Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Note for My Daughters

This is for my daughters. Though they are young and can't read yet, one day they will. After the crazy mess Elize and Zara made today I tried putting Elize to take a nap. She woke up in a terrible mood just as I was ready to serve her dinner. So of course she didn't want it. She only wanted juice. Then that escalates to crying and more crying. I tell her she needs to eat her dinner and for the first time she tells me she doesn't like me, she only likes daddy. She repeats it over and over. 

I was very sad but I did the only thing I could do, I told her I loved her anyway and that I always will. And though she is only 3 now one day she and Zara will be teenagers and we'll have our differences. And even when they upset me the most, I'll still love them. I'll love them more than they'll ever know. And I say this because I know my mother loves me, but only she knows exactly how much! I'm sure I hurt her feelings when I was growing up as I too favored my father, which I now regret because I realized too late all the sacrifices my mother had made and everything that seemed unfair then makes sense now.

You can only realize this type of love after you are a parent, as a child you can never understand how much your parent loves you. When those teen years come and they think I hate them or I'm trying to ruin their life, I'll only be trying to do what's in their best interest. And I'll tell Elize and Zara the same thing I said today. That I love them anyway! 

I can lose my cool but not today!

This is what my little devils like to do when I let them play alone. If it's too quiet, it means big trouble! I can lose my cool but not today. Today I'll take a pic and make Elize put it all back. 

Every single item out of the drawers, desitin on the floor, the teddy bear and on Zara's hair. Now for the clean-up. Damn. This is simply just 1 of the many reasons I can't get anything done at home. Nope! I can't sew, make patterns, drape, nothing. 
Dios Mio!

Here I go again

Ok here we go again. Once again I'm doing research. This time trying to find a sample maker that can make quality samples and patterns without the need for production. All I want to do now is develop my collection. Today I got back in touch with a friend who will send me some contact info for a sample room he knows of here in NYC. Can't wait to get in touch with them. Yesterday I emailed a sample maker I found on craigslist but didn't get a response. So it's ok, there are plenty others. For now I'll keep developing the little black shop designs so that when I do find someone at least I can have something to develop. So here I go once again. Ok, let get going with the little black shop Nutcracker Holiday collection.


Monday, November 23, 2009


I'm hoping that 2010 will be a better year than 2009. 2009 Sucked so bad. I hope the worst is over. It's so interesting. 2009 was such a contrast to 2008. 2008 couldn't have been a better year. It was everything I had ever hoped for. My husband and I saved money, bought our first home and had our second daughter. And then came 2009 and just like that it all changed. I lost my job and almost a year later I still don't have one. 

On another note, I've been so discouraged by my stay-at-home mom blues that completely neglected my little black shop. I was supposed to contact a sample maker regarding my designs last week and I totally forgot. This morning I got to it, emailed a sketch and requested a quote for the cost of producing a sample. I hope I receive a response soon. Can't say I'm out the woods yet with the stay-at-home mom blues but I am trying. The little black shop is the only thing I have to look forward to right now to take out of this horrible situation. 

Friday, November 13, 2009

Growing Restless

I simply will not be satisfied until I can bring my designs to life. Agh I'm dying here. I keep illustrating my ideas and designing but I can't really make any of my designs at home because I have two toddlers who barely allow me to go to the bathroom. So I did research again. This time on craigslist and started looking for a seamstress that can make the pattern and some samples without the requirement for production just yet. I found a few. Next step is to go over this with my husband and see if we can do this. Right now, times are a little tough but who knows, maybe we can spend a little bit of money so I can at least start to have some samples to show. 

It's impossible for any designer to get anywhere without a line of samples. All my illustrations are simply amateur work if I don't back them  up with the real thing. I'm no fool, I know exactly is expected. Right now I'm all talk and not enough substance. But I'm so restless. Any artist that can't express their art will only feel trapped. And yet I've never considered myself an Artist but rather a Designer. Maybe now I'm slowly seeing myself as an artist instead. I have visions now with clarity of what I want. I'm confident in my vision and I believe it them. So I hope that at some point I can get this done. 

When I was working full time I was able to see my work come to life. It was the most exciting thing ever, expecting your package of samples and seeing the results. I miss that. 

One day my Little Black Shop will come to life, one day!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Nutcracker Holiday...Coming Soon

This is the beginning behind my latest idea. I need to keep the creativity going so I'm working on designing a collection based on The Nutcracker.  More coming soon.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Great Resource for mom's

Here's a great website a friend shared with me today. Simple and easy to use. Great for finding and sharing parenting advice. http://bit.ly/5f2Wk

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Best Virtual Online Makeover Website

I just needed to recommend this website to all ladies that like to play around with makeup  and stuff. This is by far the best virtual makeover website ever! Most websites I've tried before have such fake results but this one is amazing, Looks perfectly natural, and tells you what products to use by brand. Check it out.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Is it time for a new career?

I've spent some time thinking this past week that I would hate to just drift into oblivion and become a permanent stay at home mom and housewife. You know that is just not what I want for myself. I actually like earning my own money and feeling like I am making a contribution to society. Having said that I've always admired people that work in the medical field, law, and education. These are the people that have the power to affect people's lives. Working in the fashion industry is rewarding in the sense that I can have a way to express my creative ideas but you rarely get the chance to really make a difference. I guess you can also say that the world of art and music is just as important as the rest, after all what would the world be without art and music? It's what gives us inspiration towards something bigger than ourselves. 

Still, I don't want to wait around forever for the fashion industry to finally turn around. I really do want to go back to design, it's what I love but don't want to waste my time either. At some point I'll have to make a final decision. Definitely before my unemployment runs out. I've been thinking, what if I go back to school, grad school to be exact and start a new career in education? 

I would find it rewarding to work with children and teach them that they can be anything they want to be. I would like to inspire them and give them confidence. Tell them that I believe in them and that there's a whole world of opportunity waiting just for them. I feel for kids that come from broken homes or families that don't encourage their growth and education. I've seen it and it's just so sad. At any age kids need someone to look up to but I believe it has to start at a very young age. The younger the better to plant the seed in the mind that they can be anything and surpass any difficulties they may have growing up and is out of their control. 

When I was in 7th grade, I didn't know it then but I had a teacher that influenced me so much. In many ways he helped shaped the person I am today. Before he became a teacher he was an actor. One day he showed up to class and showed us a video of him in a soap opera scene with the actress from "Who's the Boss?" I forget her name but she was the blonde lady. All the students were impressed and I always wondered why would an actor go into teaching? He was a very righteous person. I remember a project he gave us to research civil rights. I did my project on the women's suffrage movement, specifically Susan B. Anthony. That project opened my eyes to realize that women deserve equal rights as men and should always be treated with the same respect. It created the feminist in me. Then there was the time someone in class used the "N" word and he just exploded and was so upset that someone would even dare use that word. He took the time to explain just what it meant and how offensive it was. He was great!

So for now I'll keep my eyes open for Fashion Design jobs. I'm not gonna give up just yet but will start my research for a career in education as a back-up. There is definitely a trade off salary wise but at this point, it doesn't even matter. I think it would be nice to have a career where you can actually make a difference in someone's life, so we'll see what happens. I'll keep you all updated of course. 

Oh and BTW I have not given up my dream for the Little Black Shop! Nope that's still a dream and maybe one day I will be able to accomplish it.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Day at the Museum

Today we had a day at the museum. The plan was to go to the Guggenheim which was celebrating it's 50th anniversary and then head over to the American Museum of Natural History but since it was the Guggenheim's 50th anniversary and the entrance was free there was huge line which I was not willing to make to get in. I should have known better so we decided to just go to the American Museum of Natural History. We saw the Journey to the Stars presentation and it was amazing. I think Elize really enjoyed, such a beautiful portrayal of the birth of our Universe and Sun, I highly recommend that you check it out. My husband Eliu tells me that they have program for kids where they can go and sleep-over with story telling and such. I'll wait until Zara is a little older so they can both participate, I can't wait, should be fun. That's it for now, hope you enjoy these pics!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Understanding men and Life as a Stay-at-Home Mom

Do all men have a vice? Is it sports for some, gambling or video games for others? Just curious I need to know. What makes men come home from a loooooooong day at work and head straight to the video game for hours? Or for instance I grew up in a neighborhood where I would get up early go to school and see the old guys setting up in front of my building to play dominos like they were still back in the Dominican Republic or something. I know some that like to spend their countless hours at golf or maybe basketball. My father loved playing pool and dancing. I don't get it. I get having a hobby and wanting to have some fun...but it goes beyond that. There's a fever burning...gotta get to the video game right away or whatever it might be. I have my own interests but I can drop anything in a hot second if my family needs me. Nothing is too important or more important that it can't wait. At what age does it end? It does end right? lol. Hmmm do I go with the flow and just let it be or bitch and complain? And where's my personal time to do my own thing? 

It took me months to get accustomed to this new life at home and I found that when I went back to work for 2 weeks outside the home for a freelance project, I missed my girls so much. I have finally become used to it and I can appreciate the time I spend with them but I remember days when I had to call my mom to pick me up so I can spend the day with her while my husband was away working. I didn't want to and couldn't be alone. I would have days that were so bad and depressing. Hating myself for not having a job and hating myself for being "fat" after having my second daughter. I'd lock myself in the bathroom and cry just so I could get it off my system and be able to proceed to change diapers or do whatever I had to. And there was the day that I was so overwhelmed with being home all day that I almost exploded on my husband but instead put on my sneakers and went out alone for a walk in the rain. How embarrassing I thought for anyone to see me and what I'd become. Of course it was all a huge exaggeration, I've learned to cut myself some slack and give myself time to get back in shape slowly at whatever pace my body requires. 

You know how it is...you go to school, graduate, work hard on developing your career, have work related activities that give you a social life and you start a family. And just like that it's gone and you're home all day with no one but an infant, a toddler and the tv. You miss the adult company and conversations. You miss getting dressed in real clothes as opposed to being in PJ's or lounge clothes all day, looking presentable.

I spend about 16 hrs a day looking after two little girls 7 days a week. Potty training, educating, preparing meals, playtime, cleaning up at home, laundry, soothing them when they are sick or hurt. I never envisioned myself as a stay at home mom but here I am now. It took me months to get used to this. I remember that I never understood when women would say "I need to find myself". I thought it was a load of crap, and just get it together....until....I found myself out of a job and home full time. What would I say if someone asked me "who are you?" My first instinct for a long time was to just say "no one" but I know that is not true. I'm still working on the proper answer to that question hmmm. 

I know that in reality there is nothing better than a child who is raised by their own parent instead of a guardian or babysitter in my case. When I worked I had a babysitter come in during my work hours and stay at my place until I got home from work. As nice as this lady was I know she wouldn't have taken the time to teach my girls the alphabet, numbers etc...Certain things that only a parent will do. She'd make sure they were fed, bathed and happy but that would be about it. So I'm still looking for a job because ultimately I believe it's the best thing for my family and I want to be more than just a mother and a wife but for now I do my very best to enjoy the time I have home with my girls who I LOVE! I try and laugh with them as much as possible, play and just hold them and enjoy them. I tell them I love them everyday and I hope they can feel it.

That's it for now

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Health Insurance

To all you unemployed parents: 
What do you do when you don't have a job to provide health insurance anymore but still have to make ends meet and pay bills? What happens when you have small children who still need regular doctor visits to keep up with vaccines and such? Do you buy it, If so from where and how much? Do you get medicaid, if so how do you qualify? Back When I was employed it was easy to pay all our bills and still have enough money for dinner and entertainment but now....you get the point. Now what?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Elize 3rd Birthday Party and Potty Training

Yesterday we celebrated Elize's 3rd birthday. It was a small party. We invited my sister who has a 4 year old and my cousin who has a 2 year old. My mom came with her step kids who are grown and my mother in law came with my husband's brother wife and 10 year old daughter. That was it! And yet it was the most hectic day ever. We woke up and went straight to cleaning up, breakfast and decorating. Party started at 4 and these little toddlers are a handful. So now I'm back to potty training and I'm about to give up. She is a 3 year old who is smart enough and understands what the toilet is. The girl is LAZY! I just can't take it. I have put so much energy into this over the last few weeks and it's not working. I'm either gonna cry or give up. Ugh don't know what else to do. I have talks with her, I show her potty training videos, I posted pictures of her around so she can see them and remind herself to go and I take her with me to the bathroom when I go. So now what?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Why a Little Black Shop

This is why...http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/04/fashion/04NITE.html?src=twt&twt=nytimesstyle
everyone is wearing black

Monday, September 21, 2009

So Ironic

I've been dying to get back to work since I was laid off in January. It took months for me to get used to being a stay at home mom with my girls. and now that I am freelancing for a few weeks I miss them terribly. I think of them all day and look forward to seeing them. It's crazy though. I don't have a set babysitter right now so I have to get up super early at 6:30 am, get ready, get the girls ready and wait for my mom to pick me up and take me to her place with the girls. Or on days like today Monday, my mother in law came over and stayed with the girls in my home.  I feel terrible having to get them up so early. Elize and Zara are usually sleeping and I hate waking them up. So peaceful in their sleep. Agh, I really do miss them. And now I'll have to work on potty training all over again. Grandma's aren't taking care of that. 

Friday, September 18, 2009

Growing up

This post is about growing up...
Not about my daughters growing up, about me growing up. A few nights ago I was watching Dream Girls on tv and you know how Jennifer Hudson can sing! The girl can sing! But anyway, lol, she was singing "I'm changing". So yesterday I was on the train, on my way to work and I thought about how in recent days I've been feeling more confident about myself. No, I haven't lost all the baby weight yet, I still have a ways to go. But I'm getting there. I think I'm in a new phase of my life and I feel like I can see my life as if it were a movie. I'm in my grown woman phase of life. No longer a school girl or recent graduate. I'm 30 years old, I'm married, I have two beautiful daughters and I own my home. So everyday is about being a provider for my kids. Life is no longer about pleasing myself and having fun. Now it's all about the girls. But more than that I'm more confident in myself. Maybe it has something to do with doing a little bit of work this week and freelancing. Getting back to work and feeling productive can also be a powerful thing. So yeah, I guess I feel more like a woman, not so much a girl. I'm still working out to stay in shape but not obsessed with getting back to my pre-mommy size, even though that would be nice. Yup I'm growing! Actually, I'm already grown :-)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mommy Shuffle

I woke up Monday morning thinking that I had to clean the condo top to bottom. Bathrooms, kitchen, laundry potty training and everything else that comes along with being a stay at home mom. It was around 9:30 am and I was having my usual morning coffee and enjoying some quiet time at home because the girls were still asleep and that is my favorite part of the day. The part where I get to enjoy a quiet cup of coffee without fuss or interruptions, just priceless. I check my email on my phone and there it was! An email from someone at my old job from where I'd been laid off from, asking if I was available for some freelance work. I was laid off due to company bankruptcy. Now they have been accquired by another company and are going through a series of changes. After 9 months, I finally got something. It's very short term but I think it's very nice that they thought of me. I can definitely use the money and it's great to get back in there and let them know that I'm still available and interested in my old job. One of the great things of working there was that I always felt that they were very family oriented. I never felt guilty about having to leave early or come in a bit late for Dr. Appts with the girls etc. It's tough to have a full time job and manage and raise kids. Anyway I immediately replied and said that I was all theirs! I got my girls ready asap and called my mother in law to watch my girls. I got ready, called the cab, dropped off the girls and I was off just like old times on the train and on my way to do some work. I arrived and everyone was just so happy to see me. Lots of hugs (tight hugs, the kind where you try to pull away and they just hug you tighter, lol). And it was nice. So for the past three days this week I've been going back to the office, helping out with their design process. Some new faces, some old faces but it felt just like old times and I was able to get right back into the design phase like I'd never left. I suppose it helps while I'm at home to continue designing, checking out trends. 

The only down side to all this has been the fact that my girls have been so sick. And now I too have the sniffles. They have had a terrible cold, throat hurts, they haven't been sleeping well neither have my husband and I. We've been so tired. Going to bed super early and waking up constantly to sooth the girls because the cry at night and can't sleep. Today they are a little better and last night they slept through the night. I just can't help but to think that it's so cruel that after so many months of looking for work, finally I get something and the girls need me the most. Hurts so bad to see them so sick and not be able to stay with them, and I have to do this. 

So tomorrow we'll be doing it all over again. Getting up early, getting the girls ready and off to my mom. I'm slowly realizing that it never gets easier. Right now my girls are little and it's tough and when they are a little older it'll be the school shuffle. Oh well. Such is life! We do it all for love. Because we love our families and our children.  That's it for now.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering 9/11

Today is the 8th anniversary of 9/11. I can't help but to think that it's unfortunate that 8 years later we still haven't progressed with the 9/11 memorial in ground zero or with construction of the new towers. I also think it's sad that so many children don't know what 9/11 is. In may cases it's not being taught in school. So much confusion and controversy over how to teach such a tragic event to young kids but I know there is a way. Just as everything else in life you start small. You start with the basic information and build on it as a child grows and becomes more prepared to understand more complex ideas. Just like teaching the birds and bees I guess, though I know many parents don't even teach that. My mom never even spoke to me about menstruation! Crazy. I'm not mad at her, she's a product of her generation and culture of how she was raised. I know today she would easily take the shirt off her back and give me everything, the most selfless woman I know. So much so that's it's a fault. But in today's world, we live in the Information age. If you don't take the first step to teach your kids the important things in life, someone else will and they might not teach them they way you would want them to know. 

Like I always say: everything in moderation, life is all about balance!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor Day Weekend

Today is do-over day at home and starting out with fresh peace of mind and focus. I need more patience to deal with my girls. I tell you, all the progress I made with the girls with sleeping and eating went out the door as soon as this both got sick last week. It's like starting all over again. And let me not forget to mention that I haven't been exercising enough and basically threw my diet out the window. So yeah, I need a do-over.

The only good thing that has come of this Labor Day weekend is that I started working on my business plan. I started doing some research and I am starting to see that yes, indeed this is most definitely a long term goal, lol. Looks like I'll be needing a lot more money than I thought for the Little Black Shop. It's ok. I could use this time to learn a thing or two about marketing, retail and fundraising before I get started. I know fashion design but I don't know the other stuff. I have ideas and a clear vision of how it should work but I need more...I need a real plan to insure that I will make a profit and succeed.

So like I said before, today is about starting over, patience and focus.


Monday, September 7, 2009

The Business Plan

Started writing my business plan. It's great because by writing it I have to start doing research and learning about certain things that I don't have experience in. My experience and strength is in fashion design but when it comes to retail management, and marketing I certainly have a lot to learn still. I'm excited and glad I finally got started on this. Again I still don't have the money but when I do having this plan will get me one step closer. So much I still need to learn but I have all the confidence that I can do this. Taking it one step at a time.


Friday, September 4, 2009

Trying to figure out what's right

I just want to acknowledge that if you read most of my posts you'll see that I have flip flopped a bit on some ideas. I'm not doing it on purpose, I'm just trying to figure out what's best in the end.
That's it.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Little Black Shop

Finally I have the perfect vision for what I want. Notice I have also changed the name of this blog from Starting my own Fashion Line to Little Black Shop. I got this idea yesterday for a boutique called the Little Black Shop. I want to design a line inspired by Chanel's "little black dress". It would be a line designed once or twice a year only. Small production. Designed all in black, grey's and charcoals. It's NYC and people here wear black all year round. The "little black dress" has become a staple of every woman's closet so I can't really go wrong. While the line is inspired by the little black dress, I plan on designing more of a collection, pants, dresses tops, outerwear, skirts etc. The other idea that goes along with this is that I would offer a series of fabrics in different, colors, textures, and prints that customers can choose to customize their outfits. They would be able to choose from one of the existing designs and have their order customized in just a few short weeks. I want to develop this idea the same way that Room and Boad (furniture company) does theirs. I want the boutique and e-commerce.

In other news...I went downtown yesterday to buy fabric. I didn't know what I was going to make but I had an idea for fabric. I was so inspired by Elie Saab's collection that I wanted to find an ivory cloth with texture and make something. Well I didn't find what I was looking for in ivory but I found it in black. I bought the fabric and started sketching a bit in my book. I think it was this that inspired the little black shop idea. So I already have the design I am making, I'm super excited.
My sister also wants me to make her a dress she saw in a magazine, so I'm gonna do that also. Also gonna start designing the little black shop line. So excited...now don't steal my idea ;-).


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New Project

This is my latest project...just some freehand draping, inspired by Elie Saab. Don't know how I'll finish it yet but here it is.

Elie Saab Fall'09 Couture Collection

I'd wear this one.
Just beautiful and exactly what I needed to see. I have to admit I'm a little jealous of these couture designers that can do this type of work. It's so amazing and never fails to inspire. Plan today is to drape once Zara takes her nap later on. Also planning on moving on to design some fall items. So glad to get of the "dumps" and back into my thing. Alright pics coming later but for now check out Elie Saab's Fall'09 Couture collection, you'll love it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bad News and Good News

Today I had some discouraging news and some inspirational news regarding what's going on in the job market. I was chatting with a former co-worker today vias Facebook and unfortunately he along with 2 others were also laid off from the company we worked at. This is just terrible, more people are unemployed now and I hope he and the others find something soon. I had hopes that the company would start to do better and start hiring again so that maybe I could get my job back (wishful thinking I guess). From that news I received an email from the Bryant Park Group with regards to one of the members. This member joined the group a year ago and has finally received a job offer and accepted. I should mention though that this job offer is a relocation! That's pretty much how it is now. Most job opportunities are out of state and that is not an option for me. But I'm happy for her and it was great to read her story because I can relate to her in so many ways. I can relate to her looking eagerly, at first, putting her self on all relevant job websites, meeting with recruiters and being aggressive. Then slowly drifting into the jobless lifestyle, thinking about a new career and going on interviews that lead no-where. Somehow she was able to pick up, re-energize and reaching out to old contacts. I tried that week. I reached out to former companies that I freelanced with and advised I was available. Some of the contacts were no longer with the company and 1 replied but said he didn't need any freelance at the moment. Oh well, the search continues...
Meanwhile, I don't know what to do with the whole business thing. I'm not very motivated. I didn't think it would take this long to find a job and I realize it will take longer, at least a year it seems, maybe more. I'm not giving up, just re-evaluating and putting it all into perspective. Thinking on how to design a line that is special and different from the rest and thinking on how to make the line represent me and my values.
I realize that lately this blog has become more about my job search and less about my designs but it's all related really. Can't have one without the other.

That's it for now...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Random Things (Mostly Negative - Sorry but It's Real)

Summer is coming to an end.
Time to focus again. Kids go back to school.
Grown-ups get back to work.
The depression is kicking in now.
I keep getting calls for freelance that lead no-where.
I haven't had an interview for a full time position in ages.
My girls don't have health coverage and it scares me.
I'm ready to cut the cable and get the HD Antenna.
I'm ready to cut the home phone and keep the cell.
Girls need clothes.
Savings is getting low.
I emailed all the companies I freelanced for in the past and gave them my info to contact me incase they need any additional help.
HS Classmate has launched her own line (I wouldn't have expected any less she's brilliant)
Former colleague launched his own line (He's super smart)
Should I just get into some other field of work? Maybe there's other things I can do
Summer has been great.
How long am I supposed to stay optimistic for? Tyler Perry persisted for about 15 yrs approx, before he was successful, was even homeless.
Lucky to have 2 healthy beautiful girls, a home and great husband. (Let's not forget my mom too, she's great)
Don't really want to be a Stay at Home Mom or House Wife, I'd rather be a working mom.
I want to set an example to my girls that women are more than just mothers and wives, and that they have real contributions they can make to society.
I don't know that's it for now. I might edit this later cause I don't think I should even publish it.

Friday, August 7, 2009

New Strategy for Finding Work

As I've said before, finding a job is the key to my success. I'm glad the government has extended unemployment benefits but I don't want to have to depend on that. I would much rather have my work income, it's more money and I can get back on track with my personal and family goals.

Sometime ago I saw on the news a report about unemployment, who is unemployed, how it's affected them and what some are doing about it. In that segment they featured a Fashion Designer who was out of work and a bit stressed about it. They featured a woman who decided to intern again so she can start-over again, a young man who decided to take a job for a lot less money than he was making before and a man who was used to working at an Executive level who was now working janitorial jobs. I thought that was so interesting. What I realize is that the longer you are without a job the less demanding and more flexible you become. I am a member of the Bryant Park Group. A group of fashion industry professionals who have all been laid off from work. It's amazing. There must be at least 100 members and I can safely say that all of them without question are an impressive group of professionals who are all experts at something. Some of the members I've met I admire, and I think "wow now she seems really smart, how come she still doesn't have a job?". Outgoing, resourceful, professional and smart. Yeah, some of them have been unemployed for 1 year to 1 1/2 years, now contemplating their next move and should they relocate, and how are they going to pay their next mortgage or rent. And there are others that are slowing drifting and starting to get used to just some time for themselves, and do whatever they want when they want. Maybe some yoga in the morning or travel a bit, yeah I guess that sounds nice but that's not my situation. I need and want to work.

So now I'm thinking about contacting some of my favorite fashion companies and offering to work 6 months for free, just volunteer. For instance. I've worked for 8 years in the menswear industry but I'd like to branch out and work in the women's industry as well. No company will hire me for women's design because I don't have that experience even if I can sketch up some nice designs for women. Unless they get to work with me and experience my work ethic and dedication they'll never know. So I figure I can volunteer, set my own terms like hours and what I want to get out of it. I can probably work a 10-4 M-F schedule or whatever for free in exchange for assisting in anything necessary within the women's design department and participating in all fit sessions, line presentation meetings, participation in line preparation, colors, research etc... I can help them out with their tech packs, presentation materials, ANYTHING. The goal is to gain a new work experience that I might not be able to get hired for and branch out into other areas so I have more options for employment. And you never know. I've freelanced many times doing basic design work and more often than not I've received countless job offers for more advanced positions, but that was then..., and this is now. I haven't been able to freelance since being laid off, thus my new approach.

Ok so what do you think? I'm also thinking about getting back in touch with my former employer and seeing what their status is and if they would be willing to re-hire me. Hey you never know! In addition, I emailed Gen Art and replied to their ad for volunteers during this September's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. I hope they call back. Overall I think this is a good plan because it's better than not doing anything (not that I'm not doing anything, I'm raising my daughters) but at least it'll keep me in the Fashion Industry and who knows what other doors will open up for me. This plan does require a bit of letting go of pride and ego but sometimes you have to be willing and able to recognize when you are down and get back up. I'm not too proud (anymore), it's ok. This plan also has it's challenges, like childcare. The fact that I won't have paid job means I can't re-hire my babysitter to take care of my girls while I'm not home. She used to come early in the morning before I left and would leave my home when my husband or I arrived home. It worked out great. I would have to figure out how to get my two girls out early in the morning and take them to my mother who would hopefully agree to watch them. Agh, lets see what happens.


Friday, July 31, 2009

Will the fashion industry ever embrace technology?

I love technology, ways to make work faster, more efficient and accurate. Yesterday I attended a seminar from a company named Tukatech. They specialize in various products all aimed at making the design, production and retail process more streamlined and integrated. But there is so much resistance in the fashion industry to move forward with technology. Companies will claim they simply don't have the money to afford the equipment and software and Designers and Patternamakers will claim that designing and pattern making by hand is an art, and it is. I won't argue with that but who says you can't create art in the computer? And putting art aside, when you work for a company sometimes it's about the bottom line, making a profit. So why so much resistance from fashion when all other industries have already move on and arrived at the future?

Their presentation was great. They offer a similar program to what is already out there for tech pack management and pattern making but where they really stand out is with their 3D software. They have created a way to scan fabric and demo how a pattern will fit before it is actually sewn by a sample maker, there by eliminating any extra steps in the fitting process. The program is called e-fit Simulator. You can scan in your model and do a virtual fitting session, see how the fabric drapes and how the pattern fits before you ever have to sew it.

Even better still is the future of web-retail. Although they don't have customers yet for this technology it is amazing to see just how far they can go. They are working on a way that customers can go to their favorite retail store and scan their own body. Your body would be uploaded to system and when you are home you can shop virtually, try on clothes and create your "closet". Try on new items with others that you have already purchased and so on... I'd like to see this made available asap. I just love it.

I'm glad I was able to attend this presentation and stay on top of the latest that is available in the fashion world. Very dope!


Men's Fall'09 Trends

Ok so finally yesterday my husband and I went to Bergdorf and Bloomingdales to check out what Designers are offering men for Fall '09. I wanted to go to Barney's Co-op as well but my time was limited. Anyway I was disappointed that the offering for men is so small. These stores have so little space dedicated to menswear that sometimes it seems like it's all the same. I wanted to find more variety and interesting things. The obvious was all the purple out there. Armani, Ralph Lauren and Loro Pinana among others are doing purple. I think this is the 2nd year already that purple is still a trend and I'm ready to move on from it. Maybe it's because I already knew a year from know that Designers would be doing it based from the color forecasting sessions I'd attend but yea, I'm ready to move on from Purple. Also I liked the Ralph Lauren Collection. Similar to the women's collection in color, a lot of khaki and black but this time for men it was all about the the motorcycle rider ( I bet there's a cooler term I'm supposed to use for them). But it was cool because it was different from everything else out there, edgy. You know, they did the padding and stuff, even the pants were cool. The Loro Piana Collection in Bergdorf was beautiful as always but I couldn't photograph it. I had to sneak around taking pictures and they caught me, so I had to stop, lol. Oh well. Check out the website to see all pictures related and feel free to comment.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Today I updated my website with pictures taken from my little Trip to Bloomingdales. All I did was take pictures of things I liked or found interesting. Once I put it on my website I realized just how important that was. Going out, checking out what's in stores, staying in the loop of Fashion until I find a job. And at the same time it eliminates the awkwardness of when I'm at an interview and I'm asked "Sooo, what have you been doing during the past couple of months?". The obvious answer would be "looking for a job dummy" but at least now I can say "well I'm still staying on top of the latest trends by checking out the stores and the Designers, updating my website with my designs and Illustrations" etc...

So the plan is to go either tomorrow or Thursday and do 'Part Deux' of my shopping trip. This time for Men. This will be an on-going thing every season for both Men and Women. And of course I know this is something every Designer must do regardless but people really do take for granted how hard it is to raise small children. I've got two small girls under the age of 3 where most people in the Fashion Industry are single or don't have kids. It's a different lifestyle. They get to go out for drinks or to the gym or whatever. When the clock strikes 5 or 6 at the latest you bet I have to rush home from work cause the babysitter needs to leave.

I'm constantly pushing myself to do things and stay busy aside from the work of raising my girls. During the last three days I've been challenging myself to try and run/jog/walk in the morning. Of course this means I have to do it with the girls. Get up early, change them, feed, then I get ready, set up the stroller and off I go with two girls, 1 stroller and away we go!

Tomorrow will be another day. I'll do my best to stay focused and motivated. I truly believe that when you look good you feel good. Feeling good can come in different forms, can be clothing that makes you feel good or your health. If you're feeling sad, get your hair done, make-up, nails, brows and feel the difference! It's easy to fall in a rut when everyday is the same, monotony isn't good. There's a saying, let's see if I get it right, "If you do everything the same every time, the result will always be the same" something like that. I think it's true, so I strive for change when I don't like the results I'm getting.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Reversible Jacket

This is a reversible Jacket. I see this in a techy fabric, really modern. Reversible from Navy to Pink with Shawl Collar and leather ties at the waist. I've done reversible jackets and coats before and I think they're fun. So here it is :-)
I know I'd wear it.

Need Motivation and Focus

This might be a long one...here goes!
It's been a while since I've written anything or even updated my website with new stuff. Basically the way it goes is that if you see me disappear for a few days or week or two it means I'm lacking motivation for a number of reasons. Could be that I'm frustrated with my job search because it's now been 7 months of unemployment and finding a job is the solution to all my dreams and aspirations. It could be that I am am upset about not losing the baby weight. I've had two kids and I'm not one of the lucky few that just lose it naturally, I have to work hard at it everyday, give up food that I love and try to get myself to the gym 1-2 a week. Though it's not enough it's all the time I have available to workout because of child care issues. Or Maybe I'm unmotivated because all I want to do is launch my line, have my money, set-up the tech packs, send it to a factory, source the fabric and just GO! GET IT DONE, RUN WITH IT!

But I can't :-(. So what am I supposed to do? If you notice it's been a while since I have even posted any new designs. Doesn't mean I haven't been sketching in my book, just means I haven't been motivated enough to design it in Illustrator. The last two evenings, I've been watching "Black in America" on CNN. And it was great. It was inspirational and motivating. What sticks out on my mind the most at this moment was the part about Tyler Perry. Maybe his story was the one that relates to me the most. He spent a long time being homeless but he never gave up on his dream. He saved money and rented a theater, produced a play and it failed terribly. But he didn't give up. I think in order for me to succeed I have to be able to be persistent, go for it and be prepared to fail and get back up again, learning from mistakes. I always knew that's what it takes to make it but now I "see it" clearly. Before although I knew that's what it took I wasn't ready to tell myself, "hey maybe you'll fail and that's ok, try again". Now I am prepared and I understand. I am ready to do what is necessary, work hard and hopefully succeed. But if I do fail and I am prepared to put it all on the line and try again.

So I'm gonna get back to designing my line. I still believe in it and I think the designs are coming out great. One thing I need to work on is selling myself. I need to work on being able to meet someone, and tell them about myself and my line and why I think it's great. I'm not there yet.

This line will be a long work in progress. Losing my job has been such a set-back. I have to pay off some debt and take care of some personal needs. Ok the truth is that yes I have to pay down my debt but I need a vacation, it's been 2 1/2 years and I'm a little mentally exhausted. I figure if I'm gonna blog I might as well be honest otherwise what's the point, lol.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sewing Skills

Turns out that my sewing skills are not so rusty after all! I still have it, lol. I was able to work on the top of the lavender dress today and it went pretty well. Tomorrow I hope to work on the skirt and finish it off by Sunday. Everything takes twice as long when you have kids :-/.
The deal with the lavender dress is that I didn't plan it. All I did was go to the fabric store, and look randomly for fabric that inspired me. I went home and started playing with the fabric and molding it into something I like and that is how I came up with the design for the lavender dress. Because I didn't sketch it or plan for it in advance I've had to work a little backwards to finish it. What this all means to me is that I'll be able to accomplish quite a lot when my slopers are done. If this experience is going so well with a garment I didn't plan ahead for then making the samples from my line shouldn't really be a problem.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Making Samples

The last time I did any sort of pattern making was in 2001 my last year in college. So I decided that since I don't have a job and I do want to make samples of my designs I should start making my own patterns. I wish I had the money to go ahead and work with a factory and have wonderful older ladies with 20 years+ experience working on my designs but.......I don't. It went really well. I drafted the slopers for the front and back bodice and front and back skirt. I still need to draft slopers for a dress, sleeve and likewise for knits. I won't say that it was fun, but I will say that it felt good to draft again.

Overall I feel more connected to the world of fashion now than I ever did when I was working full time, strange but true. I guess it's because now I have time to enjoy it, time to check out the latest runway shows (online of course) and time to read the reviews, trends and check out stores. I definitely didn't have time for all this when I worked full time. Between meeting deadlines and rushing home before the babysitter had to leave I barely had time to take a deep breath and relax. Now I can, with the help of my mother that is lol...

So the plan now is to just make some of the samples myself. The down side is that they might not come out perfect...hey I make mistakes. I hate zippers and I go nuts when seams don't match. The up side is that I can save on money and get this line development thing started somehow. I hate it when people ask to see samples and I don't have any. What kind of a designer am I anyway? Anyway, I'm hoping to change all that now. I promise pictures will be added very soon. I'm anxious to make my sexy racer back dress (see it on my website http://www.alexandrastyle.com).

Friday, July 3, 2009

Friends and Family

I'm always amazed at how incredibly lucky I am to have such supportive family and friends. They are the the key to my success! I bet I could design a dress made of a garbage bag and they'd tell me it was the best dress they'd ever see. I'm I really that talented or just that lucky?

Last night I was up at 2:30 am feeding my 10 month old baby Zara. She fell asleep right after her feeding but I was left tossing and turning in bed. Still inspired by my day at Bloomingdales with by husband, I picked up my new sketch pad by my bedside and started sketching. I had such a rush of ideas I couldn't wait any longer.

I seriously need to give this all I got because I think I'll never live a happy life if I don't at least try. I can visualize a small design studio or store, even what the website can be like. I'm just ready to give this my 1000% to make it a success.

Today I'm calling the seamstress, hopefully she'll want to work with me and I'll head downtown to buy fabric and get her started making my samples asap.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

What to name my line?

What do I call my line. This week I have seen two new businesses start up with great names that are simple and speak in very simple terms what the product is about.

Ok so what should be the name of my business? Well for starters the line if for me. It's a line that I'd wear to work, wear out at night to dinner or social gathering, corporate dinner etc...

Who am I, I'm a Modern Latina! I was born and raised here in NYC by my family who instilled in me first and formost my Dominican Culture. So the line is Modern but I'm also using bright and tropical colors in the line. Living in NYC it's so easy to get caught up in Black and Neutral colors that it's refreshing to see women wear clothes that are bright and make you feel happy.

Ok that's a start, Modern Latina....I'm not saying that's the name of the line but I need to elaborate and continue brainstorming along those lines.

New Ideas and Motivation

Today was a good day. I managed to get myself motivated and went to Bloomingdales to check out what's out there. I had a great time and I feel refreshed with new ideas. The plan now to is to call the sample maker I recently met and start making my samples. Tomorrow morning I'll call her to make sure we are all o.k to get started and from there I'll go buy fabric and hopefully meet with her asap.

Although I don't have the money yet to commit to working with a factory and making bulk production, I'm hoping that by developing these samples I can go back to the GIDC and get some feed back. Also I'd like to enter the Designer contest with Gen Art for emerging Designers. I need to get my line out there!

Ok, that's it for now. I'm about to sketch all my new ideas before they disappear, I'll post them tomorrow.


Monday, June 29, 2009

Good Examples

So today I found out that a former collogue from work has started his own line of hats. This is the perfect example of how someone starts with just one idea and expands and grows. He as a Design director of a very cool brand partnered up with his former sales person and will now have the line in Bergdof Goodman. I'm very excited for him and I know for sure they will do great.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Weekend

What a weekend! Wooh! Farrah, Micheal, and even Billy Mays. I'll just say I want to live long enough to see my daughters grow up and lead happy and successful lives. Hard to design with thoughts of Michael Jackson and all the media honoring him.

On a lighter note, I made a great business connection on Saturday. I was sitting in McDonalds waiting for my husband and I overhead the conversation of two ladies sitting behind me. I guess they were having a little business meeting there. Basically a sample maker with at least 32 years experience who is now retired but does still do some work from home. From listening to her conversation it seemed she was totally legit and knew what she was doing. I waited until they're meeting was finished and asked if the sample maker would take some time to sit with me and talk. I have her number and looks like I got myself a sample maker to start developing my line.

I'm excited

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Scoop Neck Dress

I love the lines on this dress, just the right amount of sophisticated and sexy. Oversized side pockets and racer back. This is definitely for the woman who loves her curves.
Click on the picture to enlarge and view details.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Easy Tee

I don't think you can go wrong with a an easy tee. In a great mercerized cotton with just the right amount of sheen to it and feminine sleeves. Pair it with sexy flat front pants with a pin tuck down the center.

Accessorized with a skinny belt inspired by the little bow that you often found on Jackie Kennedy's dresses and outfits that brings just a hint of color.

To work, wear with a blazer or cropped jacket, evening remove the jacket and add great jewelry.

Till tomorrow

Silk Blouse

Silk Blouse with contrast band on neckline, plunging v-back, wide sash.

Real Design

There are many things to consider when creating a collection. It's one thing when you work for a major company and another when you are trying to start your own with very limited sources. Having said that one of the things that I have to consider is that I have to limit my fabric choices and colors for my line and maximize it's use. There are several fabrics I have in mind, Cotton/Silk (Sateen Finish) for skirts and dresses, Mercerized Jersey for Knit Tops and 100% Silk for Blouses and Cotton-Linen for Outerwear.

Basic Design elements will consist of banded tops, you will see the V-shape making a presence through out the line in various forms, clean lines, and color! It's my way of merging the some elements of Japanese Design Influence with Jackie's Classic Style. I bet that sounds weird, lol but again I just love the beauty of clean lines and the simplicity that makes a woman's figure look that much better. It's not complicated and I love that. I'm gonna give it a shot!

When I visited the GIDC's showroom I noticed that the Designers had chosen l a lot of black. I know it's NYC and all but color was missing! I want to draw attention to my line through beautiful color and taking the advice of the GIDC I am focusing narrowly so I have chosen only four colors: Ivory, Yellow, Pink and Navy.

It's looking as though I would like to launch this for Spring '11. To me this is all very real, for real women with the purpose of actually making even a little bit of money so I can launch a second season. If I wouldn't wear it, it's not gonna be on the line.

This is a collection meant to be worn, not just admired! It's not a sculpture it's clothing for real women.

Check back soon for more design updates

Design Development

Full Zip Dress banded neckline, with darts, converting to quarter top pockets, slim belt with bow. Thinking about Cotton/Silk or 100% Cotton Sateen.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Drawing Inspiration

I love the classic and impeccable style of Jackie Kennedy during her days as First Lady. Her style was so classic and beautiful it stands the test of time. And let's not forget Oleg Cassini who was the brilliant Designer behind her great style. This is my inspiration for the day.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Changes Made

Changed my mind about the top design...no longer a v-neck.
Which one should I keep? The one on the left or the one on the right?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Finding Inspiration

Just reviewed the Elie Saab collection for Spring/Summer 2009 and WOW!

I know, I know I'm late but so what...

Why in the world did I miss this before? It's masterfully designed with Japanese influence...

Love it!!!

Supplementing the line

I think I need to supplement the line the line with either cardigans or jackets?

Any thoughts?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My first design in 8 years

Well it’s not finished but looks pretty good...at least I think so.

I haven't sewn anything since I graduated college in 2001 so I'm pretty happy with how this is turning out. I think I'll aim to make a new design each week.

100% Linen - Lilac

And what about the skirt?

Well the back is definately low

High neckline or low?

Blank Canvas

What shall I do?