Day 11 Fashions Ugly Side

Sitting in carpool line looking at crumbs, goo, and takeout cups with the favorite Bugs & Slugs blaring on the CD player, a little voice calls from the next row: “Mom, I don’t want to hear the Ninja Song, I want to hear the Cheese dip song!” I find the Cheese Dip Song and get back to my customer follow-up on my phone. Moments later the same little voice sprouts up: “well now Mom, I am hungry.” I quickly glance around to see if anyone happened to leave a mint, gummy bunny or rogue sucker. No such luck. “That’s ok Mom, I found a French fries in my booster.” (insert face palm) Who knows how long that’s been there. By the time I get back to my work, my phone has shut down, the Ninja Song is back on and I look up to a space of three car lengths between me and then next mom in the queue … thankfully no one is beeping just yet. This is the moment when I think “wow, I really did not picture life like this.”

If I had stayed in fashion (I was not really interested in continuing to design) I wanted to be president of the division or eventually CEO. Yeah yeah, I know, you’re thinking, “wow Kimberli … aim high much?” Nothing like some unrealistic expectations. Sometimes catastrophic events can do something to your trajectory: after 9/11, Teva Guy (by this time my husband of 3 months) and I decided NYC was not where we wanted to be (FYI-He never wanted to stay). And he was not Teva Guy anymore: I got him some cool slides, so now we will call him Tim. Away we moved to the Fashion Black Hole known as Washington DC. I attempted a few months of commuting on weekends, but a long distance relationship just was not in the cards so the fashion industry and I had a nasty break-up. It was classic for fashion: people trying to get me out because they knew I could not commute forever, other people trying to frame me, and get me fired (because they wanted their bestie in my role). Hmmm, it was almost like discrimination for getting married.

Behind the glitz and glamour of fashion, there is backstabbing, lying, cheating and basically the kill-or-be-killed mentality if someone wants your job … or basically any reason at all. Not joking, I got fired once because the CEO did not like my haircut (or so she said). But in reality, my boss was going to get fired so she threw me and my entire department under the bus, and you guessed it: the entire department got fired. A friend called me three years later to ask if I was happy that the CEO – the one who screamed at me and my team, verbally berating everything from my hair cut to the way I stood – got fired, with no severance and her contact voided. Actually, I was sad for her: evil never ultimately triumphs over good.

When we got to DC, I quickly noticed the fashion void as well as the change in social small talk. NYC was “so, what do you do?” within 5 seconds of meeting someone. DC was, “where did you go to school?” Believe me, my answer of Parsons School of Design with a BFA in Fashion was not impressive to the average DC social climber. After escaping fashion (which always threatens to pull you back in, by the way), I spent a few years working in Interior Design, flexing my entrepreneurial muscle as well as taking a turn working for a big company.

When we found out we were having a little girl, I went into my own little fantasy land in preparation, hand painting furniture, sewing crib bedding and window treatments out of French silk, and of course outfitting her perfect closet. I was determined not to have her wear onesies in public or have any unmatched plastic toys. You laugh because you know that lasted all of about two days after we got home from the hospital, because with the stress of being a new mom I threw fashion and style to the wind at least until the Mommy Fog lifted at around 4 months. Around that time, I started to plot my next work venture. That in turn led to the next 11 years of journaling business plans, commissioned fashion work, home staging, painting furniture and driving my banker husband crazy with all my scheming on how to do it all! Three months short of 11 years I brought Tim a plan he acquiesced to, and I was off with a bang. I put the same grit and determination that got me through 12 1/2 years in NYC, duking it out in the fashion industry into my home-based business. My skin- care business was a huge success right 0ut of the gate and for me it really is about not missing a moment of these sweet kids’ live. The creative outlet has come through my blog Momvelous

With one child in middle school, one in elementary and one in preschool I am not exactly in the clear as far as luxury time. I still attempt dressing super cool sometimes (not during my fashion experiment), though I have given up on trying to convince my kids what looks good. They’ll have to learn through osmosis. I honestly have loved not having to think about what to wear: just throwing it on and going. Freeing up the brain space is huge, and I don’t feel like I have to apologize all the time for wearing workout clothes, or feel less confident. Feeling super comfy in workout clothes actually does lead my mind down bad paths of less confidence, feeling big, knowing I don’t look my best and it is just a mindset of laziness for me. I was putting away laundry today (yes the stack has been on my dresser for a week), and as I put away all the super comfy clothes I would put on to run carpool, sit on the playground with the kids, run to Target … feelings came flooding back to me: in the not-so-flattering leggings I always felt fat; in the big cover-up tees and tops I felt slouchy and lazy (even though I always attempted to look nice and put together with a cute scarf or necklace). It was more that feeling and thought in the back of my head that said, “girl, you might feel comfy but you look like a slob!”

So in a nutshell, this week I am loving the ease of my static wardrobe and not feeling like such a slob.  Transitioning between video conference calls and mom life has been a breeze . From Louboutin to leggings, somewhere there is peace in the middle … and the cheese dip song.

If your interested in purchasing any of the illustrations you see on my blog, check our my etsy store

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