Substance: A Short Retrospective

It was with much sadness that I helped Substance¬†edit their farewell letter this past week. After eight years, this beautiful sustainable fashion boutique will be closing the doors to their storefront and website. I’ve been working with owner and CEO Christina for almost three years now, in one capacity or another, and Substance has always been one of my very favorite clients.

I remember the first day I interviewed with Christina. I was so careful about what I was going to wear–it was my first job even remotely related to fashion. My outfit was much too stuffy for the sincere, artful style everyone working there cultivated. But Christina was so kind and gracious, and put me right at ease. I have such fond memories of opening the doors during my Tuesday shifts in graduate school. The sunlight was bright against the weathered cement floors. The clothes hung in colorful, orderly rows. Then I settled in with coffee from the cafe down the street and my laptop, and set to designing.

The best part about designing for Substance was the atmosphere of collaboration. Though there were stakeholders, I felt as if I were a big part of the creative process. I was invited to write copy, even though that wasn’t strictly my job. If I had an idea to shoot a video for the site, I got the thumbs up. I helped with photography once in awhile. Everyone there was given a place of responsibility, and encouraged to use their voice. I think this set a significant precedent for how I wanted to relate to other businesses and clients throughout my career.

So, to thank Christina and the team at Substance (past and present) for their support, I wanted to do a brief survey of a few of the marketing campaigns I helped ideate and execute during my time there. I’m lucky to have had so many opportunities working for such a great brand!

Cubist-inspired homepage banner

*One of my very first designs for Substance, inspired by the handmade line designed in-house

Feral Childe email by Thao Thai

*A fun campaign highlighting independent designers and textile extraordinaires, Feral Childe

animated, illustrated shipping reminder email

*My first attempt at an animated email. The bird hopped up to the top of the stack as snow fell in the background.

graceful and feminine postcard design

*A romantic treatment for a graceful collection

Geometric promotional banner for fashion boutique

*A simple representation of a simple concept. One clutch, seven colors.

colorful banner for spring break essentials

*Brilliant colors and campy-meets-contemporary ’80s-inspired design to help set the mood for fun and sun.

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