Making the Change

I’ve been writing for A&H Magazine for a little over six weeks now. I’ll admit, it’s been a stressful , exciting, and nerve-racking experience. However, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I have grown as not only a writer, but a person. We often learn the most about ourselves as individuals when we are pushed to the brink of our own sanity.

A quick background to how I joined the A&H Team: I met the director, Corey, as a buyer during the Fisherman’s Wharf Gala (aka January Capsule in NYC-if you were there you will understand that joke). Prior to the event, we had using twitter to converse back and forth. I asked if he cared if we shareda good word at Capsule and he graciously agreed. We hit it off from the start, conversing not only about our interests in menswear, but also life, gastronomy, culture, and the arts. We parted ways and I headed back to Cincinnati with a wealth full of knowledge and ready to begin my work. The shop I was buying for was eager to see the collection I had put together for the A/W 2012-2013 season. I had truly busted my tail to put, what I thought, was the best smorgasbord of accessories, soft goods, stationery, grooming products, and garments. I presented my collection to those who were the decision makers. I anxiously awaited over the next few weeks for their response.

After two weeks, the word finally came down: “We felt as though the direction you wanted to take the store isn’t what Cincinnati is ready for.” Pause/Panic/Argue/Debate/Realization that they aren’t ready for what I have brought them. Naturally, I felt as though all that work was for nothing. I spent days preparing, brainstorming, and visiting endless booths and shaking hands as if I was running for governor. I had hit a road block. I didn’t know where to go. I’ll admit, I was a bit angry. I thought I had built a stellar collection. I put my best effort forth and thought the next steps would be to begin buying. I knew Cincinnati was ready for it. There’s nothing like it here! It was our time to be the innovators. The only person I knew I could turn to at the time was Corey. I phone Corey the very next day. He listening patiently and provide the perfect words to put  everything into perspective. It was as if he had all the answers I was searching for. It was then I realized that I left Capsule with not only a great friend, but an education in an industry that I am eager to become a part of.

Since I have started writing, both in the menswear industry and personally, I have seen a change in my mentality towards life. Not echoing what I had once said, but life is truly about not only your experiences, but what you take from them the growth that occurs within. I wanted to do something new, something that would continuously challenge the man I am. Maybe I could run a marathon, take a trip, move to the big Apple-where the menswear industry is “headquartered.” But then I realized why be a small fish in a big pond? No, it’s not that I doubt myself, rather I felt that “in order to make it, you have to move to where you need to make it.” Honestly, that’s a load of bullshit. We are in a time of transition; you truly can be and do anything you want to do.  We all strive to be something great, but in the long run, there are very few who actually make it to the last mile. Life’s tough; that something we all come to realize sooner or later. I’ve been listening to myself over the past six months and analyzing the decisions that I make. Again, taking from them growth and personal change. There was, unfortunately, a key piece that was still missing.  I wanted to dive deeper; reach out to those who know me on a different level. I wanted to listen to those around me; those who have impacted my life and watched me become the man I am as of today. But again, I didn’t want to sit on life. It’s very easy to sit back and blend in. My project, was blending out.

From now until the end of July, I will be mailing out  25 cards to my closest companions, friends, and family members. Yes, I do intend to share  important news and catch up, but through this contact I hope to get something from them that I could not get on my own. On the back of each card, I will ask those who I reach to reply with a goal, idea, or way of improving the person I am. I, as a human, tend to get wrapped up in my life and hardly have time to stop and listen to those who I care the most about around me. It’s not that I am looking for direction or change, rather a series of ideas and suggestions that can build character, spontaneity, and to seek new experiences  as a person.

With that being said, I am sure you are wondering what I will do with all of the responses I hopefully receive. No, I am not going to Instagram myself with each card and post it up on my twitter account. I want to use these as my own ingredients in what I like to call my life soup. Hoping I don’t get anything crazy (you know, like buy a jacket from Margiela because Kanye says so), I plan on taking the words from those who reply and making a personal mission to set forth and accomplish. I, though, want to make it clear that this is something that I want them to fill out in their own personal way. I highly doubt I will be doing something ridiculous (just let your mind run with that).

What I will do is share what it is I experience with you. Not that you’re wanting to be a massive part of this project, but I am hoping that it too will bring something to you as a reader. I told the gents at A&H magazine that my biggest goal as a writer is to motivate, inspire, and share with all who read. It’s  not my duty to tell you how to dress or how to live in a certain manner, but rather give you the tools to build your own house. I am honestly tired of the re-blogging/tumbling/instagramming. What we need is fresh, invigorating content. I hope, with time, we at A&H magazine can do just that.




Christopher Dam

Christopher Dam is a senior writer/photographer with A&H Magazine