Some of you might have heard of Dou Loux before. If you’ve seen the name or little bunny around you might not know who the faces are behind this new upstart. It’s run by Byron and Melanie, they are an engaged couple who make working together look as easy as breathing. One makes the designs to be printed on fabrics and the behind the scenes work. And the other takes those raw materials and turns them into magic.
Take a moment to read through if you’re an artist, maker, or just a passer through.
Q: When did the idea for Dou Loux first hit you both? And how did you settle on the name?
M: The idea for Dou Loux was an evolution that stemmed from a website for my hair work. We were creating a brand that I could operate under for freelance hair styling, which birthed the idea for hair accessories and an etsy store. That project had a completely different name and different focus, but we ran with it for about 2 months. After we got everything together, sat back and really looked at it, we had a better idea for the direction of an etsy store that combined both of our talents in one brand. We started brainstorming the name change with Japanese words because of our love for Japanese street fashion and anime. Nothing felt right though. Byron suggested french, which ended up with a much more whimsical sound. We were really just sitting around looking up words, writing them down, and mixing letters for a couple days. Dou Loux kind of just appeared to us.
B: I should probably say something profound but she summed it up perfectly.
Q: What have been the biggest hurtles in making your brand and products?
M: Well honestly the both of us have such big ideas for the brand that we’re never fine with just settling. Because of that we spent a lot of time sitting around plotting and plotting until we felt we had a complete idea of the brand and what it stood for. That continues to be something we spend a lot of time on. Other than that, we both have creative day jobs! Making time to put in as much effort as we do gets to be really exhausting. We spend a lot of nights watching anime and working into the wee morning hours!
B: I think the biggest hurtles in creating Dou Loux have been a mix between learning new techniques and skills and maintaining our relationship as a couple. Like Melanie said, both of us are never fine with just settling so when we do anything it has to be at the highest level we’re capable of. As you can imagine that creates quite a few hurtles when you’ve never done any of this before. We’ve had to teach ourselves everything at each step of the way. Product photography, screen printing, textile design, pattern drafting are just a few examples of the things we’ve had to teach ourselves. In the end, even though our list of things to learn is still longer than what we’ve already learned, its been a fun and exciting experience that we’ve both fallen in love with.
Q: What has been the best high since creating Dou Loux that encourages you to continue?
M: Watching everything come together from just an idea has been really rewarding. Probably the biggest high though was our recent booth at Katsucon in the Artist’s Alley. We got to see people’s reactions in real time and talk to people about the designs and what they liked about it. It was so different from just sitting online and checking traffic. It will definitely be something we continue to do because I don’t think there is any substitute for connecting with people in person.
B: The biggest high for us has been creating something that is truly our own and then seeing people fall in love with what we’ve made. Both of us have spent our whole lives working for others so this is really the first time we’ve been able to see our own ideas come to life.
Q: Which is your favorite item so far? And are there new designs coming?
M: It’s almost impossible to pick a favorite, because we put so much thought into every piece. Not to mention how long we stare at the same things over and over! Out of the items currently up on our website though, I would have to say boo rider is my favorite because it came from a sketch Byron did at an event when we first met. As for new designs, we rolled out a ton of new products, fabric, and artwork at the Katsucon booth we just did. Right now we are spending our nights working on the photography to get them up on the website!
B: Like Melanie I think its impossible to pick a favorite item. I think I’m most proud of some of the new items Melanie has come up with because she was able to do everything beginning to end with her own skills. It’s the first time I’ve ever watched her start with a strong idea that is all her own and turn it into a reality. As far as designs coming, lets say we’re just getting started.
Q: What are your hopes for Dou Loux in the next few years? Or even the next few months?
M: I think our first goal is to keep growing as artists. I know both of us love learning new skills and materials and we try to just challenge ourselves every time we come up with something new.
B: Both of us are very ambitious artists so we have some pretty big dreams for Dou Loux. I think the most realistic prediction I can give is that it will keep evolving at a a very fast pace. Over the next year we will be perfecting our designs and products, creating many brand new ones and also selling at some craft shows and conventions. When you look at how much we’re already planning to do this year you quickly see how its hard to say what our hopes are for the next few years other then we’re delving deeper into Japanese culture and fashion and creating lots of brand new artwork.
Q: Do you have any advice for other artists and makers who are thinking of starting a company?
M: The best I can say, is to start with something you know and also something you love. If you have at least that rock to stand on, you can build and grow from there into whatever you want. You also just have to really love doing it, whether the money is there or not. The amount of time and effort you will have to put in will never be worth the money you are making in the beginning. Loving what you are doing will keep you going, and even then it’s sure to be a huge challenge.
B: My advice to anyone starting their own company is a long and well thought out strategy known simply as “What She Said.” So yeah, what she said.
Thanks for taking the time to give a little insight you two. If you want to continue to get to know Dou Loux there are lots of ways you can connect with them. Either at their online shop, Dou Loux they have some great prices. Or if you’re a tumbler or a tweeter then give them a follow.