Sometimes, the grass IS greener on the other side.
My biggest fear, one that held me back from making the decision for a long time, was that it wouldn’t work out, that I’d be back to a 9-5 grind in no time. Now, it’s only been 8 weeks, and that’s hardly enough time to make an accurate forecast of the next 44, but if it IS an indication, the next year is looking sunny and bright. Four days of the week, I work on Madalynne related stuff – planning and prepping for workshops, teaching lessons, wrapping up production for my holiday intimates line (available at Anthro this November!), promoting my current collection at Urban Outfittes and Simplicity, beginning to design for spring 2017 and sewing for myself, which I’ve had a lot more time to do. Awesome-sauce. The other three days are spent working as a part time personal stylist for Anthropologie’s Rittenhouse store. During a typical shift, I help customers pick out items, reach out to local media influencers, hotels, condos and apartments to spread the word about Anthro’s PS service (it’s free!), plan store events for the fall and holiday, try on clothes to assess fit, take photos for the store’s Instagram and oh, let’s not forget the prettiness I’m surrounded by every day. The brand, the store, the clothing and my coworkers are inspiring. My photography biz has also taken off, which is something I didn’t expect but love doing. Sound like my life is a ball of fun now? It is. Fulfilling too.
I was brave to stop, reevaluate and change my life so it was more authentic, meaningful and successful according to my own terms. In this new journey, I have discovered two things. First, I am making it work in ways I never knew I could. I was fully aware and anticipating that the road ahead would be challenging and unpredictable, especially the unsteady paycheck. That doesn’t mean I can’t do it. Am am doing it! Through my teaching, sewing, designing, PS-ing and photographing, I’m making enough to cover my expenses, save for the future, invest in my business and make some nonessential purchases, like this dress, which I feel no buyer’s remorse for. It’s fucking fabulous. Let’s not forget about my kiddos. Sage and Basil love having me home more ; )
The second thing that I have learned is that I’m not the only one who is embracing this alternative definition of what success means. The other personal stylist had a 7 year stint in advertising before quitting, going back to school, and getting her masters in fashion merchandising. The home personal stylist used to be a contract lawyer. Both left for the same reason as me. I love this article by Stacy London where she quotes Alice and Wonderland: “I’m not the same girl I was yesterday.” So true. Who I was 5 years ago is not the same person I am now. The world 5 years ago is not the same world it is now. We are a global community where people connect with others around the world and for the most part, we are not as siloed by country, class, gender as we once were. With this, or at least with me, I have discovered that everyone lives differently and has their own truth. Life is what YOU want to make of it. One of my life motto’s right now is “you do you”. Well, I’m finally doing me.
I’ve been taking photos for the store’s Instagram page, so if you want to see all the happenings at 1801 Walnut Street, follow @anthro_rittenhouse on Insta!