Fraudy Feelings

A Journal Entry/Love Letter

The most vulnerable and real blog yet. Maybe I shouldn’t be sharing this, maybe it’s not good for business but maybe it’s good for me. 

Note: you may notice, this post was written several months back. At the time, it was too raw to share. Today, I was able to read it, being in a new place, with gratitude and I can honestly say it helped. I hope, it helps you too.  


Photo courtesy of Skylar Schroff

Recently, I’ve been feeling pretty fraudy. I started this business in hopes to encourage others to embrace their one of a kind self and style sustainably and ethically. I’ve spent countless hours sourcing, designing, cutting, and stitching to push this dream forward. It’s felt like rolling a giant, heavy cube up a mountain. The cube is too large to see over so I have no idea how far up the mountain I’ve moved it. And I’ll have small victories that I celebrate only to realize I’ve only tipped the cube from its edge onto one of its sides and have the strenuous task of doing it again. I hope this allegory isn’t too convoluted and the imagery is understandable but it’s the only way I can describe the journey thus far.


Photo courtesy of Skylar Schroff

So why do I do it? Because I believe in it. I believe that the fashion industry NEEDS to change. I have the burden of knowing and in turn, have a responsibility to care. I’ve created a fun brand that is an alternative to fast fashion. I’m doing good work.


Yet, I feel like a fraud. 


I feel unequipped, unprepared and insufficient in building the business I dream of. I listen to podcasts that interview successful founders and CEOs to share their story in building their company and I think, “I don’t find myself to be that person”. These people are naturally decisive and confident. I, on the other hand, am not.

Photo courtesy of Skylar Schroff

My dad made this comment the other day, “...your sister would just get out in front of everyone and dance. You could tell her which moves to try and she have no hesitation in doing it. But you weren’t that way. I would tell you show us your ballerina dance and you wouldn’t do it. You were, hmmm… I don’t know. You were self-conscious”. 

Self-conscious, that’s the word. I’ve been that way as long as I could remember (obviously) and people with rad companies generally, aren’t. One of the questions that comes up alot is in these podcasts are, “Did you ever think you were going to fail?” and the answer is generally some version of an emphatic NO!

Cue Sarah’s insecurity and self-doubt.

I DON’T GET IT!! How can these people feel and think that way? I’m plagued with the fear of failure, in fact, it’s one of my main drivers. Yes, I did just admit to being driven by fear. Which if you’re unfamiliar with the lifestyle, is one of the worst possible things you can do to your person, relationships and life.

What am I afraid of? I am afraid of failing in a very public way. Let’s be real for a sec, my company has only 1,500 followers so while we aren’t talking about major viewership it scares me. It would be devastating for me to feel like I failed if it were only to my parents.

But what does the fear do? The fear causes me to not truly commit. It makes my indecisiveness worse and I begin to make “half-decisions”. Which are, small, safe decisions I can easily back out of. I’m half in neo • thread and half out of it because I want to feel like if I have to jump ship, I can do that without a lot of public shame or disappointment. My life is dedicated to shielding myself from disappointment. I hate experiencing disappointment and I never, repeat never, want to disappoint others; to someone like me, disappointing others feels like a venial sin!

So why am I telling you all of this? Honestly, the answer to that is partially “I don’t know” but also I do know, it’s because in a way this involves you. A rather intentional change is about to take place with neo.

Photo courtesy of Skylar Schroff

After a lot of thought and a lot of fraudy feelings. I’ve decided to re-price some items. This change was made months ago. Every neo • thread piece I work on is my art. My heart, time and effort go into each piece. In that way, I consider myself an artist. However, I’ve always had it on my heart that sustainable, ethical wear be more accessible and I can make that happen. I can make a little less but include so many more who don’t feel like they can afford to shop consciously. Don’t be mistaken, one of a kind clothing is art, you are looking at a piece that exists nowhere else in the world and for that reason I’m not and will never be priced like Forever 21, Lulu’s or any other fast fashion brand. With that being said that I promise to never make clothing that exploits others and falls apart after 1 wash.

It’s a very delicate balance to decide on prices that both respect your work and time but also don’t discourage others. At this point in life, I am more concerned with promoting greater accessibility and encouraging more girls to celebrate themselves with ethical, sustainable fashion from neo • thread.

My personal commitment to you is to continue to make cool, one of a kind pieces and revise some of the prices to be more accessible. To be wholly in, sold and dedicated to the work and weight of neo. If you are a friend, collaborator or shopper of neo • thread you have helped to propel this dream forward, you knowingly or unknowingly have encouraged and supported me in this endeavor that can be really ugly and unglamorous at times and yet, very fulfilling.

Hearts & Stars, 

Sarah Holley


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