I am a clothing designer and crafter, born and raised in Southern California. I have made the transistion from being a 'corporate- mass market apparel designer to a small handmade business owner! (To see my professional website with my work, check out; www.brookemaulhardt.com
On a more personal note, I graduated with a BFA from Otis College of Art and Design and quickly went through a whirlwind of learning curves figuring out how to be an apparel designer in the industry by first getting recruited as an assistant designer at Abercrombie and Fitch in Columbus, OH. Then a few years later I had the chance to get back to CA for a short stint at a fast fashion apparel company called ' Self Esteem', then moved on to the action sports industry in Orange County as a designer at Fox Head Inc. I went from an assistant, to associate, to designer, to senior designer managing an assistant and designing multiple categories....... I made lots of great life long friends, traveled around the world, and learned a GREAT deal in 10 years in the industry.... but as a creative I always knew I wanted to share a more personal and meaningful vision in what I designed. I just couldn't really figure out how to make the transition of a comfortable professional career to the UNKNOWN..... scary! But then....fate stepped in...The Women's design team (which I was a part of,) was laid off due to restructuring of the brand and a re- focus on the men's side of the business... A true blessing in disguise!
At first it was terrifying- I hadn't not had a corporate job my whole adult life! I had never stopped to think what I really wanted my creative LIFE/ career to be! I had just gone from job to job, climbing a ladder that I didn't really know where it was leading to.
This is where I gave myself the space to take a chance to re-create my relationship with my career. Instead of separating my life and my career, I realized a more meaningful way for me to live was to combine them and be as one. My craft is my passion, my passion in my life. I have always made my own clothes and crafted on the side, and that was truly where I felt my fullest potential was. As I turned the big '3-0' I thought this was time! So here I am, trying to figure out how to do all this technical stuff like a blog??? like social media?? etsy??? craft fairs?! yikes! Oh my....!! I am in the beginning stages and everyday I am learning, embracing, and just so excited to share my journey!
Before my professional career started, I was a serious paper doll "imagine-ist" who gave Judy Garland new extravagant crayon and marker dresses. I was an expert glue gun and zig zag machine crafter always trying to make one of a kind clothes for myself. (if anyone ever runs by some of my old high school outfits.. yikes what a great laugh! but hey-- atleast I was trying.. hahah)
My interest in clothes and crafts started at a very young age and on a specific television station. The Turner Classic Movies station to be exact. They would feature musical marathons from the 1930's- 1950's and romantic comedies one after the other. I was a child among stars.
Soon those long summers where 'gone with the wind' and adult hood settled in. After being a mini work-aholic and slight hermit for the better part of my early twenties, I had an epiphany that came with a song and dance.
"follow your bliss"-(Joseph Campbell)
Going through my old journals with quotes scribbled here and there, the thoughtful question was proposed; "what is your bliss? once you find it why not go out and follow it?"
I had finally realized that I couldn't plan an entire life like a script from a movie and I wasn't going to figure out exactly how to achieve everything I wanted to achieve over night. So I relaxed a bit, enjoyed the blessings around and started to "live- live- live!" (imagine the scene from 'Auntie Mame' with Rosalind Russell).
I live to create and spread happiness. This space is dedicated to all things that are 'blithe and bliss'. I hope to inspire, connect, share, collaborate, learn, and most importantly, spread a bit of blithe and bliss, or in other words happiness your way!
**brooke maulhardt/ blithe and bliss