For those of you who noticed, No, you didn’t miss my 2012 end of year recap. I blame the Mayans, and maybe self-employment, or maybe I was just trying to be a little more like Jodie Foster in what I share.
This was my first full year of self-employment. It afforded me the luxury of living out life as a paid stay-at-home-mom (to a kid that technically is not mine). For all you who doubted me, I kick ass at being a mom. I may write a book about it.
And now for the other hats. In no particular order.
The Seamstress thing: was going well until I got furlowed from the in-store gig. I think that is the best term for it. Didn’t really talk about it much. I was too busy staring a new business in 2 days. As of February, I will have been at a store front for a whole year. A whole year of constantly reminding people that I am only open 2 days a week, and that appointments must be booked in advanced (advanced > 2 days). A whole lot of vintage clothes, hem jobs, and minor fixes. An epic restoration. Some easy brides, some hard ones. Some tech work for indie designers. Some teaching. If it were up to me, I would only work on the cool projects. Museum-worthy restorations and maybe couture bridal for other talented artists.
The SXSW thing: I did my time as as volunteer and then I spend the majority of my free time in the movie theaters. Yes, as I get older, have less tolerance for crowds.
The Bookkeeper thing: This is more of a recent thing. I was doing books for my own business and a non-profit and other people started asking if they could pay me to do theirs. What more could an OCD introvert want? A mostly work-from-home gig with minimal interaction with people. BOOM!
I spent a lot of time hustling in 2012, but I made it. Unlike many other self-employed, female creatives in town, I have no second income to rely on for food and lodging. It’s all on me to keep the lights on in my place. So yes, there were times where I didn’t go out to a show, or to some group dinner. But, at the same time, I managed to stay out of debt, contribute to my Roth, pay for health insurance, and keep the lights on at my place.
As far as my to-do list is concerned, still working on it. I think I will day dream about it and make something happen after tax season.
Tis the season where there are a rash of people changing their status on facebook. Granted, there are just as many people flipping to single as there are people getting married. I’ve been on facebook since 2007 and I have NEVER changed my status.
I am chronically single.
At times, this is fine. I revel in being unsupervised. I get to be a honey badger. I do what I want. But then there are times, like now, when I telework from my nest in the bell jar.
Why? Since late March I have acquired 7 bridal clients. 1 April, 2 May, 3 June, and 1 October (and October gets bonus points for planning ahead). I have a fairly broad spectrum of clients (although it isn’t quite the United Colors of Benetton). Some good, some bad, some crazy. Regardless, I get to work on the focal point of their special day. A day I have never envisioned as part of my future (The reasons for which could be a very long post. Let’s just say I am way to practical for my own good. I haven’t managed to be in a relationship longer than 2 years and that was only once. So there is no point in daydreaming about such things.).
Most seamstresses avoid bridal work like the plague. Brides are crazy (the other market to avoid is prom dresses). I took it on because I decided it was wise to get the extra cash while I could (Most small business owners in Austin experience low sales when school is out and things don’t pick up until ACL weekend). While I have extra cash in my pocket, it may just drive me mad. I joke about this all being material for some sort of psycho-thriller where a spinster seamstress finally snaps and hunts down her former clients. Jada Pinkett-Smith would play me.
Maybe my next move as honey badger should be to pack up all my stuff and hit the road. My lease is up in October. Stay tuned.
For those of you who have been reading along, you know I had a plan:
After writing this list I revised it to say that I was going to be the opposite of my breeder friends. I was going to quit my job and focus on my art. CHECK! Some things fell into place a little later vs. sooner but, I managed to make it happen. I am thankful for the people that helped along the way. Friends old and new.
Here’s my year in lists.
This year in live music: SXSW 2011 ( Theophilus London, Foster the People, Noah and the Whale, Portugal. the Man, Charles Bradley and the Menahan Street Band, TV on the Radio , Ellie Goulding, Smith Westerns, Matt and Kim, J. Roddy Walston and The Business,and Wanda Jackson.) Reggie Watts, Arcade Fire, Thermals and Matt and Kim, and Junior Boys, Fun^3 Fest 2011 (Heartless Bastards, Thermals, Franki Chan, Big Freedia, Reggie Watts, Four Tet, Public Enemy, Passion Pit, T-Bird and the Breaks, Joy Formidable, M83, Lykke Li, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Mates of State, MNDR, Austra, Ted Leo, Architecture in Helsinki, Del the Funky Homosapien, Flying Lotus, and Diplo)
This year in Sewing: Restoration work for Amelia’s RetroVogue, participating in Vintage Vivant, Costuming for Riley Do Right and A Ride with Bob, In-store seamstress gig at Frock on Vintage, and altering a few wedding dresses.
This year on the interwebs: A few site redesigns, getting to know social media. Giving up on Gowalla.
This year in Movies: I joined AFS so I could see more new releases for cheap or free! . (theater) The Muppets, Thunder Soul, Beats, Rhymes and Life: the Travels of a Tribe Called Quest , Cowboys and Aliens, White Material, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2,White Material Submarine, Everything Must Go, WAR!: Women Art Revolution. SXSW (the Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye, Little Deaths, Documentary Shorts, Being Elmo: A Puppeteers Journey, Super, Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, Greatest Movie Ever Sold, Narrative 2, Medium Cool, Something Ventured, El Bulli: Cooking in Progress, Fambul Tok, Blacktino, Hesher, the Other F Word, Our Day will Come, A Matter of Taste: Serving up Paul Liebrandt, Outside Industry: The Story of SXSW, and PressPausePlay.).
This year in Books: Sadly not much time for reading this year… Goodreads
This year in kicking ass: I am officially DBA Spinsta. I was a SXSW Crew Chief. I got promoted to Bookkeeper/Money wrangler for BluesShout!, Refashionista, Fun^3 Fest Blogger, Apparel Surgeon, and baby whisperer.
Unfinished Business: Just before Christmas I got an email from my friend who is a stylist for Amazon. He asked me to ship him some stuff to shoot. We had been talking about it for awhile so I made it happen. Stay tuned.
Plans for 2012 (in no particular order):
I work from home on the days that I am watching Scout. I get a surprising amount of work done because of the kid. Most people say that kids are a time sync. She can be a little inconvenient at times (screaming through a webinar, immediate need for diaper change while writing, etc…), but for the most part she is a great time keeper.
From 8-9am she sleeps in her crib and I take care of anything requiring phone calls. I also clean out my inbox and do any personal bookkeeping. This is her longest nap during the day and my opportunity for 1 hr of uninterrupted work.
Once Scout is up, she gets fed every 2 hrs and takes a 20-30 minute nap sometime in the 2 hr span. I don’t dictate the naps I just put her down when she shows signs of rage. During feedings I plow through my rss feed. She’s chatty so anything involving active listening is out. Between feedings and naps I might get some other things done that don’t require 100% focus. I check Twitter and Facebook for things to read during the next feeding. I make to-do lists. Scout is chilling in her bouncer right now while I write.
We usually shut the office down around 3 or 4. I catch up on shows I record on the family DVR or whatever is in my Hulu queue. That way I can be productive when I go home. Sometimes we cook dinner while we watch TV. Last week Scout and I made Chicken Cacciatore. I made sauce and rice earlier that day. Food that requires minimal supervision. Then we tossed chicken in the pot on low and let it cook while we watch Soul Plane (someone left me a present on the DVR). (Seriously, if you have time to sit on the couch, you have time to cook)
Scout loves the kitchen. The bouncer fits on the countertop within site of me but out of dangers way (she gets a little freaked out when she can’t see you). She is way too squirmy to be held in the kitchen. Besides, holding a baby 24/7 is completely unnecessary. This is why some parents have no time.
I am not sure if this system would work out if I had to watch her everyday. 5 days of Crankypants would probably wear me out. This system will definitely evolve as she gets older. Right now she is easily entertained in a chair with a dishcloth.
So, I am officially free of the government shackles that held me steady for the last 10 years. As of December 1st I am a free agent. So what does that mean? Infants and Hipsters is a reality. I watch Scout three days a week and I stitch at Frock on Vintage on Fridays and Saturdays. Most importantly, I have a weekend.
The last month of transitions was rough (the last 6 months of engineering this plan was rough). I think everything is in order. I have health insurance, a dba, a new bank account, and I applied for a sales tax permit. I managed to get it all done before Mercury went into Retrograde (I am not into astrology, but it is more than coincidental that something in my life goes wrong during this time).
What’s on Tap for December? I’ve already crossed off decorating for xmas. I need to convince Scout that napping is a good thing (she is opposed to sleeping in general). Getting my business stuff in order for filing taxes. Making a suit for M. Writing. Reading the stack of books on my nightstand. Researching bands for SXSW [BTW. They released the third round of artists.] Working with Savannahred on her plus sized clothing line.
It’s official. I quit my job. My next year will be spent working with infants and hipsters while I try to figure out what exactly is next.
I spent the day with the infant (aka Scout). Since I wasn’t sure what life with a 6 week old would be , I had a light schedule. Find health insurance, research bands for Fun^3 Fest, and develop my price list for Frock On.
Thanks to Austin Bloggy Limits, I had Spotify playlists to work with (because infants don’t care about their caregivers deadlines). We started with the Blue Stage. I have to go back and listen to a few of the bands since Scout decided to have a few fits of rage during the day. My picks so far include: T-bird and the Breaks (there was a little dance party to their album “Never Get out of this Funk mid-afternoon), Public Enemy (as much as I love Passion Pit, I think that they would approve of me seeing Public Enemy instead), Dan Deacon, Spank Rock, Big Freedia, Del Tha Funky Homosapien, and Rakim.
I updated the schedule based on today’s research and my other preliminary picks. Tomorrow I will listen to the Orange Stage. I don’t plan on researching the Black or Yellow stages. I plan on checking out Reggie Watts and maybe Henry Rollins on yellow. Other than that, I plan on being glued to Orange and Blue (fingers crossed that they are next to each other again).
I accepted an in store seamstress gig at Frock On Vintage. It’s a big leap being out there in retail land. I am used to sewing in the comfort and isolation of my work room. The drawback is that I don’t meet new people and my art has a limited audience. Come check out the space during the Grand Opening Party. If you can’t make it then, I will be at the shop on Fridays and Saturdays.
Complimentary alcoholic beverages will be provided for the 21 and up crowd compliments of Treaty Oak Rum. There will also be tasty bites, a photo booth and discounts and giveaways to boot! You will also have a chance to win one of four $50 gift cards from yours truly just for “liking” the event on Do512.
The party will go from 11am-7pm with music starting at two. Grab a drink and look through some clothes while rocking out to Guache, Starma, Young Girls, She Sir or The Ugly Beats with DJ Czech One on the 1s and 2s between sets. How fun does that sound? Don’t forget to “like” Frock On Vintage on Facebook for updates and discounts.
You can check out the stuff I am working on for the store on my Flickr. I know you are dying to see what I did with this dress.
I ran into a friend last night and she asked me what was next. Right now I have no fucking clue what is next in the big scheme of things. I hope she didn’t think that I had become enlightened along my journey last year. I would say that I am about 60% enlightened and 40% disenchanted. Maybe it was a trick question.
Honestly, right now I would like mind blowing sex from a guy who won’t give me a disease or cause further emotional/mental damage. That would be a nice next. But that is not my number one priority (it hasn’t been THAT long). In a time of economic decline I know that I should stay put at my current job. Do I want to? Not really. But I also don’t like leaping from one branch until I know exactly where I am going to grab on to. For me, it is much easier to leave a man behind than a job.
If you know me, or have been reading for a bit, you know that I have job hopped quite a bit over the years. The good news is that there is hope. I have been in my current job for almost 4 years. That is longest I have held a full time job. That beats out full time man at 2.5 years. I would say that I am about 70% happy with it. I know that isn’t good enough but I am just going to have to deal with it for a bit until I find something better.
Jobs provide me with a sense of security and they keep the lights on. That has never been the reason for keeping a man around. I don’t know that I could ever reach that level of trust. It’s rare that I let a man pay for dinner. How could I let them chip in on my mortgage? It makes me ill to borrow money from family.
For now what’s next is putting one foot in front of the other one day at a time.
Work has been crappy so I decided that a trip to the STD clinic would be a nice change of atmosphere (sad, but very true). But hey, a doctor’s appointment is a doctor’s appointment.
I was there because I decided it was time to go. There was no cause for alarm. Its something that responsible adults should do. I also went because I found out that not all ob/gyn tell you that they found cooties when you go in for your annual.
I went to the clinic rather than Planned Parenthood this time. The clinic is only $15 and Planned Parenthood cost me $80 last time. The clinic isn’t all the way in the ghetto so I didn’t mind driving a little farther to save $65.
The whole testing procedure went pretty quick. You go in, they assign you a number and take your money. Then you wait until they call you in to do blood work. More waiting and then they call you in to examine you and ask you a billion questions about your sexual history. They give you a card with the number to call in two weeks when your results are ready.
Overall I can’t complain. There were only 3 snotty nosed kids in the waiting area. They wait was short. There was a moment where I wanted to cuss out the lab tech doing my blood work. I told her that she should use the butterfly needle that they use for kids because my veins are small. I also told her that she should use my right arm instead of the left. But NOOOOO she had to keep on trying. After torturing me she finally went with my original suggestion.
The exam part was ok. The nurse practitioner was pretty cool. She was a little confused that I was there. I don’t think many people show up at the clinic because they feel it’s better to be safe than sorry. The exam went quick and then she started down the list of totally random questions about your sexual history.
They should rethink the order because they made no sense in the order she asked them.
…Have you ever done drugs?
…Have you ever had sex with someone who has done drugs?
…Have you ever traded sex for drugs?
I think that if you answered no to the first question then the third is totally irrelevant.
They may as well toss in “Have you ever traded drugs for sex?”
Now that this is over I will have to come up with a new plan to escape work. The Dentist and the Optometrist are already in the queue.
I have been bitching about work a lot lately and was reminded that I am in control of this adventure. Granted there are some major things in life that I have no control over (the start and end of this tale). But I get to choose whether or not I want this job. I also get to have some say in what I want this job to be for me.
So what now? It’s time to re-evaluate. I took some time out yesterday to look at where I’ve been (aka. checking the resume for freshness). I am thinking about where I am now (and more importantly what am I worth). The next thing to do is decide what is next. Specifically, which direction do I go now (There is currently no fork in the road. I need to make a choice to be on or of the path).
Project Management is what I’d like to do. Although I’d prefer to manage projects that didn’t suck. The field that I want to manage these projects in is currently unknown.
Stay tuned boys and girls.
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