Ever since I was 14 all I ever wanted to do was have a clothing company. This came from me growing up around skating, music, and motocross. Every year back to school shopping for me would consist of getting as many graphic tee's as my parents would let me have. Mostly black and grey, skating brands and band merch. My Mom would always yell at me to get more colors because she said I looked better in them. My closet is still completely black, white, and grey. Sorry Mom.
Even my love for graphic design comes directly from me trying to figure out how to make a cool logo just to put on a t-shirt. Anyone who knew me in high school probably remembers the spray painted shirts I would make from creating graphics on my parents computer, printing them out on photo paper (because it was thick enough to make a stencil), then spray painting the designs onto blank shirts in our driveway with my Dad's paint he would use for his motorcycles.
In 2012 after years of doing freelance for friends companies and other brands, I decided I could do something better on my own. I started a brand called Lumen. When most people think of me and what I do they still think of Lumen. It went great for a few years but after a certain amount of time it just felt off to me and I didn't know how to rebrand or move forward. The idea that would eventually turn into Outward started around this time. But because the idea was a reaction to me not being happy with Lumen I tried to make things that were completely opposite of Lumen instead of what I really wanted to make, so they never really stuck because they weren't something I truly believed in.
Time passed. Other opportunities came my way. Things that in hindsight I felt I SHOULD do instead of WANTING to do. Things that seemed "smart" and the "right move" at the time. I was under contract at a full time job that didn't allow me to be creative. I got stuck in the go to work, go home, eat, sleep, do it all again the next day routine. I didn't see anyone. I didn't do anything. I was miserable and not living any type of healthy, enjoyable life. When I came to the self-realization that I was wasting away I made moves to relocate and start fresh. Do freelance again. Be around people I loved. Do something. ANYTHING.
I wanted to have a clothing company again. I brought Lumen back. It had a new look and idea behind it. But it didn't click. It didn't feel right. Then I remembered Outward. What a perfect time in my life to do something that is based around living your life to the fullest and doing everything you can. Me doing Outward is an exact example of what the brand itself is all about. It's a departure from what most people are used to as far as my design style. That's fine. Because this is the first time I'm making things for me that I love, and I hope others will love them too. If you're not passionate about/happy with the things you do, then how can anyone else feel anything for them?
When you focus on what you love and put everything you have into it, the rest of the things in your life start to fall into place. I see this as the start of me doing exactly what I want to do and not settling for anything or anyone. I hope others can see that too and be inspired to do absolutely everything they want. -Stefan