black fashion designer, education, Fashion, food

The Fashion Internship

I went from sweating out javascript to merchandising racks of frocks. It’s been quite a summer.

I got fired from my retail job at the end of May (just before finally coming off of probation and becoming a union member, so… it was either a major loss or just dodging a bullet). Luckily I had taken that Visual Merchandising class at F.I.T, so I decided to just start looking for those types of jobs instead of immediately settling for another no win position. I would go on Indeed every day, and send out resumes. The first thing I got was an internship at a fashion showroom.

Good place to start.

The first week was super sweaty and I kept forgetting that where the bathroom was (practically right in front of me ) and kept going to the bathroom at Port Authority at lunch. No, I can’t explain why I’m like this. My duties included updating excel sheets of sales leads, separating excel sheets by sales person and territory, and cold calling/emailing businesses in the territories to set up road visits or showroom appointments. I picked up lunches, steamed clothing and dropped off packages. I merchandised racks (from lightest to darkest. Try this in your closet, it looks so organized). I learned how to do social media cross referential searches for new clients. I found out about Joor, a site that helps you make linesheets for merchandise.

While I was technically working for free, interns got a $15 daily lunch budget, and I finally gave Sweetgreen a try. And Dig Inn. And my job was near legendary discount store Jack’s where they are selling Epic provisions for dirt cheap. And when I got home I started just making salads, like this easy steak salad (sear the steak while putting your greens and veggies in a cute bowl, make a vinaigrette, assemble).

Once I had to work with another intern to clear out a storage closet. We sorted through boxes of leftover merch from past clients, sorted through mannequin parts, re-merchandised racks of backstocked garments, organized shelves and closets, and took a field trip to the Goodwill in Tribeca to donate clothing and the suitcases that we brought them there in. This is how I ended up going to Milk Bar. Those were the two sweatiest, most miserable days of my summer… but there were benefits from it; my boss gave us a ton of free stuff.

I got this sweet little Erin Dana Prince Street minaudiere ($80), and these awesome Riuvadets sandals from Spain, that are sold at Opening Ceremony for $105. Yay! Because I love presents.

I made sure to dress up a little, and worked in my own upcycled items into my wardrobe. LOVE this Old Navy jersey jumpsuit with attached belt ($45). It’s a lifesaver on mornings when you spent too much time adjusting your wig and makeup.

The internship was supposed to last three months, but I stayed a month.I learned a lot and I also put on 5 pounds from sitting so much. I ended up getting a job, and also a visual merchandising job offer. I would have stayed longer, but they got a little Devil Wears Prada on me and I was getting annoyed. I would still recommend doing an internship, because it helps prepare you for the career you want and it helps give you fresh experience and new references if you’re trying to change career titles.

See you next time!

Faith/SEB Market BK

blogging, education, lifestyle, self-care

The Code

I’m taking a pre-bootcamp JavaScript bootcamp class and it is HARD. I am scared to go to the gym or even leave the house before class because I need to spend every minute breaking this code down so that I can learn it. I realized with my last post that I can’t do both right this second, so I’m putting this here to remind me that I have to do my homework, do my research and generally surrender every waking moment to getting through the next week.

I’ve never been so happy.

See you soon!

Faith/SEB Market BK

Accessories, achievements, art, black fashion designer, black women, confidence, education, entrepeneur, Fashion, fashion designer, footwear, instruction, learning, lessons, presentation, selling, set design, shoe designer, stylist

The Class

For the Holiday assignment I did the West Indian Day Parade on Labor Day using actual an actual Caribbean ice cream brand.

I was unexpectedly catapulted back into retail last year and I was bored. I was trying to think of a way to get a promotion while extending my job into something more creative, so I jumped on the Continuing Ed page at Fashion Institute of Technology‘s website to see if there was anything that I could turn into a bigger paycheck. I used to be a photographer, and have done some styling but I have no interest in doing photo shoots, so I had to find something that tied retail to art. Enter DE101 15A Prin D&E Dsgn – Small Scale Spring 2019 (a.k.a. Visual Merchandising)! I spent every Monday evening from February to May learning about why store displays look the way they look.

We had to build a foamcore shadowbox and every week there was a new assignment to create a contained display that expressed ideas and creativity without using words or being too obvious. This was the first assignment, white on white. Inspired by Superman’s Fortress of Solitude.

The next week was a black and white assignment where I painted sheets of paper with fast drying acrylic paint (neatly referencing the previous week’s cotton balls in the white on black paint splatters) and using these awesome Steve Madden Harpir boots. It’s amazing how much fun you can have being creative when you’re just taking one class and it’s not causing you to take out crippling loans!

This one was about selling health & beauty products, so I chose my fave perfume and did a presentation inspired by Magritte’s The Banquet, a painting that features a huge red sun. I feel like I could have done the roses on the side walls a little better, but I was trying to invoke a sort of 70s vibe, and infuse my presentation with the spirit of both disco and tango. So…yeah.

We did the holidays (my family is from Guyana and I live near Eastern Parkway so I just drew on my own Caribbean culture for this one.), accessories and famous personalities (can you guess who I did for my personality presentation?). We had to make everything in class so that the instructor could see our thought process, so it meant packing up my art supplies and lugging my big bag of foamcore box parts from Brooklyn to Manhattan,making a ritual out of stopping at the Starbucks across the street from school.

All about repetition…

For this one I painted the backdrop to evoke water, like the water you soak your feet in for pedicures. Blue is such a spa color to me. We had to take an element of the product and repeat it throughout the design. I sat in the class tracing a foot-shaped cardboard piece that came with some socks I bought. I just sat there cutting out construction paper feet and stamping them with a round sponge brush. Good times.

This was my final project. I was thinking to do something grand, but then I found out all we had to do was design a presentation with fruit as the product. We couldn’t cut the fruit, put holes in it, paint or carve it… I was a little disappointed, because I thought it would be something more sophisticated. I decided to make mine about lemons because I have an actual lemon plant that came out of a seed that I planted. Just pretend it’s a warm summer day and you’re relaxing and anticipating a tall, cool glass of lemonade form the giant lemons that came off of your tree.

I know, what a boring post!

What I took away from this class is that creativity never leaves you, and that having to build a presentation on the spot every Monday was a great exercise in discipline. I really like looking back at my shadowbox creations, and I can always use what I learned to improve my online stores or maybe go back to styling… Maybe. I’m definitely thinking of taking the large scale class where you dress mannequins. And I passed with an A, so I felt pretty darned accomplished.

Have you ever dreamed of doing something that was outside of your comfort zone, like taking an art class? Or learning javascript? Or cooking? What have you always wanted to learn?

See you next time!

Faith/SEB Market BK

bargains, biking, class, education, exercise, food, free, health, instruction, new york, skin cancer prevention, skin care

in which we go Bike Basics and learn how to do more biking stuff

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After re-learning how to ride a bike, I decided to follow-up with the Bicycling Basics class where you learn some of the trickier parts of bike riding. I have never been to Randall’s Island in my life, but it’s summer and that’s where the bikes are so Allons-y! bb2

I got up early threw on my exercise a Citizen Ciao tshirt ($28) and these python capris ($82) from PRISMSPORT and took off. I admit to wearing these two Kesh beauty hamsa bracelets ($25) just in case their evil-eye protection could cover falling off bikes. Just in case.

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It took two trains and a bus, but I made it! I was so happy to see the Bike New York sign on the fence at Icahn I almost kissed it. Once everyone else arrived and waivers were signed, we got into helmets and got fitted for bikes. There was only one person, volunteer instructor Douglas, but he turned out to be super capable of handling 14 bike newbies.

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The first thing we learned (aside from how to properly mount a bike) was the biking ABC’s. That stood for Air, Brakes & Chain. We learned where to find the psi number for when you’re pumping your bike tires. We learned how to properly adjust the seat for your height. Douglas was not playing.

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Before we took off and locked up the trailer, I made sure to re-apply sunscreen ( H2O plus Marine Plus Green Tea Lotion SPF 30 ($42) and Australian Gold Hello Kitty Mineral Suncreen Lotion SPF 50 ($9.99).

We lined up and after going through some more info on how to stay safe on the road, we were let loose in a massive parking lot to ride for two hours.

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Turns out the NYFD has a training facility out there, so we shared the initial moments of our class with a bunch of fireman.

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Yeah, the parking lot was this big.

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After doing drills on using brakes effectively, how to scan and how to signal, we rode around switching gears. I had to go off and explore this bridge, it looked so inviting. Such a pretty view! It was so nice to be out under a big blue sky just riding around and enjoying life.

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However all that bike riding built up an appetite. I had put a mini-cooler in my Life is good knapsack so that when class was over I had a ice cold blueberry lemonade and avocado/chicken/tomato sald with balsamic vinegar and iceberg lettuce. Look, a girl’s gotta eat!

Next up: we go to water aerobics and like it

xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian

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adventures, bike riding, education, exercise, learning, lessons, new york, sports

in which we go off to Roosevelt Island for (free) bike riding lessons with Bike New York

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I decided to do some things that I haven’t had time to do, and one of them was re-learning how to ride a bike. I haven’t been balanced on two wheels since I was 12 years old, and that wasn’t exactly a banner day anyway. I searched ‘free bike lessons’ and tada! It appeared.

That’s the wonder of New York.

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After a harum scarum search for available spots (as you can assume, the classes fill up fast) I was able to snag a lesson on Roosevelt Island with the Bike New York gang. They actually have helmets for everyone, so if you don’t have one and are not even sure how to buy one, you can feel safe showing up without one.

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I figured it was best to keep it simple, so I wore my h&m basics $5 tee shirt and LL Bean True Shape denim jeans ($59) with my Southern Tide classic leather shackle belt ($65). I had my Samsung GearFit ($99.99) so that I could finally try the cycling exercise setting, and my Brazilian Begonia Lisa Hoffman fragrance bracelet ($65) for luck. I didn’t bother with makeup, just H20 Plus marine Defense Green Tea Antioxidant Lotion SPF 30 ($42) and some lip balm.

I think the green helmet was tres chic, don’t you?

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Bike New York volunteers lined us up in size order and we were fitted to our bikes. The main thing being that your feet are flat on the ground when you’re astride it. Luckily I had this water bottle from a fashion event last year, so I was prepared for an afternoon of riding. I also had some granola and homemade banana nut bread tucked away in my knapsack, since they advise that you bring snacks.

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When you start, Bike New York has you learn on a bike with no pedals. You spend about an hour learning to balance. It’s actually huge fun. Once you’ve demonstrated an ability not to kill yourself, you get the pedals- a major moment. When I got mine, I felt like a BMX racer.

When I was a kid, I was always fearful of a. getting my bike stolen (which did happen) or b. falling off/getting into an accident. The most dangerous part of doing this 2 hour class was looking out for other students sudden stops. The volunteers are there to guide and help and it’s a really friendly process. You do end up super hungry and thirsty though, so when they say bring snacks? Bring your snacks.

I was so glad I went! It was exhilarating to realize that I now held the power to fly around New York without being bound by subway snarls. well, as soon as I learn how to ride in traffic.

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If you want to sign up, here are the classes that they have available:

1. Learn to Ride (Adults) : you learn how to balance and brake, and then hopefully how to pedal.

2. Bicycling Basics: core cycling skills, like how to adjust your helmet and seat, how to make sure your bike is road ready, etc.

3. Street Skills Ride: they teach you how to stay safe while riding crazy NY streets, albeit in a no-traffic environment. *actually? you would be in street traffic. my bad- Bike NYC contacted me about that. see comments below -FB 8/6/15*

They have even more classes and events, so if you’re in New York and looking for bike lessons or looking to volunteer, you should contact them. All the info you need is at www.bike.nyc.

xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian

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