Today we’d like to introduce you to Imari Free.
Imari, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’m originally from St. Louis, MO. I moved to Houston July of 2014 to finish off my Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Fashion Design. It wasn’t an easy route at all! I finally received my degree December of 2017 and I felt like I did it! After graduation, I was torn between continuing my education, bettering myself as a manager in retail, or starting my own fashion line/collection. In all honesty, after graduating I didn’t really take myself serious as being a designer. I know I have a given talent but I just lost inspiration to start my own real collection and was confused on what I wanted people to know me for. Fast forward to late 2018, I was at a point where I wanted to let the world semi know who I was and what I really found what I loved to do most involved anything with Textile designing! From hand embroidering, beading, fabric manipulation, you name it I do it! And that’s how my brand Just Breathe came about.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I wish I could say it was but NO, no its never easy but it’s life. I feel like working full time for a retail company at this point in my life is hindering what my passion is and every day, I think about just leaving and taking that risk to really invest in myself as a designer! The time may come sooner than later lol. I do practice Buddhism and try to remain positive throughout anything I encounter but I’m not going to say I don’t feel and go through depressed/stressed moments. The pressure of starting your own brand the first year has really opened my eyes to see that it’s not easy to do and you find yourself doing everything, basically cutting out the middle man. I’m very skilled in designing and textile parts of fashion but I had to teach myself on graphic/logo designing which took hours upon hours to perfect. From making a decision to leave one job to go to another, then losing that job and being jobless for a few months really took a toll on my health and mindset. I feel like things are slowly moving in the direction that its suppose to and I take each day as a lesson to keep going and remain positive!
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Just Breathe is designed to bring awareness to those dealing with Anxiety and Depression. Especially among millennials who suffer the most from this sick world/society we live in. The hand-embroidery is just to show my creative side since I love dealing with textile designing. The feather represents strength, wisdom & power. You are able to overcome difficult situations in your life with a positive mindset. With this design concept, I started off very simple with creating a custom hand-embroidered tee shirts with my feather as the logo. Within the feather, customers are able to choose their own colors to show their personal aura. I want Just Breathe to potentially grow into a non-profit organization. What I’m most proud about my brand is that it tells who I am as a person. I embody being a free-spirited individual and I encourage everyone close to me to live life and just go with the flow. I think what sets my brand apart from others is that its not a trend. I want this to become a lifestyle brand…when you see Just Breathe you feel more positive!!
What were you like growing up?
Growing up back home, I was the shy crybaby but I always felt like I was misunderstood. I am a very passionate person that likes to express my thoughts through art. I’m also a Pisces so that should also tell you how I am as a person. Throughout my childhood, I was always coloring, doing word searches, playing video games with my older brothers or playing wit barbies with my lil sis. I told my parents at the age of 13 that I wanted a sewing machine. As I grew into a teen, I was still trying to find how I could get my foot into the Fashion industry. I left public high school my freshman year to transfer to a Technical High School to study Fashion Design. Fashion always interests me but I was more intrigued with the process of it. How you can go from an idea on paper to a well-constructed garment in a matter of months. I love a challenge and with designing, it’s always something you have to figure out designing an constructing outfits. When I got into college, I took a strong liking to Textile Designing, where it’s really hands-on! I am a wanderer. I try to travel at least once every month. I just hate the feeling of being stuck/suffocated in one spot!
- Just Breathe Tees $50
- Just Breathe Healing Bracelets $8
- Website: jstbreathe316.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jstbreathe316/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JstBreathe316/