Persistence, Compromise & Friendship

Persistence, Compromise & Friendship

By Andrea Cheung

Time seemed to pass at different speeds this year. Reflecting on all the things STREET GRANDMA has accomplished makes it feel as if this year has moved so quickly, but as I sit here writing this on new year’s eve, it also feels like the world is in the exact same place. What STREET GRANDMA (SG) is to me is less of a business or a brand, and more of a process. Devin and I had started SG when we were unemployed, anxious, and all our initial life plans had come to a halt. The discomfort I felt can be best described as grief or anticipating grief. This part of our lives is core to SG’s and my own identity so I’m constantly thinking about how we, and SG, have progressed since this moment. Though we technically accomplished things this year, it feels more accurate to say we’ve progressed a lot in 2021, primarily through persistence, compromise, and friendship. 

This time last year, we had just launched and had one collection out. I remember being thrilled about how it was received but also daunted by the realization of how naive we were. Doing something creative is one thing, but doing something creative and putting it out there for people to judge, like, buy, critique, is something else. We were naive to what it took to persist in this space. We had to produce to everyone’s expectations, collage together our personal style with outside trends, create something meaningful, be sustainable, all while maintaining enough distance to our own identity. There were so many moments this year where we felt we could not or did not accomplish these things. Items that felt like they reflected who we are as people that were not well received, mountains of self doubt, and times where we wondered if any of this is even fun anymore. But what we’ve learned is that persistence is about finding those small moments of joy and connecting those to move towards a larger goal, and more importantly, your values.

Figuring out when to compromise has been key for us this year. Because we started this mostly not knowing what the fuck we were doing, it meant that we had to figure out what was important to us, what we could compromise on, and where we’ll have to stand by our values. There were many moments when our manufacturer told us no, people who we admired who told us no, and when we told each other no. We may have adjusted expectations, perhaps our vision, but we’ve never compromised our core values: prioritizing ethical practices, creating something meaningful, all while creating a space where women are valued for the multifaceted individuals we always have been. 

Last year STREET GRANDMA was able to produce 2 collections, 3 collaborations and over 30 items with the generous help of our friends and the people we’ve met. Photoshoots, production, manufacturing, and events were all made possible by the people we connected with this year. I also credit it to Devin and I’s commitment to our friendship, but I’ll speak on that another day :’). All our progress in 2021 was done on a tiny budget, with generous help from friends and massive support from you. We’ve hit some roadblocks but we’ve learned to persist, compromise, and ask for help along the way. We’re here to learn, improve, take risks, and create long lasting products so we thank you for your support. See you in 2022!


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