Day 60 – Last day of the dare! I did it!

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I seem to be forgetful of exactly how much I have accomplished over the past few months. It doesn’t seem like THAT big of a deal. Am I cocky? Maybe a little – this isn’t a new personal insight. But, I truly don’t notice my progress in this venture until I have to describe it to a complete stranger.

And this is what happened yesterday at the salon when I wandered in to pick up some products. I really needed a quick blow out. There was a special. I couldn’t resist despite not knowing whether she was capable or not. I like to live rather dangerously…

The conversation began on a tentative note with the usual general comments about the weather and liking my dress and shoes – “wow! I love your purse”… Then came the “what do you do for a living?” question.

Well, I do a lot of things…

Next thing I know, her genuine excitement forces me to show her a picture from my photo shoot, as I am describing the entire development process of my leggings and how I have made sure that I have educated myself on each step of the process so that I am aware of what’s to come and what I ought to expect from any individuals that I decide to hire. I see her jaw dropping and prying me for even more information than is really necessary in my awkward, new-found friendship with this complete stranger.

And, in my head, I am listening to the absolute nonchalance in my voice. It doesn’t match her obvious interest and excitement in her voice. And then I realize that I am belittling myself in my accomplishments. I should be enjoying this moment and show how proud I am of my accomplishments regardless of its success or not. Why am I somehow shying away from taking any credit for what I have in fact achieved?

The appointment ended with her asking for my site because she has a friend who happens to be over 6 feet tall. I happily oblige reminding her that my leggings will be for sale beginning on June 30th. When I left the salon, I had a feeling like I had just jumped over another personal hurdle in this whole process – to finally assign a sense of ownership and pride in myself for my accomplishments.

Now I better deliver on what I have now promised to this woman or else I can never show my face at this blow out bar ever again!

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How do I crack this egg…

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I’m not going to lie, I am tired. I have been working two jobs for the last couple of months. All this secrecy has been exhausting. I have really pushed my limits in compartmentalizing my emotions, actions and thoughts. And I am pleased that my day job has not suffered as a result. People at work still have no clue what I do when I leave my cube at the end of the day…

This is the reality of a small e-commerce business. I am nowhere near a place where I can make this venture my sole source of income and put 100% of my energy and thoughts into it. I have a serious shoe addiction to support. And there are some things that I simply will not compromise on.

But I am feeling like I need to take a step back and breathe. I need to remind myself why I started all of this in the first place and what truly matters to my soul. I need to spend a little time and focus on me for once in my life. And it goes beyond me simply taking an afternoon to go shopping at my favourite little hole in the wall shops, sifting quietly through delicate racks of lace, chiffon and silk. I need to spend some time exploring other aspects of my life and to nurture them for a bit. Because by doing this, the positive benefits will inevitably spill over into this venture and allow for a greater sense of stability, creativity and success to be established.

Thankfully, I am in a bit of a holding pattern right now with this venture as I can do nothing but wait for other people to do what I have paid them to do. My planning was clean – I have given good lead times to account for any errors and scheduling issues. All I can do now is simply wait before I take things to the next level. And don’t get me wrong, I will get to that next level and much further beyond.

I just need to crack my (very thick) protective outer shell for a bit and allow a little warm sunshine to find its way through.

Did I lose the bet?

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I strutted into that bar with my head held high and filled with confidence.

All because my good friend was about to eat crow over the progress of this little dare we started not 2 months ago.

It’s been awhile since he had an update. I thought that it would be a good idea to bring him up to speed with everything that I have done in person as this would ensure that he could see everything in my eyes to know that I am not exaggerating on the fast progress of the events. While I didn’t want to be all cocky about the situation (ok, maybe a little) I still wanted to make sure that I won this bet. And so far, I think I am killing it.

Website created = check
Product developed = check
Business Plan = check

What else could I possibly be missing?

The smirk on his face made me nervous. He knows me all too well – he knows that this is exactly the way to put me on edge and get me all panicky “what am I possibly missing then?” I start to rack my brain on all the different possibilities and then it dawns on me – he’s got me on one aspect; the original bet states that it has to be done within 60 days. Ok – I have to admit, he has me there. I will miss that aspect of the bet – but not by much.

Everything that has been accomplished so far has taken exactly the right amount of time needed to get things done. Pushing things too fast in order to simply meet this goal would have resulted in cutting corners. And while I absolutely hate to lose, I am satisfied if I end up losing this bet as a result of going over my time limit by a week or two. I am not a sore loser.

My official launch date is June 30, 2013.

Close enough. I’ve almost finished what I started. I didn’t flake out by coming up with excuses as to why it wasn’t possible and then turn around and complain endlessly about my unsatisfying life. And I just secretly raised the bar to a new level in our friendship.

Sigh…one of “those” days

I know. I’ve been lazy today with my post. Basically, I’ve come to understand that a deadline for some people carries a very different definition than what I understand it to be.

But now I know what to expect the next time around. All part of the learning process.

Grrrr….

There are no limits in art

The only thing that I have done today is surround myself with art and inspiration at the National Gallery of Canada and the Sakahan exhibit. I spent an unknown amount of time lying on my back in a dark room mesmerized by 5 large 18-wheeler tires with a screen in the hole – images of floating, fire and water, all lulling me away from this world and into another.

Even my boy couldn’t help but be pulled in. And the exhibit gave me a great opportunity to teach him that there really are no limits in art.

And offered me the same lesson to keep pushing beyond what I think I am capable of. Who knows where it will take me.

Sweating bullets over a “thingy”

Final fitting!

I have just lived through the scariest three days of this whole venture so far.

I wasn’t satisfied with my initial shopping site. As someone who is new to all this computer stuff, I didn’t know what I could or couldn’t do with a shopping site so I just started with one company based on a slick marketing campaign. And true to my nature, I stumbled upon something even better and decided to make the switch.

To provide some context to this little adventure, I cannot ever unhook my TV. I managed to get it set up by fluke and have no idea what I did to accomplish this task. My brain simply does not function to intuitively know how electronics communicate back and forth with one another – even with all that handy colour coding in the wires… All I know is that it works. And I simply walk away from it gingerly so as to not rock the boat with the electronic gods…

So, embarking with this switch, I was faced with a dilemma. How do I undo something that I didn’t really do in the first place and re-create it in another platform that I have no idea what the mechanics are?

I cringe at the thought of calling the support line. I cannot even explain what I need to do without using the word “thingy” in my description. This will inevitably lead to the question “is your computer plugged in?” of which I will respond by rolling my eyes and sighing (and quickly checking the connection for arguments sake). Our “supportive” relationship has started off on the wrong foot and we both naturally become combative. End result = “supportive” man becomes dismissive and I still don’t have things settled with my “thingy”.

Plus, I JUST cancelled a monthly subscription. They are REALLY not going to help me give money to their competitors, are they?

In the end, it was YouTube who saved me. It took me three days in testing, updating and teetering on the verge of panic but finally I got the right combination of data in the right fields and the switch has been made! I literally screamed in delight when the scary red icon reading FAILURE changed to OK!

And I am now gingerly walking away from my laptop, all while quietly thanking the electronic gods.

I got my proofs!

Time to celebrate!  The wait is over!

Time to celebrate! The wait is over!

There are hundreds of shots to sift through. It is very odd to look at myself repeatedly and then ask my friends what their opinion is of how I look. The whole act seems rather vain to me. Of course, my friends exude nothing but positivity for anything that I do related to this venture, so I am taking their excitement with a grain of salt. As a result, I’ve needed to seek the advice of certain people in my life; people who I go to great lengths to shelter and protect any possible vulnerability from; and open myself up to them and their honest (and potentially brutal) opinion.

Since I am not a “yes” person in my own life (a fact that always seems to get me into trouble…) I certainly don’t want to surround myself with a bunch of “yes” people when seeking advice for this venture. I love my friends but I require an absolutely emotionless and honest opinion.

While there are the usual odd angles, poses that didn’t quite translate right even though at the time they seemed like a really good idea and shots with closed eyes, I also have many usable shots for my website that display the product well and in a professional manner.

So (with a bit of liquid courage), the shots have been exposed for brutal honesty. Arguments for or against have been pitched. My gut is telling me the direction I ought to go. Now I just need a couple of days to think everything through before making a final decision.

And this is the perfect task to do when I am driving to Montreal. I have nothing but time to think and plan my next move.

About page. Too cocky?

At the end of the day - it's all about the legs

At the end of the day – it’s all about the legs

I’m updating my website right now, making changes, testing, learning…All in an effort to prepare for the official launch of my leggings on June 30, 2013. There is much left to do. And now I have to try to explain everything in a short About page! So, since this whole venture has been about testing before setting it right, here is my first test About page!

Let me know what you think!

Raw Sugar is simply dedicated to creating beautiful clothing for the tall, lithe and long-legged woman.

Each creation is meticulously designed, sourced and fabricated right here in Canada. Years of experimenting (with varying degrees of success) have culminated to this very moment. However, true to the very nature of styling, each design has a limited quantity available to the public to ensure us tall women always stand out in a crowd and are unique in our expression, regardless of which city we live in. So, just to be very clear here, once they are gone, they are truly gone…

Sign-up now to receive automatic notifications of all new designs and fabric choices – but always know that each new design will address our special need for proportionally correct fashion – to which our lovable, yet short friends have abundant access to.

Raw Sugar was created out of an absolute love for fashion – and a love for that “in-awe” reaction we get from both men and women as their heads turn when our stunning long legs walk past in stilettos. All designs are constructed and conceptualized with this scene in mind; to show off our gorgeous gams in all their glory! BTW – if you just want to blend into the background, be safe in your fashion choices and hide your amazing height, this is certainly your prerogative. But may I suggest the competitors then?! Because you will not find that here…

My ankles were once freezing… It now begins. And I am thrilled to share it all with you!

My first day as a model

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I stood gingerly on the paper backdrop in my fabulous heels in front of the camera and said naively to my photographer “what do I do now?” She laughed. This was her first obvious clue that I had no idea what I was doing…

She immediately commented that she LOVED the colour of my nails and that they will look fantastic in the colour shots – as if I had somehow planned it this way. I hit my forehead rather dumbly – I hadn’t even thought of that! Luck has struck me once again! I knew there was to be justification for all my frivolous manicures!

Then she just started snapping.

OK – deer in headlights is not a good look. My inner mind just started to spin out of control in ADD proportions. “This whole production is costing me a fortune…these lights are really hot…the last thing I need is to have dead eyes, poor posture and nothing to work with at the end of it all PLUS a bill that needs to be paid…is that little blemish covered completely…what’s that in the corner?…”

I literally had to yell at myself inside my head to snap out of it! WTF – I will probably never see these people ever again anyways! This is my chance to practice expressing my true passion and enthusiasm for this venture to complete strangers. I may never have another opportunity to do anything like this ever again! I am literally living a mini-version of a dream I once held as a teenager flipping through all those beautiful magazines, admiring those women and what they were bringing to those glossy pages. I should be forever grateful for this once in a lifetime experience! I’m ACTUALLY living a daydream!

OK- with control and sanity regained, I decided it would be best to start talking about everything that I have done to bring me to this point only because I have been told that my eyes glitter when I do. I had to do something to pull this from the fire. And that’s when my postures relaxed and I started to move my body and provide her lens with range.

And she too breathed an audible sigh of relief. Possibly with an eye roll as if to say – “Finally. Now, we are getting somewhere…”

Photo Shoot

I'm a fabulous actress

I’m a fabulous actress

It’s a rather tight schedule today with hair, makeup and styling for the photo shoot. I am amazed at the logistics involved to pull something like this together. Thankfully, I have amazing faith in my hair stylist that I can simply sit back and let her do what she needs to do in order to make me look fantastic. I plan to enjoy her silence. I have a feeling that this will be the only time of peace and quiet before the frenzy begins.

I would be lying if I told you that I wasn’t terrified of this moment. While I am very accustomed to being thrown into new situations, meeting new people and charming them, it’s all part of the performance. That is something that comes very naturally to me. I can mould and mimic myself to match any person and situation in order to make them feel more comfortable with my presence. That part is not what is causing all this concern. It’s that I can perform all that I want, smile, pose, giggle – but take away those superficial layers and smokescreens and we are only left with the photo. And the photo is the photo. I can’t change how I physically look in eye of the lens.

I am a normal person. I am not a model. If I somehow had that photogenic ability I would have been doing it for a living by now. Hey – I’m not one to pass up an opportunity. But I’ve never been asked. And despite all the hair and makeup and Photoshop that exists, I will be exposing myself today to a raw truth. And I am nervous of the results.