The second summer when I was leaving my hometown for college in London, my grandfather, drove me to the airport. He’s quite a character and has a very unique way of speaking, but as we were walking out of the door with my suitcase he tells me to “stay away from fancy troubles.” This piece of advice really struck me.
My grandpa is a very simple man. I know when he says fancy, he doesn’t mean luxurious. He means anything unnecessary. He was telling me to stay away from anything that could take me down the wrong path or anything that would cause trouble.
But, living in London and traveling across Europe, I knew I needed just the right amount of trouble. Being abroad brought out my most unique self and dared me to explore what the world holds. I studied graphic design in college and created a magazine for my final school project which forced me to do some solo traveling and talk to people I otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to speak to.
It was ultimately in my travels that as a graphic designer I was inspired to see my designs come to life and eventually create sunglasses that truly embody the sense of possibility that we all desire. I had no particular goal to design sunglasses. It was random really. A lot of my designs were inspired from travels — whether it was looking at buildings or taking the Eurostar train from Paris to London and looking out the window. One day I was just doodling shades on Illustrator and practicing my skills when I had the urge for them to come to life.
Within 5 weeks, I made it to Italy and visited some factories. It happened very quickly. I finalized some of my designs at two factories in the North and South of Italy. Production took a very long time, but when I actually got the glasses they were very good quality and I got many compliments on the unique designs.
It made me realize that I wanted others to experience this product and the feeling to embrace their own “fancy troubles.” There’s something incredibly rewarding about seeing your designs in a real-life setting. Removed from your computer screen and actually utilized by real people in real life. Taking my sketches and turning them into a tangible, wearable accessory has been exciting and almost surreal, especially when other people wear them.
At first, the fear of the unknown was consuming. I was 22 at the time and I didn’t know what I was doing. I felt the pressure that I needed to be taken seriously. I was worried that my love and excitement for designing would vanish along with moving back to the States. With starting anything, there are always setbacks. There would be days when I would reach out to influencers and I hear nothing or a negative response. It was the faith in my designs and the inspiration that has kept me going.
It is scary to go into something new with no guarantee that someone will follow your story. For those who are drawn to Fancy Troubles and captivated by the designs and message, I want them to feel confident and ready to take on the world, whatever their path may be.
I believe that the spirit of embarking on adventure and the thrill of excitement is what your 20s are about. The Fancy Troubles wearer doesn’t fit into one box, but the common factor they do share is the love and openness for new experiences — to see the world with not fear, but excitement and bravery through the lenses of stylish sunglasses of course!
Check out Fancy Troubles’ pop-up shop in Nolita from July 17-21 😎 Don’t miss out on exclusive giveaways and the chance to purchase your own pair of shades!