Ever since law school started I had to slow down on making bow ties and expanding my brand because finding my rhythm in law school was more important since I invest BMW money every semester. Like 3 Series money. And that's just too much money to throw away and not graduate with a Juris Doctor. Have you ever lost $20 grand? Can you imagine? Then you know that it would hurt.
Custom bow tie designing began for me at a time where I was totally bored at work. At the time, I was working as a Taxonomy Specialist for a Fortune 500 company--Lowes. And my job responsibilities include writing meta-descriptions for all things sold online for Lowes.com, writing descriptions for receipts (yes those receipts you get that says stuff like "1 RED FRME MRROR" someone has to write those), writing hang tag descriptions for showroom inventory and much more. At some point, I was solicited to work across other teams--a "California" team that handled some legal stuff and a quality assurance team. I could not understand why these other teams (teams of 5 or more) needed an extra set of hands to do work, but they did. And those extra set of hands were mine.
Meanwhile, after a days work, I went home to use my hands in a different way. I blogged. I journaled. And I designed bow ties as an escape from my LSAT studies. Designing calmed me. It helped me relax. It nurtured my creative self. So I clung to it, and IT clung to me.
Fast-forward 9 or so months, Lowes began to go through its rounds of lay-offs. Between the persons picketing at the front gate and folks "leaving" every week, the air became intense. I just knew whatever was to come, I'd be prepared.
And I was ... Some time late May, I was laid off. This was good and bad. The good thing about it was that I could study more for the LSAT and work towards taking it soon. The bad thing was ... bills, bills, bills. And this called for strategy and planning.
I sat down and worked the numbers on my bills and what income I needed to cover these bills. I had rent around $800 (nice inexpensive apartment in University), a new car note for $330 and car insurance $150. There were other expenses like health, dental, etc. Oh ... yes groceries. Groceries and gas were on the list and then some. How could I forget?!
Fortunately, one day, a friend of mine asked me to make him a bow tie.
I had taken a Home Economics class in middle school as well as a fashion design class, but that was all the experience I truly had as a 20-something year old.
So I began making bow ties for fun and publishing them online. And then people began to ask: "how much?" Then I built a website on an online market platform, then another, and now here we are 3 years later. I'm finishing up law school with 36 credit hours to go and expanding my online retail site.
Last year, I had began applying to exhibit and attend trade shows. Subsequently, I was invited. Everything was last minute, and I just could not go.
This year, I did what I had to do to go ... And I did. I set the goal, planned, and arrived.
I also learned about a lot of cool brands and received lots of give-a-ways that I shall post here.
Basically, I wrote this post for several reasons, to show you that: (1) Life is too short not to plan to live to be your best self (even in your ever-changing situation); (2) Your plan does not need to be perfect, it just has to BE (that means execute); and (3) Life opens and closes many doors, so that you can grow.
Grow into your change, then grow out of it (improvise, adapt, and overcome). These words remind me that there will be constant change. All I gotta do is catch that wave and wait on the next one.
I thought life was linear because of the dates and all. But then I thought it's gotta be a cycle. Now I believe that life is a double-helix, a staircase to a rise and fall that is sure to come.
More about that double-helix strand later ...