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by Serena

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Friday March 27th, 2020

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{Editor's Note}:  Hi my name is Nathaniel Baird, I am the Technical Director and Visionary here at Shotwamp and the Editor in Chief of our in house publications. I couldn’t be more excited to be presenting to you some of the brands and their incredible founders and designers under the Shotwamp umbrella in the coming days and weeks. Along with the debut of each brand, I will be holding an interview with each of our creatives on the subsequent day after their debut. 

 

Our first interview will be with the founder and head designer at Koju Love, Serena Ketcham. 

 

Nathaniel: Serena! Excited to be here chatting with you! I’ve been really fortunate to have been able to see your process and approach with Koju from afar this past year or so and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work a little closer with you in this really cool project. I’ve loved the designs you’ve been making, it's amazing that now you’re going to have this great platform to help bring them to more people. Shotwamp has taken form so quickly here in the past few days, could you explain your journey of involvement with the collective?

 

Serena: Hi Nathaniel! First off, I’m so excited to be doing this interview with you and honestly just to be part of Shotwamp as a whole, it’s so amazing! My journey with this collective really only started a few days ago when Archie mentioned wanting to start a fashion collective to me. I was immediately excited because I had always wanted to work with other brands around the area and this was the perfect way to! I have already been having an amazing experience with everyone involved in Shotwamp through all the love and support after launching my website and first collection yesterday! 

 

N: That's really great, Serena. Like I already said, I am so excited to see what kind

of things you're able to produce with some of the other designers here at

Shotwamp. 

 

You mentioned your new collection, first and foremost, congratulations! I’ve really

enjoyed seeing some of the pieces and designs that you’ve been able to come up

with. There is a really neat variance between more intricate pieces like fur coats

and on the other end of the spectrum something more simple yet equally iconic

like a t-shirt. What were your main inspirations through the creation of this project

and what pieces are you the happiest with?

 

S: Thank you! And yeah, the decision of what I wanted to sell was something I

struggled with quite a bit, whether it be basic t-shirts or more complicated items

like fur coats. I had always wanted to sell my own designs created from scratch,

like my fur coat. However, I wanted to create items for customers at lower price

points so everyone could enjoy some KOJU clothing! So, I decided I would just put

anything I create up on my site and it would be up to the public what I sell. I

realized I didn't want to limit myself to selling one style of clothing, so I didn’t. 

 

As for my inspirations, it’s mostly just whatever comes to mind when I'm designing

or creating. With that being said, I do have one main inspiration for KOJU and that

is the brand KENCO KORP. This brand is run by Ashlee Valle and is stationed in

New York City. This brand may not be fully developed yet, but I have always looked

up to her very unique style of clothing and branding. 

 

And as for my favorite pieces I’ve created, I will have to say it is my fur coat. I

have always loved fur clothing, and especially fur coats.l So when I decided to

make my own, I was beyond excited. My favorite aspects of the coat are the

cutout in the back and the bedazzled KOJU brand name along the side. It was

also just a super fun piece to design and create. 

 

N: That's great, all very exciting things. We happen to be in a fairly unique spot

right now in terms of the state of the world, I’m sure that designing clothes and

dropping an entire collection with all of this going on was extremely different than

most first bodies of work. How did this affect your process and how do you think it will affect

the coming day/weeks/months of how you approach your brand. 

 

S: Yeah the state of the world right now has definitely had an unexpected impact on

KOJU. The most difficult thing I’ve been facing as of now because of the virus is

the actual production of my products. With the closure of art and fabric stores,

it was often difficult to get the materials I needed to be able to produce the

clothing I wanted to. However, because my website is online, there haven’t been

any issues dealing with orders, which I am very grateful for. I hope everyone is

able to stay safe during this time!  

 

N: That's all so great, it sounds like you have a really great process and utilize a

healthy combination of inspiration for internal and external sources, that's so

cool. Now that we’ve covered the past and the present, could you give us an

exclusive look into the future of KOJU-world? 

 

S: I would love to! As of now, the current developments of KOJU have been

mostly designing logos to be able to print onto other items of clothing. I am

currently working on designing sweatpants, hoodies, work pants, and work shirts.

I am also working to create more items from scratch that will most likely be 1/1

items because of their intricacies. I am also hoping to put stickers up on my website available for purchase! It should be exciting!  

 

N: Great, my personal belief is that the 1 of 1 movement is going to be arriving fast and hard here within the next year or so which makes this a great time to have a brand like yours. Now let's look into the next year or so, do you have any goals for Koju in the coming months.

 

S: I do! In the next year or so, I hope for KOJU to continue growing and developing into larger 1/1 creative pieces, like the fur coat. My hopes are to produce more intricate and extravagant KOJU pieces. This is not saying that I won't continue to screen print and do other mediums of art, I just hope for KOJU to be largely focused on 1/1 pieces. I also hope to have a physical location in Portland where these KOJU pieces can be found, rather than having a fully online based company. Hopefully, with the help of the other creatives at Shotwamp and their extreme creativity and support, I will be able to learn the skills and gain inspiration to be able to make all of these hopes reachable! 

 

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N: Those all feel really attainable Serena. Like I keep saying, I’m so blessed to have the ability to work with brands and creatives like yourself that I believe in so much. I think that this is the beauty of the collective here is that ultimately beyond the growth of our own brands, we really want all of the others here with us to succeed because at the end of the day we are all fighting for the same things. 

 

Now is there anything else you’d like to say or promote before we wrap up here? 

 

S: Thank you so much! And I fully agree with what you said about Shotwamp as a whole. I love the idea of this collective because it's not just here for self-improvement, it's here to help others do what they’ve always wanted to do. I don't have much more to add except to thank you for doing this with me! Also, GO SHOTWAMP!!

 

N: Great, thank you so much for sitting down and doing this with me. I’m excited to see where you and your brand goes here in the future. 

 

S: It was my pleasure, Nathaniel! Thank you so much!

 

Nathaniel: Excellent, and that is going to do it for our first interview here at Shotwamp! It was really fun sitting down and talking with Serena and I am excited for you guys to see the interview that we will have for you in a couple of days with the creator of one of my favorite brands on the label. 

 

And as always from me and the rest of the Shotwamp team, 

 

Be safe and use sanitizer.