9.12.10

We all have a Signature

I am going to offer my services as a "Signature Stylist" to the women of my local community. I stress the word Signature since I feel what I will be doing is slightly different from traditional stylist services. Why was this realization and sudden decision so important to me?  SO HEAD OPENING, SELF REFLECTION driven, CYCLES and AUTHENTICITY obsession motivated, Quit my regular blog schedule and meditate and immerse myself in Yoga till my downward facing dog really DOES feel like a resting posture, and I quit selling vintage and speak in freaking randomness and all that jazz? Ya . . .  I know right?  It sort of seemed like I was thinking would save the freaking world or something, but no, SIGNATURE STYLIST.  And even though this may sound like a very simple or subtle life fork I have chosen, it is actually a really big freaking deal to me.  I will tell you why.

  1. I had to identify my discontent with my current situation and understand WHY I was feeling so discontented. THE ANSWER: While I love blogging, the clothes and style and "meeting" people online and talking about bigger issues sometimes and all that the internet allows me, IT DOES NOT give me any face time with these wonderful people I meet. I read comments and visit blogs and feel like all of this is just empty shadows. So difficult it is to make TRUE connections and even when one is established those feel tortured and frustrating for me, and quite simply heart breaking since I feel I can never REALLY know you and you can never REALLY know me unless we are in each other's presence. Through all of my introspectiveness, looking back on my cycles and past endeavors, the things I truly crave and value are face to face relationships. An hour over tea, or talking about a great book together, talking "IRL", a REAL energetic exchange. Working with women in real life is something that I know I want to do.  It won't necessarily replace the friendships I have established online, but it will fulfill the need for human contact that I feel is lacking, specifically with women.
  2. I had to identify the source of my self doubt and self sabotaging drives.  I have wanted to do something like this for a really long time but somewhere inside I worried that I was not good enough. That I would give up if things got difficult and that my investment into starting a business would be lost. NOT THAT I WOULD FAIL, but that I would just give up and flake when things are going well (as I have so many times before). I was (am) actually afraid to succeed.  I do not fret about no one calling me, In fact I have a list of people lined up and waiting for me to go live with it (and that scared (s) the hell out of me). I worry that I will over extend myself, promise more than I can physically deliver.  This was (is) a biggie for me, and something I am consciously working on in my daily yoga classes. I didn't (don't) have faith in my physical abilities. Not that I am going to be running marathons with these women and lifting weights in their closets, but I have generally viewed myself as a physically weak person, easily tired and overwhelmed, unable to cope with stress and demands of predetermined obligations. Sounds pretty wimpy and pathetic right?  Well it is, and I am not weak and I am not a wimp. I am gaining the confidence and building my strength. 
  3. I had to identify my natural gifts and figure out how to best use them to help myself and others.  While I may not have as much experience helping others to see their own unique personal style, I know what it feels like to have identified and feel comfortable in my own. My real skill though is in communication. And communicating delicate issues face to face is something I know I can do well. I feel confident that I can ask the right questions leading people to have realizations about themselves, even if it is on a sort of exterior level.  I do believe that the path to thinking about what is inside, may start by looking at yourself on the outside in a new way. My experience with blogging has helped me understand many things about our external identity and how it effects our true internal identity. Using this understanding and my other gifts of communication and perhaps some layering tricks, I can make a positive impact on women and maybe even plant the seeds of self acceptance. A persons signature style is not based on fashion rules or trends or anything like that, it is what the person feels most true to self in. What a great way to start accepting that self. 
  4. I have had to accept MY SELF.  An important lesson and one I am still learning and will continue to learn as I move forward with this. 
  5. I have had to understand what I value, how I measure success and what I consider to be failure. Important information when deciding to start a business. 
Now, Its not like every person has to do this to start a business. A mean, self sabotaging part of me envisions some meanie out there reading this and thinking "Who the hell does this girl think she is?  Why is she making such an enormous big deal out of this?  So what! She is going to try to be a stylist. Big freaking whooptie doo. Glad I stayed on for that."  And I have no idea if this meanie will really exist but if they do, whatever.  I have been consciously trying to ignore that meanie in my head and I will do the same to any real life meanies. This is how I have decided to consciously move forward with this new endeavor and the process I have needed to go through.  The next time I blog I will describe the services I will actually provide.  I have been refining them over the past two weeks and would love to run them by you (not any potential meanies, but those of you who I really want to have tea and talk with.)  Thank you for sticking by me and reading about my thing.  The most heartbreaking thing is that I can't just tell you about all of this. You have to read it and my voice and the feeling is all lost. 

43 comments:

amanda said...

shit. i'd love to have tea with you (well coffee, sorry i'm not much of a tea person, is that okay?) and talk about all this stuff. i just want to hear all about your life experiences and see how exactly you've come to where you are. i love how open you are and how you bring us along with you. i think you'd be a great stylist because you can get to the heart of the issue and that is self acceptance. i've learned so much of that through my own blog. i've figured out what looks good on me, what expresses my personality, what makes me comfortable all in the last year. and it is a big deal. self esteem can be such a big deal. at least it is for me. and i know i have more of it now than i did when i started this whole blogging thing. but you can help the ladies who are in your own community. i love getting to meet the girls that come in my shop and i can encourage them in the clothing they try on and give them ideas of how to style something. it's amazing how even that little bit can mean a lot to someone who is unsure or timid. well i could go on and on. but i won't :) we'll just have to save it for some time over tea/coffee.

Ana - Toil and Trouble said...

First of all, that coat is amazing. Secondly, I think you will be an absolutely fantastic stylist, and I'm sad that I can't be a customer or have tea with you.

Melanie said...

I think it is very brave of you to face your true self and acknowledge the obstacles you have placed in front of our self before now. Most people wouldn't do that, and probably wouldn't share it with the world for fear of being judged (like you mentioned) and then thrown into self doubt all over again.

I wish you luck on your new adventure and wish I lived in your neck of the woods so I could take advantage of your unique gifts. :)

And I hope you let your readers come along for the ride. I always enjoy reading your thoughts and insights.

Desiree said...

Christina, this is phenomenal (and beautiful written)! I believe you summed up how many, many bloggers feel about not having true blue CONNECTIONS with the bloggers they "know." Many times I think it would be so amazing to hop in the car for a trip to Nevada and see Christina or Cali and drop in on Paige or Arkansas to sit down with Amanda or ... you totally get the point. The amazing thing is that I feel like if I did happen to be in Nevada, I would have welcoming arms. That is what is so damn amazing about this blogging community. That being said, I totally get how you crave face to face time, especially with women. I can't wait to follow you on this journey. You are a constant inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Well hello there. I understand what you mean about the written communications versus a conversation. I have a similar type of feeling when I comment. Do I answer like I know a person, even if it's only through their blog, or should I depersonalize it a bit so they don't think I'm some weirdo? You know?
But, I do want to emphasize to you how much meaning this blog still does have as a form of communication. I appreciate it and value the insights, and honesty, thoughts, and quirks and style. It's a very personal blog and convey's a beautiful and wonderful blend of introspection and outward style. I love it.
I know you can and will do wonderfully as a signature stylist. I only wish I lived near your community. I do hope you continue on in this forum as well. I appreciate what you have to say and I like to check it out in the mornings, like a little conversation and inspiration that comes to me as I'm getting ready for work in the morning. :)
Anyways - best wishes! Hope you are still around here when you are able!
Best regards,
Em

Carolyn said...

Good luck with your endeavours! I think you will be a PHENOMENAL stylist!! You put together a look so so well. I will look forward to reading more...

CLW said...

You have inspired me to read the book you recommended...I have it sitting next to me from my local library! good luck and way to decide on this exciting endeavor in your life :)

Natasha said...

Brilliant! I'm sooo glad you're doing this!! It would be my dream come true to be able to do something like this, unfortunatly I live in a town of 3000, so for now I don't think it's possible. I wish you the best...I know you'll be great!
In school (for fashion) one of the biggest things that stood out to me was how to dress for your body type...looking great has nothing to do with wearing what's trendy, but everything to do with wearing what looks best on your body...and the great thing is that there are great options for every body type.

I looking forward to hearing about everything!!

MissMae said...

I know it's not the same as face to face but could you make a video describing everything? When you are making it just pretend that you are talking us individually.

Miss Millie said...

Hey virtual sister,

This idea suits you like a glove.

Reading this post felt really weird to me: from this very business idea to your views on your so-thought limitations and your gifts/abilities,this whole mirror effect is turning ..huh.. awkward!!

I'm starting to understand that the fact I've "bumped" into your blog is more than just common interests & mutual understanding..this has come to "tell" me something you both needed to say & I needed to hear.

So very sorry about distances; but see, energies travel faster than light and work however far we all stand from one another.

What a wonderful world!

xXxEm

RoseAG said...

I'm with you!

There is no substitute for real people.

duckalicious said...

like you've figured out already, that "meanie" is most likely just a voice in your head. good news is, you can control it - first listen to it briefly, then tell it to shut the fuck up! or you can also use this technique: give the voice a face, something funny/stupid - that way there's a lot less chance for you to take it seriously. good luck with your new venture!

San said...

afraid to succeed? Sounds way too familiar. It's actually an issue I'm battling myself at this very moment.

I gave this little voice, that is making me scared and holding me back, not only a name (Elliott) but also an alter ego, a dragon. Yes, like the Elliott of "Pete's dragon". It's quite fitting. My Elliott is still quite lazy, but during the last months I seriously kicked his big butt into action. The last two days he won, today I'll win.

I think a signature stylist is the right thing for you. Go for it and have fun with it. It will all work out, I'm sure.

photographe de mannequins said...

Very nice pictures, i adore.

Steeve

basiccravings said...

Congrats!

I took the plunge and opened my own wardrobe consulting business (www.myclosetcravings.com). It was the BEST thing I could have ever done! I truly love what I do and am so happy I tried something different. Helping women look and feel good is a wonderful job to have! I wish you the best of luck!!

Miss Minty said...

Christina,

We had a short email exchange last year about setting up an East Asian philosophy and religion forum. I have to say that I felt like you connect really well over the written word...at least with me. And I bet with other people, too. It's no wonder that your blog is so engrossing. Your ability to connect with others, though, doesn't mean you feel the same satisfaction, which is a bummer downside of blogging. I'm so glad to hear about this new venture. The gals of your geographic vicinity are lucky ducks, indeed. =) Aesthetic sense and the ability to read and connect with other humans is a perfect storm for a personal stylist! Very excited to hear more tomorrow.

Kisses from Philly.

FlamingoNW said...

If I lived in Nevada, I would LOVE to sit down with you and get style advice. I think all of this is pretty cool. Good luck!

Peetzi Jen said...

I love everything about this! And only wish I were there in Nevada (like everyone else) to have that cup of tea. Best of luck to you...there's no doubt you will succeed!

xoxo!

km. said...

wow that coat is simply divine!

And what a great opportunity. It should be perfect for you! Congrats

Kate xo
collectionsandcreations.blogspot.com

Fia said...

So cool, woman!

Anonymous said...

I KNEW it!!! Don't ask me how, I just KNEW!!! I'm so proud of you. This is something I've always wanted to do too but face some similar (and different) internal challenges. You have what it takes, no question about it.

Deirdre Schwiesow said...

While recognizing that a big part of the reason you want to do this is the in-person contact, here's hoping that some day you might open up your services to clients by phone/video chat!

Ciarra said...

What about doing a video blog so that we can hear your voice? I don't know if that necessarily solves the problem since you're still not meeting face to face with us in blogland.. but at least we'd be hearing YOU. :-) Maybe for any of us who are long distance and are interested we can video ourselves back to you. Or meet over instant chat with webcams? I know. It's still not the same to be able to talk to someone in person and touch them, hug them, see the texture of their skin or hair or see how tall they are, and all that.

Mandy Paige said...

I am on a similar path, which is why I think I FREAKING LOVE YOU AND YOUR BLOG SOOOO MUCH. I have been mulling over the idea of starting a business for a year, but haven't had the drive and confidence to do it. But, honestly, and cheesily, you have changed that and I'm finding myself brainstorming daily and FINISHING my MANY piles of projects. Let me tell you, it feels good to shed all the negativity and accomplish something.

When you started doing your posts where you were mapping out your life and habits, I just fell in total love with you! Why haven't I been doing this? Why haven't I heard of and picked up The Renaissance Soul?1 WHAT AM I DOING?! Sometimes you have to refocus on what's important and take care of number one so you can take care of everything else.

Wonderful woman, I am totally supportive of these big moves you're making. Congratulations on this self actualizing experience!

"What a man can be, he must be."

P.S.
Love the coat, you always find the most wonderful prints!

a cat of impossible colour said...

I know EXACLTLY what you mean. I hope we can have tea one day. And:

"I have been consciously trying to ignore that meanie in my head and I will do the same to any real life meanies."

Very wise words, and what I am trying to do at the moment too - especially as the publication date approaches.

Andrea x

a cat of impossible colour said...

And clearly I cannot type EXACTLY. Even in ALL CAPS. Whoops!

Terri said...

I hope that you will do an occasional blog post...as I will miss the cryptic smile.

I wish you every success.

likeravensandlillies said...

Sounds like a great idea. I have often wished I could take you shopping with me. I can relate to your words as if they were my own (minus your specific situation). Even yesterday, I was thinking my downward dog was finally feeling like a resting pose again! Haha! The older I get the more I realize that my struggles are not unique. A few weeks ago your hair cutting video came up on "you might also like." It was nice to put an audible voice to your face. Feel free to video blog! One of my spiritual mama's does that when she really wants to make sure she's communicating clearly. Thanks for sharing this with us!

likeravensandlillies said...

Sounds like a great idea. I have often wished I could take you shopping with me. I can relate to your words as if they were my own (minus your specific situation). Even yesterday, I was thinking my downward dog was finally feeling like a resting pose again! Haha! The older I get the more I realize that my struggles are not unique. A few weeks ago your hair cutting video came up on "you might also like." It was nice to put an audible voice to your face. Feel free to video blog! One of my spiritual mama's does that when she really wants to make sure she's communicating clearly. Thanks for sharing this with us!

Vix said...

I think this is a great direction for what seem like your natural skills, abilities, and interests; congrats and best wishes moving forward!

Like many upthread, I can relate to a lot of what you've written here; when I grew up "failure" was definitely a dirty word.

While I've taken some risks in my life, it always takes me forever to initiate a big change and shake off a result I'm less than happy with. [And let's not get into the whole "failure by other's definition," ha!]

And yet almost all innovative and/or successful people talk about the value of learning or recovering from things THEY define as failure.

I'm sure your new endeavor will be wildly successful by any definition, but if it's not, you seem like the type who will find the positive side(s) to having been open to doing it in the first place.

Again, good luck!

Merissa said...

Sounds like a lovely plan, and absolutely perfect for you. Proof that self-reflection is meritorious!

adimenta said...

Hi Cristina,
I am a new anonymous follower of your blog :) and just wanted to say some random things:
a. I've been meaning to start my own personal style blog for a while now and postponed saying all the things I wanted to say to my favorite bloggers until I have a blog link. Silly, I know, but I've been reading so much about the right ways to put your blog out there, and one of them if clever networking. But then, after some time I have just grown to love your blog so much, I thought - fuck networking. If I wanna say something nice I don't need to wait. This brings me to point b and c.
b. Your blog is one of the three only blogs (and I'm following about a 100 personal style blogs) that I've actually loved so much that I read it ALL. Just the second I found it I instantly fell in love with your photos and writing style that I red it all that night. This brings me to point c - why?
c. Well, for me you are probably the only personal style blogger that has this unique gift. The gift of making your entire outfit (no matter how many items) so synergistic, so WHOLE. This probably sounds strange. Let me use an even stranger metaphor to make myself clear. It's like your items are just random ingredients, and you have the gift of making them all into something complete - like baking a pie: you have your flour, sugar, eggs etc. and in the end - it's a PIE! Not sugar, not flour - just something completely different that is just MADE OF the ingredients but you don't see them. Because it's a pie. One pie. I really hope you understand what I mean even though it sounds wacky. Your items NEVER look not-connected to the WHOLE. You have this gift of transforming them into ONE. You have the eye to see how to interconnect them and how to connect it all to the main ingredient - yourself. You really do wear them all like your second skin.

I wish you all the best, you're a huge inspiration and I'm certain you'll succeed in being a signature stylist for other women just like you have succeeded to identify your own unique signature.
Peace and love from Israel,
--
Adi Anna

Redlilocks {Swoon Worthy} said...

Ok, yeah along with everyone else who has probably expressed themselves far more eloquently than I ever can, I think this is a brilliant venture and so fitting for you.

All the very best and I do hope you find happiness in every connection you make. Totally wish I was in Nevada as well ;) x

hanging on handrails. said...

Best of luck to you, Christina. You've propelled so many of your readers into collision courses of self discovery -- me included. I'm so happy to see you pursuing what you want, no, NEED to do. Keep us updated with the local lives you change, since we're well aware of the Internet lives you've changed. P:

Reading your introspection has nudged me toward a similar need to de-clutter the muck and sludge and crap that prevents me from seeing where I stand. It's funny, though. I think we've come to exact opposite conclusions. Like, you've concluded that you need more substantial connections, and I've concluded that I need to cut these connections. Not completely isolate myself from society, obviously. But I'm just sick of people expecting me to put on a show for them.

But anyways, I'm so excited to see what comes from this new business. (: Hope you have some lovely conversations over lovely tea with even lovelier new friends in the near future.

istarblog said...

lovely outfit dear

finkalixius said...

this outfit makes me smile so awesomeness

RETRO REVA said...

My Lovely Christina,
I support you so much and am tearing up as I write this....
I can relate very much to your decision. In the beginning the excitement of blogging and 'cyber-meeting' other like-minded women gave me a much needed link. Then as time has gone by ( we started this about the same time, I think ) i am noticing that I am craving human interaction as I have buried myself in my blog-world. I also feel disconnected at a time when connection is crucial for my well-being and health (mental as well as physical)....
So many of my cyber friends I would love to hug, sit and really chat and see the smile on their faces instead of a LOL....
I was very involved in helping other women a few years back ( a non-profit gig at a tx center ) and I miss the support of a real laugh, touch or tear.
Please follow your path. It is already there and you will get exactly what you need. I know this to be the truth...
Fear is your 'meanie', I think.
you are wonderful, beautiful, and so many will benefit from actually knowinng you.
All the best,
xXx
Reva

wardrobeexperience said...

good luck on your new plans!

i have very delicious tea in my cupboard waiting to be part at a nice girls talk...

i adore this coat!

http://wardrobexperience.blogspot.com

Whitney Lynne said...

If you're ever in D.C., I would totes open up my closet to you and would love to get your advice!

In the meantime, BLOG ON!

Cee said...

Wow. It sounds like you've made some truly life-changing decisions lately. Good for you :) I've personally been in a bit of a rut- not with blogging, but in my career- lately and I find it really encouraging to read about how other people have come to terms with and found ways to change the parts of their lives that disatisfied them... it reminds me that although it may take time, I can do it, too :) And I understand exactly what you mean about blogging... I love meeting people and being able to connect over the internet, but some of the people I have met are so wonderful and I find it really difficult to know that most of them are halfway around the world, so the likelihood of us ever sitting down for tea or chatting over dinner is almost nil. It's sad... But I still feel lucky to have found so many wonderful people through fashion blogging :) This is my first visit to your blog and I'm very impressed, I'll be back soon! Good luck with your new endeavour!
xox,
Cee
http://cocoandvera.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say that I love your Blog, it's the first site I visit in the morning and I'll be honest, It's been kind of sad not being able to read new posts lately, but I am happy you are figuring things out. I love your blog!! Thanks for sharing all of your thoughts and great sense of style.

Hugs,
Karolmel

brittney said...

you wear hats so well! love the coat, too, of course. well, love the whole look. but...yeah, my head doesn't take hats well.
i think your blog is insightful. i actually started a little fashion blog of my own. it's not that insightful. it's not even that cool. but...sometimes it's a little funny. actually, maybe not even that. but i'd love it, if you had a free moment in the coming days/weeks, if you stopped by and let me know what you thought. i think your sense of style is awesome. http://adayinlifetoo.blogspot.com
either way, have a great day!
-brittney

Anna said...

First, beautiful coat!
Second, this is an amazing post. This post really hits home in so many ways but I'm not really sure how to describe it in writing. I hardly ever write on my blog...I'm so much better at expressing how I truly feel with words, face to face with people. Sometimes I feel like having a blog is pointless but at the same time I enjoy and want to connect with other people who love fashion especially where I live people could care less about fashion.
I also have this fear of succeeding. I know I can do it but like once I get started I'm afraid I will way in over my head....

I wish you the best of luck as a stylist! I think you will succeed wonderfully.

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