Kate Pierre

Kate Pierre

Social Distancing & Mindset | Why It’s Not Just Physical

Social Distancing.

Shouldn’t JUST apply to people in physical proximity due to COVID-19.

But should (& as much as I don’t want to tell people what to do), this applies to what you listen to, who surrounds you, what you read, what you watch on TV/NetFlix/YouTube, or who you follow on IG/FB

All of these opinions influence you whether you realise it or not. 

In the event of COVID-19 or not.

For example. 

(And I’m gonna use COVID-19 just because it’s the thing on everyone’s mind right now.)

You have 2 friends. 

Let’s call friend #1 Kyle. 

Kyle has a thriving product based business, however he constantly talks about challenges and problems he faces which are normal for the size of his business. 

And some of these can be ‘good’ problems to have.  Such as not having enough stock on hand when a retailer re-orders, or when his inbox is full of queries from potential customers or new suppliers.

Kyle loudly and frequently vocalizes his concerns around the pandemic that is COVID-19.  What will happen to his retailers?  Will they still be able to pay him?  Will they cancel their orders?  Will they go out of business? How will he survive?  How will he pay his bills?  How will he support himself?

All really valid questions.   

However, being around Kyle is exhausting.  The conversation leaves you feeling depleted, annoyed and frustrated. 

Let’s call friend #2 Sonya. 

Sonya also has a thriving product based business.  She loves to tackle all the challenges and problems that she faces as an opportunity to learn something new.  She becomes excited when retailers reach out for more stock and if she doesn’t have stock, will suggest another product that is similar and responds to emails with enthusiasm even though her inbox is full.

With COVID-19 becoming more and more of a focal point in her life and in the lives of her customers, Sonya is approaching new ways to connect with existing and potential customers.  She knows that she has a solid business and that she can provide more than just a product to her customers.

Kyle is currently out shopping, stockpiling on toilet paper and rice and beans.

Sonya is curled up on her couch, laptop on her coffee table, responding to emails.

Oh, if only we could all be as chilled as Sonya, but the reality is we’re all a mix of Kyle and Sonya.

And it’s dependent on all of the factors that are happening in our lives at that point in time.

With The Virus that is happening globally, and all of the information that is being churned through newspapers, television, social media and word of mouth, there is a lot to take in.

What I am suggesting, is for you to be mindful of what you take in.

Being mindful of what you watch, what you read and who you follow.

Please inform yourself as best as you can, but please, if the Kyle within wants to get out, pause and think about the effect that your words may have on the people around you.

#belikesonya

And of course, wash your hands, sneeze into your elbow, stay home (except for gathering essentials such as groceries), and keep your physical social distancing at 2metres.

Same Thing, Different Day : My Comparison of Being a 9-to-5’er and an Entrepreneur

Are you a creative that finds the 9-5 a struggle?

Going to the same place, seeing the same people and doing the same thing, day after day?

Do you find that corporate offices can drain your creativity and leave you feeling frustrated, annoyed and just not yourself?

Is structure sometimes more demanding than the actual work itself? 

Once you sit and think and reflect on your career and quality of life, do you hear a whisper that says you can do more? You can have more?

There have been many times over the course of my career when I have thought about this and wondered why I keep going back to the same type of work.

Now, I love what I do as a technical designer.  The fittings, the construction, the process creating and constant improving, the collaboration with colleagues and the satisfaction of looking back at a finished style and smiling, even though it took a lot to get here and feeling proud of what was accomplished. 

I can only speak from my experience and perspective, but this just isn’t enough. 

There are so many decisions that are taken out of my hands and it makes me feel like I am just another cog in the wheel. 

That anyone could do my job. 

And I have never been one that likes being told what to do.  It creates resistance and tension within.

And I look at others and wonder how they find the joy and the will to stay at a company 5, 10, 15 years.

How do they keep their work interesting and how does it motivate them?

This is just one reason why I love working freelance and on my own brand.

In the world of freelance, I can pick and choose who I work with and the projects that I work on. 

Within my own business I am the one that calls all the shots and makes all the decisions, and in my mind there is just so much more ease.

I can take a couple of days mid week, to hang out with friends who visit from out of town, or I can do that lunchtime yoga class and not have to leave early in order to get back to work on time.

Oh, and did I mention the impromptu dance ‘parties’ that occur when a favorite song plays?!

I do tend to work more hours, more days and have less free time though.

Creating boundaries around work and where I work do help, and this is a constant work in progress and another blog post altogether! 

But there is freedom and flexibility in my schedule.  And my soul feels so much better for it.

It’s these days that I crave the structure and the decision making to be out of my hands. 

And yet there are days when I wonder, ‘Why can’t I be like everyone else and work a 9-5 and be happy?’

It can become exhausting when you do ALL the work and make ALL the decisions. 

There are days when I would like to look at my calendar and see that someone else has arranged my meetings and that I know what I have to do that day.

There are weeks when I would just like to turn up to the same place every day, greet the same people, have the same conversations and know that my work starts at 9am and finishes at 5pm (or thereabouts!).

There is comfort and ease in having a 9-5.

There is also a conformity and social pressure to have a job, that provides you with a paycheck every two weeks, to climb the corporate ladder and to ‘Do what everyone else does.’

But these get pushed aside as I remember that my freedom and flexibility out weight these and a whole lot more.

This wondering lasts for about half and hour and then I remember how I felt working in a 9-5 and instantly become appreciative of the opportunities I have, right now.

And maybe one day, I will go back to a 9-5.  But for now, this change is necessary and allows me more freedom while I do what I love.

Teeth Straightening : 5 Tips I Learnt within my First 2 Weeks of Invisalign Treatment

You’ve decided to do it.

Congratulations!

After years of debating the pros and cons and wondering if paying the $’s is worth it. 

You’ve spent hours doing the research and you cannot bear to watch another YouTube video, listening to a patient vent about what went wrong with their treatment, or what number refinement tray they’re at, and you’ve read the blogs that state their 8 month treatment turned into 24 months.

Regardless of all that, you’re in.  100%.

Clear aligners made their way onto the market in the late 90’s in North America, and since then, the number of providers has increased.  I know I can’t scroll through social media anymore without being bombarded with advertisements.

 At the time of writing this post, I was on my 2nd tray.  26 more to go, and these are the things that NO ONE mentioned. 

#1 Drool

Getting comfortable with your saliva.

Excess saliva, lack of saliva (also see point #2), bloody saliva, saliva that gets in the way when you remove and insert the trays, saliva that you unintentionally spit when you speak, saliva that you end up sucking out of your trays (whilst wearing them, resulting in sucking noises) in order to speak properly; saliva. 

It’s just everywhere.  So get used to it.

Oh, and at night.  You will drool.  Your saliva may also have blood in it because of the trays rubbing against your gums and the inside of your cheek, so be prepared to wake up to find pink circles of drool on your pillow in the morning.  (little tip I found on removing the blood is to hand wash your pillowcase with shampoo and soak for a couple of hours before washing).

You’re welcome.

You will find your own ways of dealing with your drool.

You have no choice.

#2 Dehydration

Keep that refillable water bottle handy.

With all this drooling, your mouth will become dry and if you’re lucky enough to have elastics like I am, keeping yourself hydrated will ensure that the elastics don’t become dry and rub against the inside of your cheeks causing irritation and bleeding.

I also recommend drinking plain water as you can drink this with your trays in and there is no need to brush your teeth afterwards. 

If you drink tea, coffee, soda, juice, anything that isn’t plain old water, you need to brush your teeth in order to prevent decay.

Constantly removing your trays and brushing your teeth is time consuming and can be a hassle to do, especially at work. 

The less you remove your trays, the easier your life will be.

#3 Lip Balm

Stock up and keep a stick in every jacket pocket, every bag, every drawer and have a couple spare.  Your lips will dry out (with all the drooling), and I find the trays have a tendency to suck moisture away from your lips.  Or they attract too much moisture, hence the drool. 

My suggestion is to stay away from tinted lip balm and lipsticks as these can end up on your trays, possibly staining the tray and no one likes lipstick on their ‘teeth’.

#4 Soft Foods

Do NOT eat hard or crunchy foods.

I was out having lunch with a friend and I ordered a brussel sprout salad.  Normally this would be ok, but the sprouts were kinda crunchy and my teeth were still getting used to the trays.  Also, when you remove the trays, your teeth are way more sensitive due to the shifting taking place, and it can take a few minutes for them to adjust to not having the trays for stability.

Potato chips are also out.  As are chickpeas.

But by all means try them. 

I suggest sticking to mushy foods or soft foods that require less chewing, at least for the first couple of weeks.  Think of toddlers who are teething and what foods they eat. 

#5 Waving Your Hand in Front of your Mouth to Hide the Trays Attracts More Attention  

Every time I would talk to someone, I would bring a hand up to my mouth to hide the trays, as I was so self-conscious of them and the spit that would sometimes escape.

But this does the exact opposite, of my intention. 

It brings way more attention to your mouth and if you don’t want people to know that you have Invisalign, don’t do this.  (And isn’t that why you chose Invisalign?  So no one notices them?!).

Most people can’t see the trays unless they are up close and personal. 

So, try not to wave your hand in front of your mouth.

NB: Yes, I do realize that writing posts about your experience with Invisalign also attracts attention to the fact that you have Invisalign.

Oh, and a couple of Bonus Tips…

Bonus Tip #1

You will develop a Lisp.

Not avoidable. 

You have your teeth covered in plastic, your speech is bound to be slightly different.  Now this was mentioned in numerous blogs and in ALL (well, the ones I read) said that the lisp will go away after a bit of practice.

When I originally wrote this post, I was on week 2 and I am now on week 10 and I still have a lisp.  I cannot for the life of me say S’s and my brain is on double duty by finding words that don’t contain the letter S.

It has gotten better over time, and it is noticeable to my ears, but I’ve realized that not many people pick up on this.

Bonus Tip #2

Ask your dentist if you will require elastics. 

This was NEVER mentioned on any videos or blog posts. 

To say it was a bit of a shock when I went in for my treatment plan reveal, and was told this, is an understatement.

I thought elastics were only for metal braces, but I was wrong. 

But thank goodness the elastics are ‘clear’. 

As clear as a the Caribbean sea during a hurricane.

I don’t wear my elastics when I have a lot of talking to do in meetings.  But at all other times, yeah, I wear them. 

What’s a little more plastic in my mouth?

The best part of the treatment plan reveal is watching your simulation treatment view.

This is a computer generated view in 3D which shows what your teeth look like now and how they will change throughout the weeks ahead.

You can view from all angles and it’s incredible! 

My advice to others thinking about going down this route, is to talk to your dentist and listen to their recommendations.  And ask a lot of questions.

One blog post recommended having quotes and advice from different dentists as the price can vary, and knowledge is power right? 

I am pleased I did.  I received quotes with up to 2K differences in price, and gained information and clarity on the process. 

Oh, and when you visit your dentist to pick up new trays, ALWAYS say yes to additional supplies. 

You can never have too many tubes of toothpaste, boxes of floss, spare brushes (you’ll need to keep one on your person at all times, along with your lip balm), so make sure you come away with a little goody bag each time you pick up new trays.

Wardrobe

Navy is My New Black : Injecting A Little Freshness Into My Wardrobe

Black will forever be fashionable.

It’s casual, it’s formal, it’s chic, it’s easy.

For any occasion, you can rely on black.

It’s a go-to colour for most people. I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t have a collection of black staples in their wardrobe.

And also for any item of clothing.
Underwear, outerwear, activewear.

But lately, well, say the last 6-9 months, a ‘new’ colour has emerged on my horizon and is giving black a run for its money.

Navy.

That colour your Mum tried to pass off, as ‘just-as-good-as-black’, when you were a kid, but you knew better.

Navy has silently but stealthily hovered in the background for a long time and every now and then you see it pop up. Especially in stripes.
Slowly it has been inching its way into my wardrobe, and not just by way of denim (although I do love a deep saturated indigo).

But by way of shirts. A deep, dark, solid, dependable navy.
And in a crisp cotton poplin. The kind that softens the more you wash and wear.

Paired with any colour denim, charcoals, blue hues or brighter colours. A white tank underneath or just on its own. It’s formal yet casual. It does everything that black can do, as well as giving me a fresh feeling in my wardrobe. I love it.

My favourite outfit at the moment is an oversized mens COS shirt with slim black jeans.
A close second is a classic navy shirt dress (with pockets #bonuspoints), also from COS.

Natural ColoursIt’s my invincible outfit.

I can go anywhere, I can do anything in it. I accessorize it with an African print headscarf and my weather-worn, handcrafted Moroccan camel leather cross-body bag and either sandals or Converse. Done.
Good to go.
It’s a no-brainer.

Which brings me to thinking about where this colour comes from in nature. From where and what, do we obtain this incredible colour?

And I discovered quite the history!

Indigo was referred to as Blue Gold throughout Europe up until the late 1600’s, when it began to be imported directly from China. A high value trading commodity, due to the distance traveled and levies imposed by traders along the route from India.

Aside from creating an amazing spectrum of blue hues, I discovered articles stating it had been used as a medicinal plant as an emetic (a substance that induces vomiting, for the treatment of swallowed poisons), and also treating scorpion bites and ovarian and stomach cancer. Cleansing the liver, detoxifying the blood and reducing inflammation to name a few more.
Note : I did not find any clinical studies on these, so please ask your doctor before nibbling on a leaf!

Indigo is still used as a natural dye today.

 

Navy indigo colours

“The indigo dyeing process is a fascinating one. The endurance of m

ultiple dips – 14 perhaps – in a healthy indigo vat may reward the artisan with a deep navy blue.”
Daphne Woo, a Natural Dye Artist and Slow Fashion Advocate.

And navy is making its way into kate&frances. It started with a limited edition tee that I made for the SP2019, FirstPickYVR back in March this year. A deep, dark navy boxy tee.

And keep your eyes peeled for the new kate&frances collection
4.0, due to be released soon.

Navy makes itself seen, heard and felt.

It’s safely becoming a staple in my wardrobe!

Randy Chu

What Yoga Teachers Really Think : A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Randy Chu

You know when you have one of those random conversations with someone that you kinda know, but not  really, and you end up finding someone who matched your own sense of humour and values? And matched your sassiness?

This happened one day after yoga class.

I’m pretty sure the first conversation was about how hard it is to meet people in Vancouver and to create genuine connections, especially at yoga studios.
We have since moved on to chicken strips, racism, yoga, and why there is little diversity within the yoga teacher community in this yoga-crazed city.

It wasn’t long before we were Facebook friends. The holy grail of friendship.

The first time I saw him outside of the studio, he was wearing jeans and a button-down shirt, I had to take a second look.
I barely recognized him without his signature uniform of a short sleeve tee in (various hues of) black and shorts.
I was shocked.
I mean, when he wasn’t teaching, didn’t he just meditate?

Our chats kinda became a thing. After class, we would have a giggle and then get on with our day. The conversations become louder and sassier, and that’s when we coined the phrase, Sassy Chats.
If I didn’t get my weekly dose of sass, it would throw my whole week out.
Something I wasn’t prepared to lose.

These chats were a huge influence on the reason why I want to share content. As a way in which we can engage and connect with other creatives, whilst sharing our individual forms of self expression.
And with laughter.

So, this is an offering of a glimpse into the workings of a creative mind.

An opportunity to connect and to be inspired.

And with this in mind, introducing Randy Chu.

(kp) Who is Randy Chu?
(rc) I’m just a curious guy, wanting to know the inner-workings of things.

(kp) What started you off on your Yoga journey?
(rc) Purely for the physical…everyone had these crazy defined arms that they attributed to their Yoga practice. I never did get those arms.

(kp) Why did you decide to start teaching Yoga?
(rc) I don’t remember ever aspiring to become a Yoga teacher…I took my first teacher training program as a way to deepen my practice. The opportunity did fall in my lap and I said Yes to it. I had the opportunity, as part of my teacher training program, to teach a few classes at the Yoga studio I studied at. My classes started getting busier than some of the other classes on the schedule, so the owner asked if I wanted to teach, and the rest is history.

Getting involved in teacher training as a faculty member was another story. Up until 2017, I was working full time at my corporate gig and teaching in the evenings and on weekends, so I never did consider myself a “real” Yoga teacher…whatever that means.
In 2014, I was asked to be involved with a teacher training program and immediately, that imposter syndrome set in. It took a lot of coaxing and I started small, leading one little section first…then took on more…and it was through that experience that I recognized my strengths and what I had to offer. In 2017, about a year after returning to Semperviva to teach (I had taught there years ago but stepped away due to my busy schedule), I was asked to be a part of their 200 hour teacher training program as a regular faculty member and without any hesitation, I said YES! I work with some of the most amazing people…we inspire one another, we hold each other accountable to be better, we laugh a lot…I’ve landed in
a great place with amazing people.

(kp) Words of advice for beginner or seasoned yogis?
(rc) Hahaha…my go to was to form a list of my pet peeves.
Do be on time.
Do go into the studio with an open mind.
Do listen to your body…you’re much wiser than you think/know…unless you’re a smart-ass, in which case, dial it back a notch.
Oh – and don’t put on lotion before heading into to class, you’ll slip and slide like a wet seal.

(kp) How do you think you are creative?
(rc) Teaching Yoga is kind of like choreography…so I get to use that creative part of my brain for that. In terms of training teachers, you try to come up with new and innovative ways to engage with your students.
As I watch myself and my peers, each time we deliver our teacher training content, we try to add something new to the mix…it’s both challenging and fun!

(kp) What makes creativity?
(rc) Hmmm…I think part of it is having a deep held belief that there is more than 1 way to do something…and also space…space to explore and experiment and space to dialogue about ideas.

(kp) Who were you, in this lifetime, before you were Randy Chu – Yoga Teacher?
(rc) I was a mid-20’s kid trying to figure things out…trying to find the words to articulate why I felt the way I felt…trying to reconcile my priorities against the priorities or expectations of others…trying to find some balance between my inner and outer atmosphere. Prior to teaching Yoga, I graduated from BCIT with
diploma in Marketing Communications and had worked for a few national companies in various roles. I thought I would stick to my corporate life until retirement and after 20 years, I realized it was not for me.

(kp) Who/what do you think you were in a past life? And why?
(rc) I don’t have moments of wisdom that come to me from out of nowhere, so that leads me to believe that I wasn’t terribly brainy in my past lives. Maybe I was a happy go lucky goldfish or something. Maybe I was the OG Nemo.

(kp) What makes you tick?
(rc) Injustice, imbalance, selfishness and inconsiderate behaviours…I can feel the tension in my body as I type these words.

(kp) If you were granted x3 wishes, what would they be?
(rc) Crazy defined arms.
More space.
20/20 vision.

Travel Blog

6 Essentials To Pack For A Week In NYC

There’s nothing I love more than planning a trip.

A new adventure.

Sometimes the destination doesn’t matter. It’s the exploration that piques me. 

It’s the getting up close and curious with a new city, new people and new sights, that makes my brain tingle.

For this trip, I am going back to a city I’ve been to before and while it is familiar, it’s also NYC. It’s a city where there are approx. 1.63 million people, and that’s not even counting the influx of tourists on a daily basis.

This is my kinda city. Where I can truly become anonymous. I can blend in and just go about my business. In my mind, I imagine myself staring gobsmacked at everyone, jaw hanging loose and eyes bulging, because there are just so many different races, cultures, styles and personalities.
On the outside I will be grinning like an idiot, saying hello to everyone and gorging myself on the sights, sounds and smells.

All that I left to do, is pack.
So what do you pack when you have an entire week in The Big Apple?
THE Fashion Capital of the World.

And I’m only taking carry-on. (At least on the way there!)

I just don’t want to be jostling with all the other 400+ passengers, who are also scrambling for their luggage in the rush to get out of the airport.

New York CitySo I LOVE NYC.
Like, LOVE NYC.
There is this buzz, this excitement, there are so many people and so much for the eyes to feast on and a lot to inspire and observe.
And then there are those little pockets where you can find calm and quiet. These pockets intrigue me.

I want to absorb all that this city has to offer. And then some.

With this in mind, I need to be comfortable, yes stylish (we are talking Manhattan), and most important of all, I just want to be me.

So, these are my 6 essentials items for a week in NYC.

suitcaseEssential #1 : Walking Shoes
My Converse. Comfortable for all-day exploring, from day into night. They work well with all other essentials, which is key.

Essential #2 : Jeans
I choose my black Levis. Great for a cooler day or if I’m out and about at night. And black, so they’re a little more dressy but still casual.

Essential #3 : A Black Dress
My all time favourite dress is from kateandfrances. The Emerson Side Pleat Dress. It travels with me everywhere. I can roll it into the smallest ball and wear it for daytime cruising and take it into the evening for a show or dinner and drinks.

Essential #4 : The Layering Top
The Kelsey Bulb Sleeve Top from kateandfrances. A boxy fit, with exaggerated fullness at the sleeve. Great for layering and keeping the chill off as it’s made from a merino blend.

Essential #5 : Jacket
One of my favourite trans seasonal pieces, is my LAB lightweight down bomber. It’s light enough that it rolls up to fit in my handbag, but warm enough for after the sun has set. It’s all about being versatile.

New York City here i comeEssential #6 : Printed Headscarf
For those days when the humidity is outta control, this bright African print
tames my hair and adds a splash of colour. It can also double as a belt or
scarf.

It’s all about being able to mix&match and packing adaptable pieces.

So now, I’m good to go.

NYC here I come!

These are my essentials and I would love to hear how you pack for a
vacation or trip! Leave me a comment below!

My state of flow

my state of flow : creating space where inspiration meets reality

Do you know someone who has multiple side gigs on the go?
You know that person who is always coming up with ideas and generates excitement every  time they start talking about it?

Are you one of those people?

And how do you know if your idea will actually pan out? Do you tend to think it through before  starting or are you a jump in, with everything-you’ve-got, kinda person?

Do you find yourself overflowing with ideas, your brain racing along a thought path excitedly,  going a hundred miles a minute, that you can’t keep up with the direction that you are headed and trying to write all those ideas down just seems impossible, like your hand is moving too slow?

These ideas can lead onto something new and into tangents that you never would have otherwise thought of. When you try to back track, you have no idea as to how you arrived at the final idea or, when you have calmed your mind and slowed your thoughts, you know you had some great insights along the way, and would love to revisit them, but unlike your browser history, you have no idea how to back track along that thought path(s). You can’t just recall twists and turns, because you moved so fast.

When you are in that state of flow, everything is smooth and steady.
There are no awkward moments or hesitations. You may pause for a minute, reflect, carefully choose your words, and then you keep going.
When you are in that state of flow, your body is relaxed and is just responding to what is going on in your mind. You instinctively know what to do next, guided by your inner voice, your guide, your intuition. The voices of others are no longer impacting you. This is purely your thoughts. Your words. Your ideas.

If you’ve ever been in this state then you know how easy it is to allow all these ideas to bubble  up. They may have been inspired by something you saw that day, that week, or even last year. It really doesn’t matter.

What does matter is that for whatever reason, they have now popped into your mind and have inspired or influenced you in a brand new direction.

Clouds from airplaneIt’s like magic.

And from these, almost day-dream like states, come ideas. Many, many ideas. And you know that you have to act on them in some way or another. Be it now, or in the future.

From experience, constantly having ideas can be overwhelming. I want to put these all into motion and create a business or tell a friend or change the world.

Recently, these concepts have become calming. Because it means that I am still curious and wanting to learn and am inspired by the world and all it holds.

But I want to do something with them.

And I’ve learnt that I cannot do everything and not every idea will be a business.

And I’ve learnt this the hard way!

At one point, and this wasn’t too long ago, I was working full time, I was starting an apparel brand, I was the costume designer for a local theatre production, and studying part time at a local university.

And to be honest with you, I am not sure how I managed to do everything. I know that what kept me grounded was my daily yoga practise and the knowledge that everything is temporary. That my time wouldn’t always be so crazy and that one day, I would look back and be amazed and proud of myself with what I had accomplished. I also knew that each of these ‘jobs’ were in someway, preparing me for what I wanted my life to look like.

At the end of the day, it’s deciding what you’re most passionate about and what lifestyle you can envision yourself living that drives you to start and accomplish various concepts.

It took me a while to really understand what it was that I wanted to do, and to be honest, I still don’t know what I want 100%, but I do know what I love doing and I love where this journey is taking me. I am constantly learning and maintaining curiosity about the opportunities that are arising and it is a constant process of accepting when things don’t go as I had thought or when they don’t go at all.

JeansWhen I stop and think about how we get into these states, I realise first what prevents me from getting in the flow.

Take running for example. I love to run. I’m not very good at it, but I love the feeling when I am counting my paces and my breathing aligns and there is sweat dripping off my nose and my body just feels like it could run for days.

There are also those days, that are more frequent, where I procrastinate about putting on my shoes. The hardest part is getting myself out the door. There is this block that tells me it will be hard, and that I have to exert a lot of energy, not just physical, but mental energy. That this one run is not going to make a difference, that I could go later in the day, that this time could be spent working on something else.

I remember one run, and I had finished my 45min lap, and I felt so good that my body felt like it could do it all over again. And so I did. The last hill was tough, but my body was just telling me that I could do it all over again. I have yet to have that happen again, but it reminds me that our mind is just so powerful. A lot more powerful than we realise.
And when we vocalize these thoughts, it’s incredible how fast they can come into fruition.

My mind forms all these excuses about not wanting to do this activity, even though it also knows that once I am in this activity or have accomplished this, my day will be infinitely better. I will complete a lot more tasks than if I had procrastinated and that this run is not just a run, but an opportunity to prove to myself that I can do this. My mind becomes a lot clearer and I can make more accurate and decisive decisions.

When we share a state of flow with another, we create connection and our minds are open to other possibilities due to the influence of another.
I’ve just spent a week in NYC with the intention of scoping it out for my apparel brand. As well as a bit of a holiday and a change of scenery. I had an incredible conversation with an ex-colleague and we were talking design and inspiration and the why behind why we thought certain people were wearing certain apparel brands. And how friendly New Yorkers are. To test this theory, we had previously noticed a pair of jeans that had multiple shades of indigo integrated into the design and we were both kinda curious about them and also how this effect
could be achieved through technology. Anyway, to test out this theory on how friendly New Yorkers are, my friend suggested that I ask the owner of the jeans, about her jeans.

With the aid of a few gin cocktails, I made my way over and just explained that I had noticed them and wondered what brand they were etc. Turns out she was kinda friendly. She didn’t look me up and down, and with a tilt of her head and just utter the brand name. After I explained myself, we had a bit of a conversation and a laugh. Point proven. Triumphantly I made my way back to my friend and we laughed over it.

Connection with like-minded people is rare. The conversation I had with this ex-colleague was proceless. When we surround ourselves with those who share similar points of view or who are open to having deep and meaningful discussions, and when you are comfortable with them, then it just happens and before you know it, you’re off. You may not remember every single thing that you talked about, but the bits that stick, are gold.

Meditation, getting quiet or daydreaming are also great ways to just allow yourself that space and time to allow your thoughts to just be. We can never stop our thoughts as our brains are designed to think, but what if we just found that pause between thoughts? That moment where you are relaxed, and you don’t have to be anywhere at a certain time and you can just be?
So now that I have these thoughts and have shared them and I want to action them, how do I keep the momentum going to continually take action.

After you have talked the talk, how do you go about walking the walk? Once you have your clear vision, or that gut feeling that you need to action, how do you take that first step?
Especially when the F-word gets in the way.

How can we push through the Fear and take action?

I’m not gonna lie. It’s hard. It’s so hard. Especially when you hear those voices in your head, you know the ones that create doubt. They could be well intentioned, familiar voices, but they are cautious and they play on the side of safety and negativity.
‘Do you have enough money to do this?’
“But you trained in fashion, how are you going to become a writer?’
“Isn’t it too late to change careers?’
“You left a 6-figure salary, to do start your own business? Say what?!’
Or it could be your own voice saying,
“I’m, not good enough to be able to do this.”
“I’m not the right personality, size, colour, in the right city to be able to achieve this.’
‘I don’t have the time to be able to do this.’

They all start to become excuses as to why you don’t start, or as to why you procrastinate or why you decide to stay at your safe, comfortable, but boring and life-sucking job.

I know I have used every single one of those excuses to not do something. But yet, I have also pushed through all of those excuses to do something.

And what I have learnt is that if I want something bad enough, I will make it happen. And by talking to others, by taking baby steps and by buying that plane ticket, I have started to put things into motion. And things are gathering speed.

Gathering speed is great and gaining momentum is great. And being open to all the possibilities and opportunities that come with it are great.
I find that I am staying in this state of flow for longer and longer periods of time because it just feels so damn good. it’s not easy by any means. But because I am open to receiving everything, planned and not planned, then it all just works out.

Fashion articles

What is Fashion? My Statement of Self Expression

What is the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear the word ‘fashion’?

Do you think catwalk? Celebrity brands? European fashion houses? New York? London?

Expensive? Sustainability? Fast fashion? Not me? Bangladesh? Style? Vogue? Baggy track pants?

Everyone has a different perspective on what fashion is, what it means to them, and also which direction it is heading in the future.

And we all have our own sense of style, whether we think so or not. We wear what we feel comfortable in, in the size that we feel comfortable in, in the colour we feel comfortable in.

Kate in a uniformSometimes we have limitations put on us, such as uniforms, social back grounds, or religions. For school, for work, for sports, for modesty.

But even with limitations, we can create our own style. Style doesn’t necessarily come from what we wear. It’s all about the HOW we wear it.

Fashion is constantly evolving and morphing into something new. It’s cyclical, however, there is always a twist, a new perspective and styling edge that is bought with it.

Take for example the ’90’s. It’s back in a big way, and is slowly morphing into something new. Mom jeans, (although, let’s be honest, they never really went away and just drifted into suburbia), Champion sweatshirts, coloured denim, fanny packs (or bum bags to those in the Southern Hemisphere), the bandana, spaghetti strap floral dresses over a white short sleeve t with Doc Martin
boots…you get the look.

I am grateful that dungarees worn backwards (thank you Kriss Kross), the petticoat worn over bootcut jeans (maybe that was just a Southern Hemisphere thing?) and beige waistcoats over a white tshirt with the sleeve cuffs turned up (thank you Brian Austin Green & Jason Donovan), have not made their way back to the streets.

Over the years, for me at least, the meaning of fashion has changed. When I was a kid I wanted to dress so that I would fit in. My favourite outfit was a pair of burgundy Adidas three stripe trackpants, a long sleeve white shirt with narrow red pinstripes and a turquoise sweatshirt. I think I may have had Bata Bullets on my feet (or stolen Kung Fu shoes from my sister – thanks Justine!).
But this was my favourite look.

During high school, my Mum was relieved that school dictated that we wear a uniform. But in our last year of high school, we could wear mufti (street clothes). This was my time to shine. I made most of my clothes. I remember my Granny gave me some cream printed cerise silk which came from Japan. Bought home by either one of her brothers or her husband. From this I made myself an ankle length shift dress and bound the neckline and armholes with cream satin bias binding. That was one of my favourite dresses.
Pride and Prejudice (the BBC adaptation, and the only one worth watching), had just been released and was a huge influence for me and still is. For our end of year prize giving, I made myself an empire line, pale pink dress with a band of rose satin under the bust. Worn over a white tshirt.

Throughout my 20’s and 30’s it was a time to experiment and find my own style. I loved colour and pattern and mixing the two. I also loved my uniform of jeans, tshirt and a cardi.

These days, I still love my uniform of jeans and a tshirt, but instead of being figure hugging, these are now more loose fitting and slouchy. And I tend to buy more mens clothing than womens.

What I have realised over the years, is that no matter what you wear, you are not what you wear, but you are how you wear it.
It’s your style, your statement of self expression and it’s never static. It’s in a constant state of flux and with so many influences impacting what we wear, I have developed a true appreciation of each individual I see.

It’s one of the reasons I love people watching.
To be inspired by others choices, silhouettes and styles.

The Arts blog

The Struggle is Real: Finding Motivation When Fear Hits

The struggle really is real.

This morning, I started off motivated, inspired, a brand spanking new to-do list and I was ready to go.

Time past by in a blur of sewing, writing, organizing and then I had lunch and a phone call to take.

So I sat on my couch.

Hmmm. Perhaps this was my mistake.

I made myself comfortable with a lower back cushion and a cuppa tea (note to self, DO NOT drink SleepyTime tea in the middle of the day!).

Whoever said being an entrepreneur is easy, was wrong.

Being an entrepreneur who works from home is definitely not easy.

The fridge constantly beckons. As does Netflix, and I can always find someone to message on social media.

And it’s now been 3 hours.

In that time, I did motivate myself to reach out on social media to ask for help and that was it.

It took me that long to put a posting up on social media. The action takes 2 minutes, tops. But in my defence, I had a lot of distractions.

There were just so many too-damn cute babies on the internet to look at. Human babies, cat babies, dog babies, monkey babies befriending baby cats, you name it, I watched it.

And secondly, I was fearful. Sitting here in my big bubble of fear, wondering what people would think of me for putting up this post.

The fear paralyzed me and so I procrastinated.

I tried finding another smaller task to do from my to-do list, but there wasn’t one.
I think it was the realization that I had been sitting here for so long, that made me just do it.

And I immediately logged out of all social media, so I wouldn’t see any of the comments.

And I know that this is silly, and that it is fear that is holding me back.
But this fear was huge. It surprised and astounded me just how big it was, for a task so seemingly small.

It was an ask for help. It told the world that I didn’t have all the resources, all the information that I needed to be able to move forward with this project.

It was hard because usually I do have the resources, all the information to be able to complete a task. I didn’t want to show that I felt weak.

I gave myself a pep talk.

Asking myself what it was that I wanted to do. If this action of posting an ad, would be helping me to achieve what it was that I want to do.

The answer was yes.

But it still took my brain some time to take action.

Now that I have taken action, I feel so much better, and I’m onto the next thing.

But sometimes we need to pause here.

Pat ourselves on the back. Celebrate that we got over that fear hurdle.

This is something that as entrepreneurs, because we have so much on our plates, that we just don’t do. Or we don’t do it enough.

Celebrate the little things.

The struggle is real

So, this fear. The fear of judgement. The need for others approval.

I drive myself around in circles with this and it causes anxiety and I can’t move forward.

It feels as though I am stuck on this loop and I can’t slow down the thoughts. It’s as if I’m on a rollercoaster, and my stomach would rather be somewhere else.

Up, then down, then left, then right, then left, then right and more right and down and left and up and left and down and right and then stop.


I need to hop off.

 

The only way to get off this rollercoaster is to take action.

So I did.

My post wasn’t perfect and I’m sure I’ve forgotten to add a couple of things. But it’s now out there.

And action will come from my action. A forward motion. It was small in the scheme of things, but in my mind it was massive!

And a shift has occurred.

Not only can I cross that action off my to-do list, but it has allowed ease, so my brain to take more actionable steps.

The next one, a little easier.

Tomorrow, we start again. Although it will be one step closer to my end goal.

Library Shelves

Disconnecting From Technology

Ever catch yourself every two minutes, checking your phone?
Text messages?
Missed calls?
Social media updates?

New posts of cute cats, playful puppies or plant babies?

I have it bad. And somedays it’s definitely worse than others. Especially when I have a deadline to meet or when my apartment needs cleaning.

Today I tried to go for 1 hour without turning the wi fi on.

Timer.

Airplane mode, on.

Task, ready.

I made it to 48.35.

I realized that it hasn’t taken ‘us’ (the human race), that long to become hooked to our social media feeds, devices and just having ALL the information at our fingertips via our smart phones.

According to Business Insider, the term smart phone was first used in 1995, however, 3 years earlier, the Simon Personal Communicator had been invented. A whopping 15 years before Apple first released the iPhone.

If smart phones, (as we know them) came into existence in circa 2007, that’s only 12 years that we’ve had access to this technology. And books, where we used to retrieve all our information from, well, books have been around (there is debate as to what constitutes a book and for arguments sake, let’s say the oldest
book is the Etruscan Gold Book) since 600BCE, according to Oldest.org

Terminology has also changed. When I was a kid, a feed meant a really good, delicious, massive meal (perhaps also a NZ thing!). A laptop was the top of your lap, where you hold your book as you read it and if you wanted to learn about a specific topic, your Mum would buy you a Readers Digest encyclopedia.

Obviously, times have changed. and we now have more advanced technology. But does that also mean that we have become more lazy when it comes to searching for information?

To find answers to our questions, we now just tap into Google, and within seconds we can be provided with thousands of potential answers.

Disconnecting From TechnologyIt makes me wonder if anyone still goes to the library, searching along the rows and rows of books, to scour the index or contents page, flick through to the page that hopefully holds the answer to what you are looking for?

And does this also mean that we have changed the way our brain processes
information and how we used those research skills and transferred them to other areas of our lives? Problem solving, travelling and day-to-day communication come to mind.

Are the ‘old’ ways (of 25 years ago), still relevant? Have we just evolved, because of technology? Because now everyone has a compact computer in their back pocket? With links to the world of information at our fingertips?

Is the information the same information we would have found in an
encyclopedia?
Information is constantly being updated instantaneously, and new research
findings are now readily available online and so are the hard copies now obsolete?

And do we have information overload?
Does this make us more decisive in our decision making? Or does it create overwhelm, as we have so many more choices?

I love the fact that I can look online to find reviews and comparisons for mobile phones (for someone who is a little technology challenged, this is ideal!). It means that someone else has already done the work and all I have to do is evaluate what I want and compare it to the review. Makes my life a lot easier.

There is also my inner nerd that misses having / being forced to do the research into my options. And for sure, I could still do that.

It’s a matter of picking what I want to spend my time researching. And to be honest, while I love my phone (see beginning of this article), reading hundreds of reviews bores me to tears. And some of these technology words confuse the shit outta me.

And I did read a few reviews, AFTER I went instore and chatted to a few very helpful sales associates!
(There is more than one way to conduct research).

And, like all humans, I can be lazy and it’s ‘easier’ to use these reviews.

So I find myself asking, am I becoming lazy?

Or am I creating space in my mind and schedule, so I can be more creative? So I can build and design and craft new ideas?

Or does it mean that I have just gifted myself more time to waste time on social media or to play solitaire?

My task was to finish the first draft of this piece. FYI, I did that in 34 minutes. Finalizing it however, took a little longer!

I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments. Leave me a note below!

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