OUT OF OFFICE
WNW Member #1489 Diana Frame, a producer and stylist, and #2706 Kapono Chung, a graphic designer, met in the office. After working several years for large commercial brands they decided they have a lot more fun out of the office. So a few weeks ago they launched their own fashion brand, Out Of Office.
1. What made you decide to start a bag company?
We had already decided to leave our jobs and start something of our own before we had any idea what we would do. We actually toyed with starting a food truck for a while but were deterred by being tied to any specific location for too long. Much of the impulse to leave our full time positions was the feeling that we wanted to interact with more places and people outside of NYC. The making of physical goods was compelling to us from a craft perspective, we were eager to make something tactile and excited about different materials. We also both have a penchant for fashion and were looking for products in the marketplace we couldn't find. We were inspired, it just made sense.
2. What's the story behind the name?
Out Of Office means a few different things to us. It is literally what we do out of the office - for now making bags and traveling as much as we can. This distinction is important to us after years of working in creative industries where it's easy to lose yourself in other people's/companies/brands projects while "in the office". Out Of Office has been an opportunity for us to play and create something entirely of our own. It also embodies a lifestyle that is informing our lives right now, one of trying to get out there more, do more, make more, experience more. In a perfect world the making is inspired by the adventuring which is funded by the making etc...we're not quite there yet.
3. Describe the collaboration process.
We are a producer and designer team so there's definitely a skill set balance there. However, neither of us had ever made accessories or garments before. I think we both have a lot of respect for what each other does and an interest in learning more about each others craft. We both have our roles but we consult on everything. There's a lot of trust and many things we're both tackling that are outside of our wheelhouse. On those things we're in it together just figuring it out. Through that process we question each other a lot which is both exhausting and rewarding. We're both perfectionists and pretty obsessive so we tend to push each other.
4. Where are the bags made?
NYC! In the Garment District. Most of our denim comes from Japan, and we print our denim in North Carolina.
5. What has been the biggest challenge of going from freelance creative to entrepreneur?
That's a hard question - we went freelance so we could have the freedom to be entrepreneurs, the two have never been mutually exclusive for us. For right now freelancing allows us to have a business we love and being entrepreneurs makes us feel creatively balanced. That said, it's a lot more work than we ever imagined.