When I first came up with the idea of making an apron, I was living in El Paso, working at a restaurant as a pastry chef and doing freelance web design and development. I had moved to El Paso after a two year stint in Portland, Oregon and recovering from a debilitating cloudy two years. Being back in El Paso with the sun and desert was reviving.
After a year and half, I got enough work to fill a portfolio site to land me a job at a digital agency in New York City. Four years, two companies and three positions later with an incredible embrace from Manhattan and Brooklyn, I found myself weary from a desk job and the city and needing another revitalization. I quit my job and started working on a prototype with a manufacturer in Brooklyn. It was going well, but it didn't feel right and my connection to El Paso was strong and I knew I needed to make this project a part of the city that had raised and supported me, but I was concretely footed in Brooklyn. Then a few things happened, and withdrawing thrilling details and circumstances, I had to move out of my apartment and put everything in storage.
I spent the next two months traveling, having lost focus but enjoying the experience of Southeast Asia, wandering and wondering where and what I should do next. I ended up in El Paso for a month during the holidays and after a serendipitous trip to a Juarez fabric store, my wheels started spinning. My ideas for a market bag were passion-filled and focused, with the apron next in line. Once again, being back in El Paso was electrifying and inspiring. I'm glad to be to contributing to a growing and changing city, especially downtown. It's great to be home.
- Janean Mann