As much as I loved to write articles about fashion and style, I discovered that the more I wrote, the faster my bank balance evaporated. I had to figure out a way to make money AND I wanted to still be doing something I love.
For the last six months, I’ve been reinventing myself and my website. I realized that as much as I love clothes, I loved jewelry even more. After years of designing clothing for BIG companies I decided to see if I could design jewelry on my own.
Designing on my own means I no longer have legions of opinionated colleagues and corporate buyers to please. So, I have to ask you all to be the judge – the new E-commerce jewelry store is up and running, and I love it. The bigger question is do you love it?
In addition to my new jewelry venture, I never intended to stop writing. The difference is now besides writing about the designs of others I am also going to tell you about my own designs. I will share with you how the creative process works as well as how the business challenges fill my day. This will be more personal and I hope more meaningful. I know it will be for me.
As many of you know, I’ve written many, many articles since I started Flashionista.com 3 years ago. But, I’ve been working away quietly and a girl can’t make a business staying under the radar. If no one knows you’re there, you might as well not be. So now that I have a new site, a new e-store, and a new jewelry line, I need to do things differently.
The biggest learning curve I’ve encountered is marketing myself. I have NO problem mingling with a room full of strangers but when it comes to selling myself I can really get tongue tied. THIS is what I’m REALLY working on now. I decided to incorporate stories into my posts about a woman (me) re-creates a successful career.
For the last 3 years I’ve been meeting groups of other women entrepreneurs who were also re-starting careers. I realized that I was not alone. There are a lot of us out there who are re-tooling our important areas of our lives. In my case, I’m re-styling my career after over 25 years of working for others.
Creating my business is only the first step. Now I have to make it successful. So I hope you will stay tuned to Flashionista.com to learn about how that is working and NOT working. I plan to be VERY honest about both.
And I will continue my fashion and style advice, because a girl cannot conquer the world without paying attention to the MOST important ingredient to her success which is HERSELF.
I got an email from a longtime friend who’s been following me for several years. She said she was recently inspired to do two things that changed her life. She colored her hair AND she started a group for several women who, like herself, needed to get unstuck. They get together regularly and coach one another.
Seems the new hair color boosted her self-confidence enough to go out and gather together other women she knew could use a boost. This was great news! It’s happening all over that groups of women are finding strength in one another.
Her email inspired me to tell you about a similar group that I affectionately call my posse but is aka my Creative Mastermind Group.
About 2 years ago I sent out an email to women I know who have at least 20 years work experience and are now reinventing their businesses and/or careers. I explained that the purpose of the group was to create a “personal board of directors,” that could help us solve problems that we were facing with our individual projects.
The initial meeting drew about 15 women. They were all interested and at that initial meeting we laid out draft for creating forward momentum. I invited everyone back the next month and asked for a 6 month commitment from those who were really serious about moving their proverbial trains. By the third meeting the group had dwindled down to the “core six.”
Now 2 years later we’re going strong. We had one drop out replaced by one new member this past year. We’ve become close friends as well as business coaches for one another. We all share common goals that include building sales, defining our brand, and taking on marketing with a vengeance.
We’ve worked on vision boards, hired coaches, and read books related to business, mental toughness, and soulful purpose with intense discussion on to apply what we learned to our own lives and business.
About 6 months ago we invented what we lovingly call ‘the fairy chair.’ At each monthly meeting one of us is designated to sit on the chair with wings. For the next hour that person is treated to a brainstorming session on any issues with which they need some input. It’s an opportunity for them to benefit from 6 other brains.
My Fairy Chair session is coming up! Can’t wait to share what happens here. Once I put it in writing I’m accountable. Right?
White shirts are a secret weapon of jewelry lovers. They are a perfect backdrop for layering on the statement bling. Here’s how to keep em white and pristine. Three favorites for now: Vince, Soft Surroundings, and Acne.
- How long you can keep a white shirt looking good depends most importantly on how it is laundered. If you send it out it will depend on the quality of the cleaners. Find the best one you can and opt for washing and pressing. Dry cleaning a cotton or linen shirt is not recommended. The dry cleaning solution does not remove water soluble stains including perspiration. The solution also contributes to yellowing.
- Almost all cotton (even good quality cotton) will shrink. Most shirt makers already compensate for this by making collars ½” larger and sleeves about ¾” longer. NEVER get a cotton shirt altered before it’s washed a couple of times. Sometimes it takes a couple of washings for all the shrinkage to take place.
- It’s best to wash a white shirt in warm to hot water. Unbutton the buttons, remove any collar stays and turn inside out before washing to protect buttons and allow soap to get right to perspiration stains.
- Soak in a mild detergent to remove stubborn spots. Avoid bleach or use VERY sparingly. Instead use non-chlorine bleach with peroxide or a detergent made especially for whites.
- To prolong the life of a cotton or linen shirt, air dry if possible. High quality white shirts are often made with mother-of-pearl buttons which are not as strong as plastic and can break and chip in the dryer.
- The shirt should be ironed on the cotton setting while it is still uniformly damp. If it isn’t, spritz dry areas it with water first. The usual order for ironing is collar, cuffs, sleeves, shoulders, fronts. Iron the back last then touch up anywhere that needs it. Hang on a hanger, button the top button, and hang outside the closet until leftover moisture evaporates.
- The best chance for removing ANY stain on white cotton or linen is to address it right away. Letting the garment sit in the hamper for days will make the stain set.
- Cotton and linen respond best to these suggestions when they are 100% natural.
- Blends and synthetic fabrics need different care. A shirt with is a blend of cotton and poly will not respond to the same types of washing and cleaning technique’s recommended for 100% cotton.
NOTE: I just tried the above technique on a favorite Anne Fontaine shirt that was looking yellow. I soaked it (in a TEENY bit of bleach) then machine washed, air dried and pressed while damp. TOTALLY revived the shirt!
I always think I can do it all. BUT I want to approach things differently this time by focusing only on the important stuff. Yesterday, I shared with you how a couple of sentences in a book inspired me to put together my list of things to remember before I go taking on the world (as I have a habit of doing). Here are my 8 Things to Remember BEFORE Biting Off More Than I Will Be Able To Chew.
1) Know what you need to succeed. For my jewelry business it’s a beautiful product line, sales outlets, and marketing plans to boost my visibility.
2) Of those things, identify what you will be the best at providing. For me it’s the product and the sales.
3) Decide how much you want to invest in the things you don’t feel as confident about. Yes, be willing to enter new territory, but don’t end up with too many learning curves all at once. It’ll drive you crazy. (Take if from one who’s been there.)
4) Of the things on your list that you feel less confident about, decide which ones you want to tackle and which ones are best left to experts.
5) I want to be engaged in my marketing, but I realize it’s a HUGE concept! It involves social media, learning how to pitch myself and my product to media and customers, and networking with people who can help me. I may find that I want to add professional help but for now I’m jumping in.
6) If you can’t do it and it needs to be done, figure out how to get it done. See point 7.
7) Network. Network. Network. You gotta give to get. . I’ve been very generous with my time and in return have developed a super network of people who help and mentor me in the jewelry business.
8) Beware of the time-sucking collaterals. In my case, it was learning photography so I could take photos of my products for my web site. Some of these can’t be avoided so it’s important to identify which are critical to the success of the project and plan how to get them done. My blog post for next week (April 25 will cover this topic)
No one can do it all. There’s no more powerful recipe for succeeding than focusing on the important stuff.
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Güvenle rezervasyonlarınızı yapabilirsiniz.
Turlarda Tatil Kampanyası
İstanbul Kadıköy’de bulunan merkez ofisleri ve güçlü kadroları sayesinde tur konusunda başınıza gelecek her türlü olaya deneyimli olduklarına emin olabilirsiniz. Gerçekleştirdikleri kampanyalar sayesinde 5 yıldızlı otellerde 3-4 yıldızlı otellerin fiyatlarında konaklama imkanına sahipte olabiliyorsunuz. tatilegel
Two muses + Two divergent styles = One modern Flashionista
Almost ALL fashion lovers can list with admiration the muses who inspired their personal style. My own first influencers were my mother and Sister Bernadine (my first grade teacher).
Mother favored chic suits worn simultaneously with big brooches and multi strand necklaces. She had a fabulous hat for every bad-hair day between her weekly hair appointments. In her glamorous shoe closet were some silk striped pumps with a matching clutch, which she owned in a blue combo and a fuchsia combo. When she found shoes she liked, she bought them in every color.
She also had a little pair of sparkly silver fold-up slippers that she tucked into her bag for the times her high heels got too painful (just like the Kardashian ladies do today…)
Sister Bernadine wore the same long pleated black dress and white wimple (headgear) every day. Her severe clothing formed the perfect back drop for her two standout accessories.
She wore a BIG cross around her neck that was a statement making pendant for sure. Then there was the HUGE rosary that was attached to her belt and hung past her kness. It swung and jingled wildly when she moved. When she walked quickly, she tucked it into the bodice of her dress to keep it from hitting against her knees and getting tangled in her legs.
What the two had in common was a personal style that let you know exactly who they were the minute you saw them AND the bold accessories that defined their style.
There’s nothing wrong with small and subtle jewelry but my accessory philosophy was formed at an early age and it is decidely NOT delicate! For me it’s big bold jewelry and lots of it!
Don’t have a muse or a style statement? Find one at the Flashionista.com store and get 20% off until May 31, 2012. Use code flashmay2012
Besides designing my jewelry collection, I’m working on a social media maintenance plan, kicking my marketing into gear and learning photography. Each one has its own learning curve. But so far, the photography has been the toughest. I’m always in mental overdrive.
This past weekend, I spent time reading fiction, something I used to do before I started my job-juggling-self-propelled-re-invention. I read The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. Integrated into the story were a few lines about the philosophy of the Swiss sculptor and painter, Alberto Giacometti. I found it to be some of the best advice yet for anyone undertaking a project.
“…sometimes just to paint a head you have to give up the whole figure. To paint a leaf you have to sacrifice the whole landscape. It might seem like you’re limiting yourself at first, but after a while you realize that having a quarter–of-an-inch of something you have a better chance of holding on to a certain feeling of the universe than if you pretended to be doing the whole sky.”
There’s a clue here that says you’ll make more progress if you don’t allow the essence of the project to get compromised by collateral stuff. For me this resonated like a bass drum. I made a list for myself on how to use this information, which I’ll share with you tomorrow. I call it my 8 Things to Remember BEFORE Biting Off More Than I Will be Able to Chew.