Everyday I ask the Universe an epic question “What would it take” and fill in the blank with what I want and need. Then for good measure I add two additional phrases to my daily prayer… “to have everything in my life exceed my expectations” and “be more than I think I deserve”. I bless my enemies, ask for my family and friends’ needs to be met and go about my day. This week has delivered so much, I wonder how anything more could top it!
On Sunday I appeared upon the front page of my hometown newspaper. The response has been overwhelming. I received requests for additional interviews with teachers, emails from student, friends and family I hadn’t talked to in years! The response was far beyond anything I expected. It exceeded my expectations.
On Monday I got a call from my childhood friend, Travis Birt from back home in Frewsburg, NY. He too had moved to Florida years ago and we found each other on Facebook. Recently he and his girl of 19 years decided to finally get married. My wedding gift to them was to provide all the alterations to his fiancé Emily’s dress and make them a tie dye (their favorite color) garter, one to keep and one to throw!
Travis begins to explain when all this media attention started to hit me he remembered a conversation we had a while back about the domain name Psycho Seamstress. He knew I needed a website and had build a free one under wix, but still needed a real one under my own domain name. He said when he checked to see if I had at least secured the domain name, he saw I did not own it, so he and Em decided to buy it for me and set it up on his server. OMG, I was so grateful for this unexpected act of random kindness! I explained to Travis, that earlier last week I was so busy, I had our schoolmate Julie Johnson go online to purchase the domain name. Apparently it did not go thru! This was the second time I tried to use DotEasy.com to by a domain name and had it failed to go through!!!! WTF! I am not using them anymore!
I was so relieved to find Travis had my back! He spent the next day transferring all my content over to the new site and got me up and running in no time flat! (Travis and Emily Birt are my IT and web development source if you need somebody awesome!)
After we discussed the web stuff, I told Travis I was looking for help writing my business plan and asked him if he had any advise. He said one thing, “don’t depend on anybody but yourself!” He went on to explain that he had repeatedly hired and trained people to do IT work only to find that they would take everything he worked so hard to teach them and then leave him for a better paying job with someone else! I laughed and explained that was what I WANTED to happen!!!! I want to teach people everything I know, then let them go!!! We agreed there was a huge difference between the IT world and the Fashion World!!!
On Tuesday, I set up a Dropbox folder for a band called “Ornimental” out of south Florida and uploaded a bunch of ideas that fit a “southern metal” band feel I had earlier discussed with their management over the phone. When I asked Mariella Nelson of Evolution Artist Agency, how she heard about me, she said she was asking around about a seamstress for a band image makeover and heard about me from more than one source, then found my Psycho Seamstress page on Facebook. Cool, more free advertising that works! We tried to connect earlier in May, but we were both so busy with shows, we kept missing each other. As soon as she saw what I proposed in the DropBox folder, she knew the band would love it and asked for an invoice so she would send me a deposit.
On Wednesday, I met with a competition dance studio, who found my ad on Craigslist. We’d been playing phone tag for weeks. I drove out to her studio and looked over a rack of beautifully made costumes by a seamstress they’d been using for years. Her seamstress was getting a bit overwhelmed with some of the crazy designs the creative owner wanted that were a little more complicated and above and beyond a normal costume style and garment fabrication. In addition, she explained they go out of town to find unique fabrics in an effort to set them selves apart from other locals. She explained her dancers were good, just like everyone else’s, but they had become known for rolling up to competition with a 53′ tractor trailer full of custom made set pieces and incorporating some out of the box components into their show, that was beginning to set them apart. She wanted show stopping, jaw dropping costumes and unique concepts to take to the competition dance world and blow the other dance companies off the stage. I think I got this!
When I started telling her about some of the hi tech fabrics and costume designs I saw on Michael Jackson’s Immortal Cirque du Soleil World Tour, that I could recreate for her crew, I had her attention. When I asked her if she’d ever considered bringing in some unique elements dancers were doing on Taylor Swift and Pink’s concert tours, I think she realized if she could bring these concepts to competition, they’d clean house. When I suggested investing in some high end sewing equipment that would allow me to custom create some unique fabric embellishments that usually run about $90 a yard and up, that only she would have, she asked me for a link to the website that sold the machine.
As I was driving home I was very excited to find another crazy person like me, who liked to exceed people’s expectations.
On Thursday morning, I get up and check my email to find a message from radio personality Supa Dave, letting me know he was in the process of getting some funding in place for our upcoming WRJJ Native Noise Band Image Makeover Contest and working on securing the Orlando House of Blues as the venue. Rock ON!!!
I began to prepare for another meeting that took weeks to arrange with John Kaminski, who had messaged me through LinkedIn. We both worked at Universal Studios around the same time and knew a bunch of the same people. I didn’t really do much research on what he did. He simply messaged me saying he’d like to give me a tour of his Orlando Design and Fabrication House, Kosmo Studios and I said SURE!!
So off I go, to my appointment, as I arrived the building seemed decent in size, a bit old and unnoticeable from the street. They had to buzz me in the front door, OK, I’m impressed! The place was obviously under construction and a bit of a wreck. I sat down and soon John came out to greet me. As we toured his facility, I learned they do multi million dollar Themed Environment Design AND Fabrication.
When I worked at Universal Studios while Island of Adventure was being built, I was knee deep in helping Richard Krent and Stephen Leff manage their two teams in providing all the retail fixtures being made for the stores and all of the graphics and signage throughout the park, so it turns out, everything he was doing was very familiar to me.
As I walked around the 55,000 square foot facility, I began to realize his business was set up exactly as I envisioned my Fashion Design House. He had purchased a 5 acre lot with 55,000 sq ft of warehouse, production and office space. Within the boundaries of his facility, he had sublet space to all of the privately owned fabricators, he used for his business. He feeds them his work and they also serve their own clientele. Genius!!!
I began to explain to John, this is EXACTLY what I want to do in the Fashion and Costume Design and Fabrication world! I told him my vision of having garment, shoe, bag, hat, jewelry, accessory designers, seamstresses, pattern makers, photographers, stylists, make up artists, shared studio, conference, runway, fabrication equipment, supplies, materials, classrooms and office space, all under one roof!
It was so exciting to see someone else doing what I see in my head and making it work!! I met another crazy person!
We shared our “pay it forward” and “law of attraction” beliefs and talked some more. I explained I needed help writing a business plan identical to the model he was using. He then mentions he currently subs out his seamstress work. He frequently needs huge curtains, drapes and fabric coverings for fixtures in theming. He invited me to share space there, where I could handle all his sewing work in addition to all the things I wanted to do. Now we’re talking!!! He then proceeded to set up a lunch meeting for the following week, so I could meet some friends of his he calls the “network of awesomeness” who could help me get things going! WOW, another seemingly random meeting that exceeded my expectations!
As I am driving home, I begin to return the somewhat embarrassing barrage of phone calls and message I kept getting during my meeting, I think about changing all of the crazy ringtones I have for each person who called, then decide, UM NO, I like my crazy ringtones!!! Thanks everyone for making me look SOOOOOO important and in demand during my meeting! Sheesh!!!
When I arrived home, I prepared for the arrival of my awesome amazingly talented friend Kyle Vest. Kyle and I met when I made an Aerial / Ice costume for his skate partner Lindsey. Kyle is in his early 20’s, yet he has achieved some amazing success in his young life. I was able to get him on the show call when I made costumes for Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift‘s dancers, he was on cloud 9! Kyle is a very well known designer of Haunted House attractions throughout the country and the world. He is an award winning Floral Designer. Kyle is also a very talented Make Up Artist who does full body painting and has auditioned for shows like Face Off. Kyle recently went to Canada to Audition for Cirque du Soleil. He just left a performer gig at Universal Studios where he was a stilt walker and roller skater. Kyle and Lindsey are about to embark on a tour of Mexico performing their unique Aerial / Ice show. Kyle needed some help putting his costumes together and we needed to catch up on everything going on in our lives! Mark my words, Kyle is going to go far!
So now it’s Friday and my week of Awesomeness (thanks for the new word John) isn’t even over yet! I have bag prototypes to finish for my friend Jenny and a couture dress to finish for my client Kat. I set up a DropBox for a new band called “Lydia Can’t Breathe” and will work on some ideas for them as they just returned from some tour dates with “Mushroomhead” and want me to create some new duds to make them look like the Rock Stars they are becoming.
Next week, I have to drive to NC to pick up my son for the summer. I hope to swing by Kim Kylla Dylla’s studio in VA, while visiting my mom in MD. She’s working on some drawings for a very high profile project we are working on together. All in all, I must say, it’s been a REALLY good week! I love my life!!!