Personal Legend Project: Annie Eakin

05_annie_0102Annie Eakin, Annie’s Clothesline

Annie and her mother Dede founded Annie’s Clothesline in 2008, working together to design and produce children’s clothing.  I caught up with them in Bloomington, IN as they prepared for their biggest event yet, the Country Living Fair in Nashville, Tennessee, April 22-24.


The following set of six questions will be answered by each of the subjects.

1)  Some people call it a “true calling” or their “life’s work.”  In the book The Alchemist, author Paulo Coelho calls it your Personal Legend. What do you consider to be your true calling, or Personal Legend?

I believe it is my Personal Legend to make a positive impact on other people’s lives. Annie’s Clothesline has provided me the opportunity to be a stay-at-home-mom and impact other peoples lives through clothing. My mother and I began the business in 2008, shortly after I had my second daughter. Working from home allowed me to be with my children. From the start we both agreed that Annie’s Clothesline would not overwhelm our lives so we could still make our families a priority. 
The business was also strongly inspired by the opportunity to offer clothing to girls that is age appropriate and offers colors and styles that are alternatives to those common in popular stores; specifically those styles that are too short, too small, too pink, or too purple. We offer a feminine style for girls that allows them to look like girls, not like girls in women’s clothing. 
Annie’s Clothesline is part of my Personal Legend because it gives me the opportunity to influence a little girl’s life by empowering her through clothes that let her feel like a girl and not an object and I can also be the parent I aspire to be by staying home with my children.


2)  When did you first realize that this was your calling?

There are many experiences that I can attribute to leading me to my Personal Legend. I know it is part of who I was born to be. I can recall taking a “career” test in 3rd or 4th grade and the result of mine was social worker. I completely rejected that idea but what I did learn from that was that I like to help people and to bring something positive to someone else’s life.

3)  People often become completely engrossed, losing track of time or outside concerns while performing tasks related to their calling.  This might be referred to as being “in the zone” or “flow.”  When do you experience this most often?

I probably get the most lost in my Personal Legend when I’m trying to sleep. I lay awake thinking of things I need to do next and what I can accomplish tomorrow. I will wake up thinking of tasks to complete or things I need to say to others. 


4)  What is the greatest challenge or obstacle you’ve faced in pursuit of your life’s work?

The greatest challenge to accomplishing my goals is myself. Always. I have high expectations of myself and when setting high goals it becomes overwhelming and can sometimes discourage me from accomplishing any goal at all. I want to do my best at everything I do and to be the best person/mother/wife/daughter/seamstress/athlete I can possibly be.


5)  What has pursuing your Personal Legend taught you?

My Personal Legend has taught me that just as I think I know who I am, there is more to discover. I began the business with my mother to create quality children’s clothing, to be able to spend time with my husband and kids, and to do something with my mother that we both love. After our first big show, four years after founding the business, I realized that I’m an artist too.


6)  What piece of advice can you offer to others seeking their true calling?

My advice to others seeking their true calling is to not be distracted and keep focused on your main goal. We all get pulled in different directions. Focusing on what your true calling is and keeping that in mind in times of doubt, or when considering new opportunities, is what will keep you on the path to accomplishing your true calling. 


Are you following your Personal Legend?  Tell us about it in the comments below.

Subscribe to the blog, or add us to your RSS feed to follow along as we post a new set of images each day for the next 30 days.   For background on this project, check out our first post in the series.


Author: Zach Dobson

Zach Dobson is a documentary and commercial photographer based in Indianapolis. He holds a degree in journalism from Indiana University with a concentration in photography. Since starting his business in 2006, Zach has focused on documenting people’s lives and businesses in action. Zach’s client list includes the Indiana Pacers, Coca-Cola, the AARP, ZipCar, Indiana University, Visit Bloomington, Hamilton County Tourism, Land O’Lakes, RIOT LA Comedy Festival, Indianapolis Public Schools, Indiana High School Athletic Association. Zach is a Professional Member of the American Society of Media Photographers [ASMP]. He resides in Carmel, Ind. with his wife and business partner, Courtney, and their five children.

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