For the past 12 months I feel like I’ve been going through a mental transition. I went from running a full-time e-commerce company with staff, to running a full-time blog with no staff, and have been adjusting to just how exhausting each are in their own ways and the different success you can find with each. In many ways, I find running a full-time blog is more tedious than an online store. How is that even possible? It seems even more tedious to explain. But as time passes and I reevaluate my business structure I find myself not wanting more for my own brand, but more for others.
I’ve always aimed to create a positive world within Gary Pepper full of light and warmth, so it’s humbling to find I’m in a position to help spread positive messages, create awareness and support amazing causes through my social media platforms. This year I’ve become more involved with several charities (The Cancer Institute, Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation and Donate Planet) which has made me feel more fulfilled than ever. Gary Pepper will also have a new role this year acting as a media partner for a prestigious design school (more on this later) to showcase up-and-coming talent. This is a concept close to my heart as I used to only stock small independent designers and vintage womenswear and accessories in my online store, so being able to support young talent once again is already bringing me such joy.
My most recent role, though, will see us working with Calvin Klein Watches+Jewelry as one of the judges for their watch and jewelry design competition alongside Laura Burdese, president of Calvin Klein Watches+ Jewelry, Ulrich Grimm, creative director of men’s and women’s shoes and accessories at Calvin Klein, and my dear friends Chiara Ferragni and Hanneli Mustaparta. Students at three major design schools (Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan and Donghua University in Shanghai) will be asked to present watch and jewelry designs that reflect their interpretation of the Calvin Klein Watches+Jewelry brand and will be given the opportunity to win a cash prize and have their work showcased at the Baselworld fair in 2015.
So this is what brought us all to Baselworld, where we made the special announcement over an intimate dinner with the beautiful backdrop that is Basel in Switzerland. I can’t wait to see what the students have in store for us…
Photos by Luke Shadbolt and Getty Images