Wednesday, May 07, 2014

At 33

Hello world!

Tomorrow I turn 33. It is sort of a milestone for me at such a random number.  Firstly it took me some time to realize how old I really am since I pretty much stopped counting after 30. It's not even the number that makes it a milestone but more just the amount of things have have happened in the past few years, let alone months.

 I was humbled and honored to test for my level 2 shorts at Muay Thai.  It was a hard decision and big challenge for me. I wanted to do it and train for it but I don't think I started to train for the right reasons.

I was coming off of a pretty big high from seeing friends fight and all the fight training our gym had been doing. In the end I did it for all the right reasons, my friends around the gym and fellow testers training kept me level headed and helped me to remember what was really important and the spirit of our gym. There was even a point when I thought I might of pulled out just because I didn't feel my mind and heart were in the right place for this honor.

In the end I went through it and it was AMAZING. This time was somehow more impactful in my life then the first test. It was rough no doubt as I had only started into sparring maybe two months beforehand and even with all the extra gym time I put in there just wasn't anything to prepare for the endurance needed just for sparring. 

Overall this helped me to let go of my senseless competitiveness and goal driven accomplishments. It let me just relax, enjoy and appreciate the moments in life more. I also learned to let go some of my silly cultural habits of seniority which has always been this hanging stress in my life. 

Super proud of all my fellow testers and big shouts out to Doug, Malik and Lavaughn for being there with me through Level 2! It wasn't that long ago but I feel that in my short time of about a year and half I have learned so much and looking at the new beginner's classes I get excited for them and to be a part of their journey.

Then two weeks later........

I completed another wonderful runway show with the Alternative Fashion Mob.  I couldn't be more happy with the results and most importantly all the people I worked with. I have amazing friends all around me and they really lift me up and assist when I need it. My Muay Thai testing definitely help me be very "whoo saaaa" through this fashion show where I let all the problems other people were having slide off of me and didn't stress with what was wrong but just how to get through it and have fun.

I was so fortunate to also have the amazing models that I did for this show. To me the right energy and personality is more important when doing such a big production but I was also fortunate enough to have beautiful models.  You can see photos of my full collection on my Torn Angel Facebook Page. 

Amidst all of this has also been the store!

 Everything is coming together and I just got back from TNNA this weekend and made some very interesting orders that I was not prepared for. It was so hard to go there not knowing what exactly my customer base will be and figuring out who my client really is before I am open. It's a struggle to think about what I want my store to be and how I also want to service the community at the same time. I don't want anyone to feel alienated at the same time I want to stick to my creative guns with my yarn selections.

The POS is all set up and I didn't think that would be such an ordeal but it was and now it's all good. We have a rhythm for it all and I understand how it all works. I would show pictures of the whole store but it's still a slight mess right tools and things needing to be made. I'm also a bit spread out to work on the display for the windows and just general it's a mess.

Lastly I got my second tattoo and I can't say it will be my last but she might be. I'll just show you a picture because it means too much to me to just clump my feelings together with everything else and I am still relishing in the glow of it and all the feelings surmounted with this tattoo.

Tomorrow is my birthday and I'll be spending the entire day traveling across time zones to be in Korea! now that so many things are over with I can finally start to get excited as I pack and get ready. I can say that I am nowhere near where I thought I would be today.  If I talked to younger self I would reassure myself and say:

"No, you won't be married with 3 kids as a housewife or working for a large fashion company, but it's ok. You will find a new fantastic path, be happier and be full of wonderful encounters, friendships and fulfillment in ways you didn't know exist. You will be an entire person on your own whole and without regret and you will love everything with all your heart and it will be ok even though it's not where you thought you would be. Enjoy the adventure because it is all yours alone"


Friday, March 07, 2014

Dreams to reality

Long time no post. It's ok life happens and it's just happening very rapidly for me again. This past month has been yet another flurry of activities at work. We were given unexpected notice to vacate out donated gallery space. I won't get into details but Columbus Underground did a good post about it here.  It was inconvenient timing considering it was also during the peak of my grant writing season and strategic planning for the board of trustees. Amongst some other karfluffel that had to do with grant writing.  Not the best situation but overall for the best. It was just very draining and exhausting of course and mentally not very good for my positive vibes.

In other news we found a store front! A glorious store front! My dream of having a yarn store has finally come to fruition! Through all this mess at work and stress I can turn around and smile because I see the progress on my store and can't help but smile at the work ahead of me for my own business.  It probably won't be ready for at least a month. I need to still get my vendors in order and even then it will be a soft opening. I can't do a grand opening till after the next TNNA (The National Needleworks Association Convention) and when I get back from my trip to Korea. Oh did I not mention that the Hubby and I will be going to Korea?! (we'll get back to that in a moment).

Here are some pictures of the interior space as we are working on it.
So this is the view from the back of the store. Big open spaces. We are keeping this counter type thing, especially since it has outlets built into it. That area will be perfect for classes and setting up sewing machines. We'll be painting it all white and adding oak counters for the knitting machines to mount and for the ball winder and swift to be located.

Here is another view of what will be the class area. You can kind of get a feel for the dimensions by the huge cabinetry sitting in place that is waiting to be taken out to the dump.

By the front window there were these built in benches. Lovely but messed with the height for the window displays. We moved them out about two feet from the window to give me some room to work with. I will need to paint those benches and make cushions for them. Brilliant front windows with lot's of light and will be a joy to make visual displays in.  I will be channeling my days working at the 5th ave Anthropologie visuals in NYC.

Finally here is a view from the front door looking in. Tons and tons of space which is both scary and exciting to fill. Lot's of work ahead for me and the hubby.

No for reals this is the last store related thing.  A mock up of what our outside will potentially look like if approved by the Landlord.

OK now that is out of my system let's talk Korea.
So hubby finally agreed that if we didn't go to Korea now when would we go? Certainly not when we have a little one or two. We also didn't know the store would happen so soon. We also booked the tickets before we knew all the work move/grant writing got crazy.  Anyways it's been another beacon of light in my life to look forward to.  I'm so nervous I haven't been back to Korea in 14 years and this is the hubby's first time ever! It will certainly be an adventure. We are staying in Seoul as I don't have very many relatives that we keep in contact with over there. We will mostly be on our own as my bestie over there will be busy with work. I've found a lot of friends that will be there at the same time which will be nice.  I could take a whole other post about just Korea. So I think I will.  OH and we are also going to Japan on the way back from Korea! This will be completely new for me as I have never been able to spend tourist time in Japan. All I have seen of Tokyo is the bullet train and the American Embassy to renew my passport between countries for my brother's wedding in 2000.

I will try my best to be more diligent about blogging.  I miss it dearly and really should make more time to do this and read up on the blogs I used to follow.  For now good night and CHEERS!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Moving along

Super exciting news in the world of small business action.

I think I finally have my logo. It still needs a bit of tweaking but here it is. My header logo followed by my more square type logo. It is amazing how long it took me to come to this point using photoshop. I think I still want my ampersand to be more bold so I need to work on thickening that to match my type. Otherwise I am pretty happy with what I have started.

Other exciting news is applying for another spot. Learning from our hesitation on space last time we made the move on a letter of intent pretty quickly. They aren't lying when they say that life is coming at you fast! I have my fingers crossed this will work out. It is a space that is entirely too large for where we wanted to start and over our original intended budget. On the plus side this is a space that we expect to grow into fully and the location is near perfect and accommodates everything I was looking for in a space:

  • Bus line access
  • Walking distance from home
  • Street and dedicated parking
  • Part of a neighborhood
  • Other successful businesses in close proximity
  • Handicap access
  • Potential for a small kitchen/dye area
  • Open floor plan
We have only just started the process so I don't want to jump the gun but it's a good start.

I did apply for my first vendor and was granted an account which is also exciting. They are one of my first picks for needle and crochet hook vendors. One down and more than a dozen more to go. But I am going to take it in stride till the brick and mortar is secure. I have been dabbling with the idea of just launching an e-commerce site to get the ball rolling and make some social media marketing and income to assist. I also need to order business cards that at least have the logo, email and website.

Going through this process has also forced me to work on putting my business plan all together and in writing in one place. I can talk it big but to have something physical to send in replacement of me being a spokesperson is entirely different. I actually get a bit of sick pleasure working on it the same way I do for my work at the Ohio Art League writing grants. It is very interesting how closely both grant writing and business plan writing are similar. You are basically trying to win someone over to your side with clear, precise writing, stating facts, projections and puffing your feathers a bit. 

Lord, I never thought I would want to own a business. All this administrative work is just not fun, or so I thought. There is also a sick pleasure with the idea of being incredibly successful because of your own endeavors. Even working on the projected expenses, income, and startup budget I find exciting. I know what I am good at and this store will use my personal potential to the fullest. 

I am an enabler so I make a fantastic sales rep.
I am a helper so I love to educate people and see that "A HA" moment hit them
I am a hard worker, so I will put all my energy and love into this business
I am a talented seamstress, so I know the addition of alterations will be a good profitable decision.

This past weekend was Ohayocon and I had the pleasure of my friend Vinh taking some professional photos of me in my Lolita regalia!

I am completely in love with these pictures and wish I had more places and excuses to use them in things.  I am very tempted to change my Linkedin profile picture to the one below. 

Outfit Details:
Blouse - Fanplus Friend
Skirt - Enchantlic Enchantilly 
Socks - Enchantlic Enchantilly
Shoes- Uggs
Locket - Toronto Craft Vendor
Makeup foundation - Too faced Glitter Glue, Benefit Plush foundation, Shiseido powder
Blush - MAC Dainty mineralize and Lazy Sunday creme blush
Eyes - MAC white frost/parrot/shroomed/holographic glitter pigment, Limecrime Elf
Eyeliner - Urban Decay 24/7 black liquid liner
Lashes - some cheap fancy ones from a Korean cosmetic store
Brows - Faceshop
Lips - MAC pervette, MAC baby sparks lip glass

It is a very strange thing to look at your own face and be like WOW that is stunning! Not to be a total narcissist but the curls were just right, my hair color is spot on with my makeup and the blush was done well for once! Everything in this picture just worked right and I still can't believe that this is me. I think this is also one of the few pictures where I see the huge difference that my Muay Thai has made in my life and body.

Anyways that is all for now..... people really shouldn't be blogging at 3am in the morning anyways..