One of the Babes: A. Jordan Pryor of Crafts & Arts Clothing
The featured babe this week is A. Jordan Pryor, our very own Creative Director and the maker momma behind the hand-sewn brand, Crafts & Arts Clothing. This seamstress babe started with an Etsy account and is now a staple in Austin's pop-up shop scene (and we're happy to say she'll have a table at our very first meet!). We sat down and chatted with this #bossbabe about her inspirations, failures and journey as a businesswoman.
Q: What inspired you to start Crafts & Arts?
A: Overwhelming amounts of pent-up energy. When I started C&A, I was at a really unfortunate crossroad in my life. I could either take everything I'd experienced as a 20-year-old, flush it down the toilet, and continue throwing rocks at myself until it stopped hurting — or I could put all of my past experiences in a box, reflect of them when needed, and channel all of that energy into something beautiful and creative.
So, I did that. I did that because it was time for me to find and pursue my passion. (Also, those rocks never stop hurting.)
Q: Do you have any tidbits of advice for people with passion projects?
A: Don't stop. Never stop. Not even if there is fire. If you are genuinely passionate about something you should cling to it for dear life. Even on the days that reek of failure and all you want to do is give up, hide under your sheets, and intake hours of Netflix.
Do those things, but come back. Always come back.
Q: How do you stay inspired?
A: My daughter, mostly. Her and my 10-year-old self that was really into making Barbie clothes. They're like my personal mental cheerleaders. I was so passionate about things as a child, and I'd love to pass that fire down to my daughter. I've also been really lucky enough to have been able to surround myself with a solid group of creative friends here in Austin. When I look at everything that they're creating and the passion that exudes from them, I can't help but want to strive for more — to be the most creative I can possibly be at that point in time.
Q: What have been your favorite moments of creativity (possibly a time when a burst of creative energy produced something you could have never expected, etc.)?
A: Blargh! I want to say, "EVERYTHING." But I know you won't let me do that, so I'm going to be really general instead. I feel like all of Crafts & Arts Clothing have been those bursts of creative energy. Up until the collection that I'm currently working on, I've never had a set idea when I go into production. I love to find my fabrics, cut into them, then just see what happens. Luckily, I've been able to create beautiful pieces from this all-over-the-place brain of mine. It's amazing what can happen when you stop thinking and just go for it.
Q: What have been the most challenging moments in your seamstress career thus far?
A: Knowing my worth. I'm a self-taught seamstress that creates clothing out of the pure joy and experience of it. I have a lot of issues with accepting payment for my services, because it was never my intention. It's pretty hilarious how often friends have to force money on me. But as I've grown away from this just being a hobby into it being an actual business, I've become more open to the reality that what I'm doing is worth something, and I do it well enough to have people throw money at it.
Q: When you're discouraged, what do you run to or away from?
A: I run to Hot Chip, hot coffee and my fantastic friends. There is magic in shamelessly dancing by yourself in your living room, workspace, car, etc. — that combined with the way a hot cup of coffee warms your body. It's like your spirit is being wrapped in a blanket and is being told, "It's okay. You can do it. You can do anything." It's also nice to have a solid group of people actually telling you, "you got this, boo." I swear, my friends make me feel like I could fly.
I run away from the Interweb. As inspiring as it can be sometimes, it's really easy to get trapped in a web of everyone else. It's not healthy, and sometime's it's best to just shut it down.
Q: What's your favorite band right now?
A: The next band to make it famous. That's how far ahead of the curve I am. [laughs] But seriously, I just opened Spotify to see who I've been listening to lately. It's pretty bad how out of touch I feel with music sometimes. I tend to obsess over individual songs, instead of artists as a whole. Right now, I'm listening to Run the Jewels' "Blockbuster Night Part 1" on repeat. I'm also really into the Australian neo-soul group, Hiatus Kaiyote, and I can't stop listening to Kendrick Lamar's new album.
Q: Your favorite book, at the moment?
A: I recently finished "Yes, Please" by Amy Poehler. It's fantastic. She's fantastic. All I've ever wanted to be in life is genuinely hilarious and unapologetically myself. She is the perfect example of that is wrapped into a tiny, beautiful, blonde human being. I recommend it to anyone and everyone striving for something, in the most general sense. I also recommend that it be listened to via Audiobook. It's read by Amy, herself, and features a slew of fantastic actors, comedians and side-comments that you just don't get to experience in the tangible book.
Q: Your local Austin gem (can be a product, place, etc.)?
A: (512) Brewing Company's Pecan Porter. Forever and ever, amen.
Q: Your social media handles?
A: Web: hellocraftsarts.com
Instagram & Twitter: @craftsandarts
Facebook: Crafts & Arts Clothing