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ENK is coming up, Tanya is leaving us and I threw out all our personal care products

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I started reading the labels on the back of all our products and nearly had a cow. On the Aloe Vera gel I use on my daughter for everything from mosquito bite to rash, the label reads 100% GEL so I assumed it was 100% Aloe Vera. Apparently, they literally meant 100% GEL. The ingredient list included parabens and a myriad of other undecipherables. I continued through our cabinet and we now have a lot more space. I have discovered that the best brands out there include Dr. Bronners, Tom's of Maine, Terraessentials and any product made by small companies (like the one listed on my links page owned by my sister in law) as they don't tend to add unknowns to their products because they don't hire other people to deal with the toxins, they make it all themselves out of their home. I recognize that I am well on my way to becoming a total freak but I also went out and purchased an under the sink water filter! Thinking about all the chemicals washed down our drain I don't see how our drinking water could be safe enough to ingest. Am I becoming a freak? I think so.
The lovely Kelley is now at home and sounds quite well. I can't write enough what this means to me.
The site has been busy as all get out and I have no idea why. If anyone read an article with us in it please let me know.
Tanya is leaving us and we are all about to cry. She is irreplaceable. A wonderful, enthusiastic, quirky girl with a sense of living that eases the hearts of those around her. We tease each other like mad. I am looking for a new person but my heart just isn't in it. I finally found the perfect assistant and she has to go back to Jersey to care for her sick brother. I want to lock her and Jay (her boyfriend who shows up and work and hangs out, djs and makes us art for our tees) in the basement. Come on, it has a bathroom.
ENK in a month and I haven't started preparing. I better get in gear.
My seamstress opened her own shop and it rocks out! There is a ton of sunlight and a patio area. I need to bring her more work so she can get more people in her groovy shop to work.


Monday, September 19, 2005

So, I found out my mother has ovarian cancer and she has decided not forego the usual kill on the cells in your body treatment and try a change of diet integrating fresh vegetables and removing dairy and meat and sugar. She is doing this because she believes that chemo isn't necessarily the best course of treatment and that in fact, the pharmaceutical industry has halted the development of alternative cures. I didn't feel this was a bad direction to go. My father died from pancreatic cancer. My aunt died from breast cancer. My grandfather died from lung cancer. Right next to us Kaiser is erecting a huge facility dedicated to cancer treatment. Another hospital down the road has begun construction on their cancer treatment facility, also a separate, spacious building. Doesn't this make you think?
It is all beginning to link together for me. Today I found out Tanya has to move back to New Jersey. We are all crushed as we absolutely adore her and I was imagining that she would be around for a couple of years learning about BW and helping out but family takes her elsewhere. Anyway, so I had to put an ad up on craigslist for a new personal assistant and the first applicant works on this website called the lazyenvironmentalist.com and from there I jump from horrific article to informative databases to more articles all about cancer inducing products I use EVERYDAY on my child and myself. Sunscreen, shampoos, baby products, hair care, face lotion and so much more are filled with chemicals shown to cause cancer.
I suppose I am filled with disappointment at every turn to discover that there are so many companies (I USED to use shampure from aveda...what a freakin joke) that employ the terms natural, organic, etc merely as marketing terms.

Everything else

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Kelley is out of ICU and her liver kicked back in! It really is a miracle but now I have to stop drinking any and all alcohol because I KNOW the only reason she was allowed a second chance was because of that stupid promise I made to a higher power. I have adopted new lines like "I am not drinking tonight" or "I think I may be pregnant". I will have to share these with Kelley when I see her in October. I think she will like my list and find it quite helpful in social situations.
The Magic show is having after effects. I had to let Kay go. We got drunk together our last night in Vegas and she told me she didn't have to come in anymore for awhile. I was like "Thank you, that would be great, because I can't afford to pay you right now." Hopefully, things will pick up after the NY show and I can rehire her. I don't know if she will want to come back as she is starting nursing school.
My brother-in-law called me to commiserate about tradeshows. He and his wife took her most amazing soap and made a business out of it. They opened a retail store and have been going to wholesale tradeshows. They get most of their business from these shows. If you bathe with her soap you will want more. It smells so good and is all natural. She comes up with some damn creative new scents and texture combos. I have seen lots of soaps but hers was somehow special. Made you feel fresh. They weren't too heavy. The scent was subtle. But, they got placed badly in one of these shows and now Dan is looking for a second income to support his family.
I have been trying to figure out how to help with Katrina. I think I will send some $ to my friend Stoo in Texas and the other half I will give to www.loveourchildrenusa.org. I have talked to Ross a year ago when I was trying to convince her to make a "What would Nancy Carrigan do? shirt and she just seems like a fantastic lady. She informed me that 100% of all donations were going directly to the children in shelters by way of clothing, food, educational materials and more. The organization was founded to help curb domestic violence. She told me there tends to be a wave of domestic violence when tragedies like this hit. They will also be around to help prevent this violence as well.
Another site I ran across is crafters united. You donate goods to be sold. 100% of the $ goes to the Red Cross fund although you, as a vendor, do get reimbursed for shipping. Pretty groovy, eh? Some great stuff on there too and over 700 items listed and 11K raised.
Joe and Arianna, my brother & sister in law, just left. It was so great to see them. We are trying to convince them to relocate here. They would love it in Portland, we just know it. They were going to go to New Orleans but that is out now. Jim is the oldest of 7. Can you imagine? Davey, the youngest uncle flew in from Santa Cruz. Ava loves her uncles. It was a blast.
Found a new seamstress. Violet from Kung Fu introduced me to them. Really cool of her since revealing ones sources is something most people won't easily do. Very cool. It is a family run business and they are super cool. Obviously not union but I trust family run businesses. Can you tell I am writing while trying to attend to a billion other things? People keep talking to me.
What else? I am trying gold foil and flocking. Will see what happens. Plus, have a hemp source that may work out. Have to get pricing first....

Katrina sites

Saturday, September 03, 2005

If you know of anyone with a vacation home in the Southeast they can offer it up to people at this site:

Trying to figure out what I can do from my end.
Here is a site that gives food. http://www.secondharvest.org/default2.asp 100% of $ donated goes directly to the relief effort.

Magic KIDS Show a huge disappointment

Friday, September 02, 2005

I would totally avoid this show if I were making kids clothing and couldn't get into the streetwear section and if you do anything funky at all you have to be in streetwear or your buyers won't find you. A very expensive lesson to learn so I hope to pass this info onto other companies before they make the same mistake. AVOID IT. It actually pisses me off that Magic even has a Kids section AND Deborah Haessig promotes it like she does. I mean, these are very small businesses throwing a lot of money to this show and to come away with THREE orders is terrifying. Most of the vendors around me did this amount in orders and unless you had been around for awhile and made appointments you came out with this. I mean, my god, the tie dye vendor did "well" with 10 orders and I did this in one day at the LA gift show (1/5 the cost.) I am pissed because I tried to back out when I heard how bad it had been the year before. I tried to get moved to the streetwear section but Deborah kept pumping me up and selling me on the kids section. I don't understand why no one else online is railing this show. Warning, stay away from this show. Might change over the next 5 years but I would definitely walk it before you committed.

I did the kids show across the way in the Riviera the year before and it was 1/10 the cost but the foot traffic wasn't there either but at loss was a lot less. Have a feeling this show has the potential to grow. It would be much more cost effective to do direct mailings to your retailers. I am going to do the ENK show in NYC in October and see how that goes. If it doesn't do well I am going to step away from these wholesale shows altogether. Believe it or not, I was able to convince Jim to let me do this one in NYC even after I came back with nothing from Magic...mainly because my sister lives in NYC.

I did come away getting to know some really nice exhibitors (we had a lot of time on our hands.) I met Michele from UB Baby who has a cool new baby line that is totally groovy and sparkly and a toy company called pooki & Co. The designer of this company turned out to have known my sister in 1998. How wild is that? I am trying to share a booth at the ENK show with either UB Baby or Pooki so the risk will be less. I will let you know how it goes.

The owner of newskool.com has just awesome shirts...you should check his stuff out. I met him at the SF gift show and he is the first competitor I have met who has the same attitude about it all. There are so many freaking t-shirts out there and jeezus, it is way better to help the good guys than to be an overprotective little freak who mistrusts everyone and goes around spreading nasty rumours about all competitors. It is so much more fun to be in a community of t-shirt makers than to be so closed to everyone. I am not stupid enough to share a booth with a direct competitor nor would I pass out my sources to just anyone but I certainly do believe in supporting products you believe in either through word of mouth or through sharing of sources. I know there is tons of stealingand back stabbing out there but if the good guys stick together and help one another...just my thoughts. I don't see an issue with promoting your competitors if you really dig their product. Isn't the whole goal to get babies into cool clothing and grow this market? Am I just an idiot? Will I learn my lesson in the next two years after getting run over, back stabbed, messed with, trampled on? Will I succumb to the pressures of running a small business and become just like everyone else? Stay tuned. Perhaps you yourself can witness the my demise.

I am so hungover. With no parties to go to and feeling quite depressed that i had thrown away our family's new car (we need one badly, our suburu is eating dust these days) I overdid it and got drunk in the hotel bar, gambled at black jack with a $50 minimum (don't worry, I know when to quit...I came away with $70 in winnings) and went to the double down to see a damn good blues band and then came back and rode a statue and then woke up in the morning feeling utterly ill but now I can't even spell because I killed so many brain cells but to put it all into perspective my doorman reminded me that at least I was not in New Orleans right now.

My friend's parents got out. His stepdad was in the hospital getting his cancer treatment but they finally all got flown out to Houston by Black Hawks to Houston. Doesn't it suck that right now all our resources are over in Iraq for some pointless war for oil, while the oil rigs in New Orleans went bye bye and people are trapped inside the city without food, electricity, water etc and are looting and stealing and the President comes on TV worried about getting the looters. Get them out of there. What the hell would you do if you were stuck in the city? Eh?
It is amazing all the people opening their homes to the refugees.
More laters...I need to shower....