COM0014 – Blog #7 – More bad advice from my Mom.

Just don’t be so you!

A quote from my Mom just before a job interview. Is it important to say I already worked for the company?

I feel like this course is the mother I never had… Thanks, new Mom!

Thanks for teaching me to always listen to others.
Thanks for encouraging me to be authentic.
Thanks for valuing my story.

Sometimes all we need is someone to listen and encourage our voice to be authentic and have the confidence to tell our story.

Listening to your audience works the same way. As you listen, you learn what is important to them and what their pain points are. This is the best way to understand if your message will connect or miss the mark.

Once you listen to what is important to your audience and what they need, the best way to relate to your audience is to be authentically you. If your message is not received, this may not be your audience. Listen again but remember you can’t be everything to everyone.

Putting ourselves out there might be the hardest part, however, this course has taught me that if I am prepared, then I can write.  Finding your audience and fostering your authentic message will give you the confidence to tell your story.  It is time to tell our stories!

COM0014 – Blog #5 – Just For You!

We all have that one unique talent, whether we know and use it is another story. How would you know what your unique talent is unless you have had the chance to find it? Life does not always afford us the opportunities to pursue small passions that unlock our unique talent.

I am one of the lucky ones. A couple of years ago, I was able to quit my day job and pursue my other passions. I used this time to take courses, workshops, masterclasses, anything I could, to grow my knowledge and interests into a unique skill set. I also took time listening to myself and letting myself quit and move on from things that do not empower me. I knew I wanted to create and have a positive impact on others.  But ultimately, I wanted to leave everything and everyone I encountered a little bit better and a little stronger, especially women.

I focus on women’s empowerment.

Throughout my life, I have noticed women diminish themselves and put others’ needs ahead of their own often to their detriment. I used to see it looking up to my aunts and my mother’s friends, but now I see it in myself and my girlfriends. This is why I focus my energy on women, as I am one and can relate.

The loneliness of being invisible. The heartbreak of being underappreciated. The exhaustion of being everything to everyone. Until you have felt these feelings you may not understand them.

And I am not talking just to other mothers of teenagers. I’m talking to all women. Most of us have felt that at some time in our life.

It is time to do something just for you!

Why are you the last person you take care of? Take 30 minutes each day just for you. What are you going to do with that time? Read a book, learn a new skill, pick up an old project, plan your sanctuary? Better yet, it’s time to find your unique skill! 

COM0014 – Blog #6 – Women Unite, Take Back The Night!

From a very young age, my mom immersed me in feminist culture; books, art and protests.

Source: The waves of feminism, and why people keep fighting over them, explained

In the ’80s, I would march alongside women of all ages fighting for our right to be safe on our own streets. A notion I had not yet experienced the dangers of, so could not fully grasp.

I looked up to these women, both figuratively and literally. They were yelling and hollering in the streets demanding their voices be heard, tsk tsk so unladylike. Their loud voices and demanding chants intrigued me, this isn’t the way our grandmothers taught us to act – as women from the ’50s our grandmothers were the embodiment of femininity. 

But these women of the ‘80s, against what the mothers of their society told them, were so sure of themselves and their femininity, they were marching in the streets, using their voices as loud as they could to fight for our rights.

Uncredited Vintage Photo

Participating in these marches and being surrounded by strong, unapologetically true to themselves women, are my earliest and fondest memories.  

These events and the sisterhood I felt with women I didn’t even know, helped shape who I am now and what I believe in. Of course, I, like most women, have struggled with my worth and have questioned if it is best to always be myself, teenage years, am I right? But I have always had these women in the back of my head chanting, telling me I am good enough, I am perfect, and I deserve to feel as such! Encouraging me to unapologetically be my most authentic self.   

I want this freedom for all women.  

I want to be those chants in the back of women’s heads. I want women to feel free to be unapologetically them. I want them to say I am me and I am perfect!

‘Your Beautiful Life’ will focus on female empowerment through creative pursuits. Through creativity, we can overcome the societal pressures of what we should be and just be us. The creative brain lives inside each of us and can be a powerful tool to gain confidence and self-love.

Let’s see what beauty you create! What creative pursuit have you been hestinant to start? Comment Below.

I am working on my writing!

COM0014 – Blog #4 – The Chair Stylist

Chair Whimsy, a small chair boutique out of Texas, has a strong social media game. This evaluation is not only based on the number of posts, but the consistency, the audience interaction, and relevance of the message.

Chair Whimsy is owned and operated by Wendy Conklin, the self-proclaimed Chair Stylist.

I’m Wendy Conklin, The Chair Stylist. What brings me joy is helping others live more creatively. I design antique-inspired, boutique chairs, and I teach others how to do what I do.”

https://chairwhimsy.com/


While the main products are one-of-a-kind chairs, Chair Whimsy has branched out into the education space. Offering several online courses that range from Upholstery for Beginners, to sourcing beautiful fabrics as well as the Business of Chairs coaching program. While there are many courses to choose from, I would like to focus on the top tier courses that also offer private Facebook groups; the Business of Chairs, and Upholstery for Beginners.

Chair Whimsy Instagram Page

Chair Whimsy has built an online community for lovers of chairs and fabrics. Chair Whimsy interacts with their audience through Pinterest, Facebook including private Facebook groups, Instagram, blogs, and emails. With daily posts on all platforms and weekly emails and blogs, Chair Whimsy has built trust and transparency with their audience through positive interactions and providing design secrets and stories.

Chair Whimsy is a visual storyteller, always including a picture of their products with every message, whether they are selling products or services, giving design secrets or encouraging a conversation among their audience. Chair Whimsy responds to all comments on their social media and daily in the Facebook groups. This encourages the audience to continually interact as well as increases trust, thus increasing audience size and creating a committed community.

Chair Whimsy is an excellent example of how a small business can engage with and grow a following on social media and increase online business sales.

COM0014 – Blog #3 – Women Unite! Take Back Your Décor!

Have you ever had this conversation with your girlfriend while décor shopping?

You: “Ooh I love this! Do you think I should get it?”

Friend: “Of course, you love it”

You: “Oh I shouldn’t.  It’s too pretty.  It’ll just get ruined.  But I do love it!”

Then walk away without that item you loved so much because it was too nice? But, be honest, you have a comfy yet hideous recliner in your house.  I bet there isn’t one piece of furniture that brings a smile to your face…

It is time to take back your décor.

You have spent years buying practical furniture that was dark, stain-resistant, and seats the family. You have made your furniture décor choices based on everything and everyone else but you!

I get it, I really do. Children, husband, pets, etc. are hard on your furniture.

…I don’t even want to tell you about what my husband did to my couch, but I will tell you it took a lot of Febreeze to remedy the situation...

And really when do we sit? But, I’ll tell you ladies it is time to sit and get comfortable. You’ve done enough! It is time for you to take care of yourself. It is time that you put yourself first. Don’t fight it, you know it’s time.

Your surroundings should be a reflection of you, your style, and your personality.  You take great care of your home, it is time to take care of you. It’s time to surround yourself with beautiful furniture that makes you happy.

Let’s start by replacing that chair in your bedroom that you toss all your clothes onto…

COM0014 Blog #2 – We Are All Storytellers!

Stories are told in many different ways by many different people.

Close Your Eyes, and Imagine… No wait, don’t! This isn’t a podcast! Imagine a chair that speaks to you so intensely that you would swear you are soul mates!

‘Love At First Sight’

Who do you think should design that chair? Trick question; it’s you, of course, with a little help from Haute Couchair. Together we can create a chair that reveals your love story.

As your creative facilitator, I will take you through the 3 phases of creating your dream chair.

I have broken it down into 3 basic steps:

  1.  Inspection
  2. Analysis
  3. Creation

In the inspection phase, we will scour fabric websites and shops finding fabrics that inspire you most. Once we have gathered at least 5-7 choices we then move on to the analysis phase.

Photo From King Cotton Fabrics

In this phase, we need to do some further research, at this point we will acquire swatches to test the fabrics for colour, texture, sheen, durability (double rubs), etc.

Double Rub Scale for Residential Use

  • Heavy Duty: 15,000+ double rubs. These materials are ideal for busy homes that have pets and children.
  • Medium Duty: 9,000-15,000 double rubs. This fabric grade is still considered fairly durable and may offer a more cost effective option for families on a budget. It is still strong enough to be recommended for use in family rooms.
  • Light Duty: 3,000-9,000. According to wearabilty standards, this fabric will only last 1-3 years before showing noticeable signs of wear. For this reason, light duty upholstery is best for formal living rooms that aren’t used on a daily basis.
  • Delicate Duty: Less than 3,000 double rubs. Because this grade of fabric easily wears, it is typically used for decorative details such as pillows and curtains.

For more information visit: https://www.btod.com/blog/2017/02/13/fabric-and-upholstery-double-rub-count-a-durability-standard/

Pattern mixing quick guides are a great tool for this phase, they further our knowledge and ensure we can move to the next step.

If you want to learn more about this subject, ‘Styling with the Chair Stylist’, Wendy Conklin, is a great affordable mini-course.

However, before moving to our final step, and my personal favourite – creation, together we will complete one final audit to ensure that we are moving forward with the appropriate fabrics.

In the creation phase, it is time to sit with your fabric choices. Breaking them down to 2-3 choices by placing them together discovering which combination speaks to you most. As with any great story your chosen fabrics should provoke an emotional response; this means your design has balance and harmony.

Now that you have designed your first show-stopping chair, you can use these tools and methods for other design problems you may have.

COM0014 – Blog Post #1 – How Snapdragons Saved My Christmas and My Sanity!

COM0014 – Blog Post #1 – How Snapdragons Saved My Christmas and My Sanity!

This Christmas break was very different; usually Christmas break is filled with family, friends, parties, and all around happiness. Well this year was devoid of it all. Days were spent watching the same Christmas movies over and over and over…

…and over again.

So what did I do to break up the monotony of life during lockdown? Because this blog can’t be about watching TV. Can it?

Snapdragons Saved My Christmas and My Sanity.

Everyday I would wake up like a kid on Christmas morning. I would jump out of bed, run out the door, with  pjs on and camera in hand, to check on my snapdragons. Oh what my neighbours must think.

…oh no, she has definitely lost it…

I guess you must first understand that snapdragons don’t grow in snow… usually.

Snapdragons are truly a short lived perennial that is usually grown as an annual, especially in colder climates. In mild winters or when grown in a sheltered location a plant or two may survive the winter. …

https://www.melindamyers.com/articles/overwintering-snapdragons

But not these snapdragons, they wont take no for an answer. Every time the sun comes out and the snow melts away, these beautiful blooms would pop back up and just continue blooming as if nothing had tried to take them down.

I will say it again… Snapdragons Saved My Christmas and My Sanity

The vibrant pink and coral buds have inspired both my word and song for 2021. A sort of mantra to keep me going and growing throughout 2021.

Visit My Instagram Page For More Inspiration!

So as the great Freddie Mercury said, “DON’T STOP ME NOW”!

Don’t stop me now
I’m having such a good time
I’m having a ball
Don’t stop me now
If you wanna have a good time
Alright
Just give me a call

Don’t stop me now
‘Cause I’m having a good time
Don’t stop me now
Yes, I’m having a good time
I don’t wanna stop at all

“Don’t Stop Me Now” – Freddie Mercury

Starting the year in lockdown, the immediate future looks bleak. BUT all that means is it is time to PERSEVERE.

Let’s bloom stronger than ever before

What is your word or song to keep you going in 2021?

2021 Here We Come!