beauty, entrepeneur, entrepeneurship, Fashion, manicure, nail polish, nails, pedicure, recycled fashion

The Pedicure

I haven’t gotten a pedicure in a minute, and that minute includes pre-COVID. In my usual procrastinating manner, I kept promising myself spa days and then not quite getting around to it. Just shortchanging myself by not keeping my own promises. Tragic. But it’s a new year and I decided that I need to make my feet a priority, not just out of vanity, but because when you take care of your feet they take care of you. But it was super important that I go to the right place. So of course I used instagram to find the perfect pedicure. Of course.

Images from Nail Diva BK

Remember when I blogged about Fro.ology and GoldenBrownSkin? Well, I was on the lookout for manicurist of the same caliber: brilliant, talented and black. I want to feel that same level of comfort that other people get to feel when they get services from people that share their racial and cultural background. I want to feel welcome and at peace with where I am. And I still want a perfect pedi and great service. I’ve been following Shaneeka for awhile and when I finally got it together to make a appointment, I was gratified to find myself using a streamlined online process that had me booked in minutes.

I have big feet that I have to remind myself to sand down, so I won’t be making any foot fetish cash, but I do believe that a good pedicure makes you feel better about life. It’s like lingerie. Polished toes and smooth soles make me feel like I’m in control of my life. I got super excited about getting Shaneeka’s Charcoal Pedicure ($40) and I was not disappointed. There was soaking, a delicious scrub, the mask and a massage. I had asked for a paraffin treatment as well, since I got addicted to them at bliss, but I actually didn’t need it. And she was super chill, down to earth and professional. I usually don’t talk during services, but I felt like I was hanging out with a friend instead of someone who’s just grabbing my money.

Here’s the finished pedicure, after being sprayed with oil, wrapped in plastic plus my socks and rainboots. Perfect condition when I got home. 10/10 recommend Nail Diva BK if you’re in Brooklyn. We started on time, and she was done within the time frame quoted. She does all of the little things that I’ve gotten used to from going to upscale places like Nail Bar in Chicago and Bliss in New York, and she was nice enough to use the polish that I made. I love dark colors for toes and since I started making polish during quarantine, I’m now in love with the idea of only wearing my own. Win/win. I can’t wait to show my boat feet off this summer!

Aaaaaand!!! I was famous this week! A few years ago when I was working on my business plan for the Power Up! Brooklyn business plan competition, I went to BrooklynWomen’s Business Center for business classes and advice. They just hired an amazing new Digital Marketing Specialist (heeey Krishna!) and she reached out about the feature. So glad I kept going and building my little side hustle up! Maybe next year you’ll be reading about me getting my soap and designs into a bigger market. Don’t dream it, be it, like Dr. Frank N. Furter used to say.

Don’t dream it… BE IT.

Fashion

The Business

When I started selling on eBay in 2015, I remember thinking how badly I needed that to work. My blog had gone bust and I was so broke. I had been selling cookies and baked goods on the street all summer, but it made me nervous not to have the proper licensing. All I had was a bunch of beauty products, plus a ton of shoes and clothing and shoes from brands. I didn’t need or want or like any of that stuff anyway. I was so desperate for a way out of homelessness that if they had put dog shit in a tube I would have pretended to use and like it.

Fast forward six years and I’m still selling online, but I’m on multiple platforms. I learned how to score inventory cheap from thrift store outlets. I learned how to buy new jewelry and accessories cheap on AliExpress. And this summer I had time to work on tiedying t-shirts and sweatshirts. I’m making soap. I found out where to get cheap denim jackets to paint on. I finally got transfer paper to create my own iron t-shirts. And at some point I’ll get my papermaking up and running. I’m not all they way where I want to be, but my side hustle held me together during quarantine, so I’m putting all of my extra time and money into it.

I’m currently thinking about how to make my side hustle into a big girl business and even signed up to get advice from a women’s business non-profit, but that was a bust because they didn’t really listen. Ever go through that? You tell someone what you want to do, they say they understand but then give you advice that might get you arrested for tax evasion? It was like that. She tried to rush me into an LLC, which would have netted me some tax fees later which I may or may not have been able to pay. So I’m currently looking at how LLC filing really works, and what the up and downsides are.

Entering the new year, I’ve been tallying up expenses for inventory, art supplies, soap supplies, shipping supplies, and equipment. It’s staggering. Even with the extra thrown in from unemployment and stimulus. It’s amazing how money can find any little hole to flow out of! So I’m catching up with all expenditures and starting a spread sheet to track everything from now on. And a spreadsheet to track sales and cost of goods. I feel like 2020 was the last year that anyone can walk around acting like they don’t know how to do things. I saw a guy build a bathroom on instagram…I can learn how to properly run a business.

The pictures in this week’s post are all stuff that I sold. From designer samples to perfume to tiedyed t-shirts. I sold a handpainted designer bag in few hours on instagram. I still have a job and I’m trying to get another one, but this little side hustle keeps me alive. I’m so grateful that in a moment of despair I figured out a lifeline for myself. Because let’s be real, any damn thing can happen these days.

You can drop by any of these online locations for new, used, vintange and upcycled fashion, as well as my handmade soap and nail polish:

Depop: new, used, upcycled,vintage, high end,fragrance, soap, home

Poshmark: new, used, upcycled,vintage, high end, soap, home

Tradesy: new, used, upcycled,vintage, high end,fragrance

Ebay: new, used, upcycled,vintage, high end,fragrance, soap, home

Grailed: men’s new, used, handmade and vintage, designer

Thrilling: vintage and designer

Mercari: new, used, upcycled,vintage, high end,fragrance, soap, home

Feel free to follow the Facebook page, too.

Fashion

The Apartment


I moved into my apartment six years ago and it took me a year to believe that it was mine, and that nothing was going to mess it up. I’ve been through some things. This picture is from the first few months of quarantine, I think. I’m pretty sure because I got those roses at target the last day that I worked before going inside. For what turned out to be three months. Now I think we should have just carried on like normal because things don’t seem to have gotten better and now, after finding vaccines and shipping them… we have mutant strains.

But this post isn’t directly about Covid-19. It’s about what happens when you suddenly have time and money to make a better, more comfortable, home instead of just a place you stay in between shifts.

The Beginning:

Just constant mess. Stepping over boxes from deliveries and trying to find room for things. I’m in a large-ish studio, well larger than some people’s teeny tiny closet apartments, and I’m extremely grateful for that, so the hardest thing was just figuring out what area should be where. I started reading a book on feng shui before lockdown,and I had already started by moving the bed over by the window, but there was a lot more to do. I had to get rid of a hulking clothing rack in the living room, figure out where to put my desk and the kitchen table and the front room had to be rearranged. Luckily I had nothing but time. And an extra $600 a week.

The Personality Test:

I’ve never had the opportunity to really decorate anything. One, no money. Two, lack of ideas and information. Like, what do people do with their homes? What looks good? What do I actually like? After a stint in a museum gift shop (that’s where I got the feng shui idea), I had a little crystal collection and a Himalayan salt lamp, and I had started to buy plants, another thing that I had just never done. Which is wild. There were no plants in our home when I was growing up. Not even a homemade avocado plant. No green. My mom was into animals, cats, fish, dogs. All badly taken care of, just like her kids.

Sorry. That happens lately. I’ve spent so much time alone and thinking, that along with a new ability to decorate, I now remember why I felt like I didn’t deserve nice things.

The Nice Things:

So I bought myself a filing cabinet, and a little storage unit for the bathroom. I got a lovely antique mirror from Brooklyn Vintage Company (they delivered just like the wine shop) and I used my arts education to do stuff like make marbled pencil holders out of plastic bottles. I painted an old mannequin leg that I found in the street a few years ago, and organized the closets. I got a shelving unit to put my soap and packing supplies together. I used an old board from my diy bathroom table to create more storage space on top. Now that’s my little office type thing. Much better.

The Paint Job:

Now I’m up to wall treatments. I’ve been dying to paint the front wall red, and after messing around with sample stickers and such, I got Behr paint sample (8 ounces) from Home Depot and got to work. I got reusable wallpaper from target for the bathroom, and I’m using that to redo the outlet covers. I found a glass pumpkin at goodwill and painted it. Im iffy about the color I got for the bathroom wall, but work with it.

I’m a long way from finished, but my space feels more like the me I’ve been trying to be. I deserve a beautiful place to inhabit and flourish in. It sucks that it’s taken so long to get to this point, but oh, well. It did take this long. It just did. This is when everything came together. I’m working on accepting that.