Adventures at the flea market

I almost forgot to write about the flea market I was a vendor at a couple of weeks ago. I figured it would be worth it to rent a space and try and get my business cards and my name out there.  I set up my space with all my merchandise which consists of pre-owned clothing, shoes and handbags (www.nayaudo.com is my website).  I was by myself of I would have set up a tent to keep the sun at bay.  I was fortunate that the next space over was a lovely retired couple selling Royal Dalton figurines along with some various yard sale nick knacks.

I thought I came prepared.  I had merchandise, change, I brought my lunch and water bottles.  I even had a comfy chair.  People are funny at flea markets I’ve concluded.  They do not want to talk or chit chat.  They just want to look over your “stuff”.  Most people didn’t even respond when I said, “Hi how are you?”  Strange I tell you.  Anyway I said I thought I was prepared.  What I wasn’t prepared for was the haggling!  Man.  When asked a price I was immediately met with an answer of half my price.  Half!  That’s not haggling that’s insulting.  I would shoot back another price just as fast.  I became a quick learner. I also learned to start higher on my pricing strategy and stay firm.

It was also the best opportunity for people watching. I loved seeing the couple next to me deal with hagglers. At one point the wife became annoyed over a customer haggling her over a dollar for a set of drinking glasses. Seriously? Yes the hagglers became amusement. It was also noticed that the nicer someone dressed was NO indication of whether or not they would spend money. A well dressed mother/daughter pair carrying expensive handbags was very quick to literally paw through my merchandise and not buy a single thing. Meanwhile, the more modest dressed customers were much more polite (still haggled me) but were more likely to buy. I thought that was interesting.

I am planning to attend another similar flea market next month. I can say this time I’ll be even more prepared and I hope not to get as haggled down again.

Leaving it in His Hands

This past month I’ve written 2 business plans.  Never in my life did I think I’d even write one let alone two.  Since this was self imposed I just buckled down and did the work.  No complaining, little procrastinating even though only one plan had a “deadline”.  One is for a grant application that I feel will be the work of The Lord if I even place in the finals.  Although even if I do say so myself the business plan I wrote for that application is one of my better pieces of work.  That first plan has a template that is specific to their application so in a way it was more inspiring for me to write that one.  The second plan I used a more traditional template and I’m not as confidant in my writing. Funny I didn’t procrastinate writing either one even though it really wasn’t imperative to write the second one, it’s good that I did because it puts my thoughts and plans down on paper.  I’ll find out how organized the second one is in the next few days.  I’ve been in contact with an organization that helps out people who want to start a small business.  They work out of the local college and the man they assigned me too has been awesome.  Oh my goodness.  He has been (IMO anyway) going totally out of his way to help me and believe it or not he lives down the street.  God is good.  Yet another person He has placed in my path. I remember a few years ago, a friend I met through church once said to me “There are no coincidences Menay”. I believe that with all my heart. People are strategically placed in our lives by Him.

Anyway, I’ve been praying about these business plans I’ve written and the future of my business (WWW.Nayaudo.com) and I admit it is all in His hands. That’s not to say I’m *really* not hoping things go the way I would like them too and I’m not working as hard as I can to ensure they do, of course I am. But in the end I know it’s not all up to me and it’s not “fate” it’s God and His plan.

I’ve acquired a body form or mannequin. A wonderful friend accompanied me to Manhattan to get her after I responded to an add on Craigslist. I’m beyond thrilled with “Sophia” the mannequin (I had to name her of course). She makes the clothes look so much more “real” than me taking a picture with say a sweater on a hanger. Now I just need to update my website. I’ve been procrastinating doing that of all things. I didn’t procrastinate writing a business plan but I’ll procrastinate playing with my website, go figure.

Speaking of procrastinating, I didn’t procrastinate the actual writing of the business plan for the grant, I’m procrastinating putting together the whole application and sending it off. Nice huh? I need a good nudge to just get going and finish.

Getting down to business

I’m in the middle if writing my business plan for my store I dream of opening one day. Yes I dream of opening a high end resale store in my neighborhood (I love my ‘hood). I had the opportunity to take an entrepreneur- ship class last year at the local city college and it was all about learning how to write a business plan. Since last spring I have been procrastinating writing my own plan. Now that I want to someday make this dream a reality I need the business plan.

I feel like I’ve given myself a huge homework assignment. I’m not complaining since this is self imposed but I’m overwhelmed a bit. I think this is the direction The Lord wants me to go. You know when things fall in that direction. I’m not saying I have this clear cut path and message, no not at all. No matter what other things I think of doing as a “grown up” this is one thing I can’t get out of my mind and I keep coming back to it. I have this thrill of the thrift that I keep talking about.

If I’m wrong and it’s not meant to be The Lord will show me and point me in a different direction.

So getting back to this business plan…I know I’m procrastinating by writing here. I haven’t drawn a blank like the one I have for certain parts of this plan in a long time. Usually I start writing and things take off. It’s forcing me to dig deep and use this brain God has given me. I know I can do this. It’s not even like I have little children around anymore to distract me. Even as I’m writing this I’m uninterrupted so I think I’ll take this as my cue to stop procrastinating and get to work. I won’t ask for a wish of luck but a small prayer couldn’t hurt :). Thanks.

Hit the thrifts!

I’m so glad I made it to Manhattan to see Nancy before the snow started.  I don’t know which I’m more happy about, seeing Nancy or hitting on of my favorite thrifts. I scored a gorgeous Lulumon hoodie, OMG that brand is expensive, who knew?  Not me I can tell you.  Anyway I paid 2.00 and I’m proud of it.  I also picked up a couple of sweaters I needed and another hoodie/sweatshirt that has cool embroidery and sequins.  Right up my alley.  Got to love the bling :).

So it’s now snowing and it does look pretty.  Everything looks so quiet and peaceful and clean.  I’m not a fan of snow by any means (not that I have any desire to move down south), but it is nice to look at when it’s first coming down. My girls are already planning their “snow day” tomorrow. They rarely close public schools here but you never know, besides I’ll most likely keep them home anyway.

I noticed this week how much I really have come to enjoy the thrift stores. I got my husband to come with me one day this past week. He’s not a thrift shopper and that’s ok. He came along because he loves me. I told him it’s a “hunt” he said he knows but it’s not his thing. Meanwhile I felt like I had to hit every rack or Heaven forbid I miss something! Ack! Today in Manhattan I noticed I’m quicker in going through the racks and how I can feel quality fabrics and I notice the workmanship of how a garment is finished. That’s how I found the Lulumon hoodie, the fabric, the workmanship, it’s gorgeous.

I also love the one thought mode I have when I’m in the thrifts. All I think about it the hunt and search. Not much else, unless I come across something I know someone is looking for. Then it’s as if I hit the jackpot! I can’t take a picture and text fast enough. And if that person isn’t eagerly awaiting my surprise text (like they really would be…right…) and get back to me right away I’m torn; do I buy this item and take a gamble or leave it and have thrift regret? Most times everyone gets back to me so all is right with the world.

I do have personal thrift regret, certain handbags I hemmed and hawed about and then left them! Oh man…I still think about them believe it or not. I think that’s the only thing I waver on is handbags. Mostly because many times they are priced higher than clothes and do I want to blow my thrift budget on a handbag I may not be in love with and use? Sometimes I totally score like the Kate Spade bag I have from the thrift, it’s new I don’t think anyone used this bag.

I hope this snow doesn’t stick around and keep me housebound and away from the thrifts!

Back to our regular program

The holidays are officially “over” by my clock and calendar anyway.  I’m glad, whew!  Now upward and onward to getting back to life in general.  It was pretty cool having the kids home for break, I enjoyed sleeping in :).  The girls are getting older that they no longer need me to be “rightthere” all the time.  Thank God.  Seriously.  Samantha at age 7 is fairly low maintenance and if Alyssa is home I can run an errand or two alone by leaving Alyssa to watch Samantha.  I want my life back where kids are in school, choir practice is resumed and all is right with the world.  Oh and I go to Manhattan to see Nancy and after we chat I get to thrift in the big city.  Yes I am excited about that.  I haven’t seen Nancy in about 2 weeks or so and I miss her.  I’m not sure if that is “correct” but I do like her as a person as well as a therapist, although I’m not sure you could NOT like a therapist as a person and still want to have sessions with them.

So yes I’m off to Manhattan and hoping and praying the snow storm predicted won’t begin until I’m back home.  I’m not a fan of driving in the snow, I don’t know many people who are.  I miss going to the city.  I’ve come to the realization that I am having a love affair with NYC, Manhattan in particular.  Living on an outer borough it’s easy to get to Manhattan and I notice my Alyssa will take any opportunity she has to go as well.  I’m glad because I want her to feel comfortable navigating subways and bus lines.  I love to people watch so this is perfect for me.  I know I enjoy the city so much because I’m not dragging myself there and commuting to a job everyday.  However I will say (now) that I’d jump at the chance to work in Manhattan when Samantha is older and much more independent.  If it’s The Lord’s way though.  It won’t happen unless He wants it to and I’m not privy to His plan.

When I do visit the city I enjoy taking public transportation.  For a people watcher, it’s definitely the way to go!  I’ve driven many times and it’s usually a headache and an expensive one at that taking into consideration bridge/tunnel tolls not to mention parking.  Ugh!  Yeah, that’s all I have to say about that.

Yes I’m welcoming back our regularly scheduled program and routine. We had a lovely Christmas, Thomas came home and the visit went for the most part, well. We spent New Year’s Eve with some of the nicest, sweetest people on the planet. Some new friends and some friends we’ve known for years and years. Regardless of how long everyone knew each other, all seemed to find common ground and chat and laugh. I loved hearing people laugh.

I hope everyone has a smooth transition back to their regular schedule/program.

Moving forward

“Moving Forward”. 2 words and not a difficult statement to follow given you have the means to do so.  At this time in my life it is time for me to move forward.  I’m quite serious about my business (www.nayaudo.com), I want to see this succeed.  I feel this is what I’m supposed to be doing; shopping.  Feel free to laugh it’s ok.  Yes I dream of getting paid to shop for other people or find them some treasure they haven’t been able to locate on their own.  That treasure can be almost anything, but I specialize in clothing, shoes and the thrift.

Moving forward. Why isn’t it as easy as it sounds? I believe I’m not going anywhere until The Lord decides it’s the best time according to his plan. If my business took off last year I would have buckled, I was not ready and was still healing. But just because I think I’m in a better place doesn’t mean God agrees. Giving it all over to Him is one of the most difficult things I’ve done. To The Lord I handed over Thomas’ residential school and now I hand over my future of trying to be a success outside the home. I know He is “in charge” and He really does know better than we do. I trust The Lord, he is faithful.

I’m looking forward to moving forward. To not visit the depressed and traumatic times anymore. They’re still there, just not ruling me like they did. I’m also looking forward to growing as a person and sharing that growth with my family. Frustration and having more patience are two things I really need to work on. I want things to happen NOW like most of us do. If I’m to trust The Lord, I must develop more patience and accept his timing and not get frustrated.

I’ve done quite a bit of reflecting of when I was going through the depression and when you’re in that state you don’t realize how far down you are. I was thinking about this, this morning. I don’t ever want to be that far down again. When I was remembering that place I was reminded of the physical sensation of being that far down. It was as if I were in a ditch looking up at everyone and I couldn’t get myself out. I don’t ever want to be there again.

So here’s to moving forward!

The Who’s and Why’s

There are many times I feel unsure of what to write. I’ve visited the sites that give you ideas (thank you Rob), but I don’t think they are “me”. I like to write about what is on my mind even though whatever that topic may be might not be as interesting to a reader as it is to me. Then I ask myself who am I writing for? Myself or an audience? This blog has been extremely therapeutic for me. I’ve never been so honest about our life with Thomas. I never thought I’d be so honest about dealing with depression and medication and therapy. I never thought I’d receive the feedback I did because of my honesty. So I guess I’m writing for me and an audience even though I know my audience varies from time to time.

When I look back to a year ago I thought I was doing “well” handling the depression. I can see now the difference a year makes. Last year I was not doing well at all and I thank God I can see the difference today. A year ago had I ran into the mom I wrote about in my last post I probably would have broke down in tears explaining Thomas in residential school. I didn’t even come close to that the other day. And as an added bonus, Janice told me I looked great. We all know what an ego boost a compliment is.

I truly wonder what I will be reflecting on a year from now. I pray it’s the take off of my business but if not it will be ok as right now I know it’s in God’s hands and if He feels it’s not to be then it is not to be and God will have other plans for me.

The Big City

I never thought I would enjoy going to Manhattan as much as I do.  I’m sure that was part of God’s plan as well, to get me in a different atmosphere to deal with what was going on.  I know most people will say I only enjoy it so much because I don’t do that commute everyday and I’d agree.  I really like the ferry and believe it or not the subway too.  Most people aren’t looking to chat and nobody bats an eye if you read, write, close your eyes, whatever…on the ferry or subway. If someone is chatty I’m usually more than happy to chat as well. People are interesting, I’ve met an English couple who came over on the QE2, I met a young woman from Mexico who was in NY visiting her boyfriend, she traveled alone and I was so surprised! I met a couple from Canada, Toronto I think. They drove here in their motor home. The husband had a therapy dog but I didn’t ask why.

I also tourist/people watch. It’s funny because I’d say 8 out of 10 times you can tell who is not from here. It’s hard to explain and put your finger on it but I know most native New Yorkers will agree. I find it so funny when I lose my bearings in the City and I’m looking around for a landmark, the first thing I think is, “Oh my gosh I look like a tourist”. And I laugh at myself. It’s not a bad thing it’s just funny because no one wants to look out of place.

I enjoy the solitude when I go by myself. Yes, in one of the biggest cities in the world with all those freaking people I enjoy the solitude. Almost everyone has someplace to be and they need to get there, so just walk with your head up and watch where you’re going.

Some people will drive into the city from the outer boroughs. I used to do that years ago when I first started taking Thomas to see Dr.F. After a while I grew tired of paying the high tolls and high parking fees and started taking public transportation with him. When he was doing well we used to have fun going together. I taught him to “hold on” if we had to stand on a crowded subway and we would take pictures of ourselves with my cell phone. After his appointment I would love to walk over to the Anthropologie store a few blocks away. Thomas was great and loved it when I bought something. He is the best in enabling a shopper 😉

Now that I’m learning about the locations of new to me thrift stores I enjoy the city even more. I get a kick out of becoming a regular in the thrift and the staff says hello. I don’t think I could live in Manhattan though, I like where I live and I like being a New Yorker. I consider my trips to Manhattan a mini getaway after my appointment.

Change of Seasons

I really love this time of year.  The color of the leaves, the weather turning cooler.  I like seasons.  Right now I couldn’t picture myself living in an area that doesn’t have a change of seasons, I mean a realchange of temperature. I don’t think I could live in an area that is warm most of the year, or cold either.

It seems it’s taking forever for fall to come and stay here. Honestly I’m tired of dressing for warm weather I’m ready for sweaters and boots! I love walking around Manhattan wearing a skirt, boots and long sweater. All thrifted of course except the boots. Oh wait last year I did thrift a pair of Miu Miu boots. I didn’t even know who made them but the leather was so butter soft *and* my size there was no way I was leaving them there. I paid the $10.00, arrived home and checked inside with a flashlight. Bingo! Miu Miu! I’m very picky about thrifting shoes they must be in new or near new condition. I have a very fortunate friend with a smaller foot than me that I scored Manolos for. They were gorgeous!

I wonder what I get more passionate writing about, God or the thrift? I guess it depends on the days events. I think about God constantly and spend most mornings in worship. The Lord is comfort and a pleasure to praise. There are many times I can’t get the words out properly to pray so instead I’ll simply praise Him. He knows my heart.

When I have a great thrifting day I know it’s from The Lord. Who else would put those items where I can see them at the price I don’t mind paying? No one else but Him.

If you told me a year or so ago that I would be blogging like this I never would have believed it. But to combine blogging about the thrift and praising The Lord…nope I wouldn’t have thought it was possible. But it is.

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13

 

The thrift and the big city

Last week I had a couple of appointments back to back so I wasn’t on my regularly scheduled thrift escapade.  I’m in Manhattan twice a week now.  I’ve been trying to shake up my routine a bit.  I did mention I found a new to me Goodwill store uptown.  Honestly I prefer the Salvation army.  Believe it or not I find Goodwill pricey as far as thrift stores go.  Salvation Army …good gravy you can find some treasures there!  Well I do anyway 😉

And just to shamelessly plug my business (www.nayaudo.com),  if there’s anything/clothing or shoe wise anyone wants me to keep an eye out for, you can contact me through my website.

I absolutely love going to Manhattan. I love the anonymity, I love to people watch, I just love New York! It’s funny how different areas of the city have their own vibes. These are just my opinions and observations but the upper west side is a bit different with people walking around in work out wear like they have nothing else to do that day and there’s a ton of nannies pushing strollers, oh my gosh! I really like it up there as it’s not nearly as crazy and busy as say Times Square for comparison. It’s almost like “Manhattan Lite” There’s an awesome Salvation Army up there that I’m a “regular” at.

In Chelsea it’s a younger vibe on the street. I feel out of place honestly. I walk with my head up and all but I don’t think I could work in that area or be there on a regular basis. It’s much busier than the upper west side with a lot of cool shops and supermarkets. There’s a really nice Goodwill where I frequent :).

Downtown, so busy with the hustle and bustle of all the businesses and Wall Street and all the men in suits and the women dressed so nice. And mixed in are the tourists, some trying to figure out how to get to the ferry that takes them to the Statue of Liberty. I’m clueless on how to get there, I think we went there on a class trip when I was like 10 yrs old or something. Anyway I’ve met a lot of incredibly nice and interesting tourists. Downtown during the day is a nice place to people watch. Plus shopping, there’s Century 21 and DSW. I haven’t found any thrift stores yet downtown. To be honest I haven’t looked all that hard. There has to be at least one!

I pray on the ferry. I also pray on the subway. When I’m alone on those two modes of transportation I enjoy the solace and escape. Sometimes I open my eyes and I’m surprised at where I am. It doesn’t matter how deep in prayer I think I am. God knows. He knows our hearts.