Please Support Your Girl!
Hello friends, family, and supporters of Silently Loud (my handmade and rare finds shop).
Silently Loud came to me in a daydream.
Although I’ve been sewing for as long as I can remember, my relationship with sewing has always been complicated. Fashion has always been my first love but life doesn’t always allow us to do what we love.
I started my first “business” when I was nine years old.
I am now 26 and have a real business.
If you know me pretty well, then you know that every summer I make my way up to Brooklyn, NY for AfroPunk (a music festival in Commodore Park)
A good friend of mine gave me the courage to finally, finally, FINALLY sign up to be a vendor. And of all the thousands of applications they have received, I have been selected!
This is absolutely amazing and will be HUGE for Silently Loud.
Your girl is BOSSING UP.
I need your help.
This will not be a cheap or easy venture but I’m totally prepared for the challenge. Asking for donations is challenging in itself but is very necessary in order for me to be successful. Whatever you can donate will be greatly appreciated no matter how large or small.
All monies will be going towards the cost of my vending space, food, room, board, and travel.
Thank you for believing in me.
Most recently, I decided to join Philly Art Collective.
The idea of the group is to be able to raise and uplift local artist and give opportunities to be seen.
This is my second time working as a vendor and I did just as well as my very first time but there is a specific moment that absolutely left me shooketh.
When I got to the event I wasn’t really sure what to expect seeing as my last event totally surprised me. Once the event began to take off, some of the other artists were coming to my table to check me out. There was one girl in particular that really admired my items but said that she had no money and that she was disappointed. I politely chatted her up anyway, exchanged information, and eventually, she kept moving. Later in the night, she came back with a friend who clearly had a lot of money to spend. The young lady pretty much bought some of everything on the table including two bags. I was absolutely floored and scared shitless at the idea of someone buying so many items. In a state of panic I blurted out the wrong price of one of the bags she inquired about and ended up selling it to her for almost $20 lower than I intended. The amount of sadness that came over me and also internal embarrassment is something I haven’t felt before. There’s a part of me that knows that I struggle with charging what my items are actually worth and being at the Mercy of making a sale. The idea that she would actually like some of my major items enough to have her friend buy them for her absolutely scared me to the point that I gave an unnecessary discount that she didn’t even know she was getting.
I’ve got to be more accountable to myself.
What’s the lesson in this and how can we all learn?:
Practice confidence! Yes, easier said but is soooooooo necessary.
Fake that confidence until you feel confident! I’m learning more that “fake it until you make” it isn’t just some cliché ass thing that people say just to hear the sound of their own voices. It’s actually super relevant and keeps showing itself with every new step that I take within my business.
Solution to avoid accidental undercutting:
Price tags on my items from now on!
Having an actual price tag on my handbags will not only keep me accountable to myself and keep me from cutting deals or making panic sales but will also show the confidence that I have in my work and my worth.
I’m not perfect but I’m learning.
This is an ADVENTURE.
This past Sunday was my very first time working as a vendor for Silently Loud.
I only had two weeks to prepare as I only got accepted to work the poetry event Voices in Power about 2 1/2 weeks out. Preparing the items I was going to sell wasn’t too hard considering I’ve been working on putting items together for my relaunch (which by the way is taking a little longer than I originally scheduled).
On the way to the event, I admittedly found myself in a wave of self-doubt and fear. I kept saying to myself and to my best friend who was there to help me that this would be a “learning experience” and that it’s not a big deal “if no one buys anything”. I convinced myself of all of this to save myself from potential embarrassment. Just like in the beginning when I first started sewing handbags, I kept saying to myself this might end up being stupid and people will probably think it’s dumb.
I was wrong then, and I shortly realized this weekend that I was wrong to think that people wouldn’t see what I see in my shop. The open mic night showed me so much love as did the many customers I had throughout the event. I got 1,000,001 questions, people were interested in my business cards and my website, and the earrings and even my bags were literally flying off the table. At one point we were swarmed with customers.
It was great.
People want to see more for me and I can’t wait to give it to them. I will say that this was definitely a learning experience. I’ll be back with another blog post about that specifically.
For those who are still following this blog, holding me down on Instagram and Facebook. I just want to say thank you so much for supporting me and being patient with my relaunch. It’s been a little challenging as I have a full-time job being a community organizer.
My heart feels so full right now with the love of everyone supporting me and Silently
Polka-Dots and Stripes Y’all
Update video about my MIA in 2017! What is to come in the new year 2018, makings difficult business choices when there is a greater need to put food on the table.