Impressions Magazine cover story will release in August 2013

Cover and article photography by Henry Bernstein 

Blog by Rebecca Levine


 Shirts provided by Independent Trading Company

    "Fleur de Lis" print with complementing scarf   

Photography: Henry Bernstein, Model: Megan Snyder


 "Branching Out" print on tee, "Pansy" print wrapband                                    

I have spent the past few years taking my passion (art and fashion) on a mission to create something unique, artistic and innovative. I truly believe in the power of art and how the right combination of color and print can awaken a new sense of confidence in someone. It’s hard to believe I started my business painting silk scarves, and now it has evolved into a collection of original prints for clothing and accessories.

I was first introduced to digital printing in fashion school. I signed up for a class called “Surface Design” not knowing the life (and career) changing possibilities that lay ahead of me. From the first stroke of my paintbrush on a stretched silk scarf to manipulating my design on the computer, I was in love with art meets technology. I couldn’t believe how an idea could come to life and be reproduced! I must admit painting is relaxing, but for the first time I saw a potential business in my favorite hobby.

The class planted the seed, but a fortuitous run in years later became the driving force to taking a leap into creating my digital print fashion line. One day while I was walking through my neighborhood—the same place where I spent my childhood summers playing kickball and laughing with friends— I ran into my neighbor, Henry Bernstein.

Unbeknownst to me, he happened to be an expert in the apparel industry, specifically in digital direct-to-garment and apparel decorating equipment. Who knew I would find my big business idea a couple doors down from where I grew up? I took one tour of Henry’s company’s design studio and immediately wanted to test out the digital printer.

I came back day after day with new design ideas to print on scarves and shirts. I couldn’t believe how exciting it was to take something I created and put it on garments that took just minutes to print. The process was an incredible fusion of art and fashion to create wearable art, and I loved it. Henry has since become my go-to creative source to discuss ideas and as well as a mentor. He also is a talented photographer, and his artful eye and intuitive style make my work come alive.


               From sketch to digital print to heat pressing final garment

                Photography: Henry Bernstein, Model: Rebecca Levine

Through the years I have been developing new ideas and growing my brand by selling a wide variety of products online and at trunks shows. It has all been a bit of a whirlwind, and I hadn’t stopped to reflect upon it until I was approached by freelance writer Deborah Sexton. She asked if I would be interested in doing a cover story for Impressions Magazine about using direct-to-garment printing to create a business.

At that moment, I felt the door I had been knocking on was finally opening. I emphatically replied, “Absolutely!” and felt unbelievably grateful to have an opportunity be recognized and to share my work with others. Being introduced to the digital print community validates the long nights designing and printing in my home studio hoping to inspire others. Thank you!

     Custom printed Wrapbands with silk covered button embellishment

         Printed silk scarves: Pansy, Cheetah Tracks and Fleur de Lis

As an artist, there are many days when I thought I was making progress toward achieving my dream and other times when I wasn’t so sure. What I am sure of is the joy I get from people trying on one of my pieces and truly loving it. I enjoy being able to create unique fashion, that makes people feel stronger, stylish and more confident.

Opening up my business and its inner workings for the Impressions cover story has been eye opening and cathartic. I see the strengths of my business and where I can improve and adapt to the ever-changing market. It also has made me realize the importance to take the time to see where I started, how it’s going, and where I’m heading.

Overall, the experience has rejuvenated my outlook and empowered me to further develop my business.  I realize this is just the beginning of an exciting time for artists to use technology to express ideas and expand their vision. In my opinion, even though developing a business can often be a roller coaster, the journey is always worth the ride.

             Original print cotton scarves

    "Enjoy this Day" (yellow), "V Print" (red)

Photography: Henry Bernstein, Model: Michelle Szabo

            Original print tunic shirt "Logo" print

                    Cotton scarf "Inspire" print

         "Logo" wrapband worn as a head band