It’s a warm Saturday morning in Brooklyn, NY. The bright sun begins to peak through the Manhattan skyline. A young-Rochelle Dweck watches as her parents keep productive on a seemingly relaxing day.
“From a very young age, I’d wake up on Saturday and see my parents start working on their computers and I wanted to feel productive,” says Dweck, “I’d take out my markers and construction paper and I would draw.”
Growing up with an art teacher as a grandmother and a working artist as a mother, Rochelle was exposed to many forms of art at a young age. Saturdays proved pivotal for Dweck and she would start taking to new mediums such as jean jackets. By the time high school came around, she was a natural and her friends began to notice.
“I started Mercer Girl in senior year,” says Dweck, “I painted a jacket for myself and a few kids in my grade thought it was really cool and they all said you should sell them.”
With the early, positive feedback, Dweck decided to market her brand, “Mercer Girl.” Not too long after launching, she learned that not everyone simply wanted her designs.
“I started painting my own designs onto jackets and listing them on Instagram and I realized custom orders were more popular,” says Dweck, “So, I switched to doing more custom designs.”
Though much of her customers opt for custom designed jackets, Dweck says she is ready to share her personal designs with the world.
“With customs, people had full freedom to make their own artistic designs because it was much harder for me to guess what people would like and I only drew what interested me,” Dweck says, “Now, I am very confident in my designs and that’s what I’m going to make with Popcycle.”
Her urge to draw can come whenever, so finding Dweck not working on designs may be a rare sighting. For the sophomore studio art major, inspiration is on-the-go.
“I take my sketchbook everywhere I go and I force myself to work in it all the time, at least twice a day,” says Dweck. “When I need inspiration, I’ll flip through it and if I’m sure about a design, I’ll sketch out the drawing on a jacket and then I’ll have the template.”
Dweck is excited to be partnering with Popcycle and says she looks forward to developing Mercer Girl’s look.
“I definitely want to develop my own aesthetic, and Popcycle is giving me the opportunity to make pre-made jackets and release them,” Dweck says.
It’s now time for brunch in Brooklyn. Rochelle reluctantly closes her sketchbook to grab a bite. But, she knows she’ll be back soon. And no one can take her away.