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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
So when I went on my background acting gig I met this guy. And I was kind of annoyed, because this always happens to me. I go somewhere on a single lady mission and quickly attract a loser. Ok, maybe loser is unfair. I’m not that great of a catch myself. But I do often attract time wasting men that view me as non-threatening, low hanging fruit. That’s my life.
It wasn’t always like that, though. I guess technically I’ve done ok. I had some nice boyfriends, got married and divorced. So it’s not like it was all bad. But I was a different person then, and looking back I know I never found what I wanted because I didn’t know how to define or look for it. You can’t get what you can’t identify. And I still can’t define what I want so I attract … nothing. Human blanks looking for a meaningless good time. I have no image in my head or heart to guide me towards whoever I’m supposed to be with.
Also, I’m just finally getting a feel for who I am post COVID. I get that other people are bored and lonely and looking to hook up, but I don’t want anyone sweating up my new, expensive mattress. I don’t want to cook for anyone (the other day I made cheesy rice and it was basic and common and delicious), and I don’t want to suffer through anyone else’s cooking. I don’t want to dress up or wear makeup or do anything with my hair. I like being ugly and unstylish. It’s too hard to try to be anything else now.
I can’t see myself getting all excited to go date. I will puke if I have to act cultured. I did all of that shit for years and it didn’t make me happy and nobody cared. It’s not perfect being alone; you pay all the bills and there’s no one to rub your feet, but I’m getting good at taking care of things. I’m not ready for dating or even friendship. I’m just ready for me. That’s good enough right now.
This is the best month I’ve had in a year. It was almost pre-COVID stellar. I got a lot of freelance merchandising work, I got a background acting gig, my business was featured three times on different sites, I joined clubhouse, I tested negative for COVID-19 twice. I found a new dentist and a new doctor that take my insurance. I’m ending the first quarter of the year with savings, and my side hustle performed admirably with very little effort from me. My evil ass family is thriving, and I’m happy about it. I am adulting the hell out of 2021. But let me complain about the one thing that’s holding me back; my procrastination problem.
I procrastinate so much that it scares me a little. I don’t even make excuses, I just don’t do things in a timely fashion. I’m always late for work because I don’t want to get out of bed and when I do I dawdle over things like which socks to wear. They are just socks. I don’t finish things because I have no sense of urgency. I still haven’t finished the painting job I started in the living room and bathroom. I clean up, but then leave a pile of papers on the table… even though the filing cabinet is right next to the table. I have items that need to be listed and they are piled on my mini backdrop with the light set up and they have been there all month.
I keep making promises to myself that I’ll fix it, I make lists to fix it, I yell at myself to fix it and then I lie down on the bed and don’t fix it. I tried to exercise every week? The mat is out, the exercise clothes are on the mat and I have very delicately stepped over them for weeks. I sweep the floor and sweep right around the mat like I’m scared to move it. Wtf? It’s not right. I’m putting it on my blog hoping that the magic blogger fairy will see it and sprinkle some magic through the internet to solve my problem. I’m still chugging along, still functioning, but it’s like a cog has slipped somewhere and I don’t work as quickly or efficiently as I used to.
I read that fear of failure can cause procrastination and that sounds about right.
So, I signed with Central Casting awhile back and I finally got a gig this week! But I can’t talk about it. Well, I can’t give details. I’ll just say that it was pretty much what I thought. Surreal. And long.
Back in real life it was all about jumping over dirty snowbanks to get on the bus and running from Brooklyn to Manhattan for work. The WiFi went out for about an hour and I lost my mind. I haven’t worked on my business because I’ve been working at my job. I had about three fights regarding my personal boundaries because people just try to use me for their own ends then talk down to me. My feeling is, make up your fucking mind; either I’m inferior and useless or you’re going to respect my contributions and treat me accordingly. It’s tiring. Someone told me I wasn’t qualified for something and I was like…. but I already got hired for that.
I had a day where I played with all my makeup and then ended up throwing most of it out. My skin is fine, I don’t need to do anything to it. My eyelashes are perfect, I don’t need extra ones. Plus, I messed with mascara and lashes kept dropping out, so to avoid bald eyes I’m leaving mascara behind. I kept lipgloss, eyeshadow and eyeliner, and a waxy pencil to keep my brows neat. I’m more interested in my hair and skin, anyway. I’m choosing my battle and makeup is not on my radar anymore.
That’s it. I set a schedule for Saturday blogging, but at the moment I don’t have a clear agenda. Doing interviews is too time consuming, I don’t feel like selling anything, I’m not doing brand work (except for my Amazon influencer page) and I’m not interested in talking about my job. I’m just posting to fulfill my personal schedule until I figure out what direction I’m going in.
Valentines Day is tomorrow and I’m single and to be honest, I think I’m lucky. The pandemic is nearly a year old and if I had a significant other going into quarantine, I might not have made it. There’s no one to eat up my food or mess up my resources. I would have focused on them Instead of working on my apartment and myself, I would have had to focus outward on someone else. I wouldn’t have 11 beautiful plants to take care of.
But that’s just me. Apparently people are dating more than ever since everyone is unemployed right now.
I did a stereotypical V-Day list on my Amazon Influencer page, just in case you need some last minute stuff for whatever boo you’ve latched onto. It’s Amazon so even though it’s last minute,technically it has a chance of being delivered tomorrow. Take a look.
It snowed mightily and stopped absolutely nothing here. After a night of listening to snow plows and the supers of my building scraping snow from the sidewalk, I woke up to more snow drifting from the sky and massive piles of snow to trudge through on the way to work. I had hoped that work would get canceled, even though I’m not rich and I wasn’t desperately looking for time to do other things. I just didn’t want to have leave my nice little hides hole of an apartment to go wade through snow.
I’ma not crazy about snow. I’m just not into it. Remember that time I went skiing and slid down a mountain on my back? It’s on this blog somewhere, you can go read it and come back. If the world ends in a blizzard, I’ll just die.
im feeling stressed because everything in my work and career path is just… making me tired. I’m tired of being overlooked and I want more. More money, better work assignments, more meaning, more praise. MORE. I’m tired of one step forward and two steps back. I’m not getting fired, apparently I’m ‘good at my job’ but I’m also not moving forward to anything. Yes, pandemic and I’m in a retail field and am lucky to live in a city where people shop to feel like they’re worth something, so luxury stores are still open. But that doesn’t change how I feel.