- Alisha Amnesia
THE BIRTH OF PUNK MAJESTY
In October 2014, I started having problems with my voice, and was diagnosed with vocal cord nodules. I had been working as a bartender in loud live music venues for over 8 years. I had to quit my job and give my voice time to heal. I wasn’t sure how long it would take, or what was going to happen…
This is how Punk Majesty was born… I was cleaning my closets (which I frequently have to do because they are out-of-hand FULL), and I was looking for absolutely anything I could sell since I wasn’t working. I had an old white jacket that was a little too small and bit worn out. I knew I couldn’t sell it, so I set it aside because I had an idea to write “I DON’T CARE” all over it and punk-it-out, one-of-a-kind. Finally one night when I was bored stuck at home and unable to talk, I brought the idea to life. I posted a photo on Facebook and a lot of people liked it. A friend said it would sell for a lot in Japan. (I was intrigued, but wouldn’t sell it because I did it for me… “I don’t care” was my way of not letting everything get to me, when all these external factors that were out of my control, like not being able to talk or work seemed so overwhelming.)
I had another black jacket that was a bit worn and I knew wouldn’t sell either, so I decided to do something with that. (Sitting home unable to talk made me feel a need to have a voice another way to express myself, and having a creative outlet while feeling stuck was godsend.) I made the second one say “THE FUTURE IS UNKNOWN,” because I literally had no idea what was going to happen with my voice issue, work, etc. I posted it on Facebook, and the owner of West Coast Leather (who I’ve known for years) said “I can sell that in my store.”
Another friend said I could have her old jackets and that she would pay me to do something for her. The response was immediate. I told my friends about it at Thanksgiving dinner, and they all tried to convince me to start a clothing line. I thought it was crazy, and I didn’t want to sell my art, but I started to think more about it for the next few days, since they all thought I should do it.
Then holiday parties and various events kept coming up, and I decided to start wearing the jackets out. I wanted to explore this in the real world and not just on Facebook. Everyone seemed interested. I got loads of compliments from strangers. I wore one to the West Coast Leather holiday party, and the owner and I talked about it in person. I immediately realized I should get going on it. In only a month, I made about 15 jackets, thought of my business name and what I wanted my logo to look like, researched various business aspects, had the logo designed, photographed my work, bought a url and created a website and Facebook page. I’ve also learned a lot about exactly how to best do each jacket, and what started out as ‘winging it’ has become a lot more organized and second nature.
I started Punk Majesty as a way to express myself and have a voice, when I literally didn’t have one. I learned that writing my messages over and over, like “NOTHING CAN BREAK ME, I CAN DO ANYTHING, NEVER UNDERESTIMATE ME and THE FUTURE IS MINE” really helped me to stay positive during one of the most challenging and scary times in my life. Who knew that one little idea, to make something out of a useless piece of clothing, could lead to a business? Not me!