Fashion Faceoff: Early 2000s vs Now

July 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

In 2002 I may have owned, not one, but two velour tracksuits. Black and tan. You know, for the seasons. My black, more wintery duo, had a pull over top from the very fancy Express. The tan springtime number purchased at Forever 21 was far to short in the inseam. Being cheap made me prepared for any flood.

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[Me in 2004, in the airport on the way to Miami for Spring Break. Totally winning.]

Before you go on judging, this was before people freely wore leggings as an acceptable bottom. There is no comfort in the crotch of ladies jeans. We want to wear pajamas and we want to wear them now! We want to wear them in public! Everyday if we want!

The college girls of 2014 have the best fashion to choose from. I know because I frequently brunch in LA. If you want to know what new fad is hot right now, go out for eggs and a mimosa on a Saturday. Fashion Show. And be fierce.

Skin Equality

Most current trends are far too… how do I put this? Slutty. They are too slutty for a woman in her 30s participation.  I don’t think girls are showing more skin now than I did at that age, it’s just in different areas. 

2004 = 2014

THEN: 3 inches of lower belly between low rise jeans and baby tee = NOW: the 3 inches of upper abs between crop top and high waisted pants. (this is so unfair, my upper abs died in vain because of this)

THEN: my jeans are so flared it looks like I’m floating = NOW: my jeans are so skinny they might be painted on

THEN: Thong showing every time you bend over in low rise cut offs = NOW: butt cheeks every time you walk in high waisted shorts.

THEN: Too tight baby tee with the neck cut out = NOW: too big man’s tee with giant arm holes cut out and an open back

Hair

Gorgeous hair is the best revenge. -Ivana Trump

Things I said in 2004:

“I really want to dye just one streak of my hair lime green.”

“I want, like real, chunky highlights.”

“Short choppy layers, all over and then straighten it for four hours.”

“I’ll be super fast, I’ll just scrunch my hair.”

“I’ll just pull down the whisps in the front. I can’t take it out, I have ponytail dent.”

“I iron it straight with a real iron. I don’t care if it’s bad for it, its the only thing that works.”

 

Things I say Now:

“I’m going really natural, nothing crazy.”

“belly-age? Ohm-le? That thing were it looks like I already have roots so I don’t have to come back for 6 months.”

“I can’t do pixie faux hawk, but the bob is back, right?”

“That hippy head band thing, it’s a commitment. Worse than ponytail dent”

“I want to grow it so long. I want a hair bra. Mermaid style”

“I heard shampooing is SO bad for your hair.”

Accessories

Coco Chanel said to always take off one accessory before you leave the house and no one listened to her. 

2004 = 2014

THEN: trucker hats in winter = NOW: felt floppy hats in summer

THEN: Walking advertisement for Abercrombie = NOW: walking contradiction wanna-be hipster

THEN: Chokers = NOW: thirty million wrap bracelets (honestly, who has the time?)

THEN: Thong peek-a-boo = NOW: bra through a sheer top

THEN: Uggs = NOW: Tory Burch flats

THEN: platform flip flops = NOW: Sky high platforms on 6 inch spikes

 

Basically Wearing Pajamas

I can’t decide if people who wear full on pajamas in public have given up or living life to the fullest. As I continue my attempt to outsmart normal clothes in the name of comfort. 

Things I’ve said in 2014:

“I don’t care, I’m not changing.  I’ll wear sweatpants to the grocery store.”

“This tracksuit is so cute, so soft, and if I wear jewelry, I can totally go out in it.”

“These jeans have spandex in them or something. They have a good flare too.”

“Yeah, but when I bend over can you see my crack out the top?”

Things I’ve said lately:

“I’m wearing athletic apparel to the grocery store, but I didn’t work out today. And I’m not going to.”

“This jumper is two seams away from footie pajamas and I look super dressed up.”

“Why would I wear jeans when I can wear leggings?”

“Yeah, but when I bend over can you see my crack through the fabric?”

 

Things that never change

We can agree on showing a little bra or a strap only its a an awesome color and never if it’s nude.

Trendy is the last stage before tacky.

Don’t do crack.

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A Tid Bit Revealing

April 9, 2014 § Leave a comment

The weather is changing and the east coast finally can see the light at the end of the tundra, while the left coast gets a taste of an 80 degree blast. Summer is around the corner. I wanted to reiterate the fashion faux pas accompanying warmer weather before things get out of control in the coming months. This PSA was originally posted August 1st 2012 after I had seen far too much ass. I hope this warning serves you well. Remember: sharing is caring. 

You know that dream you sometimes have about showing up somewhere naked? Oh wait. This is real, and your ass is hanging out of those shorts. I know it’s summer and all, but have some class. Sexy never equaled naked and naked always equals porn. As a general rule if you leave your house feeling exposed, you probably are. Save it for the bedroom, we aren’t all Pussycat Dolls.

I’ve been growing increasingly perturbed as the summer goes on. I know it’s nothing new, and probably just a juvenile way of expressing the hormonal changes a young lady might be experiencing, but bitch, please. Every girl, no matter the age or body type, should know these rules. Always, a lady in the street.

1. Who wears short shorts? Strippers do, and they don’t wear them for long. If your cheeks are hanging out, those aren’t shorts. And those people gasping as you pass aren’t in awe of your hot ass, it’s that they know somewhere you have a mom who would be upset you’re showing off your fanny to the world. It’s just inviting backdoor bullies.

2. Don’t slip a nip. Sure chiffon is in, but if you can see nipple, probably wear a bra. Testing and experiments should be conducted in all types of lighting before you leave the house sans over-the-shoulder-bolder-holder. Heaven forbid it should rain.

3. Don’t do crack. If you can’t sit with out the paranoia of your crack hanging out, or bend over without give a free peepshow, consider purchasing pants with a higher rise. You don’t want to advertise your coin slot to unwanted guests. Butt cleavage was never fully accepted and is still equated with an overweight plumber. Know better.

4. Cleavage check. A plunging neckline shouldn’t go to your belly button. Not to mention the incredible risk of wardrobe malfunction.  Come on… leave something to the imagination.

5. Sit like a lady. The length of your skirt, and what you wear under it is an important consideration to ponder when dressing for a night at the club while consuming alcohol. If your skirt rides up, everyone gets a show. Don’t take the gamble.

6. Belly Dancing. Pretty sure the beach is still the only appropriate place to bare the midriff. Or at the gym, if you’re really that ripped. Maybe a hot summer day gardening in your backyard or a reasonable inch or two when your arms are raised, but a bra is not an appropriate thing to wear to a baby shower, dinner, date, luncheon, drinks, grocery shopping, etc.

7. Sideboob is not fashion. It’s only if you have the proper photographer and your breasts are of perfect shape a perk. I’m going to go out on a limb and say it should be reserved for celebrities in evening gowns and pinups airbrushed in magazines. If you fall into neither category, shy away.

8. If you feel like a sausage, you probably look like one. Yes there is a such a thing as too tight. I’d rather not see what you ate for dinner lingering beyond that dress.

9. If you aren’t on dancing with the stars, don’t dress like it. This might be a formal wear issue, but it’s still relevant. If it looks like a costume, consider your character.

…And whatever you do, don’t wear any of these in your profile pic.

THIS HAS BEEN A PSA OF TIB.

Nudist If I Want To

March 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

The constant parade of innovative textiles has got me dizzy. Who exactly are the magical deciders of the acceptability of leopard print? And how much is too much? And should I be wearing it now, or 6 months from now? For the record I just purchased my first leopard print item a couple weeks ago. It’s a thong, and I’m still afraid it might be over the line.

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I have constant apparel anxiety. Fear of fabrics: chiffon and terry cloth are both big triggers. Fear of accessories: I shouldn’t wear a necklace with a turtleneck, but what about a scarf? Fear of prints, patterns, and mismatching leathers: belt has to match the boots and the handbag. I’m always thinking I either look too fat, or I’m not hip enough. I’m either bland or outdated, which ultimately ends up looking like I’m either trying too hard, or not enough. Fashion walks a fine line on the catwalk.

When I step out the door I think, “fuck, am I wearing the right thing? Am I overdressed? Underdressed? Not dressed enough? Too many layers? Should I add a layer? Do I bring a coat just in case? Will it fit in my purse? Am I going to be hot? Cold? Am I wearing the correct footwear for all possible activities of the next 5-8 hours? Do I have pit-stains already!?”

Once I freak out about the functionality of my outfit I go back to the trendiness of my flare. “Too much? Too little? Too casual? Too athletic? Too slutty? Too Amish? Could this pass for maternity wear? Do I look like a doily? Is my cellulite a stand out feature from the rear? Whoa, is that my bra line!?”

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Even if I was as fashion fearless as Lady Gaga, I’d still just want to wear movement clothes. I can’t be restricted. If I can’t do the splits, or break out into jumping jacks, I’m just not comfortable. Thank God for spandex. I live my life in it. I’m sorry to all the negative Nancies naysaying the legging, but it’s all I want to wear. I don’t care if you can see my camel toe, these are the only pants I don’t have to hike up before I sit down. Preventing the gaping waistband and thong song from being stuck in my head is top priority. I don’t and will never do crack. I wish to always bend over unafraid of possible plumber butt.

These days, I don’t get a lot of joy out of fashion. I like looking at clothes on the internet, sure, but actual shopping is like popping into best buy for the latest album from Dave Mathews Band. It’s just not done anymore. Even if I have money to spend and an event to parade around at, even if I just lost 10lbs (honestly, its much more fun to go into the dressing room when you’re feeling your lightest), I don’t have expendable schedule or income for this type of charade. Take off you clothes, put on the clothes, look at your ass in the clothes, consider the price, consider your ass again…. Do you feel like a sausage? Try the medium. Try the small. Try the large, just in case. Get upset because the large actually looks the best. Is this a skinny mirror? Sit down, stand up. Twirl. Marvel at the parts of your body you can never quite fully examine without a three-sided mirror. Consider your ass again. Cry. Almost strangle yourself getting out of the garment. Leave with nothing.

Although I admit to my Pintrest wish-closet, when I go to recreate these looks, I can’t handle the price tag. Always a bargain shopper, I’ll go dumpster diving for the spring’s hottest looks on a budget. However, I’m starting to learn my lesson. Forever 21 is like a fast food dollar menu. You like the price, but most of it is garbage and makes you look a little heavier. I’ll even lump H&M in there too. Most of that shit sits in my closet untouched because it’s either itchy, lopsided, or somehow hikes up to my chin when engaging in activities like walking and sitting. But I suppose, I got my money’s worth if I wore it twice. That’s the longevity of these happy meal bargain buys.

So what gives? I can’t be trendy because I can’t afford to buy a new wardrobe every 6 months. I can’t be comfortable because Cosmo is frowning upon it. I can’t give up because I work hard to maintain a certain physique not to wear flattering outfits (or let flattering outfits make up for my lack of a certain physique). I can’t win these battles. I don’t know anyone who can. Maybe the trophy wives of certain athletes?

I’m getting too old and preoccupied with other real life traumas to be worrying about wardrobe. I wonder if people judge me for wearing the same 5 things out in public? I wonder if my boyfriend judges me. But what’s wrong with 5 classy, comfortable outfits on repeat? My closet is like the last Dave Mathews album you bought with the jewel case.

I’m literally 5 outfits away from being a nudist.

Fuck fashion. I’ll be a Nudist if I want to.

Life Long Primping

April 8, 2013 § 1 Comment

Posted April 2011

There is no denying it, a lot of work goes into being a girl. And we hate on each other for god given elements of beauty. Some ladies would be jealous of my “naturally straight” hair, just like I curse the girl with the effortless curls. I am 100% jealous of the morning person because she always looks better than me for the simple fact that she doesn’t have to put her make-up on in the car. Just like I can’t stand Ms. Hyper-metabolism, yet persist in indulging in chicken fingers and Ben and Jerry’s on a bi-weekly basis (okay, more often than that, if I was being honest, but I’m not). And I wonder why I can be bikini ready year round.

The grass is always greener, eh? I suppose I am envied as well, I got a great rack. I don’t need to stress about getting a miracle into my bra, or misleading my public. The meat is there, and set up on the top shelf too. I suppose we should all be thankful for what we’ve got, but still, I would trade both of these sprightly jugs to be able to wear something strapless or backless without feeling like the two tubs of pudding clutched to my ribcage weren’t going to spill out of my armpit. It’s like at any moment: nipple. People just watch, waiting for it. It’s not only guys and lesbians, but straight ladies are just as mesmerized by large uncaged wild bosoms. I’ve tried everything to control these things to wear the fashion of the day, strapped in, pushed up, sticky boobed, peddled, all 27 ways to wear the multi-strap, every over the shoulder bolder holder imaginable. Oh the aching, the chafing, the sagging, the hiking up every 20 seconds, a strapless bra shouldn’t really be considered a bra at all. It does little to contain and support.

Oh the Madonna that walks out of her house braless, air dried hair, perfectly wavy and naturally highlighted, wearing nothing but a sun kissed complexion, some ol’ frock she found near the dumpster that just so happened to be practically made for her and somehow she’s completely hairless. I guarantee this woman doesn’t exist. Let’s be honest, some put more time in than others, but as a women living in the western world, select attributes are expected to look a certain way.

Shaved, waxed, bleached, lasered, plucked, plumped, trimmed, tanned, tucked, toned, tinted, shadowed, sprayed, cut, colored, curled, crimped, under eye concealed, powered, rouged, whitened, bronzed, moosed, greased, brushed, full bodied, styled, straightened, highlighted, lowlighted, hair-extended, flat ironed, non-frizzy, frosted, layered, heeled, skirted, belted, accessorized, moisturized, blown out, augmented, cleavage enhanced, pushed up, sucked in, smoothed out, invisible panty lines, lip glossed, blemish free, blackhead fighting, cellulite reducing, anti-aging, color coordinating, eye liner, lip liner, panty liner, facial masked, coco buttered, manicured, pedicured, Brazilian waxed, Brazilian blow-out-ed, yoga-ed, Pilated, worked-out, fitness goaled, lifted, chin up, shoulders back, legs crossed, low-carb, low-fat, fat-free, sugar-free, south-beached, detoxed, modest but sexy, conservative but suggestive, unique but trendy, simultaneously concealed and revealed, nonchalantly perfectly put together, purse preparedness, health conscious, environmentally conscious, holistic, realistic, poised, polite, witty, smart, charming and instinctually maternal. All day, every day while appearing as though it takes no effort at all. So let’s be allies instead of enemies, because everyone of us has gotten shit for leg stubble on the fourth day of a busy week.

Lie About Your Age

December 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

This is the year I start lying about my age. Next week will be the first time I turn 29. To be frank, I look fantastic for 29. I look so good people think I just got out of college. Let me rephrase that, I look so young, when I buy a TV dinner, bottle of red and a whole cheese cake, I get carded and questioned. Really? Wild cheese cake party of one! When I had a fake ID I thought all reds were merlot and all whites were spritzers. Now if I was buying a bottle of Boones Farm I could understand the interrogation.

flowerbabyYou might know, I’m now a fitness instructor of the Pilates and Barre type regimens so the daily attire has my age down a few years as well. It’s hard to believe anyone who lives their life in spandex has adult tendencies. I’ve recently been in training to instruct for a new barre workout and everyone in the program with me can’t be a day over 13. Even the girl who’s teaching the program is probably just doing this to save for grad school. I haven’t disclosed any details about my age, yet I’ll complain every now and then after a hard workout that I feel like an old lady. They just look at me and laugh, little do they know I’m on the road to hip replacement. On the flip side, I’m the smartest one in the class. Possibly my worldly adult experience and my aging wisdom has made this material easier for me to pick up, perhaps I’m just mature enough to stick my mind to it so it sinks in. Or maybe I’ve been out of college just long enough that I actually like learning again. All this doesn’t matter, I’m not telling them I’m pushing 30. I’m just going to let them believe I’m 20-ish and super smart and well rounded. They are none the wiser… right? For the next 10 years I’ll be turning 29 and no one else needs to know.

My next thought… 29 is scary. Time to get real serious about where your life is headed. Shoot…. I think I said that last year. I’m almost afraid to tell these young counterparts my actual age, what if they don’t accept me? What if my jokes will forever fly over their heads? Some of them don’t remember the 80s. What if they look at me and think in the back of their not quite fully developed brains, “geez I hope I’m not still doing this when I’m her age.” The only defense I have is to tell them I’m on my 3rd career and I am a well rounded individual. I almost rear-ended the bat mobile with a golf cart! You don’t get that type of experience if you’re a loser.

The worst part about approaching the completion of another decade is that time is speeding up. As you get older, time feels like it speeds up, yes? As time speeds up, you can see the evolution of yourself. Once a night owl, now early bird special. Your tastes change, I’m constantly looking for outfits that have more coverage and a blouse effect. But it’s not just me, I happen to know a few fellow christmas babies and 3 out of 4 of them had plans to visit a museum on their birthday. Not that there is anything wrong with getting some culture and grabbing a beer, its just not the 3-day benders we are used to. Me? My big plan is yoga followed by a mani pedi and a really good seafood dinner. Far cry from the birthday shots of yesteryear.

As for my barre class, as far as any of those babies knows, I’m 24. And it’s going to stay that why until I’m questioned and break.

Sexy Halloween

October 9, 2012 § 6 Comments

Deciding what to be for halloween this year? I thought I’d repost this one a little early this year, not only to get you in the spirit, but also at a PSA. Please don’t be slutting it up this year. Enjoy!

I was minding my own facebook when an ad on my side bar caught my eye. Ready for it… Sexy Watermelon Costume! Are you kidding me?! Come on… Sexy Wa-ter-mel-on?! That’s the last thing we need, pornographic fruit. My curiosity got the best of me, I mean I had to see what exactly a sexy watermelon looked like. Not impressed:

She’s seedless on her rear end, which makes sense. I’m just not seeing how this is an acceptable costume and not a beach cover up. And it sells for $61.95. Some one took a bite out of it! You should at least get a 20% discount for that huge hole.

Apparently erotic fruit is big this year. I saw similar costumes in the strapless mini tube-dress fashion for Sexy Strawberry, Sexy Banana, Sexy Pineapple, even a Sexy Fruit Cup. I would have never determined a pineapple a sexy fruit. Sort of prickly, you know? I don’t want my lover to caress my body with a pineapple. That seems scratchy.

Food in the bedroom is generally sticky. I think this might be a good time to remind ourselves that Halloween does not occur in a bedroom. This is not the venue for a masked orgy like it appears to be. A lingerie clad hussy who claims she’s the Mad Hatter will never win the costume contest, even though drag is usually a big hit. My fellow ladies, you are so concerned with showing skin, you’ve shoved all your cleverness right out the window in exchange for some thigh-high stockings and a bathing suit. Think about it, what guy wants to fuck a bumble bee?

Alright, I’m through lecturing… you know you’re degrading your gender. Anyway, after I oogled the fruit I browsed the rest of the role playing costumes and determined they were just that… lingerie.

At the risk of being an advertisement for this behavior, I thought share some of my favorites. I mean, there are the staples we see year after year in bulk, Sultry SWAT Officer,  Sexy Military Babe, Sexy Pirate, Sexy Sailor Sweetie, Sexy Indian Diva, Sexy Dirty Cop, Super Sexy Maid, Hell To Pay Sexy Devil (actual names). This year we have some pop culture additions, Sexy Black Swan, Racy Red Riding Hood, Sexy Naughty Vampire.  A free pair of panties  with every purchase, like you’re going to even need them. But some you just have to see to beleive….

Sexy After School Special, I’ve seen loin cloths that cover more.

Sexy Party Bunny, That’s a bunny? That’s a bow tie and ears away from a “sorry baby, I know we haven’t had sex in a while” surprise strip tease.

Correct me if I’m wrong…

but are Naughty Minnie Mouse and this Sexy Lady Bug wearing the same itty-bitty teeny-weeny crimson polka-dot bikini?

How embarrassing.

You’re going to take one of Stanly Kubrick’s finest and most frightening character creations, gender neutralize it and make it fuckable?

All professions sexified: Sexy Train Conductor? They’ll slap thigh highs on anything.

Whatever happened to the old fashioned mermaid? You mean to tell me that aquatic babe isn’t sexy enough so someone invented the Sexy Shark, Darling Dolphin, and the Come Find Me Clown Fish. Wait, that’s supposed to be a clown fish?! That’s just something Lady Gaga would wear on a Tuesday.  Or more like Blow Fish. *High Five*

These just isn’t even trying anymore.

Sexy Peacock, you can’t just stick a feather in your hair and become a bird.

Sexy Gem. Oh okay, I get it, JEM and the Holograms.

Breast Cancer Awareness Frisky Leopard. Um… okay… Save the Ta Tas anyway you can.

And this gets a lot of looks I’m sure. “What are you?” “Irish.” Save it for St. Patrick’s Day.

Of all the things you choose to be, you’re a skunk? A Sexy Skunk. Really stinkin’ up the place.

And the Dirty Martini. I can’t. Look at it, just look at it.

* Please note that while yandy.com appreciates the free press I’ve given them, they have demanded this post be accurate. Comedic embellishments have been compromised for accuracy. You may find these costumes and more at http://www.yandy.com/Shopping/products/category_19.asp.

***I also hope that yandy.com remembers they advertised on MY facebook page.


Sculpted Interview

February 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

I sat down with jewelry artists and sculptor to meet the lady behind the clay and the brain behind the business. Here’s to another Modern Women of the Month playing loudly in her one woman band.

The Internet Bachelorette: I want to start with the origin of this endeavor. Did you know that this was going to become a business? I know you’re an artist, primarily working with oil and canvas, how did that translate to sculpting jewelry?

Dre Swain: I wrote a book, fantasy, and I had this idea that it would be really fun to design bookmarks and charms for different characters to go with the book. I went to my friend who is a jewelry designer and asked if she could make these charms for me. We talked about what I needed and after our conversation she was honest and told me it wasn’t going to be worth my money to have her do it. Which was fine because I’m a big do-it-yourself person anyway, I’m always looking for my next hobby. I remember in High School I liked fooling around with polymer clay, making beads and stuff like that so I set out to make these charms out of polymer clay. I jumped on Amazon to get a how-to book on how to work with polymer clay. I wanted to become an expert before I dove in, and the first book I found was how to use polymer clay to make jewelry.

TIB: Planting the seed.

DS: Yup, I put that in my cart. So I get my books and bought minimal supplies. The first thing I made was a necklace, called The Pirate’s Heart. I wore it into work, and I wasn’t even that happy with it because it didn’t turn out like what was in my head. I brought it in for a show and tell and one of the actresses on the show I was working on, Victorious, bought it right away. She asked me a price and I just threw one out there and she didn’t even blink an eye. I was like, “What?! You know… I think I’ll make another necklace or two.”

TIB: How long ago was that?

DS: That was in September of 2010. I made my first piece. For fun. And sold it. After that the wardrobe department on iCarly at Nickolodeon bought everything I made. The were so patient, that’s when I was troubleshooting. Chains were breaking, things weren’t behaving the way I wanted, the pieces kept flipping around. They let me take the things home that were broken or weren’t working out so I could fix them.

TIB: How did you start promoting?

DS: I started promoting myself  using Twitter and Facebook. Word of mouth just around work caught on. At Christmas time this year I wasn’t sleeping because I had 12 hours at Nickolodeon and came home and had 8 more hours of work just to keep up with Christmas commissions. I kinda had to put the brakes on everything. Figured I had to take this really seriously.

TIB: Absolutely, your art is making money.

DS: I filed all my paperwork, my DBA stuff, got a website rolling, and made pieces in the meantime. And I have yet to make a bookmark charm. [laughs]

TIB: So you are a self-taught sculptor, which is amazing. What are the materials that you use and why are they unique to your designs?

DS: Like I said, I use polymer clay, which is an artist’s clay. It fires at a low temperature so I can fire it at home. It’s extremely light. So my big chunky pieces, like Lions Plume, Clockwork Heart, Elefish, they are big chunky pieces, but they aren’t uncomfortable, they don’t hang down on your neck, they aren’t super heavy.

TIB: But they look like metal? And you’re getting away with it. I wouldn’t know it wasn’t metal until I picked it up.

DS: They look like metal and now I’m starting to gild with 24 cart gold leaf. Even without the gold leaf it still has a metallic aged or brass look.

TIB: But it’s not.

DS: Even people with metal allergies can wear it. If they tell me ahead of time I can get rid of the chain and put it on a silk cord and they can still wear something that looks totally awesome.

TIB: Amazing.

DS: It’s such a versatile medium and I can incorporate watch parts, metal bits, Swarovski crystals, I even use diamonds in some of my pieces. For those with more expensive tastes and they prefer to have the diamonds and more expensive material, I can incorporate those as well. And for those who don’t have the money to spend I can skip the pricier adornments.

TIB: Your designs are very eclectic. I’m not even sure what type of style category you would be labeled under. It’s all really unique, which is what people want in jewelry especially. How would you classify your style?

DS: I think it’s this crazy mixing bowl of a lot of things. It reminds some people of Tim Burton. So there’s something Tim Burton about it, something Rock n’ Roll about it, and there’s something feminine about it. So I think if you put those things in a blender and when you pulled out the chunks there would be varying amounts of those elements in each piece. So that’s what my style is.

TIB: Very cool.

DS: And I love contradictions. Like the Monastache. It’s a classic with some humor. Humor goes into a lot of my pieces. I like to do things that are unexpected. With the Lions Plume it’s from a line called Hybrids where I’m taking animals and putting them together. So the lion’s mane is actually a bunch of tiny feathers. Same idea with the Elefish.

TIB: So it’s ears are fish fins?

DS: Exactly.

TIB: Ding, ding, ding!

DS: It’s recognizable as one thing, but upon closer inspection there’s more of a story behind it, that’s something else that applies to my pieces. I have a piece called The Repaired Heart and it’s one of my top sellers. Everyone who buys it feels compelled to tell me why. Everything from a girl who had a horrible childhood to a woman who bought it for her sister who just had heart surgery.

TIB: Wow. You’re learning a lot about your costumers. When you’re commissioned to create a certain piece for someone what’s your process?

DS: I like doing commissions, it’s like two minds are better than one. When someone else tells me a story of why they want a piece or a design element they want, it’s an exciting challenge to make what they want and still make it mine and make them happy.

TIB: What’s rewarding about selling a piece?

DS: The thing about painting is that there’s only one. I’ve stopped selling my paintings because that’s my baby, I wanted it hanging on my wall. It was painful to let them go. With the jewelry it’s a different form of expression. It’s not finished until it’s on someone. I get giddy every time I see someone put something I made on. And somehow the same piece will look different on you then it would on me then it would on your best friend. That’s when it’s really finished.

TIB: Where else does your inspiration drive from? I know you’re a lover of fantasy and there is something romantic and fantastical about this look. But then you have some pieces that are food related.

DS: I make lists of ideas and things I like, I have a notebook. I’ll go to a museum and write down the things that catch my eye. Sometimes I sketch it out, sometimes I have a picture in my head, but I write everything down. I’ll think if the craziest thing in the moment, be it genius or idiotic, I’ll decide later. To-Do lists keep me on schedule too.

TIB: What was your biggest struggle when starting the business?

DS: I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t even know what a DBA was. I asked a lot of questions and I got advice, but I didn’t have any help. I’m the accountant, I’m the sculptor, I’m the janitor, I’m the photographer and the model. It was hard at times but when there’s no one to help you, you pick up your boot straps and make it work. If other people can do it, why can’t I?

TIB: I know finances are a touchy subject, but you had mentioned that you aren’t making a profit at this time, everything is going back into the business. What are those expenses for a start-up company that people might not realize?

DS: It’s crazy when you have a web-based business. I recently had to upgrade my hosting server with GoDaddy to had a credit card payment option and was really surprised that it was $600. I have a merchant account, there’s a monthly fee for that, Paypal fee with each purchase, cost of materials, cost of gas to get the materials, post office. Everything has a cost. The cost of the box to ship the necklace in.

TIB: Good thing they’re all really light.

DS: [laughs] Yes, another advantage of polymer clay.

TIB: How did you arrive at finding a fair price for your merchandise?

DS: I had a difficult time with that. I use a formula for every piece. For every new design I make I have this formula sheet with a space for me to clock in and clock out, and every single material and how much it cost. So I have an hourly wage, which eventually I will make when I stop putting it back into the business, and there’s the cost of materials, times 2. So it covers what I used and pays for me to buy more to make another, then the business can grow.

TIB: That’s interesting. What was the reaction from your trusted costumers and mentors when you arrived at these prices?

DS: Surprisingly enough, people were saying they were too low. I think as young artists, we undersell ourselves when trying to turn our art into a business. I still sometimes get embarrassed to say what the price is, because it ain’t cheap. But at the same time it’s all done by hand and it’s someone’s art.

TIB: It’s your art.

DS: My mentors really were the ones who sat me down and encouraged me to charge what I am because they knew I’d never build a business charging what I first thought I should. That’s why I have the sheet, so I can make sure that I am charging a fair price for all the work and artistry that goes into it and I’m not cheating anyone out of their money. The prices are boutique prices, but they are for a very high quality product.

TIB: What type of clients have emerged from your prices and the quality?

DS: I’m really surprised. There are people who want art they can hang around their neck. I’ve gotten some orders from overseas.  I like to think I wouldn’t spend that much on a necklace, but I’ve done it before. For the right piece, absolutely.

TIB: Me too. You justify it by how much you love it and how much you’ll wear it.

DS: Right, how much use you get out of it. And how unique it is.

TIB: What is one piece of advice would you give to entrepreneurs and artists alike trying to pursue their dreams?

DS: Make sure you do love it. You are going to fight some battles to make it happen. If it’s not thinking about it, it’s making phone call to fix problems, tweeting, talking to tech people, more hours and frustration go into it, and you have to make sure that it’s worth it. Don’t undersell yourself. Come up with a formula that’s not only fair for your buyer, but fair for you and say it with confidence.

TIB: You have to own what you’re worth and know that you are worth it.

Jewelry from top to bottom: Clockwork Heart: Cleopatra, Screwfly, Typewriter Keys, Clockwork Heart (original), Repaired Heart, Bow-a Constrictor, Drops of Cupid

For purchases and browsing visit: dreswain.com

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