Spirit of 608 is obsessed with the intersection of fashion, entrepreneurship, sustainability and tech. We call it FEST, and it’s the future of the fashion industry.
Our free tools for FEST brands include:
Hello, hello. P.S. This story is kinda long. I’m founder of Spirit of 608 and host of the podcast. I’m also a longtime fashion journalist with a special area of interest in the intersection of fashion, entrepreneurship, sustainability and tech. I call it FEST, and I believe it’s the combination of those things that will drive the future of the fashion industry.
After many years writing, blogging and reporting for both my own sites and publications such as the San Francisco Chronicle, FastCompany, Women 2.0, Women’s Wear Daily, Ozy and many others, I noticed this constant feeling creeping in every time I began writing. It was like I needed to brush my teeth. Or change my shirt. Or both.
Ever since my way back when blogging days and years spent focused pretty much entirely on independent fashion, I’ve always wanted to consume style in a way that’s in line with my values, which at some point circa 2014 pretty much stopped getting out of bed where my writing was concerned for anything less than what I deemed to contain some kind of catalyst for change – not only in the fashion industry, but in the way people relate to and consume what they wear.
That sounds kind of heady. I have a hard time being down-to-earth about how much potential there is for fashion to become a positive force in the world – both for the workers who make our clothes and the consumers who wear what they make. Most of time, I try not to be annoying about it. So that was the goal: to do something to get in there and help and have work that felt like a fresh, pressed button down or my f-ing favorite pair of four-way stretch jeans. I tried a couple of things that didn’t work out the way I wanted them to, including an unsatisfying fash tech blog, a lot of random consulting, a full-time stint at a fashion startup and a podcast with a badass friend of mine that came with a content mission would have needed half of the This American Life team to sustain. Add to that two young kids, a husband, friends, family, a recent cross-country move, back fat anxiety, hopes and dreams and piles and piles of laundry to do and promises to keep, I felt like I was falling short.
Nothing quite fit. When a chance to take a pause from the churn serendipitously appeared, I grabbed it like a delicious piece of cold pizza casually enjoyed on a Saturday morning and created the Spirit of 608. I wish I could say it came to me like a flash, but it didn’t – and hasn’t. Over time, I realized what kind of podcast made sense for the people I wanted to help. And from there, I realized – actually no, I didn’t realize anything. It was through feedback and a now-in-progress beta group of FEST companies that people told me what they want and how I can push the needle forward for them. And that’s the work that I’m doing today through Spirit of 608 weekly episodes and a growing number of resources, tools and opportunities for FEST brands who want to DIY their own media outreach.
So it’s PR, then? Not exactly. Truth be told, I am actually really terrible at PR. You do not want me doing yours, so don’t ask. But you know what I am really good at doing? Helping people figure out how and when to talk to which kinds of journalists-bloggers-influencers and for what possible outcomes. I do that by teaching FEST brands to take control of their media outreach, tell their story, align their future media strategy with their business goals and – ultimately – make people like me look. Coming up later this year, the Make Me Look Academy will bring this DIY approach to FEST entrepreneurs who know they need to level up their PR, but aren’t ready for public relations pros. And there’s more to come.
© Spirit of 608