A year ago I was inspired by the idea of a “uniform” — versatile clothes I didn’t have to fuss with —to design a clothing line. I envisioned a twelve-piece wardrobe that was endlessly mutable and ageless. I planned to abandon trend, focus on long-term wear and pieces that could transition to different environments throughout the day.

Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider

I made patterns for three of the “lynchpin” pieces: a prototype of a leather jacket; fit-gorgeous pants; nearly all of a blazer. I felt like I was moving my dream forward. Surely I could finish this collection, throw together appropriate marketing, and sell it within a year. Then I moved apartments and had a major health crisis; the project was sidelined for over six months.

A few weeks ago, I found the prototypes in my basement, including a notebook detailing the timeline and instructions for wear. I burst into tears. How could I care so much about something and not do it? The path had seemed so clearcut.

Mira Keras via Sally Schneider
Mira Keras via Sally Schneider

I told Sally about finding the pieces and how ashamed I was: I knew the path and it was straight and I didn’t just do it.

She said:

There is an error in your thinking. The path of a creative project is NEVER straight. It always zig-zags, never with the timing we think it should have. Life happens. And life happened to you big-time.

It’s like Mike Tyson said: Everyone has a plan until they get hit. 

I don’t see failure here. You just need to pick up where you left off.

She asked me to bring the prototypes to her studio to photograph.

Sally Schneider
Sally Schneider

When I showed them to Sally, I felt proud of my workmanship and dedicated to finishing my project. I realized that it was when I’d looked at the pieces alone, without anyone else’s eyes on them, that they felt like the work of a failure or quitter.

I reoriented my goals to be more realistic: to accommodate professional commitments, family, life. If I launch my clothing line by the time I am 30 (in six years), that’s great. It’s not trend-based so it isn’t going to fall out of style.

Mira Keras
Mira Keras

The lesson?

Surround yourself with people you trust to show your unfinished projects and share the ideas you have and didn’t pursue. Get their feedback and advice, and honest opinions of what they think “won’t work”, and/or ‘YES “do it!”.

Mira Keras
Mira Keras

And, stealing a line from Sally: know that…

no path is a straight;

all projects take detours.

You just have to keep moving forward.

Mira Keras

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4 replies on “‘Everyone Has a Plan Until They Get Hit’ (Mike Tyson + Mira Keras)

  1. Great post. It’s so wonderful to have Sally,isn’t it? She’s saved me in many moments.

    I’m looking forward to your collection whenever it comes out. I love the idea! Maybe an announcement on IL?

  2. This is great stuff, but I think the Mike Tyson quotation, as I have heard it, can be even more powerful. “Everyone has a plan – until they get punched in the face.” Amen to that. And to plans moving forward after and through the punch.

  3. The quote seems to morph here and there…and it’s also been attributed to other people. I heard it goes this way:
    Everyone has a plan until they get hit.

    Hit in the face

    Hit in the mouth.

    Then, like a rat, they stop in fear and freeze.

    It goes on, but I’m going to save that for a down the line… (:

  4. I’m so happy that you have a changed perspective and are going forward with this project!

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