Something you should know about me that you might not know is…I LOVE fashion. I love everything about it!! I love the glitz and glamour, the sleek and the flashy. I love clean lines, bold statements and ‘making it work’… EV-ER-Y-THING!
I couldn’t tell you how exactly it started but I’m thinking it was somewhere around sixth grade and my infatuation with the movie Dazed and Confused. I wanted to BE that movie. Bell bottoms were sort of coming back in fashion and I was obsessed but I couldn’t find the styles I wanted in my size. So, I started making them myself. I was already concocting my own temporary hair dye and nail polishes…what’s a garment or two? My first pair of bell bottoms were also the first thing I ever altered. They were an old pair of jeans that were just a little tight so I removed the zipper and turned them into tie front. I then slit the side at the bottoms and used old gymnastic pants to add extra fabric for the bells. They were red, white and blue and I wore the hell out of them at my friends fourth of July party that year.
After that, I caught a huge bug. I made skirts, bags, and tons of altered tops. I also started my first look book by cutting up Delia’s catalogs, teen and people magazines and sticking them into one of those old photo albums with the sticky pages. This is still one of my favorite, and most relaxing hobbies; although, I’ve upgraded to a less retro sketchbook. Just me, my notebook, a fashion magazine, scissors and a glue stick. I was so inspired that I asked for a sewing machine for my birthday and when I got it, I was ecstatic! The way it felt to sit at the table, press that pedal and feel the pull of my machine…it was heaven.
Sadly, there inevitably came a time in my life where I became very aware of my body and that it didn’t fit the ‘norm’. I ended up letting the disappointment in myself and society affect me and I stopped trying to fit the trends that I loved and instead dressed more how I felt, or how I thought I was supposed to, hiding assets and praying for change in me. However, I still always paid attention to the magazines and the styles that still feel like a fine art to me. I remember, every year, going on the Vogue site and just drooling over the newest lines. I’m pretty sure I have every Cynthia Rowley picture saved on a floppy disc somewhere. Eventually I began to embrace the old adage ‘Those who cant, teach.” Except for me, it is more like ‘Those who can’t, love to watch others who can.” I learned to accept it, do what I can with what I have and simply enjoy fashion on the sidelines.
There are a lot of things I credit my marriage for…my beautiful children, a deep beautiful friendship with the best partner I could ever have and a closeness to Jesus that is enhanced and encouraged by that wonderful partner. However, when one gets married and has three children in 5 years, it can do a lot to a person. So, I also credit my marriage for my loss of friends who either didn’t want to hang out with old married people or who couldn’t adjust to the ever-growing lack of free time, my seriously draining bank account and of course, my body…the one that seems to be rejecting adulthood. Okay, maybe my babies have a little to do with that part, as well. But all these changes have also taken a hit on my wardrobe, hobbies and worstly…my confidence.
It’s so easy to get in this ‘Mommy Mode’ where you stop caring about making that extra effort because you’re too busy enjoying the little things. So, you swap high pumps for potty training, sit- ups for sippy cups and trendy clothes for athleisure wear. There are a few perks to Mommy mode, of course. We gain this amazing confidence to walk around in our bathing suits, bending over and squatting to pick up crying kids and never once do we flinch about how our cellulite looks. It’s amazing and empowering that we are growing and nourishing these little creatures into somewhat decent human beings. We sacrifice so much without even a second thought and it’s an amazing and beautiful process. So, why can’t we carry that confidence into our everyday fashion? It’s not like we suddenly stop wanting to look good and it’s not necessarily that we don’t care either. We just don’t have the time or brain power to put into it anymore. We need fast, easy fashion that makes us feel good and doesn’t cost a fortune.
Now that’s how it started…so how did I get here as a Stella & Dot stylist? Well that’s simple…I got tired of this ‘mommy mode’ rut. By sheer dumb luck, and help from my Mother in Law, I got a part time job in the fine jewelry at a department store. It was two kids ago that I started and even after a break and position change, I still came back to that position. I am drawn to it and even though I can pick up hours in any department, I still prefer fine jewelry. What can I say? I love helping people finish their look. It also doesn’t hurt that our department is in the perfect location to see the latest trends being merchandised. It’s also one of the benefits of having a body that doesn’t fit a norm that you become very aware of what is flattering on what types of bodies. It also makes people watching that much more fun.
Back to jewelry…Fine Jewelry is fantastic and even though I love the pieces I have invested in or gotten as gifts, it’s not fashion jewelry. It’s not playful or trendy and it is never chunky or longer. I like to play with looks but the actual fashion jewelry I found always left something to be desired. It was cute but the quality would be meh and the options were not what I was looking for in my pieces. Not only that, but my sensitive ears that could only handle gold. No more dangly chandeliers for me. Then, a friend introduced me to Stella and Dot and my fashion game changed forever. I bought my first piece at her show and was blown away by how much I loved the versatility, quality and how many compliments I was getting. I was hooked and wanted more…but I didn’t have a lot of spare cash so I hosted a show and stocked up my jewelry box. I loved that I was helping out a good friend and getting some stuff for myself. I even tried earrings and they didn’t hurt my ears! Nickle and lead safe and not too heavy made my ears very happy. My friend eventually left SD and I continued to shop a bit here and there until one day I was ordering a birthday perk and it was going to a stylist I’d never met before. That didn’t sit right with me. While I don’t mind someone getting credit for my order, the personal connection was gone. So, I sat on that thought for a bit and couldn’t figure out why it bugged me. Until one day I thought, ‘That could be ME!” So, I got a little bold and signed up! It’s been six months of ups and downs and a pretty discouraging start but now I’m headed to HOOPLA to get empowered along with thousands of other fantastic women and I can’t wait to come back and share with you my #SDJoy and the exciting directions I’m hoping to move MY business toward.