to hear of your risky, liberating leap forward.

Awesome my friend!

Julie Watts said...

Thanks SO MUCHHH you guys! Your enthusiasm reinforces my passion to make this the BEST project I've ever thrown myself into!

savageclick said...

Hey Julie!

When I saw the Photopantz at the Biz Calrity I thought to myself why couldn't I be a girl photographer! these are cool....

Here ya go Photo Puffs! Girl Power!!!


Helene said...

Julie I found your blog after following a link in the SOAR FORUM to your Website and the last thing I expected to read was a post about Photopantz!!! What a great idea...I've been wondering what pants to wear to events/weddings since I have to buy a pair soon it's been on my mind. Hurray I can't wait 'til yours are available; all those pockets, nice. How about adding some pants for wildlife photographers; zippers on the pockets to keep everything inside (velcro is too noisy) practical eco friendly materials for various weather conditions and petite & tall lengths included for all styles. I think I got a little carried away but you have a great idea and will have a successful business. Good Luck!

Virginia Smith said...

Julie, I enjoyed meeting you at Me Ra Koh's Garden Party sooo much. You were so positive and encouraging. I have blogged the photoshoot part of the day with the little family that you took the lead in (with a link to your website) and I hope you enjoy it.