Article by: Razel S.
Visual by: Gabby F.
Edited by: Woosuk K.
Over the summer, sisters Sammy V. and Jenny V., both seniors, started a design and photography Instagram account and brand called “Essential Archive”. The pair had long been involved in the creative field, and they wanted to create a brand that would help incorporate their designs into everyday lives. Personally, the pair hoped to use their profits to fund their future endeavors. “My sister and I are both trying to save and earn money for our gap year! Because it is almost impossible for foreigners to make money without a working permit, we thought about making products and arranging paid shoots would be a great way to make extra money,” Jenny said.
However, in order establish a greater meaning into the essence of their brand, they believed that they could use their creative outlet for empowerment. The brand aims to do so by creating a candid image of people from all walks of life. “When we started seriously discussing the creation of Essential Archive, we talked about how we wanted to be a source of empowerment for other young people like us who are afraid of starting new things or have body image issues,” said the pair.
Although the development of their brand has so far been rewarding, they did reveal that the process of starting up their brand has been quite arduous due to the number of photography accounts on Instagram. “We want to make our message clear and stand out from other photography accounts. So, we have people contact us and we contact other brands for shoots. It is a difficult process because most of the time we don’t get many replies! But, we have slowly been able to get sponsors and a build our brand.”
The pair also stated that their background in the creative field has immensely helped them in starting their brand. Since they constantly hope to find ways of standing out, their creative background helps them to create unique photographs. “Throughout the shooting process, we always keep in mind the style we are going for and try to create different, eye-catching compositions. I think art has really helped us look at fashion photography in different ways and help us expand our horizons.”
In the future, the two hope that this account can be used for a greater purpose that contrasts from most creative magazines and accounts that already exist online. “We weren’t really seeing any mainstream sources of media that were truly embracing and showcasing common insecurities, like acne, scars, body weight, etc. Especially not from people our age who are most commonly affected by body image issues.” However, with this creative message, Sammy and Jenny just hope to have a creative outlet to help them showcase their talents that are completely different from their creative endeavors in ISM. “While we always keep this in mind in all of our shoots, we also just wanted an outlet for our hobbies! But, in all, we just want to create a place where we can do the things we love, for ourselves and for people like us.”