We had the good fortune of connecting with Aja Nunn and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Aja, how do you think about risk?
When I was in high school, I used to view risk as a scary unknown territory. A territory that would lead to failure rather than success 9 times out of 10. However, as I matured, the way I thought about taking risks changed drastically. Taking risks are the stepping stones to major change in your life. You find out how you can adapt to new circumstances and even if you don’t have 100% success in taking risks (whatever your objective is), you’re always left with a new understanding that pushes you on the path that you are meant to be on. I took a huge risk going to college in a state where I had no family or friends. I ended up finding people that will be with me for life and discovered what truly makes me happy. I took a huge risk deciding to move cross country to go to law school where I wasn’t sure if I would be successful or drop out after my first semester. I ended up doing extremely well academically and set myself on a path to later academic success. I took a huge risk starting a clothing line when I wasn’t a classically trained seamstress. All I had were ideas in my head. I wasn’t sure whether I would ever reach a point where people would buy the clothes that I created or if I could even make clothes that were of wearable quality. However, my risk paid off. I perfected my sewing technique and refined my ideas. I never thought I would be selling clothes to people I don’t even know. Taking risks are still scary to me in a way. But I know that everything that I experience through taking risks teaches me something and I can never regret learning something that will benefit me in the long run.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My clothing focuses on deconstructing vintage or thrifted pieces and building something new out of them. I think what sets me apart form others is my presentation. I enjoy how I present my clothes as much as I enjoy making them. Staying in line with the vintage theme of my clothing, I also market my clothes in a vintage theme of sorts. I love grainy pictures and VHS video of my clothes (check out my instagram: @thecapsuleseries for visuals), I want people to be able to experience my thought process in creation even if they are not able to buy the specific pieces I make. It was’t easy getting to where I am today. I started The Capsule 9 in 2018 shortly after graduating from college. (1) I didn’t have a specific vision for how I wanted my brand to look; (2) I didn’t have the skills yet to complete a vision even if I had one; and (3) I didn’t have the audience to showcase my ideas. There were months where I couldn’t bring myself to create anything due to anxiety about the final product or a lack of time. I started to really find my vision in the summer of 2019 when I was making bikinis from basketball shorts. My business was put on hold in fall 2019-spring 2020 so I could complete my first year of law school. I held on to my creative vision and drive by taking up film photography. By Summer 2020 I had new ideas for what I wanted my brand to be and I set out sewing again in what became the most successful period for my business. Along the way I’ve learned that I am capable of bringing whatever I think to life. I have gained confidence in my ability to sew as well as execute my ideas. Overall, I’ve learned to be patient and to measure my success on how well I execute my ideas vs. how many followers I may have or likes that I am getting. I want the world to know that my brand is a physical manifestation of my mind!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love, love, love the art museums and metropolitan areas of Dallas/Fort Worth. For art museums, I would say the Dallas Museum of Art, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. Deep Ellum (night and day time), the Stockyards, the Dallas Aquarium, and Reunion Tower are also on my short list of places to visit. For eating, we would definitely have to go to Twisted Root Burger, Pappadeaux’s, Ol’ South, Kincaid’s, Heim Barbecue, and Shake Shack for sure.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to my grandmother, Ruth Hennington. Whenever I decided to start learning how to sew, I called her to talk about my plans. She told me that the sewing machine in our garage from the 40s was still operational which allowed me to start learning how to sew in the first place. Everyday for a month she would come downstairs and check in with the little projects I would work on, which admittedly were very ugly. Two years later, she would buy fabric for me to use in my sewing projects so I could make sales. My grandma has been my number one supporter with taking up this craft, and without her I would not have been able to start my business in the first place.
Facebook: The Capsule 9