Like Leather Pants, Most Things Are Best When They Are Tight.

Call me a perfectionist. Or a workaholic. Or someone with borderline avoidant tendencies. Or someone who sublimates all of their stress and fear through constant work. None of these diagnosis would be all that far from wrong. So, naturally, I spent the weekend hunched over the lightbox, taking even more product photos for With Care. The cocktail ring photos were a little on the boring side and, honestly, you couldn’t really tell that it was a ring from looking at it.

I also added in some packaging photos because, let’s face it, my packing game is pretty tight. I don’t stay up at night wondering if my packaging is something that I’m proud of. I never ask myself, “Why am I packaging?” I love packaging. I love designing that “whole concept” thing. I really like installation art and stuff and intentional acts of place so, maybe in a weird way, the branding and packaging is my way of fulfilling the part of me that wants to explore that. I can’t even fathom what would happen if I was given a storefront (and a billion dollars so that money was no issue.)

Speaking of “tight”, that’s the goal for the year. I don’t talk about goals because A). that’s hella cheesy and 2). things change, like, constantly. So, generally, I have vague aims but few actual goals. I know the area I want to head to but I don’t establish a hard and fast plan for how the hell I’m going to get there.  This year, however, “tight” is the goal. Lots of small tweaks and changes and acts of strengthening. I’m into where With Care things are going and I am ready to attempt to bullet proof it a bit. Better pictures, better writing, better blogging and, oh, hopefully, gee golly, a website? It’s going to be like stretching a canvas or caning a chair: little things done consistently over a long period of time.

And let’s talk about long periods of time because, honestly, this is one of my first experiences working with a project that is “on-going” for over 4 years. Why 4 years? Duh, because that’s how the American public school system functions. 4 fun, easy years where everyone likes each other, 4 grueling, awful years where no one likes each other, 4 years in which you have access to a car or a friend with a car so that you can get away from everyone who hates you and, if you are lucky, 4 years to nance around accumulating dept and thinking deep, deep thoughts.

(This mention of middle school got me to thinking about the first dude that I ever had a crush on. It was in the 7th grade and his name was Mike and liking him was, ugh, probably the worst feeling in the world. It wasn’t until late high school or even early college that I was okay with having crushes on folks. I always found it really scary because it was like your mind was suddenly out of your control and it was making you have all these feelings. Ew, feelings. Anyway, I totally had it for this dude, Mike, and by “had it” I mean, I wished that he would talk to me and pay attention to me and maybe give me a little closed-mouth kiss or even just a firm hug. Really, that would have been cool. If we could hang out after school and climb trees, all the better. Of course, any time that Mike paid me any attention, I would run away. Very counter productive. I thought that he had no idea who I was and even if he did, he would find me completely, without a doubt, unlovable. But, god Liz, duh! He knew who you were and if he didn’t, he was either stupid or blind because you sat next to him in band for a whole YEAR! Sure, I was less than lovely at 13. I had long, brown hair that any metal fan would envy and my eyes had a touch of a pre-24/7-eyeglass-wearing squint. And I wore a lot of “funky” polyester button-up shirts but I think, on the whole, that I was actually not as repugnant as I steadfastly believed I was. I mean, I was just a standard-issue, dorky girl. He probably would have been way psyched that I was talking to him, had I only opened my mouth. Sorry for this aside, it’s just what happens when I spend my lunch time reading Rookie Magazine: the magazine that retroactively makes my teenage self feel like less of an awful piece of shit.)

But yes, long term goals? So quizzical. I’m learning a lot from my New Year’s Intention to learn how to exercise. Not like I am going to become a macrobiotic, juice-crazed triathlete in the near future (nor any future) but, I can’t deny that I am learning a lot. Like, tons of shitty metaphors- that’s what exercise is good for. The body just changes so slowly. I started doing little things, now I’m doing bigger things (like, over 100 leg lifts during sessions that I do leg lifts! like 50 burpees. have you ever done a burpee? they suck! but I can do them!) There are small changes in my body (like my new biceps) and my clothes are all fitting very well but, nothing is a dramatic change. Not having instant results has always screwed me over in the past. I’m not a patient person but between this and business stuff, I am trying to be. Small actions, repeated over a long period of time, will garner significant results.

In addition to tightening business and brand stuff, I’m also working to strengthen the actual products. I want to create a standard line of designs that I can always produce. That is, I am trying to fabricate things fully so that I am no longer dependent on what I can get from supplier. This means that I’ll feel much more comfortable doing consignment or wholesale orders. Ideally, I’ll have a line sheet and a website and maybe even some fancy “lookbook” style pictures by the end of the year. Oh yeah. And some awesome jewelry that I am proud to have made. The first in this series of fully-realized items was the Medusa Headband. Joining it the other night are the Feather Cufflinks, remade so that they have a full copper finish and are securely soldered so that they will last through generations of cocktail hours.

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