Fashion

The Horses

Pre-pandemic I had a list of things that I wanted to learn. Basically playing catch up and giving myself what I didn’t get as a kid. This week it was horseback riding lessons. Why? I don’t know. But I read Black Beauty a ton of times as a kid, so maybe that’s it. And I like the idea of having this be an option for me. I can walk, ride a bike or take a horse.

I got up super early and went out to Randall’s Island, then managed to get lost for half an hour. I almost gave up and went home. It just felt like too much. When I finally found the stables I nearly cried in relief. Once I got in it was a flurry of trying on helmets and watching my horse, Cooper, get saddled. I had opted for a Western lesson, with a western saddle. Big difference between English and Western saddles? The western has a horn to grip.

My first lesson was about getting comfortable, so once I clambered on to Cooper’s back we went into a paddock to saunter sedately around in a circle while a trainer held the reins. Then I got to hold the reins. Then I got to balance on the saddle without holding on. Then I got the reins again and started working on steering the horse.

It’s funny, but when I thought about riding a horse, I kind of forgot that horses are living things. It’s mind blowing that this massive animal let me ride on his back. Putt hmmm my hand on Cooper’s back filled me with a sense of calm.Riding reminds you that you are dependent on another being who could throw you to the ground without hesitation.

When I got home, I booked my next lesson and shopped for supplies. I found the riding helmet, horse treats and a kids book about horses on Chewy. I got the black jodhpurs on Amazon. Now I can walk around the streets of NY dressed like a lawn jockey.

food

The Food

I did not eat fast food for all of April. No McDonalds breakfast, no dropping in at Burger King or Wendy’s or Starbucks. I had to cook at home. I did eat out a few times, Walgreens sushi, a moment at Mexicue and a farro filled burrito from Dos Toros. But nothing from the usual suspects. I’ve lost six, possibly seven, pounds (the scale flickers) but that’s not the reason. I felt depressed and sluggish, and I was spending money reflexively on food that was not elevating me. I can’t keep spending money on food that made me feel like a bottom feeder.

So here’s a photo dump of food that I ate this month. From salads to burritos to a lot of salmon and back to salad. I backslid, and I ate cookies.

Then I went back to salads.


adventures, Fashion, recycled fashion

The Sale

Self explanatory.

I went to my first estate sale this week. It’s something I’ve built a fantasy around, but most are out in the suburbs or New Jersey so it seemed like too much trouble. Somebody I’m not speaking to now found this one for me on Clubhouse (I’m only mentioning them because I didn’t find this on my own, and want to illustrate how information gets exchanged on there), and it turned out to be an hour from my job and near a bus route. So I went from thinking it was impossible to planning the day and time I was going. Just that quick.

I am going to admit right now that I used this trip as an excuse to get a burrito. The burrito had farro instead of rice, and lean pork instead of beef and this was a business trip, so… Anyway. Managed to get to Port Authority full of food, and only stood at the wrong gate for half an hour. Then I miraculously managed to pull up to the right gate in the neck of time to catch the bus. Magic. It was definitely the burrito that saved me.

The directions were perfect (well, I blinked and missed my stop and had to wait for a bus back and it turned out that I could have walked 🤦🏿‍♀️), and I was able to find the house easily. There was a line and one woman was loudly complaining, which felt inappropriate on the doorstep of someone’s home. People came flying out with big bags of stuff and then the hardened regulars shouted ‘anything left’, which felt weird to me. Because I could see this happening to me after I’m dead and it gave me chills.

I still went in, but I stayed quiet and patient, looking around the pretty yard with the wishing well, trees and bench feeling strange. Someone thought carefully about this yard and everything in it. Someone chose the monogrammed stone planters that flanked the door and the red paint that made house seem both warm and dramatic. When it was finally my turn to go in, I realized that even though I was uncomfortable I just had to see what the place looked like. And it was just as adorable inside, I can’t lie.

I’m didn’t want to take too many pics, but there was sooooooo much stuff! Housewares, furniture, bags, jewelry, shoes, racks of clothing, Christmas ornaments and chatchkes. At first I felt weird, but then I just started looking and evaluation, realizing that I was touching 90s and Y2Kvintage that had been in use. There some bags that were a little tatty, but would have been at home on SATC. She really liked leather booties with stilletto heels. And embroidered shoes. And colors. And costume jewelry.

I started curating s collection with a theme and I even negotiated a deal on some higher end items when disaster struck… they expected cash. I have some emergency cash I keep around, but I never use it. And they didn’t have WiFi so I couldn’t move money to my PayPal. I thought for a second and ended up leaving everything. Now I realize that I could have asked them to total it and send me an invoice and then I could have picked up my stuff later, but I wasn’t thinking. I just assumed that the universe was telling me to get out of there and leave that dead lady’s stuff alone.

Even though I left empty handed, I’m glad I went. Now I thinking about writing a will with instructions as to how to handle all the stuff I’ll be leaving, passwords to my online shops and blog, plus how the money in my accounts will handled. I’m not sure how long it will be before I brave another estate sale, but it was a good experience overall. At least now I’ve done it.

If you want to find one, go to www.estate sales.net.

Bring cash.

Fashion

The Club


So I was supposed to blog yesterday and I was working on updating my listings and getting all of my inventory organized by May 1st so that I can start working on my Shopify, sewing projects and making paper. I really meant to do my Saturday post, but I started a club on Clubhouse and the room started at 4pm and didn’t end until 3am. No joke, I actually spent all night on Clubhouse and forgot to blog.

It’s funny because I was totally stubborn about joining clubhouse. I didn’t have anyone to invite me anyway, which is probably why I was bitter. I joined a Poshmark Accountability group on instagram and over the course of six weeks, made friends with people and ended up getting invited. Then I helped the group leader get on, since she had an Android I coached her through setting up on her iPad. I gave a few invites away on Instagram, too. As a pay it forward thing.

I’m an intermittent user at best, but the magic is that you always seem to pick up some new friends if you participate, not to mention learning a ton about reselling, vintage and just getting a chance to speak to people instead of just trading dm’s or comments. I haven’t spoken on the phone in years, but lately I give people my number so we can talk. It’s wild. I am talking on the phone, laughing, listening, and enjoying the company of people that I’ve never met.

I decided to start my own club because I actually met a reseller here in NY and I realized that while I enjoy meeting people from all over the country, it would be nice to network and hang out with people right here in New York. So far I haven’t gotten that many New Yorkers, but they’re trickling in little by little. And while I kind of try to stay on topic, last night we talked about a frog on a lady’s deck, whether or not we’re just living in a simulation, NFTs, the stock market, and one person went to get her oil changed.

Pure anarchy.

It’s perfect.

Fashion

The Vaccine

I have been growing into a real adult lately. Paying bills and rent, organizing my business, making soap, avoiding fast food, cleaning my apartment, setting goals and now getting vaccinated. Adulthood is just being your own parent.

I was just complacently ignoring the vaccination frenzy, but then people I knew started getting and I got jealous. So I went on vaccine finder, but I couldn’t get an appointment, so I called 311 and found out that they were doing 24 hour mass vaccinations about an hour from me. I almost got stuck with a three am appointment, but finally got one for 6:30 am. I had to get up at 4:30 am, jump out of bed, wipe myself down and run to the train station where I missed the train because my card didn’t swipe. I was so pissed.

But the train came, I walked down a spooky, deserted block to the vaccination site and got there on time. Of course there was barely anyone there. And once I got registered and registered again, the shot wasn’t that bad. I didn’t even feel it. And I got Moderna, the one I wanted (what? I own one whole share of the company!). They made us sit for 15 minutes to make sure there wasn’t any bad reaction, and then I got scheduled for my second dose. And that was it. I got a vaccination card and a sticker for my trouble.

Half vaxxed and proud!

I made it home, got dressed for work, went to work, came home and fell asleep. My arm hurt and I just felt completely exhausted. Once I woke up, my arm still hurt a bit, but I felt great. And I got it done. I adulted. I’m a badass grownup.




Fashion

The Shopping Trip

Being a one person business means juggling roles in a timely fashion. I’m the buying and procurement department, the head of inspection and evaluation, the pricing consultant and the marketing department. I was listening to a vintage sellers group on clubhouse and they mentioned ‘rag pickers’. I googled and found a place offering verified vintage to people in the fashion industry… but it’s in Philadelphia.

I live in Brooklyn. Whomp whomp.

Except I got a refund for something which means that I could buy train tickets, lunch and new inventory. I had Friday off, so taking a three hour trip to Philly wouldn’t cause any scheduling problems. We’re not in quarantine, and I have a whole mask wardrobe. A road trip to Bulk Vintage went from not happening to a firm plan. In fact, it became a certainty. So in the rush of planning a trip and going on it, I didn’t get to blog yesterday.


I didn’t take that many photos because I forgot my charger, so this is it. I want to make a big dramatic deal out of it, but I just got up, went to Penn Station, went to Philadelphia, went shopping and then came home. Yep, boring.

But I got that vintage. Objective achieved.

beauty, beauty products, Fashion, lifestyle, soap

The Soapbox

I made these!

I’ve been procrastinating about making soap for weeks now. Tbh, I didn’t want to go in my pocket for supplies while there was a stimulus check on the table. I got mine two weeks ago and ordered more melt and pour soap blocks, liquid color pants and a loaf mold. A loaf mold lets you make ten two inch bars of soap in one go. A loaf mold lets you be creative and make prettier soap. A loaf mold sets you free.


I forgot to take a full photo of the mold, but it’s a silicone rectangle that fits in a wooden box, which holds the sides nice and firm. I decided to remake a Lemon Lavender Sea Salt bar recipe that I developed, but adding lavender colored shea butter soap accents. The first time I made individual bars and it smelled great and was moisturizing, but it didn’t have that artisan soap look. Last night I chopped up the unsold bars, added more lavender buds and rose petals and layered it with colored soap like a layer cake.

I cannot tell you how soothing and satisfying the whole process was. I used to strive towards these massive experiences and now, mixing and coloring soap, I am so happy. It’s such a logical craft. No wasted efforts or movements, no stress, and you get soap at the end.

Fucking perfect.

art, lifestyle

The Daytrip

Day trippers in front of a MarkRothko paining at MoMA

I almost forgot to blog today! Which is sad because I have a nice little post to share. I went to the Museum of Modern Art here in New York for a vacation day. I haven’t gone anywhere for pleasure in a full year. I go to work, the grocery store and then home. Every so often I vary it up, but it’s a slight variation, like getting off the train to shop at CB2 one day… but then I got right back on the train, so it wasn’t really anything. Just a blip.

Balloon installation at MoMA

I woke upon Wednesday morning and as I was getting ready for work I decided to go to MoMA. I just felt like it. I bought a $25 ticket online and that was it. I went off to a victorious workday where I got everything I wanted and got everything done and then I hustled to the museum. In addition to being the first outside plan that I’ve executed, it’s also the first time in a few years that I’ve desperately wanted to see some art. Especially art that wasn’t on a screen being shared for likes with comments under it.

Mecca for modern art

I spent three hours working my way through galleries full of the self expression of world changing artists and thought about how precious it is to just walk around freely. There were other people, properly masked and there was social distancing and it was extraordinary. It wasn’t a trip to Florida to twerk in the street, but it was something.

Fashion

The Bins

About two years ago I started running out of blogger swag to sell and I didn’t have a ton of money for new inventory. I started researching ‘reselling’ and found out that it as not only a massive industry of small business running independently, but there’s a huge source of inventory that’s practically free. It’s the goodwill outlet, otherwise known as The Bins. No decor, just big blue bins full of stuff that didn’t sell. It’s clearance on steroids. A couple of weeks ago I went out to forage for merchandise and found out things were a little different thanks to COVID-19.

Luckily I had gotten my days mixed up and got there an hour and a half early. And I still wasn’t the first one there. Some guy ran up to me and pointed at the line…random objects used as placeholders. After I finished laughing in his face, I realized that this ratchetness was real. I actually had to stand on line, which is never my favorite activity. Then I realized how early I was and resigned myself to misery. I’m luckier than the folks in the third pic, though. That was the line when I left.


It wasn’t as crowded, since they had crowd control, but it was still hard not to bump into people. Even though there’s tons of stuff to sift through you still get people who operate from a scarcity mindset. They can’t help themselves, they have to fight for everything even when no one else cares. They bring out new items on a rotation, so there’s no way you can strike out. If anything, without pushing or shoving, there’s so much inventory and it’s all so different that it’s impossible to leave empty handed. I always end up having to throw back half of what I pick up because I take the subway to and from, and I can only carry so much. There’s no point being greedy because there’s always more.

A never ending stream of cast off items of varying value to be had for less than $2 per pound.


black fashion designer, Fashion, fashion designer, recycled fashion, streetstyle, upcycled

The Sales

I handpainted this Almost Famous jacket and it SOLD THIS WEEK!!!

One thing about the past year of worrying, anxiety causing, horrifying and alarming events was having to retreat into a bubble (quarantine) and having to really and seriously think about what I would do if my job didn’t come back. Luckily I’ve been selling stuff online since 2015, and I had that to fallback on. My online business gave me something to focus on and a lifeline, since so many were shopping online.

The last few months have been collectively better than the last few years, and the last few weeks have been amazing. But this week really floored me because I sold items that I had refashioned and handpainted, which made me super happy. I believe in everything that I list, since I picked these things to sell, but when I sell something that I personally created, it’s like having wings on my heart.


This week I sold a handpainted denim jacket for full asking price and I was on the floor because I also sold a pair of penny loafers that I reworked into fun fashion statements. I think these are so cute, tbh. I wanted to do something that suggested spats and had an old fashion, 30s feel. I’ve sold designer, vintage and plain old used but selling items that express my personal creative outlook is icing on the cake.

This week I sold a handpainted denim jacket, these shoes and a striped sweater with embroidered patches. I started experimenting with reworking and upcycling items in 2018, and I’ve sold 16 items, from bags, to tiedyed t-shirts to shoes. One the one hand, it’s an economic endeavor because I do want my items to sell, but they’re also individual artistic statements. I put a lot of effort into every piece, even the ones that seem simple like dip bleached jean shorts. I took a sashiko stitching class, bought a sewing machine, spent days in the bathroom tie dying. Every sale gives me the energy to work on more ideas. I’m dying to get into screen printing.

6 years ago I was just trying to make a little money selling blogger perks and thrifted items and now I’m a fashion designer. Granted, there are tons and masses of people ironing on patches, bleaching, tie dying g and stitching items. A lot of people have sewing machines and are doing creative things with them. I’m not the only person handpainting denim jackets, and I’m not the only one who loves drawing hearts. But that doesn’t stop me. You can’t always be the first and only, but you can do what makes you feel happy and creative and not worry about the competition.