My husband introduced me to Sophie while we were in Toronto for Christmas 2013. Sweet Sophie and I hit it off immediately as we both had interests in fashion and startups. Sophie was currently playing around with a really cool project of her own called Insepia: Flash Fashion. While I was in NYC, I wanted to check out what was on her desk! Boy was I blown away.
InSepia Flash Fashion is a project on the history of fashion styles, trends, and garments. In the same way like Voguepedia would give you the history of fashion, Insepia did with novel flash cards. Admittedly, Sophie thought it was a tad geeky of her but she felt if anything, it could be a cool and fun gift idea for fashion lovers. Also, the thought of her card illustrations turning into a brand of other novelty products did cross her mind.
She has no concrete long term plans for the project yet, it was just something she wanted to do and did do which I found super inspiring. Granted, this small project has taken a tremendous amount of hard work and time, but she doesn’t mind it at all. That’s the joy you’ll find in a creator- wanting to make something for others to love. I get that.
For me, it’s always about the start first and then the journey, never so much the destination that I find most interesting. We all know sometimes it takes a few different paths to arrive at your desired destination. The dots will connect…. With that note, I want to remind everyone that the conversations on Mimi Today will center around the motivation to START!
The day began with me poking around in her creative space and mind but ended up with us poking fun and letting loose. My favorite moment was getting to see some of her personal art work she had made for her home office / family NYC apartment. Every piece had a story of inspiration- why she was in a mood to paint something like that.
Looking at her work space, I could already tell this was an artists’ home. No wonder Sophie opted to work out of here most of the time versus her own apartment in SOHO. It is full of life, color, and uniqueness. It is energetic to keep you motivated. You’ll find that the first office is usually in one of the founder’s home! It was for me and boy were there memories! Rule #1 in startups: STAY LEAN.
On her leap!
As an artist Sophie paints, draws, photographs, and edits photos (a job she ended up doing for Vogue!). Vogue was a jumping off point into her own company as she immersed herself in the art and culture of fashion. On the side for fun, she created a Tumblr, The Young Cleopatra, where she showcased some of her photography. That eventually led to the idea of Insepia after she had ran out of things to shoot. A friend offered up a fabulous jacket that had belonged to her grandmother. This jacket took Sophie down the road of exploring the the history of a clothing item. And as she continued her research, she started illustrating those pieces.
“I come from a family of entrepreneurs and inherited that urge to create something”.
On her personal style vs. work style
It probably doesn’t differ much since she doesn’t have a corporate dress code to adhere to when being her own boss. Sophie’s work bag shown is from OTTE NY.
On her craftsmanship and talent!
Each card was beautifully hand drawn and painted by her before it went into production. WOW.
What’s with the hamster?
The hamster was a piece I did in 2011 when I first started painting again. It was about a mindset. Guinea pigs depend on their owner for water, food and entertainment. They are timid animals who wait for things to come to them. They aren’t the instigators that make things happen. They don’t rock the boat. They dream of change, but they lack the energy and confidence to do anything about it. They fear failure. The lines were that urge pulling me to do my own thing.
On what she’s learned from Insepia!
“Sleep on Sundays.”
Give yourself permission to rest (read, journal, relax) regularly. When its just you doing everything its easy to work all the time. It will give you perspective & ensure you keep enjoying the journey. Know when to regroup.
Her family home in Toronto was featured in Vogue! What a dream. She’s definitely inherited her creative spirit and eye from her mother who is the interior designer of their homes!
Thanks Sophie for letting me paint, dream, and kick it with you today.
Photos by me taken using Nikon D40