Let me start this off by stating that I love the World Wide Web. Love it. I can find anything I need in minutes, sometimes seconds. My iPhone is truly a magic box. But everyone who’s ever read a fairy tale knows magic comes with a price. I pay this price by dedicating hours a day meditating into this screen. I’ve seen at least one million cats doing something adorable and I know the most random personal information about famous people thanks to Wikipedia. The time I save finding out information I need is credited back two fold to the amount of time I waste cruising mindlessly for matter that doesn’t matter to me in the least. I’ve thought about this more and more recently and I’m determined I’m going to be more mindful with my time spent online. I want to focus more on the physical space I’m actually occupying, the people that are right in front of me. You know, give my undivided attention to what I’m doing instead of glancing down at my phone repeatedly while in the middle of a conversation. Maybe actually looking at the coastline and taking in its beauty instead of mentally cropping it into an image to post on social media. I’m becoming overwhelmed by the amount of information I take in and put out online every day. I will continue to use social media, it would be insane not to. I just want to rein it in a little.
The reason I post images of my life is because I enjoy having a connection to my customers. I’ve become friends with many people in other cities just through posting on Instagram, eventually even meeting some in person. I love recognizing a customer’s name and seeing their art or music or whatever it is they do. We inform each others lives and work and that is always a positive thing. But, there is always a little bit of stress involved with revealing behind the scenes information online. I have tried to take the stance that my business is so small no one is really paying attention to what I do. Over the years I’ve been proven wrong. People totally pay attention! It’s not always the kind of attention I want. I have no idea how many people I’ve inspired but a few instances come to mind. OLO has inspired a large corporation to have a “customer” seek me out to create a custom for her only to have her quit and reveal this to me before I sold her the final product. I’ve had someone introduce herself as a writer looking to do an article on me. I answered all of her questions openly and honestly only to have her, after thirty some odd emails, ask for formulas for two of my fragrances. She wanted to use them as a point of reference because she had been trying to make them herself but it was too difficult. She never ended up writing an article about me. Duh. I’ve had an individual open a store with the name Victory Wolf. Cool. Some of this attention is predatory, some is just naiveté. These experiences have led to days when I am left feeling vulnerable and almost hunted online. I vow to delete all my accounts and never post another photo, ever! Then I check myself and admit my own hypocrisy. I do seek inspiration online. Every day. I absolutely take ideas from other people and places and apply them to my work. Everyone interprets what they experience, virtual or in the flesh. That’s human nature. That’s how we all learn and grow our craft, whatever it may be.
But, there is a difference between being inspired and making something your own and straight up copying. It’s really disheartening to see someone’s work replicated very closely. My dear friend Hazel Cox has been making jewelry for a long time. Every single piece, every tiny detail is made by hand. She inspired one of my most popular fragrances, Dark Wave. Girl named it. She has been there to counsel me through the years because she’s done a lot and I respect the integrity of her work. Any time the stress gets to be too much she just tells me to put my head down and work, not to worry about what other people are doing just to do my thing and move forward. Recently, a piece of jewelry that looks remarkably like hers showed up on a major chain store website. The piece was not actually by Hazel Cox but at first glance it sure looked like it. The piece has since been removed but it was just a reminder to me to be mindful. Be mindful of where I take my inspiration and to be vigilant to make sure I give credit where credit is due. We are bombarded by information and images these days. It can be difficult at times to pinpoint where an idea came from. My goal is to slow down. Slow down what I absorb, maybe not post any idea that pops into my head. So, I’m going to slow the flow of information. I’m going to focus on what makes me fulfilled and stop trying to keep up. I’m not going to post every day but I hope that what I put out in the future will be more thought out. It may just have meaning in the moment but my goal is for it to have meaning to me.
Hazel Cox Not Hazel Cox
We are starting 2015 with a new look. OLO began in my apartment with hand written labels back in 2009 and has evolved into a small company with many loyal customers. We had a lot of help along the way. Jason Kinney created the original mark and design for OLO. Keegan Meegan did all the letterpress and continues making our sample boxes. The newest packaging is thanks to Brown Printing. The new look and website is a collaborative effort by Dave Williams, Peter Baston and Yuji Tomita. Thanks to everyone who has helped me through the years for all your hard work. I look forward to all the new projects we have planned for 2015!
Help us celebrate the sun we will miss so much. Stop by Milk Milk Lemonade Sunday the 21st to spend money and eat cake. If you don't live in Portland, buy your own cake and use this handy discount code, BYEBYESUN to receive 25% off online purchases. The discount is good for one day only so order up!
We made up a small batch of incense for tonight's Happy Hour at Nationale. Please join us from 6 to 8pm for drinks, conversation and shopping. Calcine incense are notes of cedar, vetiver and frankincense. These incense were made for a limited run so get them while you can!
Please join us this Friday, December 19th from 6 to 8pm! There will be snacks and chatting and cool things to buy.
Man, 2014 has not been kind to Victory Wolf. Late winter offered up the loss of my favorite tobacco absolute, which opened up the possibility of discontinuing the fragrance. Drama ensued. Customers panicked. I panicked. Fortunately, I was able to rework the formula and all was well. Or, so I thought.
I have recently discovered that someone else has started to use the name Victory Wolf. Judging from the information I have, they are well aware of my use of the name. They've trademarked it and are very aggressive with the promotion of it thus far. It's disheartening to see someone so blatantly rip off such a random yet specific to me name. Victory Wolf is a loose translation of my husband's last name, Sielaff: sigi 'victory' + wolf 'wolf'. I made this fragrance for him. We had the release party for Victory Wolf at Nationale on September 25, 2009. It's been a popular fragrance sold in many stores in the US, Canada and Europe. I never saw the name used before 2009 and it's been nothing more than some guy in Turkey's Myspace handle since then. I'm bummed that some other business has dropped in on it.
This brings me back to when I was in 8th grade at Randolph Junior High. I grew up solidly middle class. I was never hungry, had a nice home, never really wanted for anything. But, I only got one or two name brand articles of clothing a year. I had to beg for them. It was 1989 and that's just how you did it then, name brand everything. I had this Guess stonewashed denim jacket. I got it for Christmas and I wore it everyday. I loved it. I somehow ripped the shoulder open. A HUGE rip. My mom didn't sew, I didn't have a patch anyway. I needed to wear my Guess stonewashed denim jacket to school that day or I would be lame and never have friends and my world would be over, etc. So, I used a shoe lace from my purple Converse high tops and laced that shit up. It's the best solution my 13 yr old self could come up with. I was embarrassed but I figured my back pack would cover it most of the time anyway. When I got to school, a few people complimented my Guess stonewashed denim jacket with the shoelace going up the side. It was a hit. They thought it looked cool. I was pretty pleased with myself, mostly because something I made wasn't laughed out of homeroom. I thought outside the box, made due with what I had and it worked out. Within a week a few girls had ripped their jackets and laced them back up with shoelaces. I remember being annoyed not so much because they copied me but because they had multiple intact Guess jackets and didn't need to do it! Before long, kids at school just thought Guess made stonewashed denim jackets with a shoelace going up the side. I got no credit for my innovation and we moved on to other trends the next year anyway. Victory Wolf will probably end up being my Guess stonewashed denim jacket.
This is basically just an emo blog post to OLO customers and friends. I've been incredibly lucky with this business so far. This was a hobby that turned into a career that is so fulfilling. I get so many kind words and support on the daily. I appreciate it all. This is now a profitable business that supports both me and my husband. Jonathan is now a partner in OLO and we are excited about upcoming projects planned for 2015. I have just rolled with what came at me for the last five years but it's been made clear to me that I have to be more assertive with this as a business. I apologize for all the hashtags and promotions and images that are about to hit the internet all hard in the name of OLO Fragrance.
In order to keep Victory Wold associated with OLO for as long as possible we will be doing a giveaway. Post any image of Victory Wolf on Instagram and tag it #victorywolf #victorywolf2009. It can be a picture of your personal bottle of Victory Wolf, an inspiration shot or the store you bought it in. We will giveaway one bottle a day from today Saturday, November 22nd thru Saturday, November 29th.
Anna Korte has been working on a beautiful string painting to show at Milk Milk Lemonade, the storefront of OLO Fragrance. We are so excited to welcome you all into our space to see Anna's newest piece along with the Temple Collection from the AK Vintage line. We had the chance to stop by her studio and see a bit of her process. So amazing!
Stop by and see art, objects, jewelry. Smell things. Eat delicious treats. Talk to people. Have fun.
I'm excited to announce the release of the new fragrance OLO created for TENOVERSIX. It is notes of sage, incense and amber and I've been wearing it exclusively all month. This is my new favorite OLO blend.
One of my first "adult" flirtations with wearing fragrance that didn't involve a drug store and the color pink was when I found myself in a head shop for the first time. I believe it was called Infinity's End. I was fifteen and my friend had her driver's license so we could go anywhere we wanted. Without our parents. The forbidden head shop was our first outing. I remember feeling so giddy walking into a store like that. So much MAGIK! I bought a ying yang symbol ring, a tie dyed t shirt, Nag Champa incense and some Egyptian musk perfume. It was all so exotic to me.
Naturally, my tastes have evolved since then. I still love amber, frankincense and myrrh but I'm pretty particular about the quality these days. When Kristen and I were throwing around ideas for the TENOVERSIX custom fragrance I originally was going for a more lavender and sage, coastal bonfire vibe. Something kept pulling me back to resinous incense, a more glowing ember ritualistic feel. I wanted this fragrance to be a reflection of that youthful quest for more meaning and connection to the mind, body and spirit. I feel like TENOVERSIX brings together the playfulness of youth and the sophistication that comes when you know who you are as a person and have the confidence to present yourself with honesty. An elevation of self and spirit was what I kept seeing in the images Kristen sent me for inspiration so I just went for it and gave myself up to my intuition when making this blend. I had worked on it for months and just couldn't get it right. I kept resisting the urge to put in nag champa, just a hint. I eventually had one of my uninhibited moments in blending where I just stopped thinking so hard and put in everything I wanted whether I thought they would work or not. That ended up being my favorite version and luckily it was Kristen's as well!
TENOVERSIX fragrance blend is bottled magic. It captures the ritual of lighting incense, the glowing ember and finally, the smoke rising along with it the elevation of spirit and self.
Notes of sage, incense and amber
We will be at TENOVERSIX Thursday, October 23rd to celebrate the release of this new collaborative fragrance. Details about the event coming soon!