My First Poem

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Today was Day 1 of discipline in journaling.  I’ve added it to my morning routine.  I woke up today at 6:00 AM, chugged a 12oz glass of water, mediated for 15 minutes, stretched, made some coffee, and then sat outside with my journal in my hand and wrote.

 

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The journaling corner with my 2 plants I want to move into my room.

 

As I was sitting there, I started to think of all the different things I could write about. Again, my brain racing for the perfect topic or the best way to put it.. something catching.  Then I closed my eyes for a minute, and just listened.  The sound of the birds, the silence of people, the slight breeze at that hour of the day.  And then I remembered a conversation I had last night with one of my bests.  Her name is Robyn.  We talked about motivation vs discipline and then she forwarded me a reddit article that she said her boyfriend, Jai, had told her about.

How do you keep yourself motivated to practice?

Now that’s the truth huh.

So that’s what I wrote about..

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And there it is.

I’m practicing discipline.

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After journaling, I made some breakfast and planned my day.  Then I headed up stairs to organize my desk when I continued to keep on writing.  Actually thinking about it now, before I went to bed, I started writing poems that I was thinking of.  Now, I don’t really write poems, but I’ve been on this reading poems kick lately, it’s so inspiring.  Anyways, I started writing short poems and the photo above is one of them.  I hope it touches you as much as it did me writing it.  The ocean is my favorite, and it’s constantly spitting our trash out…  I think it’s telling us something.

“Today is going to be the best day”

Yes. Today was a good day.

 

 

 

 

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11:45 AM

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//Typed Blog Format// (Scroll down for PM Reflections)

My inner thighs really hurt…… exercising is a bitch.

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(I literally googled, “thigh exercise gym machine brown woman” … her emotion sold me along with the bottom caption that I screened shot right on the website. Which, clicking on that website didn’t make me feel better about being sore….For NOTHING! Haha… oh man.)

…. I’ve been in love with poetry lately; it’s so beautiful.  

The short but deep ones are what get me.  Who would’ve thought that 10 words can have so much meaning and depth.

(I posted this on my stories on @ELLERALI today.  I love her poems and I look forward to reading them each day.  It’s crazy how much they make me feel.)

That’s what I need to do.  Learn how to keep things short but powerful → Essentialism.

I read a post on Medium today called “Why keeping a daily journal could change your life” by Benjamin P. Hardy.  This is why I’m here right now.

I have a hard time prioritizing.  I feel everything is important, yet I do so much but feel like I’m never done → Essentialism.

(I keep phrasing Essentialism because in “Why keeping a daily journal could change your life,” the author introduces a book called Essentialism.  The link took me to Amazon where I was able to listen to an audio sample of the book.)

I’m in a constant learning phase; always reading, gathering more info that leads me to more things.  I love it, but it’s distracting.  Again I lose focus and then I get tired.

It’s noon and I haven’t even looked at my ELLERALI calendar today…. I just yawned.

How many TO DO lists have I made?? Waaaay too many.

I NEED A BIG FINISH.  What is it…

2 Month Calendar of ELLERALI.  

GO! FINISH! NOW!

But first… coffee.


It’s 8:34 PM and I’m exhausted.  And my inner thighs still really hurt.  

My goals today were:

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Doesn’t seem like I did a lot at all…..

As embarrassing as it is to see my writing, as well as see my list, it’ll help me.

  1. Work on my penmanship if i’m going to be posting my TO DO lists.
  2. Prioritize my day more efficiently.

Now there are also things I did today that were not on my checklist.  For example, laundry, cook dinner, and had a really productive chat with my good friend Gilbert.  I should write those things down too to give myself credit.

But what I took most from today was, starting to blog again.

Most of the day I spent researching and overthinking of how to write a relaunch into my blog; how formal it should be, what I wanted to portray to my audience.  I thought so much into it, I started freaking out and then got so exhausted from the idea of it.  I called my friend Gilbert and he helped me put things into perspective.  

“Writing is like going to the gym, no one says they regret it after”

So I just decided to write,  to type up what I wrote this morning, and then to continue on my reflection tonight.  Raw, real and now.  Otherwise, I’d probably would not have posted this today and probably still be sitting on that dining table thinking of the best way to write a blog post.

I’m not aiming for perfection now, I’m just aiming to do it.

I don’t regret going to the gym yesterday even though I am sore.  I did skip today to finish this task, but I don’t regret that either, because hello, I’m backkkk!

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To 2016!

Whoa. What a year.

From being the first year with out my Mom, to the most non stop traveling I’ve ever done, to letting go of an 8 year relationship, to experiencing one of the most beautiful hikes, to watching the nation vote in shock, to growing ELLERALI and being part of the fashion community, to seeing my dad go from sick to better, to building stronger relationships with family and friends, to my eldest sister diagnosed with absence epilepsy.. to accepting that everything happens for a reason, to being more patient, to being my best friend, and to loving myself.

I love life.  It really is a blessing to be able to liiivvee.  At the age of 31, I’ve experienced so much that already has fulfilled my life.  And I believe that’s because I follow my heart.  I’ve achieved every goal I’ve put my heart into, I’ve experienced and seen what I’ve wanted, I’ve followed my own paths.  Of course I’ve gone through deep lows.. but it’s all part of life right?  If we never do, how can we ever appreciate our highs.

I have no idea what 2017 will bring.  But I have a plan.  ELLERALI has finished it’s one year and honestly, I can’t be more proud of all the things I’ve done, and how much I’ve grown.

To what 2017 will bring.  Cheers and be safe.

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Building a Community

These past few months I’ve been doing a lot of research, reading, listening to podcasts, attending shows and markets, and sewing like crazy.  I’ve been doing really good!  The more I meet people, the more I dig deeper into fashion design, the closer I get to finding what I really want for ELLERALI.  And probably the most important lesson I’ve learned so far is… it’ll take time.  For the past year since I’ve moved home, and for the past few months while I have actually starting sewing again, and selling, I just wanted to GO FOR IT.  Just like the video I made a few months ago.  And I feel like I needed to tell me that, to give myself motivation because this industry isn’t easy, it’s very competitive, and I’m coming into it as a blank canvas from how I see it- no education in fashion design what so ever.  But as I felt the urge to write this blog, I am excited about this journey.  I am excited because I’m connecting to a community of people; artists, creatives, entrepreneurs, motivators, life changers, conversationalists, passionate people and so many more through this industry.  And the more I research, the more I find these amazing designers and future mentors who I aspire to be… SO, I’ve decided to better my blog and make it more of a community.   A community filled with people who are into design and fashion, who are wanting to start a fashion brand, who are looking for mentors and a space that wants to better the practices in fashion and how society pictures it.  I want to be part of a movement in sustainable fashion.  In this blog, I will introduce to you designers who fit this movement.  I will share with you podcasts that have inspired me.  And I will continue to share with you the growth in ELLERALI.  And I can’t wait to fast forward from now, and see how ELLERALI started… but until then.. I’ll just have to let it flow.

My first podcast I would like to share with you is

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/089-zero-waste-for-the-gold/id887026695?i=364430697&mt=2

It’s from AMERICAN FASHION PODCAST .  I JUST found them and started listening and this podcast I just couldn’t keep to myself.  It had some great points and a lot of the same feelings I have with the industry.. and it makes me so happy to hear that there’s people who feel the same way and want to strive to make that difference for sustainability in the fashion industry.  Anyways, I love things that inspire so here it is.  Keep doing you and let’s inspire each other.

Achieved Goal 8: Being part of a show

The ladies of Rewilder are amazing and I intern with them 2 days a week.  UniqueLA was on December 5, I started interning with them on the 8th, and now I’m going to help them with Renegade Craft Fair, http://www.renegadecraft.com, on the 12th.  See guys!  Even though I wasn’t blogging, I was keeping busy!  So hopefully you still have faith in me (=

I was excited to see the process of setting up for a show.  The girls told me some shows you can set up the night before, but because Renegade Craft Fair was held outdoors, they needed to set up the morning of, and then set down, and then set up the next day, and then set down.  Is set down the right word?  haha probably not, but you get it.  Anyways, I arrived at 830AM, booths were already getting set up and the girls had already taken everything to their booth spot.  Note: You only want to take enough for 1 trip so choosing how to set up your booth is important.  Lucky there are two of them.  One person setting up a booth by their selves.. that must be tough.  Also this gave me a chance to understand items to sell.  You don’t want to sell big, bulky things in a show like this because having to carry things back and forth.. man.  One of the girls I met at the show was selling concrete planters.  I bought 4 of them!  They were so cool!  But it came to the point at the end of the show where she wanted to just sell everything because having to carry all that stuff back was going to be a pain.  She was even selling her displays!

Being part of their show was a great first experience and I can’t wait to help in another.  I’m glad I’m able to be experience the show/craft fair experience with them because they’ve been doing it and they do it well.  If I had the first experience with ELLERALI, oh man.. I can’t even imagine how crazy that would’ve been.  Not only did I get the idea of how to set up, but also how to talk to people and to feel off peoples vibes.  Understanding the market I guess I would explain it.  The booth next door told me he’s been doing it for 5 years and he knows exactly how many items will sell from his booth.  Experience man.  Anyways, I was only able to help for a few hours that day, but I’m excited to see what the future brings next year and how much MORE I will learn that I can apply to ELLERALI.  Gotta keep on moving forward, gotta keep on making moves, gotta keep on learning, gotta keep on growing.  On to the next one!

Achieved Goal 7: Interning

I believe I also mentioned that I’m taking a sewing class at the community center literally right next door to my house.  Community classes are AWESOME!  The teachers are great and they are FREE!  My teacher used to be a children’s designer and she’s been a great mentor in sewing and learning about the business.  She was suggesting that I do an internship.  At first I was like.. uhh.. yeah but that would take up a lot of time and I have obligations to fulfill at home.  Also I don’t have any experience/education in the fashion industry, so why would these fashion companies work with me?  Also.. AHHH that drive to LA!  Kick me now.  I really didn’t say those things to her, but that’s what I was thinking.

Well while I was at UNIQUE LA, I saw this booth that was selling bags.  I thought, hey I need a bag and these look cool.  I met Lisa and Jenn, the owners and makers and everything  else of their company.  Lisa started talking about the product and I was so amazed and inspired.  The company is called REWILDER, http://www.rewilder.com.  They handcraft these beautiful bags from salvaged materials that would otherwise be left in landfills.  DING!  That’s EXACTLY what I want to do!  I inspire to be an UPCYCLED Designer and that’s exactly what these girls are doing!  and it’s SOO COOL!  Now, I was sold until I looked at the price of the bags.  I’m working, but I’m not making any money.. (… oh man, I hate those words), so there’s no way I could spend money on a bag, no matter how good the cause (ahh.. probably shouldn’t say that either.. but it’s true.)  So unfortunately, I had to pass up the bag but I thanked them for the talk and all cool stuff they were doing and deng, I was just so inspired.  Anyways, I couldn’t stop thinking about them, the company, what they were doing, the cost of the product, the design.. everything.   The next day, I looked up all the business cards I collected, searched those companies up to decide if I wanted to follow them, and came back to Rewilder.  I looked up their website online and man, was it nice.  This was legit.  I was thinking to myself.. man. again.. how can I compete?  Do I need to hire someone to do my website.. man, I need to start blogging again.. man, my blog sucks. HAHAHA.  I promise I’ll be better.  But all these emotions came running in, I want to follow their movement, but how?  I’m soo lost.. yada yada yada yada. When I finally said, HEY!  I WOULD LOVE TO BE THEIR INTERN!  Maybe they’ll take me in!  I should email them!  For a moment, I hesitated for surrre.. saying.. maybe I’ll do it next year when I really  have something to show them, or when I have time.  But man, I’ve told myself that life is about moments!  If I wait, I probably won’t have the urge to do it anymore.  And plus, they probably won’t remember me later! (even tho they probably don’t even remember me now)  So I did it, I wrote an email and sent it to them.  This is where I think again, Just do it!  I didn’t over think, I just wrote away, read it over, and sent it.  The next day, they wrote me back and was looking forward to meeting me.  I had 1 full day to prepare a resume, a portfolio, decide on what garments to show them, and practice any interview questions they might ask me.  I needed to tell my self because my resume was not good.. cool if you like animals, but nothing the fashion industry gives 2 cents about.

Two days later, I am now interning in Hollywood at Rewilder.  BOOM!  BTW, I secretly thought they had a hidden factory somewhere making their bags.  It literally is a studio of just them two doing everything.  Ahh-mazing.

Achieved Goal 6:  Putting yourself out there.  

The universe is out there to help you.. you just gotta put yourself out there.  Markets are sooooo awesome and I want to part of the homemade community so, I need to start going to these events.  The first one that I attended was the Patch Work Show in Long Beach.  http://dearhandmadelife.com/patchwork-show/

I found this AMAZING store called Share and Do Good at Downtown Fullerton.  All the stuff are from companies that are making things to help communities.  Awesome awesome store.  Anyways, I saw the flier for the Patchwork Show and decided, if I want to be part of this community some day, I need to go to these events.  So I went.  And man, how fun!  Well duh, of course.  I love these things.  Not only did I grab some really cool stuff homemade entrepreneur’s like my future self, it also gave me a chance to scoop out the market.  What’s everyone selling?  What are the booths that are busy.. and why?  How did they set up their booth?  Location of booth and does that make a difference?  Business cards!  How do their business cards look and I need to get on those too!  Also of course Networking.  But during this event, I just browsed and observed.

The following week, DesignerCon (http://www.designercon.com) was going on and I was like.. hey, I need to check this out too!  It was leading towards collectable art and toys, but it gave me a great chance again to scope out the scene and also realize that hey, ELLERALI wouldn’t do well at this event.  I think that’s also very important to know what event your product would do the best in.  Nevertheless, I had a ton of fun and saw some really really cool things too.

HA! thinking about it now, this is where I got the flier for the next show I want to talk about, UNIQUE LA.  Man, all these shows were literally right after the other.  Anyways, I checked up UNIQUE LA online and realized.. yeah, I definitely need to go to this one. UNIQUE LA was definitely the community that I want ELLERALI to be in.  The vibe was modern/cool and the homemade products were modern/cool as well!  It really made me feel tho that.. deenng, how can I compete with these talented people?  Well, the big thing wrong with that sentence is the word compete.  I shouldn’t be feeling that way.. that I need to compete with people.  We’re all in this together and we should all support each other.  So I guess the real question I should’ve asked myself was.. How can I be part of this community of homemade talented entrepreneurs?  haha yessss.  That’s the real question.

Achieved Goal 5: COST OF GOODS 

 

So when I first showed the prototype, I didn’t even add up the COG for the product.  And when classmates were like, how much are you going to sell it for, I just thought of a cost that was something that I could afford or would be willing to spend.  Bad decision.  First of all, I’m not a shopper really and second.. the amount of money I’m willing to spend helps me NOT buy a lot of stuff.. I shouldn’t have applied that to my product.  When talking to my friend about COG, we actually sat down and put things into perspective.. Not only are you just accounting for the material, but also the elastic, the buttons, the labels, the time it take you make it, the packaging expenses, the shipping costs.. and so much more.  I realized I was literally giving these things out for free!  HA!  Entrepreneur skills FAIL!  But like my other friend said.. atleast it’s only a smaller around than what it could ACTUALLY be.  Lesson learned.  I think what I was scared of was pricing it wrong, and no one would be willing to buy it.  There’s so much competition out there, and buying at stores are so darn cheap.  So I felt I needed the price to be affordable so I can get more sales.  What I needed to realize was I wasn’t outsourcing anything.  I wasn’t buying a product that the more orders I got, the cheaper the price.  I was actually screwing myself over, working harder to make more products that I wasn’t even profiting from.  SO!  I was able to come up with a price that was reasonable both ways, and I’ve actually sold it with that price!  YESSSS!!!!!!!!!!!

ACHIEVED GOAL 4: ELLERALI LABELS

 

I didn’t want to give/sell the product without something that shows I made it.  So I needed to design a label and then have someone make it.  I have a group of friends and family who I call the ELLERALI Committee.  They’ve been such a great supportive group of people that believe in me and that I turn to for advice.  I emailed them a wide array (haha sorry guys) of ideas for the Logo.  From everyone’s input, my amazing boyfriend was able to create this.  I decided to work with Labels Depot, https://www.etsy.com/shop/LabelsDepot, and I am so happy with the outcome.  ADD LABELS ON EVERYTHIIIINNG (=  This is a very proud moment for me.

ACHIEVED GOAL 3: FIRST SELL

As many great ideas you may think you have, you really don’t how it’ll do in the market until you actually try and someone actually buys.

This was the week before Thanksgiving and I had just bought fabric from Joann’s.  BTW, none of that fabric from Joann’s was for the MFS prototype.  I showed my cousin the MFS prototype and said I had orders already.  I told her I was just going to go to Joann’s and get the fabric.  She’s been telling me about ML (Michael Levines) forever and I’ve always told her.. I will, one day.  But really I was holding back because I felt I wasn’t ready for it, for the big fabric wholesale store.  She told me that I needed to go and offered to go with me.  So then we went.

I made 4 different prototypes before Thanksgiving to take with me to San Francisco and show another friend of mine the prototype for advice.  My boyfriend has a huge family and it ended up being a show and tell.  I ended up receiving 14 more orders.

Now again, I only started making it the week before so I’m still figuring out the kinks of the prototype.  But I wore it everyday that I realized the snaps were not a good idea.. they were too weak.  I tried heavy duty snaps-  I didn’t know how to put in on correctly and they were too expensive to work with.  I tried making button holes.. I was inconsistent, the holes were too big.  I needed to find another solution.  Final solution – Elastic cords.  (=