10 Ways To Pre Sell Your Fashion Collection

As the Founder of Orlando Fashion District, my mission is to help Fashion Designers succeed in business.

Here’s some of my best advice on how to leverage the money you spend on patterns and prototypes to fund the production of your designs vs spending thousands of dollars on a production run that hasn’t been tested on the market yet and hoping it will sell.

  1. Wear them! I highly recommend making yourself the fit model for your Designs whenever possible. Why? Because when I wear what I’ve designed (last night for example) I handed out 20+ business cards at a rock concert to people who said they loved the Steampunk Themed Top Hat, Jacket and Boots I made. I had 2 different people offer me $150 to buy my hat right off my head! Stand out in a crowd. Make yourself a walking billboard and engage your admirers by stopping right then and there and have them follow you on your social media accounts. Boom. Wearing your designs will also let you test the reaction, fit, fabrics, laundering aftermath and so on. It’s a necessary part of the research and development of your brand.
  2. Do a professional looking photo shoot of your designs. Hire models if needed, have a nice background, good lighting and get some great shots of your designs from all angles. These photos can be used for multiple things, which I will outline further below.
  3. Post photos to your social media. This is huge and if you don’t already have a website, Instagram or Facebook page for your designs you better get on it! Use your social media to showcase, debut, take pre orders for your designs and get feedback from your followers. If you need help building an Instagram account, I highly recommend KelpSocial.com they took our Orlando Fashion District account from 200 to 3,600 and growing, organically in a matter of weeks. Tell them you were referred by Orlando Fashion District and get a free month plus 10% off after your trial. You can set your Instagram account up to share your posts to Facebook, saving a lot of posting time.
  4. Launch a crowdfunding campaign. One of the best gurus in the industry on how to do this is Shannon Lohr at Factory45.co Presell your designs and fund your first production run with advanced orders using Your prototypes and photos. You’ll need to have your fabrics sourced and production numbers together with everything ready to rock and roll when the pre orders come in.
  5. Do a Runway Show. This will get you some great professional runway photos of models wearing your designs, good feedback from the crowd and potentially some buyers. I know Designers who sell their fashion right off the runway and take orders for their designs.
  6. Show your Designs at Convention, Tradeshow or Expo events. Some of the biggest events are the Surf Expo for swimwear designers, (surfexpo.com) Magic Las Vegas is one of the Fashion industries biggest sourcing events. http://www.ubmfashion.com/shows/magic I know designers who walked in with prototypes and walked out with Production contracts in hand.
  7. Negotiate retail contracts. I know a woman with an extensive list of top department stores and retailers who she can negotiate retail contracts with of your designs. Contact me directly for this inside information at Gina@PsychoSeamstress.com
  8. Start small on Etsy. Use your photos. Find a local seamstress who can make your designs as needed and sell them with up to a 6 week turnaround time. Get paid in advance and then ship it out made to order.
  9. Ask for Boutique orders. Pack your designs into a garment bag or suitcase and take them around to local boutiques with swatches of any other available fabrics. Show them your collection and ask for orders with a 50% deposit of at least 2X your cost and get the balance on delivery. They should be able to resell your designs for at least 2X what they paid you. (Keystone Pricing) If you can charge more then definitely do!
  10. Use Influencers. Ideally you should give your design to them for free, have them take photos wearing it and write you an unlicensed review you can use, post or share to your social media. Ideally an influencer should have at least 10k followers, be willing to blog their review, post photos to their social media and tag you. If you’d like me to review your design email me at Gina@PsychoSeamstress.com to see if we’re a good match.

For more help, resources and information on how to launch your own fashion brand, many of my clients have hired me as a consultant.

I can help you get through your patterns and prototypes, get graded and digitized, source fabrics, get your social media and branding image together, launch an influencer campaign, find a production house, show your collection on a fashion week or celebrity attempted runway show anywhere in the world and more.

Fashionably Yours,

Gina Vincenza Van Epps

Fashion Influencer

aka Psycho Seamstress

Founder of

Orlando Fashion District

Fashion Destination

#ofd

http://www.Psychoseamstress.com

http://www.OrlandoFashionDistrict.com

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Mick James Is Dead? But I JUST talked to him….

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Mick James of Criss Angel MindFreak and Believe fame gives a detailed interview to Psycho Seamstress on Rock Rage Radio Florida and talks about his new Dark Fantasy Musical/Film in the works “Mick James Is Dead”.

1.MJID CD COVER FINAL  2.-DSC_4172-back-cover-in-Coffin Final 7. Mick-K-in-Car Final

This interview was recorded on Friday March 27, 2015 and aired on Rock Rage Radio (www.rockrageradio.com) on Tuesday March 31, 2015 at 8pm.

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Here are photos of the stagewear I made for Mick and his guitar player Ku Khem

IMG_8433  Photo Jan 14, 9 32 16 AM Photo Jan 14, 9 32 37 AM

and photos from their performance at the Whiskey A Go Go in Los Angeles, CA in January 2015.

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CLICK HERE to listen to the original audio of this interview on YouTube with a photo slide show http://youtu.be/fk2VP9RBg9M

Mick James can be reached at:

Mick’s fan page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/MICKY-JAMES-OFFICIAL-FAN-PAGE/103779476342876?ref=ts

Please check out my movie teaser/music video. Featuring Snake Sabo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iDpHzRPflg

Hard copy CD packages: https://squareup.com/market/sj-management-group-llc

The new website: http://mickjamesisdead.com/

On Reverbnation http://www.reverbnation.com/mickjamesisdead

On twitter: https://twitter.com/Mickjamesbitch

On Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/die-mother-f****r-die!/id852448471?i=852448595&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Grimm Jack Link: https://www.facebook.com/grimm.jack.3?fref=ts

Psycho Seamstress http://www.psychoseamstress.com

http://www.facebook.com/psychoseamstress

http://www.facebook.com/rockrageflorida

http://www.rockrageradio.com

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“Can We Talk?” Rock Fashion Radio Show Coming Soon!!

As some of you may know, Joan Rivers was my first A List Client back in 2011.

Joan Rivers and I

 

Working for Joan, rattled my soul, sealed the deal and launched my career as an A List Wardrobe Seamstress. If I can survive her, I can survive anything! She was the ultimate trial by fire client and I now choose to be inspired by and channel a woman who rocked the fashion world with her famous words “Can We Talk?”

Since then, I’ve worked for many celebrities that came thru Orlando and Tampa on tour, including most famously Sir Paul McCartney, who’s story landed me on the front page of my hometown newspaper!!

Front page News

Some of the bigger jobs I’ve had over the last few years, included making 17 costumes for Justin Bieber’s Believe film and doing some major work on 5 red dresses for Taylor Swift’s back up singers on her Red Tour.

Justin Bieber Believe Film Costumes

I’ve also done a lot of costume rigging for shows like Michael Jackson’s Immortal Cirque du Soleil World Tour, Pink, Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlake, Bruno MarsMiley Cyrus, Usher and even got into Marilyn Manson’s Pants!

My A list work led to a job at Universal Theme Parks as Costume Fabrication Specialist where I worked on entertainer costumes including the most legendary “Invisibility Cloak” featured in the Beedle Bard show at Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley. Having a hand in making that was epic!

In my spare time, I spent an epic weekend last spring on a short tour of Florida festivals, courtesy of my friends with Volbeat. They needed some backdrop repairs and allowed me to tag along from RockFest to Rockville. I had an amazing moment with Billy Duffy of The Cult and had the opportunity to discuss a piece of his stagewear that I did a replica of for Cult Revolution, a tribute band.

Bruce Tindle wearing the Cult Replica vest I made

Bruce Tindle wearing the Cult Replica vest I made

One thing lead to another and through a series of FORTUNATE events, golden connections and rock networking, almost a year later, I’ve now been offered my own Rock Fashion Radio Show as Psycho Seamstress on Rock Rage Radio!! I will be reviewing Rock Fashion, interviewing Stagewear Designers and Rock Stars who dress to impress from coast to coast regarding their duds of choice.
We will also be launching  a nationwide band image makeover contest with some huge prizes!
So stay tuned and don’t be caught in public looking anything less than famous!

Rock Rage Radio

 

Rock Rage Radio

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Like Psycho Seamstress on Facebook!

Bacchanal Carnival, a Rock Operetta in the Works

In January of 2013, I met with the friend of a friend, named Blu Fogarty.

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Blu is a very talented performer at Universal Studios, who wanted to show me a Rock Operetta he had written entitled “Bacchanal Carnival”. The show is a very diverse Morality Play about a character called “Everyman”, he actually performed it for me, from beginning to end, playing and singing the parts for each of the characters he had written. It was quite impressive. I felt compelled to become involved.

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Blu’s goal is to tour his charity benefit rock operetta and use it to raise money for local charities by partnering with them in communities where it will be shown. (See the C.O.R.E. Incorporated Facebook Page or Website for more information.)
Over the last 2 years Blu formed a 501c3 non profit organization called C.O.R.E. Incorporated, whose primary mission is to put this show on tour.

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Last year, I agreed to help by putting together a good, better and best budget for wardrobe.

My Fashion Designer friend David Barnes of Piida Diida agreed to fill in some of the costume blanks with concept drawings.

Stiltwalking Performers
Through another series of meetings Blu decided to replace the touring orchestra with a Circus Style Calliope Machine with a Steam Punk edge.

I introduced Blu to a few more friends, who I thought might be able to help him along his journey including Winfield Murdock, a very talented Costume Designer, Fabrication Specialist and Owner of Winfield Murdock Creative Works in Orlando.

Winfield Murdock Creative Works
This winter Blu had an event coming up and has been wanting his “MC” costume fabricated, so he could wear it to meetings with potential investors to help convey his concept, perform parts of the play and for general marketing purposes.
Miguel Moreta, a London Educated Fashion Graduate, Costume Designer & Fabricator I’ve been working with over the last few months, sat down with Blu a few weeks ago and sketched out all of the details needed to move the project into fabrication.

MC Costume Drawings by Miguel Moreta
Winfield Murdock met with Blu to discuss the final details and began working on construction.

MC Jacket Construction  Leather Pants Panels MC Pants

I worked mostly on the leather pants from beginning to end.

The end result was a Custom Military Style Tails Coat, Hand Made Leather Top Hat and Patchwork Leather Pants.
This costume is one of many amazing costumes pending fabrication for this show.

MC Front MC Back MC Pants Patched Back Seam
If you’d like to donate time, talent, money, goods or services to help Blu bring his concept further into creation, please contact Blu@coreincorporated.org and tell him I sent you.

Blu needs help with production, audio, video, lighting, casting, performers, soundtrack, props, costumes, funding, grants and more!

Core Incorporated Website and Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/hardCOREincorporated  http://www.coreincorporated.org/

Winfield Murdock Creative Works Website & Facebook Page

http://www.winfieldmurdock.com/   https://www.facebook.com/WinfieldMurdockCreativeWorks

David Barnes of Piida Diida   https://www.facebook.com/pages/Piida-Diida-Clothing/120707634627104

Gina Vincenza Van Epps aka Psycho Seamstress
A List Wardrobe Seamstress, Designer & Costume Fabrication Specialist

Gina@PsychoSeamstress.com

Psycho Seamstress  https://www.facebook.com/psychoseamstress

Psycho Stagewear  https://www.facebook.com/psycho13stagewear

House of Vincenza   https://www.facebook.com/houseofvincenza

Orlando Fashion District  https://www.facebook.com/OrlandoFashionDistrict

Central Florida Sewing Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/fashionincubatordh/

My Summer of 84 in NYC

My talented friend and Artist, Nancy Scheer​​ reminded me on Facebook that this is the 30 year anniversary of our summer at Parsons School of Design in NYC!
It was quite a hell hole back then, with a very high crime rate, but it was the unmatched epitome of fashion and music in the 1980’s.
At 17, I was let loose in NYC, with an electric guitar, some leather pants and some art supplies!
We attended art classes Monday To Thursday.
I took a Communication Design class in the days before computer graphics even existed. Commercial Art back then, consisted of using vinyl graphic Letraset type fonts and photo editing was literally cutting off someones head in one photo and paste it to another body! We had art by day and party by night.
I flew to NYC with a fellow artfag from High School, Chrisula Constantine.

My 1980's Birthday, Probably 17th.

My 1980’s Birthday, Probably 17th.

Chrissy and I had fully intended on moving to L.A. after High School to find the rest of our metal band we had already name “Latem Tar” (Metal Rat spelled backwards!) but then boys happened and I ended up moving to Florida, where I have remained since 85.

We shared a lofted Union Square apartment. Our bedroom, was basically two beds, up a 8″ ladder and the room below contained 2 wardrobes for our stuff and a small desk. We had a giant window that over looked the street and the building directly across.

We shared a kitchen and eating area with Vivian and Beth, who had a bedroom like ours. There was a common living and recreation area, shared by other students, down the hall and a pay phone. Most of the time the elevator was broken and we had to walk or stumble up 11 flights of stairs. We walked everywhere and had blisters for weeks!

Within a day or so, we noticed people across the street spying on us with cameras and binoculars, Chris and I went out and bought a giant Judas Priest poster which became our “curtain”, but since the open window was our only air conditioning, it stayed open 24/7. You could hear the riff raff on the streets, and smell the garbage from the 11th floor.

Our bathroom was notable and became a tour stop on our floor. Somehow we managed to get the handicap room with a giant walk in shower and toilet with bars on the side. We all took turns worshipping it.

We had the weekend to do whatever we wanted. I think I learned more on the weekends than I ever learned in school!
It was off the chain, we drank, bought food from vendors on the streets, partied, and carried on like rock stars. We went to a theme party that was a mock funeral, Coffin and all.

With the right amount of cash and looks, you could get into all the hot clubs like the famous Danceteria from the Movie “Desperately Seeking Susan”. It was there, where Madonna was, that I got squished into a tiny elevator with a hot guy, I would later fall in love with and not see or hear from again, until he found me 25 years later.

@ Michel's NYU Dorm Room

@ Michel’s NYU Dorm Room

NYC back then was the home to Studio 54, The Limelight, CBGB’s, The Underground, The Peppermint Lounge and more. The local news paper was “The Village Voice”. The famous shops were “Trash and Vaudeville” and resale stores with clothes to die for! We visited all of those places.

I went to a concert and saw Ratt, Twisted Sister and my hero at the time, Lita Ford on the Pier. I was wearing purple spandex pants and some jerk put his cigarette out on my leg!

Lita Ford's Guitar and Roadcase

The elevator guy looked like a rock star, he was attending NYU and later became a famous Heavy Metal DJ at L’Amour’s, Michel Gutman, he still has the epic CD collection to prove it! (in 2009, he returned to the states after living in Israel, we lived together for about 9 months in Hot Springs AR, then split, but that’s another story!)

Chrisula and I would get dressed up each weekend to attended the midnight screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show’s Live performances with the famous guy on the record, Sal. I bought an Adam Ant record at Bleeker Bobs, some purple leather pants at CC Stars and ate Pizza at Ray’s. One day my art teacher (whose name, I can’t remember) was eating something I had never seen before, it was Sushi, she let me try some and I’ve been hooked ever since. She threw a party at her loft apartment in an old dockside factory, we traveled by the Twin Towers and what I think was the Brooklyn Bridge to get there.

I just realize, wow, I still am wearing, at this very moment the black rubber vacuum cleaner o ring bracelet I bought in a store across the street from the famous Electric Lady recording studio built by Jimi Hendrix, where Chrisula Constantine and I were stalking, to get a glimpse of KISS who was allegedly recording there.

I saw the Gay Parade march down 5th Ave and the Statue of Liberty covered in scaffolding as that was the year they did some restoration work on it.

I remember walking down the street one day and someone stopped me to ask where the Empire State Building was, I turned and looked at the skyline and realized I had been living only blocks away, all this time!

I spent the 4th of July on Tar Beach, the roof of our building watching fireworks and the Macy’s parade.

In 1998 I got a 3am motorcycle tour of NYC and rode by the building I once lived in on Union Square, the former lobby had since become a restaurant and was all fixed up. A lot had changed for the better.

The experience of living in New York City for the summer of 1984, was priceless. It was truly one of the best summers of my life. I am sure it was scary for my parents, but I’m glad they let me go. It was an amazing adventure.

15 minutes of fame and still counting…

A year ago I had one of the most epic days of my life. They say everybody gets 15 minutes of fame, but mine has just kept on going. It was completely unexpected and so far exceeded my expectations, it has yet to be topped.
I was anxiously awaiting the release of an interview I had done over the phone with my home town newspaper last May after they found out about my small town girl success and the A List Seamstress I’d become.
I sent a few photos as requested and talked about what I’ve been doing with my life since I left “the burg”.
I was prepared for a center fold in the “entertainment” section as we had discussed. It was supposed to be released over Memorial Day Weekend. I messaged a few friends back home to check the paper for me and after they flipped through it cover to cover, informed me it wasn’t there. I have to admit I was a little disappointed as Memorial weekend came and went.
On Sunday morning, June 2nd, I got the shock of a lifetime when my friend Jeff Gordon (he and I were voted the “most artistic” of Frewsburg NY’s class of 85) messaged me on Facebook with a photo of the front page of Jamestown, NY’s “Post Journal” News Paper. There, I was taking up 1/2 of the front page smoking a Cuban cigar! I didn’t see it in actual print until my Uncle Peter Nalbone gave me the copy somebody had mailed him in Charlotte, NC a few weeks later! I was absolutely shocked! My first thought was “holy crap, I made the front page and didn’t even rob a bank!”
I got literally hundreds of comments, emails, texts, messages and phone calls from all over the place.
To this day, my mom said that when ever she goes back home to visit, people still talk to her about my cigar smoking front page news article!
Working for Sir Paul McCartney was the catalyst that propelled me to the front page, but Sir Paul was followed by an epic year of achievements for me that included: – my first movie costumes for “Hallowed Ground”
– getting into Marilyn Manson’s pants (!)
– custom Stagewear for Dweezil Zappa
– opening a Design House
– sending in an audition tape for Project Runway
– fixing Michael Bublè’s Fly!
– 2 dates with Bruno Mars
– Stagewear for Mick James (of Criss Angel Mind Freak fame) worn in the film “Lost in Darkness”
– my first music video for the film “Rescue Me”
– seamstress for Justin Timberlake
– one of my costume designs landed on the cover model of Encore
– helped my friend Jen get her 5 years dream of a “DoggieSack” prototype factory made
– rocked out as production crew on the “70,000 Tons of Metal” Cruise
– twerking 2 dates with Miley Cyrus
– sewing for Volbeat
– chilling at Rockville where I chatted with Billy Duffy of the Cult about his Stagewear
– teaching sewing to students of all ages
– working with designers on launching their fashion lines
– making Rock Stagewear for a clientele that has now become worldwide
and most recently working for Cher!
This year I have already achieved more of my ginormous goals including landing a part time job at Universal Orlando as a Costume Fabrication Specialist, scoring my first Gig as Costume Designer for the film “The Glades” and continuing to do what I love for a living.
It has been an amazing journey. Everyday I learn and grow. Every opportunity brings new challenges and skills. I strive to make this world a better place by blessing the lives of those who wear the clothes I’ve had the honor and privilege to sew. Each day I remember, thank and honor the grandmother who passed this gift along to me. I am grateful to be this blessed. I am happy to inspire others to greatness. I am happy to be, who I was meant to be. I believe the best is yet to come. Of all the things I have learned in life, it all boils down to this… Believing is seeing. Every thought is a prayer. Good, Bad or Ugly. Make it count. What Would It Take to have everything in your life exceed your expectations and be more than you think you deserve? Why don’t you ask and find out?
It’s never too late to be who you meant to be!

Billy Duffy of The Cult chats with me about his Stagewear

On April 26, I was invited to Rockville Music Festival 2014 in Jacksonville Florida, by my friend Jeff G, the Tour Manager of Volbeat, who were opening for the headliner act The Cult on one of two main stages.

The night before, I got to see Volbeat in Tampa with my friend Downtown Lindsey Brown at 98 RockFest, where I sewed up a torn drum riser wrap and fixed Rob’s boot, but that’s another story!! See my later post.

The Rockville event lasted 2 Days and included some pretty heavy hitters from the rock world. More on that later…
I planned on bringing my high school BFF Darlene, but after a crazy unscheduled, last minute, top secret mission I had to make to Tampa, it didn’t work out.

During my 6 hour trek, I decided to call my good friend Chris Snow to see if he’d like to have her All Access pass, since she couldn’t make it. Chris is the drummer for one of the best Orlando based Cult tribute bands in the world called “Cult Revolution”… https://m.facebook.com/pages/Cult-Revolution/126312267519521?_rdr

Cult Revolution, a Cult tribute band featuring my friends Chris Snow and Robbie Sinn (Flock of Seagulls)

Cult Revolution, a Cult tribute band featuring my friends Chris Snow and Robbie Sinn (Flock of Seagulls)

 

I figured on the off chance we might get to mingle with the original Cult band members, Chris and Robbie Sinn (former Flock of Seagulls bass player) of all people, would appreciate the hook up.

I arrived at Metropolitan Park around 4 pm, delivered on my mission and finally got to relax a bit.

I snapped this pic of Billy’s famous White Gretsch guitar, as it was being worked on.

Billy Duffy's famous Gretsch

Billy Duffy’s famous Gretsch

Finally Chris, Robbie and Vanessa arrived at the festival in time to catch Volbeat. In between bands, I met them stage left and took Chris backstage first.

Cult's dressing room backstage at Rockville

Cult’s dressing room backstage at Rockville

As it turns out, we were in perfect sync with catching the members of The Cult as they began to emerge from their dressing rooms and we had All Access Passes.

Rockville All Access

Rockville All Access

First was Chris Wyse, the bass player, who chatted frequently with Chris online and recognized him from his Facebook photo, which was cool. They chatted about the tribute band and Wyse’s other project “Owl”. I snapped this pic of Chris and Chris.

Chris Wyse and Chris Snow

Chris Wyse and Chris Snow

Then came John Tempesta, former drummer for Exodus, Testament, Rob Zombie, White Zombie and more. They talked drums a bit and John let me take this pic him and Chris.

John Tempesta and Chris Snow

John Tempesta and Chris Snow

Surprisingly next, Billy Duffy strolls up. That was when it got cool for me. I recently did a replica of his black Levi vest with a Texas flag

Cult Replica Vest I made

Cult Replica Vest I made

for Bruce Tindle of Cult Revolution.

When I showed him a pic of it, he began to tell us the story about the original vest his former girlfriend made for him out of a Texas Flag Bandana. Billy said the original vest had sadly since been lost, but that a replica is on display at the Hard Rock Cafe.

Billy Duffy in the original Texas Flag Vest his girlfriend made him

Billy Duffy in the original Texas Flag Vest his girlfriend made him

Hearing that story for me and what I do, was priceless. It’s not often I get to talk to an Original Band Member in regard to Stagewear I am hired to make replicas of, for tribute bands.

For obvious reasons, Ian Astbury came in pretty hot with an entourage of security and only paused briefly next to Chris before he hit the stage.

Chris, Robbie and Vanessa all ran into the band again in the Artist Lounge despite thinking they had all left the building. All in all it was a really great night for them to meet the band they themselves pay tribute to onstage.

It’s exciting for me to be able to “cash in my chips” now and then for events like this and nice to be able to share times like these with my friends and watch them experience meeting the rock star people I get to work with, whom they idolize. I have some well connected friends in this business. It has taken me years to establish relationships of trust with people in the music industry. There is a lot involved in keeping a good reputation in this business.
I’m not lucky… I work HARD at what I do and it has taken a lot of very strategic effort, talent, planning and getting the job done right, repeatedly, to get me where I am today. I am very grateful to those who I know in this business and who’ve helped me along the way. It may all SEEM pretty effortless on my part, but there are a lot of things I do on a daily basis that make weekends like this happen. It takes an ongoing effort to follow your dreams and a great deal of believing it’s even possible.
If you’ve ever wished for times like these, all you have to do is ask… “what would it take…” and the steps it will take you to get there will be laid out before you if you truly believe it to be yours for the taking.

Stay Metal my friends!