We had the good fortune of connecting with Devan Nichols and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Devan, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I have always been enamored with graphic shirts and thought it would be fun to make my own sometime. I followed local and inspiring businesses that made clothing, but their product never truly resonated with who I was or my price range so one day I decided it was time to make my own! My husband and I were about to move into the tiny house we built, so there wouldn’t be space (or budget!) to get a screen printing setup. A friend recently showed me how she block printed on paper and I did a little bit of Googling and figured out how to do it on fabric. Before Contour, I had a small card and print business, and when I posted my experimental first tee shirts on Instagram, I immediately got a message from one of the shops that carried my cards; they wanted my shirts! That was the moment I realized I could make shirts for more than just me:)
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Here at Contour, I handstamp every piece of clothing or soft good. Each garment’s original design is hand carved into a stamp and individually pressed with love. Just like us, no two are alike! I am careful to source and print each piece with durability, quality, and longevity in mind. It’s really important to me that people feel most like themselves when wearing Contour so they can be comfortable and confident in who they are so they can go out and make a difference in the world. For the most part, I’m a solo-preneur and sometimes it gets overwhelming and lonely. It’s tough to know where to go next and when I make big plans, they can fall though, but almost always get redirected toward something even better! It’s a rollercoaster, but keeps me out of trouble;) Choosing gratefulness every day has become really important on this journey: it highlights the good and lifts me out of the mess, offering the truth of perspective. Contour is here to make you feel loved so you can go out and spread that much needed love with others. We want the confidence that our clothing gives you to be multiplied.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Washington state is full of beauty and every season is so different! Some of my favorite places to take people from out of town include: Sunrise snowshoe at Artist Point, Colchuck Lake, Taqueria El Chavo, Chuckanut Drive, Mission Ridge, Maple Pass, and any drive down a forest road on my dirt bike! Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have so many wonderful people surrounding me in life from immediate to extended family; they are all very important to me on this journey. My Nana is an artist and always encouraged me to be in a creative state of mind. Janeane is my dear friend, second mother, and former boss who taught me the ways of retail and what people look for when they encounter, purchase, and consume your creativity. Last but not least, my husband Dan: Contour would not be what it is without his encouragement, skills, and compassion. He does SO much work behind the scenes that makes the magic happen. I have almost given up SO many times, but Dan always brings me back to the purpose and reality of what truly matters. I would be nowhere without these and many others on this journey – Contour is a community.
Heather K Purdy https://heatherkpurdy.com