Don’t (please) look at me

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Not only am I an enigma to some, floating away as fast as I arrived, I am also a complete contradiction. To put it rather bluntly, I am simply an introvert who is trying to be an extrovert…or wait? Am I an extrovert who is dying to be an introvert?

No wonder people are generally left confused by my presence. I am obviously giving off some mixed signals here…

Trust me, even I can’t figure it out and I happen to be an overly self-aware individual. I find myself screaming at the top of my lungs to be heard, yet covering my ears like a small child, shaking their head, begging for silence. I crave the chaos and excitement of intense crowds yet I find utter peace and comfort in the solitary cocoon that represents my home.

Yet, even when I achieve that sweet yet savoury moment, I despise the silence.

This week has allowed me the opportunity to explore these contradictions in my personality through the eyes of the media. I have been faced with such extreme examples that it has been simply impossible for me to ignore their magnitude. And through all my shrewd yet dull observations, I am left pondering:

Why do I keep trying to be something that I am not?

How to give a bottle of ketchup for Christmas and not look cheap

Raw Sugar

Christmas Tourtiere Recipe

For a yummy and indulgent meal this holiday season – without any thought of calories, fat (save that for March when bikini season is fast approaching), or any other modern sense of health-related reasoning – try this meat pie. I can guarantee you that it will bring the tallest and strongest man quite literally to his knees in utter gratitude and awe for your homemade creation! Seriously ladies – if you need a proposal, this is the smoking gun…I should know – I have gotten 2 as a result….

BTW – it takes a couple of days if you want to do it right. I got this recipe from a proper, elderly, French Canadian woman -quantities and instructions can be sketchy at times so go with your gut – as all cooking really ought to be done anyways…

It will make 3 pies – but don’t worry…

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In commemoration of the word “selfie”…

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Congratulations are in order for being named “word of the year” by Oxford dictionaries!

What the hell – I’ll let this one slip for all my lovely and loyal followers. I thank you all for encouraging and enabling my narcissistic tendencies.

And really, without all of you, I’d just be talking to myself…

I’m still here!

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I know what you have all been thinking over the past couple of weeks while enduring my silence and lazy re-blogging posts (I have a couple of real gems you know…) -where is she?! So, I feel the need to clarify a couple of things:

No – I have not given up.

No – I have not gotten bored with this venture.

No – I did not fail with my product or sale cycle. My customers are very happy.

No – I have NOT gotten distracted by something really shiny (although I am not ashamed to admit that this HAS happened to me in the past…).

I am still here – learning, testing and evaluating every aspect of this venture and quite frankly, myself. It’s been a very reflective and eye-opening couple of weeks to say the least.

I am very happy to report that I experienced a genuine sense of satisfaction in my life as a result of this venture. While celebrating my achievement in a rather dimly lit restaurant last week, I was caught a little off-guard and ended up feeling a very different sense of pride and emotion for what I have accomplished – without any hint or warning. And it wasn’t the fake sense of pride (like I usually have), but one that was felt much deeper within my soul. It was a little odd and disconcerting to me because at first, I did not know how to react to all of it (this MAY explain all the giggling). For I have completed my first wholesale contract – delivering in-full and on-time, effectively ending the product development cycle and finishing what I had rather unwittingly started all those months ago. And while listening to the praise that I was receiving from across the table, I realized that I wasn’t simply brushing it off or undermining it unconsciously like I usually would.

For once in my life, in my never ending game of me against the world, I finally felt that I was an equal competitor on the playing field. And it felt amazing.

Well, this is a new concept – me actually accepting praise?! This first sale has provided me with some critical data that I can now use to move forward with WAY more confidence than before. I have been able to test my boundaries and limitations in this process to understand what works, doesn’t work and most importantly, what I fear and what is holding me back.

So, I am reading. I am quiet. I am reflective. And I have a new favorite restaurant.

But I am certainly not giving up. Not by a long shot.

Shh…tights are a tall woman’s secret weapon

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That and high boots. But that is another tall secret for another day…

Tights are an inexpensive way to test your fashion boundaries, have some fun and show off your legs all while covering your ankles for a change. The options for colors, designs and materials are literally as endless as the price points. I walk into the specialty shops in the mall and my creative mind begins to wander and explore so many different scenarios – I’m like a kid in a candy store! It’s nothing but glitter, flowers and sex all rolled into one!

Naturally, my reverie is so rudely interrupted when I look to the back of the package.

Being an eternal optimist, I always think the handy chart will somehow magically include sizing for someone who is over 5’11. But alas, I am forever disappointed. Thankfully, I just happen to like living on the edge (of course) and I always end up taking the risk by buying the extra large size (which clearly I am not) and HOPE that the material is stretchy enough to limit the low riding crotch that will inevitably occur. Or that the pattern will not become oddly distorted as I pull every last bit of length I can out of the fragile material. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t – and when it doesn’t, I just simply throw up the white flag in defeat and have an uncomfortable day in my fabulous looking tights that cost me a small fortune.

Wait a minute – is this a potential product for tall women just WAITING for development at Raw Sugar?!

OMG – I think I’ve just been struck by lightning…

My little bundle of joy!

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My new legging shipment came in last week – and its arrival on my doorstep was met with a highly dangerous and volatile cocktail of anticipation, anxiety and excitement because:

1. I happen to LOVE getting presents.
2. Each shipment travels to me SIMPLY on faith.
3. I have an overactive imagination.

I try in vain to envision their actual location in transit, their surroundings and whether or not they are being well taken care of by their carrier or crushed under the sheer weight of their travel companions. I catch myself picturing me caught this strange travel predicament instead – and all I can come up with is a sense of being trapped…in a very small plane…overwhelmed by my 500 pound neighbor spilling over his seat and into mine…an errant child in front of me having reclined her seat all the way back…a never-ending series of mechanical and weather delays…THIS is when my panic starts to set in and my thoughts run even more out of control…

So, when I finally do get the chance to catch my breath with the receipt of an illegible notification of their arrival (and pull myself away from my overactive imagination), in what state do they appear to be in? For I could easily open the box only to find my carefully crafted leggings damaged, not in the correct quantities or worse, not up to my standards in terms of quality of construction. Since I am relying on others to perform these rather essential tasks and as someone who possesses a (slight) need for control in every situation, letting go and simply allowing them to float to my doorstep is quite a stressful event to say the least.

Thankfully as I tear the cardboard box to shreds (I did mention that I love to open presents, right?), I am able to breathe a huge sigh of relief for they have arrived in excellent condition and as expected. I have been busy most evenings this past week sorting, inspecting, folding and tagging. The assembly line that I have created on my kitchen island is rigid and efficient in its process – one that commences and ends with a smile and a celebratory sip of wine.

And with every one of my leggings from this shipment passing inspection, I now find myself looking for a local tailor. For once in my life, my pants are far too long!

Rejoice!

SEO woes = first world problem?

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As many of my loyal followers know, I am not a computery-type of person. I am creative. Tactile. Perceptive. I can correctly identify dozens of different shades of green in an instant. I’m mildly absurd in my ideas yet oddly clear in their execution – all while being rolled up into one deliciously tall, leggy package.

And there was a VERY good reason why computer science was NOT my major in university…

But I am learning. Slowly. Rather painfully actually. And in my never ending education towards legging dominance, I continue to research and test all these SEO tactics in the same manner as I have operated all along with this venture – by blindly falling into traps and having to wiggle myself out of curious jams. But these SEO errors are causing a serious issue for me and my venture as I am quickly learning how critical they are to achieving any sort of search position on Google. And it is WAY harder than I thought it would be to crack the top 10! And if Google can’t find me, nobody will…

Realizing this MAJOR flaw in running an e-commerce business, I have enlisted all the help that I can get – most important being an SEO evaluator. You know, to evaluate all the errors that I was completely unaware I was making in the first place… Quite a handy little gadget I must say. And I am pleased to report that I am currently correcting my last major error – but seem to have hit yet another snag.

Apparently my business name is simply too short for their liking.

Well, this is new. Because I have never been too short for anything in my life. Ever.

Sigh.

I like a good win/win scenario

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I took the day yesterday to attend an informal discussion on how to take a conceptual idea and move it to reality. It caught my eye in terms of subject matter seeing as I have ACTUALLY accomplished this feat but have been questioning if whether or not I have forgotten something major. Simply put – I needed a little validation for the accuracy of my self-directed (and often lucky) methods. And it seemed like the ideal way to spend a couple of hours-surrounded by like-minded peers, all in a similar quest to simply “create” something.

Plus the location JUST happened to be next door to Holt Renfrew. Win/Win scenario.

Moving into the classroom setting, I noticed the usual crowd that I have come to expect at these gatherings – the classic overachiever; the serious businessman looking to make his millions; the quirky oddball with seemingly random yet oddly precise ideas who talks CONSTANTLY; and finally, the presenter – who always seems to assume that no one will even show up. I’m starting to sense a pattern to these things.

While the examples were focused primarily on technology and gadgets (which leaves me questioning once again about the validity of me entering the fashion industry in the first place – do people really care about leggings?), the theme that remained consistent regardless of the product was the simple need to continually evaluate, test, and validate at each stage of the development process in order to form better decisions.

So, in honor of what I learned, I am off to Ottawa Fashion Week tonight to watch some shows and to surround myself once again with like-minded peers. But most importantly, I need to gauge various reactions and comments on my (beautiful!) leggings over a glass of wine and idle chit-chat to see if I am actually creating the reactions that I had originally intended to create. Fashion shows = models. And models = long legs. Win/Win scenario.

I’d like to say it was the presenter who inspired me his week but I truly think it occurred afterwards at my pseudo-mecca where I had this little revelation all by myself 🙂