THE SUMMER I FOUND OUT I WAS A VINA

This summer working at VINA in an office sans walls was über weird. What with a handful of other people talking, typing, chewing, breathing, etc, it was sometimes hard to concentrate, but I managed. In fact, I grew to take advantage of and love the collaborative atmosphere— which, at times, could be quite productive. I felt more inclined to eavesdrop and ask questions; although, I can’t deny there were occasions on which I messaged Emma on slack instead of walking across the room to her desk, but that can be contributed to my sheer laziness if nothing else. I do still prefer to write within the confines of my covers, in a pitch-black room in the dead of night, but I learned I can function in a real working environment, too.

IMG_1238Although I took a lot away from this summer internship, what has stuck in my mind the most are the vinas I worked with, and their individual styles. While there is one dude (and two anatomically male dogs) in the office, I can honestly say that I worked around a majority of vinas in different capacities.

My editor, Emma Olswing, is young and relatively fresh out of college; however, she holds a pretty prominent position at an equally prominent startup, and I had the opportunity to learn from her directly. She and her cute choppy bangs successfully taught me how to write multiple pieces in one afternoon and edit about a billion society members’ posts in the time remaining. And with all that, she still finds the time to date, have a ton of friends, and go to multiple music shows a week! She is definitely living her best life.

Maggie does design-y stuff, which is in accordance with her inherent, effortless, cool-girl style. From my first day and onward, I was healthily obsessed with her style (in both her fashion choices and personality) and intent on finding her Instagram. I need to follow beautifully creative people on social media for the daily dose of inspiration they bring to my feed, or I’ll die. When cyber-stalking failed me, I found her handle in a very peculiar way: I asked her… out loud… in real English words! I was not disappointed. I will never forget the cream chunky sweater she wore over a men’s oversized light grey thermal. This outfit perfectly personified the look I am constantly striving towards, and I will forever be trying to emulate the relaxed and uncomplicated elegance that she possess.

P.S. Maggie, if you’re reading this, please don’t be creeped out.

IMG_0996And of course, I can’t forget the badass boss lady and founder of VINA, Olivia June Poole. Right before I started, she chopped off her bleach-blonde locks, and it makes her look strikingly similar to Scarlett Johansson (except better, believe it or not). She runs the entire company, and she still found time to squeeze in one-on-one dates with each and every intern in order to answer any questions we may have had and remind us that her knowledge and experience is totally at our disposal, now and in the future.

My writing is a lot more passionate and gregarious than the personality I present to the world. I have yet to determine whether this is due to personality disorder or just the level of comfort that writing brings me. While writing for VINA, it has been really fun to explore my own writing competency and try slightly different styles while attempting to maintain my own voice within the work. I was given the opportunity to write about relevant things and present them to vinas of all ages around the world. Instead of simply writing about my feelings and reviewing movies, like I do on my personal blog, I got the chance to write about more important things, like self-esteem and embracing aging, as well as trendier stuff like impressive celebrities and the art of being an “extra” pet parent.

IMG_2973Writing is totally cathartic, and I hardly ever have the time to do it. I loved that it was my actual job this summer because it reminded me that the main reason I want to be a writer is not because I’m necessarily exceptionally good at it, but because I genuinely love it. Even when I have writer’s block or lack all motivation, (usually) once I get started, I get into a groove, and I think it makes me a better/happier human.

Hopefully the experience obtained, connections made, and pieces published at VINA will help me even more whenever I am ready to jump into the real world. For now, I am going to keep living life cozied up to the bosom that is college, a safe-haven for knowledge-obsessed nerds like me.

Interspersed above are foot selfies that I took this summer walking from the office to BART. Hope you enjoyed them!

(Originally posted on the VINAZINE)

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WHY YOUR BESTIE SHOULD BE YOUR EDITOR

I like to call myself a writer, but that doesn’t mean I have perfectly mastered the arts of diction, articulation or deliverance. If you’re lazy like me, after you’ve finished writing your college essays, you despise the editing process. We habitually procrastinate, then try to whip it out in an hour and hurriedly click submit. It is understandably hard to force our eyes to slow down as we read back through the work because we already know the intention of the message. We speed right past those glaringly obvious mistakes.

I am lucky enough to have my mom (an excellent writer herself) to proofread and edit practically (ok, literally) all my college essays. It can be such a grind in college, with five to ten page papers due at every corner; so it is helpful to have someone close to you edit your work. The more comfortable you are with the person, the more honest they can be. They can press you to expand more in one area, or to entirely omit something else without the fear of hurting your feelings. Being a pretty avid reader (like Belle was before the Beast) and a pretty decent writer myself, I always offer up my editing services to my vinas. If there is something that we excel in, it is only right and just to share it with others.

I’m not saying you have to be a bad writer to necessitate an editor. As I previously stated, I don’t think I’ll ever feel confident enough in my writing (rightly so) that I won’t need a friend (or my mom) to “fix” nearly everything I write… and I’m an english major!

I recently proofread my friend’s twenty-page paper on the privatization of the prison system. It was so well-written, I hardly needed to suggest any editing. Despite her distinct expertise in writing and her knowledge of the subject (far surpassing mine), it was helpful for her to have an extra set of eyes; someone to encourage her about the validity of her argument and all the effort she had already put into it. Literally everyone should have a friend who can read and refine their work before they submit it.

If you need a friend like this, start asking those friends of yours whom you are sure are capable. And if you don’t think you have one of these, download the Hey! VINA app and start looking for friends near you. I would suggest joining the bookworm community within the app to find vinas who are willing and able to read your papers.

As for those of you who are english majors, bookworms, or have a bomb blog: help your vinas edit their papers. It doesn’t take long– certainly not as long as it took them to write it– and it can be extremely helpful. Your extra set of eyes will find those uncomplicated grammatical errors that theirs were too tired to pinpoint; you may think of an anecdote that could easily be integrated into the piece and that would mesh well with their overall theme; you may determine that the whole essay would flow exceedingly better by simply rearranging the order of a couple sentences or paragraphs. These seemingly minor adjustments could be the difference between an A and a B.

If you love to read and love to help your vinas even more, start offering up your services, even if they are unsolicited. I’m sure they will appreciate the offer– in fact, they will probably be relieved to have some help.

I feel as though this is apparent, but maybe I should specify that I am not, by any means, encouraging you to charge for your assistance. Please do so out of the kindness of your heart, or in exchange for a gratifying, friendly embrace.

So… calling all writers: help your friends edit their essays!

Comment below if you’re ready to edit your vinas’ essays, or if you already do!

(Originally posted on the VINAZINE)

HOW TO BE AN ADVOCATE FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN

No matter your political, economic, or social standpoints, it is important to speak up for what you believe in. A self-possessed and resolution-oriented person makes for a strong and powerful vina. Those days of sitting back and letting others speak for us are over. Join the conversation; join the fight! Here are few tips on how to be an advocate and make a difference.

ATTEND MARCHES

Marching in a group (no matter the size) is empowering, and reminds us that we are not the only ones that feel the way we do. The march itself reminds the world and community that there is a problem worth noticing. For instance, the Women’s Marches in January gained worldwide attention, due to huge participation in major cities in countries across the globe (such as France, India, Australia, to name a few). I for one marched in NYC, and it was the most amazing experience of my life. So many people came together for different reasons but a collective goal: to raise awareness for an extremely important cause.

UTILIZE SOCIAL MEDIA

Do not be afraid to share your ideas on social media. Unless, of course, those ideas are directly malicious or hurtful in anyway to a specific person or group of people. Not much is worth a Twitter war over, but creating a discussion is imperative. If your followers disagree with your ideals, hopefully they are openminded enough to listen to your side of the argument, or agree to disagree. And if they aren’t, they can unfollow you because you don’t need that negativity in your social space anyways.

ENLIGHTEN YOUR ELDERS

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via SNL

People over the age of forty can be really stuck in their ways. Sometimes, it feels like a waste of energy to fight a battle that is sure to end in a draw. However, that doesn’t stop me and my sister from letting my grandfather know that FOX should not be his only news source, and making it abundantly clear when something he says could potentially come across as racist/ignorant. You never know what info you have that could be the the last straw to break the camel’s back; to convince them to open their minds a little more. Avoid being disrespectful (or too sassy), and if the discussion get too heated, start playing Adele.

FIND ORGANIZATIONS IN YOUR COMMUNITY

Clubs don’t have to disappear after high school graduation. There are community clubs and organizations for literally anything you could imagine. Anything from environmental clubs, gun control groups, charities fighting hunger or homelessness, intersectional feminism groups, bible studies, groups to aid the cause to end drug abuse in lower-income neighborhoods, and so many more. Marches are actually great places for meeting others with similar interests, and networking to spread awareness for your cause. And if you can’t find the perfect organization near you, start one! That may sound like an impossible task to undertake, but it doesn’t have to be. Download the Hey! VINA app if you want to meets some other vinas in your area who may want to help you. Start by attending city hall meetings in order to make it known you are forming an organization, and talk to others about how they got started.

It’s never too soon or too late to get started. Now is the time, because if you don’t, there is no guarantee that someone else will!

Comment below if you have attended a march or rally to fight for a cause that you believe in!

(Originally posted on the VINAZINE)

THIS GAL IS A QUADRUPLE THREAT

Want to feel empowered this summer? Wonder Woman is a must see. With a spin on the classic comic book character, this feminist icon created by Charles Marston in 1941, has only gotten more kick-ass in the twenty-first century.

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Gadot and director, Patty Jenkins via @gal_gadot

Every vina that I have spoken to who has seen Wonder Woman raves about how strong and powerful they felt when leaving the theater. Ordered to stay away from Earth, Diana (aka Wonder Woman) disobeys her queen in order to save mankind from supremacy, war, and overall injustice. All of which couldn’t feel more relevant in today’s political and social climate. And the gal (see what I did there?) who portrays this amazonian princess is a great role model IRL as well.

Gal Gadot is an Israeli actress/model, and her resume and character define female empowerment. Standing at five foot ten, she herself is practically an amazon. At the age of eighteen, she was crowned Miss Israel. Then just two years later, she served as a combat trainer in the Israeli army.

She gained popularity in the movie business when she earned a role in one of the Fast & Furious movies (which she maintained in the following two films). In her role as Gisele, to many, she represents a sort of sex symbol. I have heard people assert that they will not see Wonder Woman because they feel that Gadot cannot properly portray such a strong woman, as her reputation is too befuddled by her other “sexier” roles.

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Pregnant Gadot and her husband via @gal_gadot

I disagree so strongly with this sentiment. First of all, Wonder Woman herself has, historically, represented a symbol for the ultimate sexy woman. And since when is it acceptable or feminist to shame physical expression? This is a modern world in which feminism encompasses all beauty, in all people who identify as female. We should celebrate all the different kinds of sexy and keep in mind that we are all beautiful in our own way. So, I do not think it is possible for Gadot’s reputation to be too muddled; she is the absolute perfect woman to fill this role.

To top it all off, she’s a mother of two! She was actually five months pregnant while filming Wonder Woman. She felt compelled to hide her pregnancy while filming for fear of anyone’s conduct with her being altered. She didn’t want people babying her because she had a baby in her. She knew her limit, and she took care of herself well.

Gadot and her character Diana are encouraging girls (of all ages) around the world to be proud of themselves, to fight for love, for their values and for other women.

Have you seen Wonder Woman yet? Comment below, and tell us what you loved most about it. If you haven’t seen it, download the Hey! VINA app to find a friend to see it with you. 

(Originally posted on the VINAZINE)

EMBRACING AGING

No matter how young, it seems as though everyone is afraid of aging. Starting at about twenty years old– and in some cases, even younger– we vinas start doing everything in our power to look as young as possible for as long as possible. And that’s totally okay! Staying out of the sun or wearing SPF is taking care of your body and preventing all sorts of evil things (not just wrinkles). Skincare cremes, serums, and masks that are retinol rich, gorged with glycol, or chock-ful of cellifirm will do wonders for your skin and taking care to keep your skin plump and healthy will do no harm.

However, when those creases do begin to appear on your forehead, and when those cute chubby cheeks start to succumb to gravity, or when your friends start pointing out your sprouting grey hairs… fear not! Accept them, embrace them, learn to love them. We all know by now that confidence is the key to looking great! Here are a few things you can do to either love the inevitable effects of aging, or keep them hidden for a little while longer. How to age gracefully, sans botox.

CUT BANGS

It’s the first rule for the aging Parisienne. Find your favorite celebrity style, i.e. Bridget Bardeaux, Zooey Deschanel, Anne Hathaway (circa The Devil Wears Prada); either, do it yourself or head to the salon. Bangs automatically take ten years off of your life (in appearance, not in actuality). Take my aunt for example; she is not old by any means (almost thirty-eight) and she recently cut her bangs. Best decision ever! They hide the grey hairs that have been settling in her hairline for the last seven years or so. With bangs, it is safe to leave the house with just a simple blow-dry to the bangs (no other prep necessary) because your hair now has a definable “style,” and the bangs are so blunt that they have a way of distracting the world from the rest of your face. Not to mention the veil it has created for all the forehead and eye wrinkles that you may not be all that excited about.

GOING GREY

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Joan Didion via Vogue

With grey hair being so trendy within the millennial crowd throughout last few years, going grey has become more and more “acceptable.” In fact, many women are excited about going grey because it looks so cool. My grandma has been coloring her hair for at least fifteen years, and she finally feels inspired to grow out her natural color. And the best part, everyone’s grey is different! Some tend to lean more towards silver, some peppery, and some almost bleach blonde. You will simultaneously look both edgier and more elegant!

 

WELCOME THE WRINKLES

In Native American culture, age symbolizes experience and wisdom. We regard our elders as dignified and wise, but at a certain point that stops. Because we fear death so greatly, we try to ignore signs of aging in others and consequently ignore them. This is so wrong! The people in our lives with the most wrinkles are the ones with the most to share with us! Wrinkles do not mean certain death; they are beautiful because they represent a long and full life. Especially in American society, we spend way to much time, money, and emotional energy on botox, chemical peels, and la prairie!

The other day, I saw a woman covered in both tattoos and wrinkles, and she looked awesome! She was struttin’-her-stuff in shorts and a tank top, and couldn’t be more confident in her skin. I now idolize this stranger, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget her.

DEVELOP A STAND-OUT STYLE

Another tactic to distract the world (and yourself) from fixating on your physical appearance is to refocus the attention to your clothes. Wardrobe can be the everyday form of our inner selves. Today I was feeling frilly, so I wore my pink “shower curtain” shirt and some heels. Tomorrow I’ll probably feel lazy (working from home) so I’ll wear comfy pajamas. Some of the most fashionable women on the Internet right now are upwards of sixty. So wear that kaftan with a kitten heal and some Céline sunglasses; add as many accessories as Iris Apfel would; buy that outfit that your husband or adult child told you is too crazy. Who knows? Maybe you’ll become Instagram famous.

Love the body you’re in; never stop wearing a bikini to the beach and do not go under the knife (or botox needle) unless you really want to. No matter what our society may try to lead you to believe, age is a beautiful fact of life, so don’t fight it. That body that you live in has been through a lot, and there is no reason to hide that. And if all else fails, gain a little weight and watch the wrinkles dissipate as your face gets a little rounder.

Download the Hey! VINA app to meet some friends of all ages. Tag us in a selfie on Instagram and add the #VINAlove.

(Originally posted on the VINAZINE)

BOOK CLUB: GREY GARDENS

For the latest installment of the VINA book club, we’re actually watching a movie! HBO’s rendition of the lives of the infamous mother/daughter duo, the Edith Bouvier Beales. In addition to sharing a name, they practically shared their entire lives. Referred to as Big Edie and Little Edie, they were the aunt and cousin of the beloved Bouvier, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and were definitely the most eccentric women in the Hamptons.

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Beales and Maysles via IMDb

The two lived together at the great family estate, Grey Gardens. Little Edie did not want to get married because she didn’t want a man to make her give up her singing career like her father did her mother (and then he left her). However, Little Edie’s mother kept her away from the spotlight anyways. Big Edie was mentally-unstable and an emotional manipulator; therefore, Little Edie was forever by her mother’s side. They grew old together, in isolation, both continuing to dream of their future lives and alternate realities, as their current ones were going to waste. When the Maysles asked to film a movie about the Beale women, Little Edie loved the idea of the chance to “relaunch her career.” The filming of that documentary could have easily been the most exciting experience of their collective lives.

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Little Edie via Vogue

Their interesting lives makes for a great biopic because they had so much to offer. Their deep mother/daughter connection was sometimes endearing, but mostly strange. Their story is one of those sad ones that we romanticize because of its tragic beauty, as the reality is that the Grey Gardens estate was brimming with garbage, newspapers older than you and me, and a pet raccoon. The Edies were the ultimate shut-ins, hoarders, and unintentional misanthropes. Somehow, life passed them by without their consent.

In 1975, the Maysles brothers made the trek out to Grey Gardens in order to film a documentary about the Bouvier Beales. Grey Gardens became the first of many Edie-themed creative endeavors of artists of all media. This documentary is in part what prompted writer Lois Wright to share her time at the gardens in her book, My Life at Grey Gardens. In 2006, yet another documentary was released: The Beales of Grey Gardens. And finally, in 2009, HBO made their own movie, which was focused around the making of the original Maysles brothers’ documentary.

greygardens

Lange and Barrymore via InStyle

The fashion in HBO’s film is to die for. Costume designer Catherine Marie Thomas did an excellent job of representing everything from the Edie’s 40s style to the old-lady aesthetic they acquired over the years. Little Edie looks fabulous adorned with luxurious scarves covering her bald head (due to alopecia totalis), and takes great pride in the versatility of her wardrobe.

The first time I saw the HBO version, starring Jessica Lange (before we all became obsessed with her on American Horror Story) and Drew Barrymore, my imagination ran wild. I had this overwhelming vision of my mother and sister becoming the next Beales. This image is not too far out-there, for not only were my mother and sister conjoined at the hip, my mother was totally obsessed with the beautiful, sad mess that was the Grey Gardens estate. I could see in her eyes, she was imagining the same future (only she wasn’t afraid of it). I doubt this will really happen, but only time will tell.

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Little Edie via GIPHY

Watch the movie(s), or read the book, or do it all! Post about it using the #VINAbookclub. Download the Hey! VINA app and tell all your new friends to join our book/movie club.

(Originally posted on the VINAZINE)

10 SIGNS YOU’RE AN “EXTRA” PET PARENT

I think it’s safe to say that everyone loves puppies (and if you know someone who doesn’t, they’re probably/definitely inhuman). We can get a little excessive when it comes to expressing our love for our little furry friends, understandably so. Here are ten signs that say you’re an “extra” pet owner. Don’t worry, no judgements here!

YOU HAVE A DOG WALKER

You worry that your dog will get too lonely while you’re busy being a working parent (and we can’t all take our dogs to work); you hire a nanny for your pup to come walk ’em during the day. In my case, it’s my grandma; but if she isn’t available, there are a few backups on standby to race over and make sure my dog isn’t too lonely.

OUTFITS

How many ensembles do they have? My dog, Skeeter, just has a bowtie (he wears it most every day), a red knitted scarf (we live in CA, so he really doesn’t need it), and a holiday sweater (only worn once). I’m not too bad; how many outfits does your pet have?

SEPARATE INSTAGRAMS

You bombard us with pictures of the, not only on your own Instagram, but there’s more. They have their own separate account, where they are personified as thinking (speaking) beings. It’s really cute, but definitely extra. I follow my fair share of famous Instagram pets. Who are your favorite celebrity animals?

YOU CELEBRATE THEIR BIRTHDAY

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via Rover

With a party, cake, and pictures, their special day is jam-packed full of fun. They have no clue what’s happening; we all know the celebration is really for your benefit. But who’s going to complain about another excuse to eat cake and party? Not I.

FRIDAY NIGHTS INCLUDE:

Binge watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, talking to your pet (out loud), imagining their response, live-tweeting what they say (whatever you imagined it to be), and cracking up about it. Not to mention all the ice cream you’ll share; it’s true love. May or may not be based on personal experience.

YOU ONLY EVER TALK ABOUT THE ‘BABY’

Passerby’s and eavesdroppers are bound to be confused when they overhear your conversations with friends. They think, “wow, her body bounced back quickly” – although, why do bodies need to bounce back? That body just grew another in it and then pushed it out. Be proud of all the change that accompanies it… end mini rant– but they really are the only baby you have ever had, so it’s understandable.

CAMERA ROLL

Your phone is 1% selfie, 96% pictures of the ‘baby’ and 4% screenshots of memes (of other animals). It would almost be embarrassing if someone were to scroll through your camera roll, but you can’t help it; your little guy looks so cute in every picture. It’s totally justified!

SPECIAL MEALS

You cook more for your pet than you do for yourself. “They have a sensitive tummy,” you say, “kibble is too hard for their teeth.” Whatever the reason, you slave away, grilling chicken, squash and rice for the little royal highness– so bougie. Next they’ll be sitting in a chair, fine dining avec toi. 

 

DOGGIE DECOR

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via ishine365

This goes beyond the outfits. Your space is overrun by their toys and tipis (a custom tipi is being designed for my Skeeter to lounge in). Your friends come by and wonder if the apartment is yours or the dog’s.

PHOTOSHOOTS

puppy pregnancy

via People

Backdrops, props and hired photographers. You document milestones like birthdays, adoption anniversaries, and even pregnancies. Yes, the dog’s pregnancy. It’s really curious, really cute and now it’s something you’re secretly wanting to do.

If you want to continue talking about your pet 24/7, download the Hey! VINA app to meet similarly “extra” pet owners in your neighborhood.

(Originally posted on the VINAZINE)

SOMEWHERE WOMEN ARE ALWAYS THRIVING: ARTIST MARKETS

Art is an ineffable thing. That little word attempts to describe so many different mediums of the creative mind. Most of us are artists in our own way; even if we are not, there are many different types of art out in the world to be appreciated by all.

A few weekends ago I attended a Makers Mart in Sacramento, both as a vendor and consumer. I, myself, was not selling any of my own creations; however, I was assisting my friend sell her film photography prints. The Makers Market is held twice a year and the vendors sell everything from paintings to jewelry, cool metal mobiles to vegan gelato! Equipped with live music, beer and food, a person could spend an entire day there (as I did).

There were so many female creatives there, it was baffling. As I perused the items for sale, I interrogated a couple of the vendors. Below, I highlighted three of the merchants. I asked each of them one question pertaining to the market and all their answers shared a similar theme of community, support and persistence (all the best attributes of a feminist attitude).

ROXANNE YOUNG

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Emily Baedeker wearing Young’s Rainbow Fiber Earrings, via @leblondewhisperer

Roxanne Young is a jewelry designer based in San Francisco. She specializes in textile jewelry and wearable art. When asked if she has a “nine to five” in addition to her jewelry business, her response was authentic and unintentionally humorous. She rolled her eyes (just slightly) and said, “kind of… I have a four year old son.” So you can say, without hesitation, she definitely has another full time job; and he probably monopolizes her time during all hours of the day (not just nine to five).

Young has participated in many markets like this and she asserts that there is never a guarantee that one will break even. The best way to utilize a market is to network. There was one particular market that Young was a participant in a few years ago, at which she actually lost money. However, she met a business owner who started selling her jewelry in their brick-and-mortar store where Young’s jewelry has been sold ever since. Two key takeaways here are: don’t lose hope if you do not find immediate results, and make as many friends as possible.

JENNA RAE

I swear I possess no bias because she is my friend… Jenna Rae Gundelach is an uber talented photographer. As a California native, she currently resides in Oakland and like any good photographer, she always has her camera ready. Gundelach can make some of the most uptight and unphotogenic people look très chic (i.e. my mom).

 

This market was her first (ever) attempt at selling her prints in a public venue. Her set up was laid-back and inviting, with the hope of enticing the passive shoppers to step under her tent and take a gander at her selection of entirely film photography prints.

Gundelach’s advice to other artists looking to dip their toes into the market of artist markets: bring some of your friends to be advocates for your art. It can be really difficult to sell yourself, for no one wants to come across narcissistic. So have some of your more talkative and supportive friends with you in order to brag to perspective buyers about how amazing you are at whatever it is you do. I talked her up to a someone from Sunset Magazine, a local barber who is looking for a photographer to collaborate on a cool look-book for his business, and many more potentially life-altering networking opportunities. It helps, of course, that her prints are truly breathtaking.

SAVANNAH

One of the youngest vendors present, at twenty-three, Savannah Nicholson is already able to support herself solely on her jewelry business, Anahata Rae. She has a bright smile and a beautiful soul, maintaining that each item she designs is “intended to bring joy and beauty into the world.” How sweet is that? Her jewelry is trendy (in the best way), and beautifully presented.

Nicholson was able to become fully dependent on Anahata Rae in January of this year. Having lived in Sacramento, the Bay Area, and now San Luis Obispo, she has participated in many markets. She upholds that there is a definite learning curve when it comes to selling in a market setting. The first couple of times are not guaranteed success, but after one figures out the best way for their products to draw people in, one will see a steady increase in sales.

After spending all day in the ninety-something degree heat, I left having only made one purchase (besides the vegan gelato, twice), and it was the Luna Necklace from Anahata Rae.

All of these artists held a common sentiment about the Makers Mart. At marts like these, there is always a chance of a competitive atmosphere; however, all of the vendors seemed to be happy to come together as a community of artists in order to build each other up. I saw multiple vendors buying from each other, making business connections, and becoming friends.

Always support your vinas in their creative endeavors and make sure you have vinas who will do so for you. If not (or if you just want more), download the Hey! VINA app to meet more great gals in your area.

If you are looking for a market like this to attend or sell at, here are a few that are coming up:

Renegade Craft Fair
San Francisco: July 15 + 16 (this weekend)
Chicago: July 14-16
Seattle: July 22 + 23
Portland (OR): July 29 + 30
(additional locations/dates can be found by following the link above)

Artists and Fleas
Williamsburg: every Sat-Sun
Soho: All week, every week!
LA- Venice: Every 2nd and 4th Saturday

And if you don’t reside near a big city, google your local flea markets to support the creatives in your area!

Comment below your favorite markets to attend and/or the coolest thing you ever bought at a market. 

(Originally posted on the VINAZINE)

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SEEKING FRIENDSHIP ROLE MODELS

The best example of what a truly good friend looks like has probably been right in front of you all along. Although there are many great friendships in the television and celebrity realm, these are not always attainable, as they are fictional relationships. So how about a real life example to try to replicate? Your mom’s friendships.

Adults have already gone through the dramas involved with securing the vinas who are right for them and shedding the not so good ones. My mom is a badass lady and an exceptional friend. I am jealous of the friendships she has developed thus far in life; she has a handful of soul sisters who are always present in our lives.

Of varying ages, socioeconomic backgrounds and diverse heritage, all of the friendships my mother cultivates have been exceedingly positive influences in her life (as well as mine). I am able to witness first hand how committed, interested, and full of love she and her vinas are. I see how my own friendships may be lacking, but I have to remind myself that I am quite young and my friendships have plenty of time to grow, multiply, and solidify. Especially now that I’m using the Hey! VINA app to find gals in my hood with similar interests.

My mom and Danielle have been friends for over fifteen years and it shows in the way they interact with each other. Both are always extremely interested in the goings ons of their lives, even the seemingly mundane stuff like:

Mom: Did you do something different in this room?
Danielle: I moved the couch thirteen centimeters to the left. What do you think?
Mom: OH MY GOODNESS YOU ARE TRULY A GENIUS! What a difference it makes! Will you be my interior designer?!

Sometimes it’s laughable how in love they are with one another, but mostly it’s enviable and adorable. When my mother gets promoted at work or starts a new creative side project, Danielle is usually the second to know about it (after me of course). She gets so excited and showers my mom with compliments of the mind, body, and soul; along with suggestions on how to approach the situation, whatever it may be. And vice versa. If Danielle is over for coffee on a Saturday morning, expect that she will be in the breakfast nook for a minimum of four hours.

Her love for my mom bleeds through to us [me and my siblings]. When I am participating in a fashion show, she is there; front and center, she takes pictures and videos while my mom inevitably forgets to document anything. I know that even if there comes a day when my mom and Danielle no longer live a few blocks away, they are soul sisters and forever vinas.

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my mom’s legs, captured by @jennarae._

My mom loves to help her vinas pursue their passions (as do I), and she knows just about everything so she always has at least a few ideas (I’m still learning). Mom is also great at affirmations of talent and direction. She wants to make sure her vinas are always confident  in themselves and their work; she would never insult any endeavor a vina undertakes. She has met some extraordinary people working in the creative realm and fashion industry where she has befriended many like minded individuals. She always finds an excuse to support her vinas’ passions.

When I wanted my senior pictures to be “cool and out of the ordinary,” she immediately thought of her coworker Jenna. An afternoon spent shooting in a cemetery, and they have been friends ever since. Jenna now lives about two hours away, but she frequently comes up to spend a night or two with us. She and my mom will sit for hours researching brands/publications to submit her work to and they love every minute of it.

Until you find friends who will ceaselessly have your back, don’t put too much emotional energy into the surface level friendships. Enjoy them for what they are, but save your deep down love for those soul sisters and forever vinas who are somewhere in the world waiting for you too. Likewise, don’t limit yourself to vinas only within your age group. Some of my very best friends are upwards of forty years old; they are the best listeners and mentors I could ever dream of having in my life.

(Originally posted on the VINAZINE)

CHANGING YOUR INNER DIALOGUE

I am a pretty kind and considerate vina, but not always when it comes to myself. My level of self-esteem over the years has been like that of Pacific Ocean: ebbing & flowing, climaxing & crashing.

For the sake of my own sanity, I have gotten pretty good at forgetting my appearance throughout the day. Avoiding mirrors at all costs (besides the occasional hair touch up that accompanies a fringe style cut). If I do find myself staring at my reflection, I try to say something nice.

“Your top really compliments your eyes.”
OR
“Today is going really well! Keep up the good work.”

I know it seems a little crazy to talk to yourself in the second person, but try it! It makes such a difference; a compliment directed by you and for you can really pack a punch (almost as if it was said by a stranger).

love yourself

via Imgur

If you wouldn’t hold someone else to high beauty standards, give yourself the same break. I know I’m not ugly, but only lately have I been able to accept the way I look for just that: the way I look. I try not to focus on how I could look better, and simply be happy with the way that I am. Some of the features that used to be the absolute bane of my existence are now my favorite.

 

I do feel that if I am able to ignore my own vanity, I am better situated for focusing on the important things in life. More important things like friendship, school, career positioning, etc. So when I am out of the presence of a mirror, I put all of that out of my mind.

Do you suffer from imposter syndrome? Meaning, do you feel as though you are not good enough; whether it be in terms of beauty, socializing skills, or even writing competency? Even when we should be proud of ourselves, our inner dialogue is often still pretty negative. The best thing we can do for ourselves in situations like these is to manually change the conversation in our head. Crank that positivity up until your ears start ringing.

Even supermodels have tough days. Although their “gross days” are still probably exceedingly better than our “most days.” We all [humans] have struggles with our image that we have to work through. So take notes from the best and tell yourself what you want to hear.

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via @karliekloss

Tell yourself relevant compliments, affirmations and mantras. Pick from the two examples above or the short list below, and carry it with you wherever you go. Whenever you need a little emotional pick-me-up, please refer here:

-I am a badass.
-I am an intelligent and capable person.
-I haven’t hit a wall; keep pushing through it.
-I am beautiful.
-I am stronger than I think; I can handle this.
-I will stay open-minded.
-I am worth it.
-I love you.

And if today is just really hard (maybe it’s that time of the month, or your cat died, or you are just not having it), call someone who loves you and ask them to build you up. Your mom, your bff, your fairy godmother. Their job is to tell you all of your greatest qualities, and your job is to believe them.

If you do not have a person like this, download the Hey! VINA app and start your search. Find someone who can tell you how great you are, and do the same for them.

Please, please, please be kind to yourself.

(Originally posted on the VINAZINE)