When things fall apart
I keep my dogeared copy of Pema Chodron’s When Things Fall Apart on my bedside table, a gift from my mom or sister in a not-so-subtle hint to kindly get my shit together. I read it during my divorce, before leaving a toxic job and I return to that book often, because as life dictates, things never stop falling apart. For those unfamiliar, the gist is that awful stuff happens on the regs and while we can’t control these events, we’re in charge of how we respond to them. My daughter’s preschool teacher used to tell me to “reframe” when I’d grumble during parent-led craft time about how bad I was at papier mache/tie dye/drawing. She’d make me rephrase how much I sucked into how trying something new can be hard. She wanted me to set an example for my daughter that learning curves are OK; failure is only bad when we view it through a negative lens.
I’ve recalled Teacher Carrie’s mantra a lot the past few months, when things didn’t go as planned, when things fell apart. When I announced the store was closing, I had to figure out how to reframe what felt like the biggest blunder into an exercise in humility and an opportunity to reexamine my values. I learned it’s important to be authentic, which meant publicly acknowledging I didn’t know what was next. I shared this openly and from those honest conversations met Joy from the FOUND&MADE with whom I’m sharing my space. Working alongside Joy made me realize how much I missed collaborating with others and that would need to be a key tenet moving forward. I plan to do more workshops and events in the coming months that foster a more robust design community.
While circumstances (aka budget) dictated my levels of inventory, I was forced to reconsider my curation process. I decided to go narrow and deeper with the lines I love so I’d have room for new, emerging designers whose values align with my guiding principles of timeless, slow fashion that makes getting dressed easier. Select vintage pieces have been added to the mix, in support of a larger commitment to sustainability and because of the inherent stories these pieces convey. I’m also planning more storytelling: where the clothing is from, what's the inspiration behind the line and how you should wear it.
So what does all this rambling introspection mean for my customers? For one, the doors are open and I’m slowing rebuilding. I’ve got orders placed for Spring that I’m so excited about and I’ll gladly show you my storyboards (finally, an arts and crafts project I can do!).
We’re also getting ready for the holidays with new merchandise coming in weekly. FOUND&MADE is staying through the season and we’ll be collaborating on some fun shopping events, details to come.
As we head towards year end, I feel grateful that what I thought was my ending, was really just a new direction down an unknown road. The store will continue to evolve and change, but if (when) things fall apart again, I know all those pieces will eventually come together into something new.