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

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cooking, food

The Meal Kit

I used to work at Whole Foods (cashier, pto, 401K, doubletime on holidays if you were wondering). When I left I swore I would never shop there again. I was lying to myself.

The Amazon Seared Salmon with fennel and pea risotto kit, $18.99

I was desperate for hen of the woods mushrooms today. I tried a few stores, but found nothing. I gave in and went to the Whole 365 on Flatbush and found this Amazon Seared Salmon meal kit. There are no mushrooms, but I’ve been thinking about fennel lately, and I’m always up for salmon. I figured that $20 was about what I’d spend on ingredients, and I do know how to cook, so it was a win-win. I was on my way to the register with my first meal kit.

I actually opened this on the bus because I had to see if these people really put a lemon in the box. For some reason this caused me to laugh uncontrollably. I was also a little surprised by all the plastic, especially for the teeny tiny diced onion bits. They were in a really big bag for the amount of onion included. The salmon filets were glorious. Generous size, and obviously fresh. Once I’d finished picking over how they had packaged everything, I was ready to cook. You need a saucepan and a good skillet. They actually tell you what you need on the box? But if you have nothing else, you will really need those two pots to do your business in.

Hm. I could have put that differently.

The instructions are pretty complete. Just follow them. I was skeptical about this nonsense… but it really works.

You start with the risotto. I have never used clam juice for anything, but this tasted incredible. I didn’t have olive oil on hand (too busy, my cupboards are bare) but I had some butter in the freezer and used that. The end result is creamy and flavorful. I’d be willing to eat this alone, or maybe with a little ham thrown in. It took the exact amount of time stated in the recipe.

Start the salmon when they tell you to. Follow directions. You will be handsomely rewarded. I heated that skillet up hot before cooking in it. Then I stole a little piece to eat because it looked and smelled delicious. I’ve been leery of cooking with fennel, but it was fine. Now I’d be ok with buying a whole bulb to experiment with.

You can actually get the meal in the package photo with minimal stress. You do actually get two meals, so one person can cook dinner and have a full meal for the freezer or to take to work. I decided to celebrate my cooking triumph with a bottle of red (yes, you saw this on my wine list post). I have some cooking skills, but I wouldn’t have done this on my own. It would have seemed like too much work. For about $19, I got a great meal, food to take to work, and a fun blog post.

Seared salmon with fennel and pea risotto Amazon Meal Kit results.

Worth the money.

Have you ever tried a meal kit? Were you skeptical or did you just dive right in? Did you ever think of making a meal kit for one person? Could be just what you need!

Until next time,

Faith/SEB Market BK

candy, celebrities, cookies, food, treats

The Chocolate Drops

This is a food post. I haven’t done one in awhile, but I did something fun and I want to share it. You will LOVE this if you’re a chocolate fan.

Edible chocolate chip Cookie Doh from The Dessertist

I had the day off and was lucky to snag a seat in the studio audience of The Dr. and the Diva. While I was there they taped a segment on doing extreme cake decorations on ready made store bought cakes, and how to make no-bake treats. The treat chef was Samantha Benjamin, a food artist extraordinaire. She was sweet (get it?) enough to gift every audience member with her amazing, egg-free edible Cookie Doh. So of course I had to mess with it.

I cracked open my cute little jar and started scooping out teaspoonfuls of the chilled paste. It started getting soft pretty quickly so chill your plate or tray before you work on it. I measured out a half cup of chocolate candy melts (I buy mine from The Chocolate Place on Etsy). I read somewhere that adding butter to chocolate is a good idea, so I put in a slice. Technically I should have added it after the chocolate melted? But that’s a whole other issue.

I microwaved the chocolate for about 30 seconds and it was fine. But I thought I could make it runnier, and ended up going 15 seconds too far. So the chocolate seized up a little. Not one to stop when I’m in the middle of something, I soldiered on and covered the Cookie Doh balls with chocolate as best I could. I just smoothed it on with a spoon. Then I put the whole thing in the freezer to set.

The finished result. Yum is an understatement.

I didn’t worry too much about how it was going to end up looking because I know something really important… nobody cares. It’s sweet, fun and took about 15 minutes, and if you’re doing this with kids, it will look even worse. Then you’ll get some milk and everyone will chomp and be happy. Perfect presentation is great, but so are Nailed It! style results.

I also know that you can cover this with nuts, crushed toffee, seasoned popcorn, coconut, chocolate chips, cereal or potato chip crumbs. No one will care, because they will be too busy telling you how awesome you are for making them tasty treats. Yay for you!

You should definitely try this at home.

See you next time!

Faith/SEB Market BK

Fashion, food, party, wine

The Wine List

I have turned into the biggest wino this summer. Just can’t get that glass out of my hand. Even worse, I keep the bottles and decorate the house with them. Let’s talk about it.

I was watching this thing on Netflix called American Meme and the Fat Jewish mentioned having a vineyard. This tickled me for some reason so I checked out the website, loved the generic white labels and decided that Winter is the Worst red was the way to go. Affordable at $17, plus free (nearly instantaneous) shipping. I really liked this wine, it was fruity and delicious and super easy to glug. But apparently they stopped making it or something because it’s not on the website. I did see it in a store here in Brooklyn, though.

I used to work at Whole Paycheck and got hooked on these Begonia wines ($9.99). Obviously I felt moved to collect the whole set. Authentic sangria from Murcia, Spain with a crazy lowprice. You can be bougie and basic at the same time. Chop up some fruit and throw it in for a refreshing and festive party drink. Or a refreshing and festive hanging out on your own party drink. Do you.

This label is so pretty that I bought the wine without even thinking about it. The wine turned out to be deep, luscious and satisfyingly tasty. Berta ($15) from Podere La Berta is an Italian Sangiovese red with a full body, and I’m prob gonna cop a few more bottles for the winter if they have any more.

This simply labeled bottle has a superfancy name: Anno Domini Prosecco 47 Black Label($13). I got used to drinking prosecco from all of those blogger parties, and I was at the wine store and fell in love with this minimalist label. Good bubbly, fun with seasoned popcorn, fried chicken bites or with a little liqueur for a pretty cocktail.

I was walking down maybe 6th avenue and this store had a whole wall pink wine. I’ve had the Pinot Project pinot noir and loved it so I took a chance. I normally don’t bother with rose, but I had fun with this that day. I didn’t like the taste so I mixed it with lemonade, threw some raspberries and lemon slices in and turned it into a wine cooler.

I love this label so much. The block lettering cleanly printed on blinding with paper, as well as the pop culture reference. A smooth, sophisticated pinot noir from black owned Maison Noir wines, O.P.P. ($25) is easy on the palate and perfect for those stormy winter evenings, with or without open fireplace.

Walked in, loved the label, perfect price, grabbed it. I like red wine so I’ve tried malbecs, syrrahs, pinot noirs but this was the first Cote du Rhone. I actually bought another bottle the next week and drank it with a mixed greens steak salad with red wine vinaigrette dressing. Insane. Check their website for where to purchase.

Wine adjacent:

  1. I found these Torres Selecta sparkling wine chips at Paper Source and it just blew my mind that someone would even make such a thing.

2. I love hard cider and this is delicious. Doc’s Draft is the best, my fave is the hard apple and cranberry. When wine is too much but beer is just not it.

3 . Sake. I had this on a blindingly hot day and it was cool, refreshing and sweet.

Are you a wine snob? What are your favorites? White or red? Do you have a little cellar or wine rack so people can see how tastefully you spend your money? Talk about it.

See you next time,

Faith/SEB Market BK

adventures, food, new york, new york culture, nyc, restaurants, seasonal activities, Summer

The Lobster

This has nothing to do with Friends or that sad movie with Colin Farrell. This is real.

The cutest line drawings on the sandwich box. Let’s appreciate that detail!

I had to go into Manhattan today to run an errand and decided to find some lunch afterwards. I was really looking for Sweetgreen, but then I saw this Luke’s Lobster tucked off of Fifth Avenue and I just knew. This was the place where magic lived. It also happens to be the place where I got a delish lobster roll two years ago, but at their Brooklyn Bridge Park location. I didn’t know that I was ready for another one, but there you go.

Fate.

It was refreshingly cool in the rustic little space after the blinding hot sun outside. How cute is the bottlecap barrel? It also reminded me that I had planned to go to Martha’s Vineyard this summer… I currently have two jobs, so I can’t go anywhere on vacation. I guess I just needed this maritime themed timeout.

The cutest lunch in New York.

Perfection. Just chunks of fresh lobster mixed with mayo, lemon butter and Luke’s Lobster seasoning ensconced in a buttery toasted bun. I took a little taste after I photographed my lunch and decided to just sit outside and eat instead of waiting. I never, for any reason sit outside to eat. I have a whole fear of someone just snatching my food or my purse while I sit around conspicuously consuming a plate of privilege. I like to eat inside where it’s safe. But it just felt like too much to have to wait. Sometimes you just have to sit yourself down and enjoy the moment.

You can find locations and stuff at Luke’sLobster.com.

See you next time!

Faith/SEB market BK

adventures, cookies, food, new york, new york culture, restaurants, treats

The Milk Stop

You ever have a friend that disappears for like, six months, then comes back and blows up your phone with texts? That’s me. Let’s get into it.

The sacred tablets upon which the menus are writ.

I have a fashion job (we’ll talk about that later) and last Wednesday I had to go on a field trip for work in the searing, nasty summer heat of New York City. On the way to my destination I realized that I was in the actual vicinity of Milk Bar and my day took a turn from abysmal to transcendent. I love Christina Tosi’s backstory and the fact that she put basic stuff on a pedestal with her compost cookies and crack pies. Her methods are the epitome of staying true to yourself.

I was in actual shock when I found out that my menial task was taking me past the gates of heaven. It was a sign that I was on the right path, I kid you not. As SOON as I was finished, I made a trip to cookie mecca. Have you ever had their corn cookie? It’s insane. I grabbed four different kinds to nosh on (cheap at $2.75 each). I was so excited to be there, it was nuts. I kept twirling around to take photos to make sure I got every important detail. I was acting like a straight up tourist and I DID NOT CARE.

The grail.

I got a cup of cereal milk soft serve which I had to photograph while walking and carrying a bag of cookies. Ice cream dripping everywhere,but I did my duty. And got the perfect, late afternoon, warm glow, magic hour lighting. Hello? I am a photo god.

Anyway.

The cereal milk soft serve is a sneakily delicious twist on the usual sweet but forgettable summer treat. Soft serve always has a sort of sterile taste, no depth. It’s there to cool your mouth down, not to be savored. This was a different story. Sweet, but salty, kind of nutty, ridiculously creamy and so good that you can’t stop eating it, but you want to stop eating just to enjoy the feel and flavor a little longer. It’s a love story of a dessert. But simple, clean and refreshing. Just writing thismakes mewant to get on the train and buy more.

Merch.

If you’re down in Chelsea, swing by the Milk Bar at 220 8th Avenue. Make sure you check out their website, too.

See you later!

FAith/SEBMarket BK

adventures, beach, black women, Fashion, food, self confidence, Travel

The Hamptons

Yup.

One time, last summer, I saw an ad on meetup for someone looking to go to the Hamptons. I met with the person for drinks, made a whole plan…and they bailed. Supposedly you can only go to the Hamptons when it’s sunny. Apparently I was supposed to change my plan because things weren’t perfect for her.

But I had my jitney ticket , so… I went. Welcome to my solo trip to Montauk.

The journey.

This is the beach. It was basically empty because the lightest rain was falling. Not even a real rainshower, just barely a mist. So I got to finally experience the beach in Montauk without a massive crowd. Introvert paradise.

I had some food. I enjoyed not having to wait on a long line, fight for a table or wait a long time for my meal. I just sat there eating and watching boats go by with no stress.

You know what this is. You’ve watched Kid Gorgeous. You know the joke.

Then I took the LIRR home.

The thing I hate the most about people is when they just leave you hanging after gassing you up. At the end of the day, it’s not up to anyone to decide how your time is going to be spent. If someone bails on your plans, don’t stay home and sulk. Go out and do what you were planning (unless you desperately need two people, but most plans can shrink to a solo capacity if needed).

This wasn’t easy for me at all. I’ve never been to Montauk and as a black woman, it can be seriously intimidating traveling alone. But I went and I lived.

I lived. And I bought this tshirt.

See you next time!

Faith/SEB Market BK