Wear is… Bianca Monte?

Hi! Welcome back to Wear is She Wednesdays, a series that highlights one special girl each week to let her shine! Every Wednesday, we feature a different “she,” and get the scoop on her style, what makes her tick, and how the heck we can learn to be as awesome as she is. Today we’re asking the question everyone wants to know… Wear is Bianca Monte?

WEAR IS... BIANCA MONTE?

the amazing portrait Bianca did for me!

1. How have you discovered your artistic style?

It took a long time until I liked my style. I started working with many different styles and mediums, like anime, traditional painting, cartoons, exploring and seeing what works and what doesn’t. Just being inspired by artists I like, helped me develop a lot. I think my art style is everything I love, mixed

2. What is your creative process like?

I start by sketching, traditionally or on my iPad, then I start with a bigger art piece. That can take an hour, or a few days. Depends on how motivated I'm feeling. But even if I'm not in the mood, I draw. It can be anything I want, I just need to keep practicing.

3. What inspires your artwork most?

Honestly, almost everything. Movies, music, other art, books, TV shows, people, etc. For example, if I'm liking the color yellow this week, my work will probably be really warm. If all I can think about is the soundtrack of a musical, I will probably base my drawings on the music. I basically get inspired by other types of art.

4. What interests or hobbies do you have outside of artwork?

I absolutely adore fashion and music. I enjoy singing a lot, even though I'm still learning, and I'm really into slow and sustainable fashion and living. I'm also a vegetarian and I'm really passionate about animals.

5. Is there anything you do to keep your skills sharp or keep you inspired? 

When I was a kid I relied on books because they were all I had, but now I like listening to podcasts, watching videos from other artists and studying a lot. There are a lot of free classes online for everything you need to know. Besides that, I keep a routine of drawing everyday, taking a lot of breaks and always trying to learn as much as I can to improve what I already know.

Wear is… Sydney Bradley?

Hi! Welcome back to Wear is She Now Wednesdays, a series that aims to highlight one special girl each week and let her shine! Every Wednesday, we feature a different “she,” and get the scoop on her style, what makes her tick, and how the heck we can learn to be as awesome as she is. Today we’re asking the question everyone wants to know… Wear is Sydney Bradley?

Sydney Bradley in front of a fruit stand in New York

WEAR IS… SYDNEY BRADLEY? 

There are so many things to love about Brooklyn based writer and style icon, Sydney Bradley. She’s quick witted, wildly intelligent and knows how to wear a scarf better than perhaps anyone you’ll ever meet. Whether or not you find her wearing her go-to color, yellow, she lights up every room she enters like a ray of sunshine. Between her effortlessly chic style, rare sense of authenticity and infectious laugh, Sydney is the kind of woman who inspires you to be the best version of yourself just by being her. Read Sydney’s refreshingly real interview below for the scoop on her biggest style inspirations, what’s on her thrift list and her take on living in Brooklyn.

Sydney Bradley dancing

Hi Sydney! Please introduce and tell us all about your wonderful self! 

I am Sydney Bradley, and this — my name — is sometimes a fact I repeat to myself in the mirror in order hype myself up. Not in, like, a pathetic way, but a reminder to myself that “I am Sydney Bradley.” I think this all began when I won a raffle at age 14 to meet Cody Simpson and the announcer said that my name has a ring to it and sounds like someone famous. That may have gotten to my head, just a little.

At this same time in my life, I moved away from New York, where I had grown up, to the South where I stayed for almost seven years. Moving around throughout my adolescence, I developed an impermanence to the places I lived but a strong attachment to the people around me, to the books I always carried, and to the clothes that traveled with me. Then for four years I studied at the University of Virginia — a place that taught me so much, but also took so much from and out of me. If anything came out of my years in living in the South and attending that university, it was that I value honesty and truth, in its best forms.

Sydney Bradley in pink cowgirl bootsAnd this is how I ended up writing (and still pursuing fashion) (whatever “pursuing fashion” actually means). Writing became not only therapeutic in these past few years for me, but a necessary lens or filter for me to process my own and the world around me. My clothes, as well, being both an armor and art form — allowing me to hide beneath layers of colors when things were gray and express every color I had in me when I needed to be bright. This is why my favorite color is yellow. It is bright when I need things to be bright.

Sydney Bradley in a bright yellow scarf

Sydney in her signature color, yellow

New York is a nice mixture of grays and yellows, now, I find as I settle into my new life living in Brooklyn. Having returned home to New York, it has been an interesting crossroads between past and present, and vague premonitions of my future. I am now working as an editorial intern for The Face and as a showroom intern for Mode World PR. I have no idea what I am doing and this is all very wild. But — and no I don’t really have a conclusion or any promising words to give — I do have people like Veronica (Wear Is She Now) and my many close friends that lend me inspiration and empowerment unconditionally.

Additional dump of things I really like: beets, also good beats, plantains, Blood Orange, Sex and the City, “Got to be Real,” Lily of the Valley, Jia Tolentino, and morning light.

1. How would you describe your style in 3 words?

bright yellow peacock

Sydney Bradley in a bright yellow scarf

2. What was your personal style journey like? (how did you discover it, did you make any mistakes along the way, etc?)

When I was in 9th grade, I made a pact with myself to care about what I wore. Maybe it was being dumped by my first “boyfriend” or maybe it was the transition into High School — who knows. That was the first time when I felt confident though, and my friends like Veronica, Kim, and Kristina all helped me find my style with trips to Salvation Army and our shared closets.

Over the course of many years I went through several phases, notably: Hot Phase (i.e. many push-up bras), Preppy Lite (i.e. wore a lot pleats), Soft Grunge (i.e. I went to private school and wore more black than usual), I Have a Boyfriend (i.e. I wore what he liked, and also we dressed scarily alike), I Am Carrie (i.e. post-breakup Carrie Bradshaw brief obsession), and finally Sydney “fk’n” Bradley (i.e. bright yellow peacock).

Sydney Bradley taking a mirror selfie

3. Who or what inspires your style most currently?

Carrie Bradshaw, indefinitely. And colorful abstract paintings. But recently, what has been shaping my style has been HBO’s Euphoria because of all of the colors, self- expression, and also great costume design.

4. What’s one thing on your thrift list right now?

I have been looking for a fun, colorful mesh top (similar to this one from Need Supply) and for a babydoll dress that doesn’t make me look like a child.

Mesh Spenser Top in Cobalt

The top from Need Supply that Sydney is on the hunt for

5. What do you hope to be remembered for?

Among many things like being a, uh, good person, I want to be known for what I am able to express and how I express it — whether that be words or through clothes, whatever.

Sydney Bradley in bright yellow pants

6. And the bonus question I like to ask everyone before they go: What’s something you’re really proud of right now?

I finally started taking care of my feet. I treat my feet terribly because I wear heels most days, but now I treat them with more respect. They carry a lot.

Where else can we find you, Sydney?

My Twitter is sometimes funny, I think, and that is @sydneykbradley. I really love Twitter. My Instagram is @sydneybradley and I am not terribly active but who knows, maybe next week I will be on it more. Or the next. Or never. Otherwise, I am around on the internet, generally speaking.

Sydney Bradley in red top and pants

Wear is… Emma Grace Moon?

Hi! Welcome to the very first edition of Wear is She Now Wednesdays, a series that aims to highlight one special girl each week and let her shine! Every Wednesday, we’ll feature a different “she,” and get the scoop on her style, what makes her tick, and how the heck we can learn to be as awesome as she is. So, today we’re asking the question everyone wants to know… Wear is Emma Grace Moon? 

WEAR IS… EMMA GRACE MOON?

Yep. That’s her real name. Brooklyn based Emma Grace Moon is one of the most inspiring people you’ll ever meet. With a personality just as magical as her name, Emma is the kind of girl that makes you believe anything is possible. At just 17, in pursuit of her dreams, Emma moved to Brooklyn fresh out of High School and jumped right into being a successful career woman without ever even getting a college degree. Aside from her unwavering determination and infectious positivity, Emma is the kind of person who genuinely cares for others in a way that perhaps no one else does. Her name may be Moon, but being around her feels as warm as sunlight. Read on to see Emma’s full interview below.

 

Hi Emma! Please introduce your wonderful self! 

Hi! My name is Emma Grace. I’m a Brooklyn-based long distance runner, coffee lover, travel goer, small business shopper, and hardcore dancer (I’m no professional though).

1. What’s your current favorite item in your wardrobe and why?

I recently found the cutest white shorts with green stripes at a thrift shop near my apartment. They have an elastic waist and flare out a bit to give it the perfect 80s look. I wear them with everything and they are so comfortable (which is very important)!

2. What’s one thing on your thrift list right now?

I want to find some amazing flare pants. It’s hard to find a pair that aren’t too long on me and hit me perfectly at the waist, so it will be a miracle when that day comes.

3. What does personal style mean to you?

Personal style is an ever changing thing for me. Some days I want to dress up in a gown and heels, other days I wanna wear baggy jeans and a t-shirt with Old Dirty Bastard on it. The one thing I love about style is that it is whatever YOU make it. There are no right or wrong choices you can make! I have fun with it.

4. You’re throwing a party and get to invite any 5 people, dead or alive, who are you inviting?

Cyndi Lauper, Lisa Bonet, Loverne Cox, Lena Dunham, and Chrissie Teigen. Yes, that is a badass group of women.

5. What do you hope to be remembered for?

I want to be remembered as someone who had a never ending supply of love and kindness to give to my community. From my neighborhood, to my friend group, to my family, I want people to remember me as that person they could lean on for support.

6. And the bonus question I like to ask everyone before they go: what’s something you’re really proud of right now?

I am really proud of myself recently. I accepted a new job offer and can’t wait for this new chapter in my life. It’s a really exciting time and I am proud of myself for being ambitious, knowing my worth, and giving myself time to find my path.

Where else can we find you, Emma?

I try to keep my social media to just Instagram (@emmagracemoon). I deleted Snapchat and Twitter a while back as a social media cleanse and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. Otherwise, you may see me running around Brooklyn attempting to train for a half-marathon 🙂

Embracing the Suck – How to Overcome Perfectionism

a girl dancing in a white winter outfit


MY STRUGGLE:

I’m prone to biting off way more than I can chew. First of all, I’ve always been a bit overly ambitious and wildly creative. For as long as I can remember, I’ve occasionally experienced these surges of beautiful creative energy where I’m dreaming up millions of ideas all at once. 

One minute I’m casually thinking of what I’ll wear tomorrow and the next minute I’ve decided to start an ethical clothing conglomerate whilst becoming first female president and receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. 


This sounds fantastic, right? Well sure, sometimes it is! But other times all of those ideas and goals are overwhelming. My brain is flooded with so many things that I have no clue where to begin. Because I can’t focus, nothing gets done. It often feels like I’m filling this figurative box with millions of half baked dreams and the bigger the box gets, the more I feel like crap about myself. Suddenly, all I can see is this pile of woulda, shoulda, couldas and nothing I can really say I’m proud of.

I start to believe that all I’m ever going to be is someone who talks about great ideas but never really does anything great. 

Right before the New Year, I was hit with one of these times. 

girl wearing a long white coat and a chunky scarf


I had so many wonderful intentions. I was going to film every single day for my YouTube Channel! I was going to churn out weekly blog posts, daily instagram  posts and totally crush this whole internet thing. 

And then I hit a wall. 

I was wildly stressed out. I started to hate anything and everything I did and overthink even the tiniest of details. I’d spend hours working on a thumbnail for my YouTube channel just to decide it was horrible and delete the whole thing. I wasn’t content or at peace with anything. 

Nothing was what I wanted, but truthfully, I didn’t even know what I wanted. 

By mid December I had already gotten sick twice. I’m not often sick, and I took this as my bodies way of telling me to slow down.  I’m the type of person who feels guilty for taking breaks, so sometimes, unless my body starts to physically shut down, I won’t allow myself to rest. (I know, it’s a totally horrible habit!) So at last I finally understood: I needed a break. I decided to stop all my social media, spend December with my family and friends and quit worrying so much.

a girl modeling in a white winter coat and long scarf
After I took a step back to really examine myself without the pressures of keeping up with social media, I came to a major conclusion; the reason I get myself to such a level of anxiety is because I am beginning to let fear driven perfectionism control my creativity rather than inspiration. Because I am so passionate and driven, I worry that if I don’t create enough, I’ll become irrelevant. I worry if I don’t work myself into the ground, it means I’m becoming lazy. I worry that I’m wasting my time, or wasting everyone else’s time, or that I’m doomed to be an utter failure. I often get caught up in the comparison game. I look at all my favorite content creators and by the time I look back at whatever I’m doing, I think, this just isn’t good enough. 

In short, I fear that if I don’t do everything perfectly, I shouldn’t do anything at all. 
a close up image of black boots and a winter scarf


But I’ve made a decision: I am only going to create from a space of joy and inspiration. 

And that’s not to say I won’t ever share the struggles and low points of my journey. Because sometimes that’s the truth, and it’s important to share that. But when I start noticing that the only reason I’m driven to create is because I’m afraid, rather than inspired, I know I need to reset myself a little. 

I’ve never wanted to spend my life surviving, I’ve always wanted to spend it thriving.


THINGS THAT HELPED ME:
1. STAYING HUMBLE

First of all, as creators these days, I think many of us are making a pretty big mistake when it comes to how we view our creations. The standard for content has become extremely high, so for my fellow perfectionists of the world, this fuels our perfectionism. 

It’s no longer just about creating things by our own standard of perfection, now we have to worry about everyone else’s. 

But recently, I had this revelation. I was feeling really nostalgic so I started rewatching all the videos that very first inspired me to start making my own, 

and I realized that literally all of my favorite YouTubers once made videos that sucked. 

Back when the internet was just becoming popular, the standards were so much lower which gave the seasoned veterans we all know and love now, plenty of room to grow and make mistakes. So we might look at how far they’ve come and think we should already be just like them, but that’s like trying to run before you can crawl. 

a girl walking a white winter coat and white jeans with scarf
a girl wearing a white winter coat and long scarf


And guess what? All your favorite artists, and singers and basket weavers and any creator of any kind, once made things that sucked! They had to pay their dues, they had to give themselves time to learn and grow and make mistakes so that they could ultimately become the people they are now.  

There’s a quote out there that says “don’t compare your chapter 2 to someone else’s chapter 20.” And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. 

I’m still only in the very beginning stages of my journey. I haven’t put in enough time and effort to be where I’d like to be yet, and that’s okay. The moment I stopped resisting that, it was like a weight lifted off my shoulders. I still have so much learning to do and many mistakes to make. 

So from now on, my plan is to just kind of… embrace the suck!

I no longer feel pressured to keep up with the status quo and I refuse to feel ashamed of anything that isn’t “good enough.” Instead, I’m kinda jazzed about making mistakes because I finally understand that it’s the only way I’ll ever get to where I want to be. 

portrait of a brunette girl wearing a chunky scarf

2. CLARITY COMES FROM ENGAGEMENT, NOT THOUGHT -Marie Forleo

I also realized (for like the millionth time in my life), that I learn best by doing, not by thinking. One of my all time favorite people to learn from when I’m feeling really confused is Marie Forleo. One of her biggest mantras is “clarity comes from engagement, not thought.” So yes, ultimately your goal is to get better and better overtime. But the only way your going to do that is if you allow yourself to actually create. Even if it doesn’t come out right, even if it sucks, it’s all just adding time into your craft and that’s a beautiful thing, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. 

Allowing perfectionism to get in your own way is only keeping you rooted in the same stagnant place while time keeps pressing on. 

a girl wearing a white winter coat and long scarf

3. IT’S OKAY TO CHANGE DIRECTIONS 

And finally, I realized that whenever I move back into this space of fear, I starve my creativity because I don’t allow myself to explore anymore. I keep getting caught in this idea that I’m not allowed to change and move in new directions. For years, I’ve had the idea drilled into me that one day I’d have to find my one thing, the thing I’d settle into and do for the rest of my life. But truthfully, that’s just not me. I am multi passionate and I love life! 

To me a full, rich life is one that is filled with all sorts of adventures!

I keep worrying that I’ll never be successful if I don’t stay boxed in, but you know what? I don’t think I define success by numbers. I define it by fulfillment and my well being. 

Not being authentic is not only doing a disservice to yourself, but to the rest of the world as well. 

a brunette girl in a winter coat and scarf

I can’t say I know exactly who I am yet, but I feel I’m getting closer to the true me all the time. My plan for this next year is to just keep trying to find her. I hope for many more adventures. I aim to follow whatever directions my creativity leads me in. I plan to find myself and my voice by doing, not by worrying. And I’m sure there’s going to be plenty I do that doesn’t come out quite right. 

But for once in my life, I’m going to embrace the suck. 

a girl dancing with text that says how to overcome perfectionism



10 Things I Learned from my First Pop Up Shop

 

a bunch of people smiling and laughing at a pop up shop


10 Things I Learned from my First Pop Up Shop 

WHY I STOPPED HOLDING BACK 

Earlier this year, something shifted in my brain and I decided to finally start taking myself seriously as a business woman (you can read about why here.) I’ve been plugging along for about six years, working to grow a YouTube channel, Instagram and of course my blog. And somewhere in the back of my mind, I had always dreamed that someday, when everything truly began to take off and I was this world famous success story, I would start a business. I could see the headlines already!

“Girlboss, Veronica Reitz, Starts the Fashion Line the World Has Been Waiting for at the Mere Age of 18! (in addition to curing cancer, traveling the entire planet and starring as the lead role in the latest block buster hit!)”
Is that an extremely long headline? Yes, yes it is.
Am I overly ambitious? Yes, yes I am.
The only problem with being born with so much determination though, is that it’s often accompanied by a healthy dose of perfectionism, fear of failure and fear of rejection.
Which means that “the mere age of 18” came and went, right along with ages 19-24. And as I was reluctantly stepping into my 24th year, I felt a whopping sense of guilt and an existential crisis starting to creep onto the scene. I hadn’t achieved a fraction of the things I planned on achieving by then and despite the fact that I’m still quite young, I felt time slipping away at an uncomfortable rate. It seemed to me that this was now or never.
 
I was done waiting around for someone else to give me permission or tell me it was time. 

If I wanted to start pursuing my career as an entrepreneur, it was time to get serious.

a bunch of people smiling and laughing at a pop up shop

 

HOW IT CAME TOGETHER 
I had a bit of experience selling things on Etsy and Ebay, but I was never clear on my branding or my goals. However, after years of changing blog names, trying different styles and finally finding my own voice, I was ready at last to open up the Wear is She Now online boutique! And I felt a celebration was in order! I’ve always had a penchant for Pop Up Shops. I love the novelty of them, the excitement factor that comes from knowing it’s only there for a limited time and the creativity behind them!
 
So I imagined hosting my own Pop Up Shop/launch party! 
Essentially, this was going to be a yard sale on steroids. I didn’t have the funds, the know how or the inventory to rent out a proper space. But my friends and I had done some yard sales in the past and gotten really creative with them. I wanted to try taking things up a notch and use this as a chance for some exposure and trial run for something bigger in the future. I knew it wouldn’t be perfect, but I’d spent far too much  time avoiding my dreams because of my perfectionism.
At this point, I was ready to take the plunge no matter what. 
From my experiences with yard sales in the past, I noticed that the biggest issue was attracting the right clientele. I was selling my pre-loved clothes and a lot of the potential customers who showed up weren’t interested in buying them. They were more excited about little knickknacks and comic books. I took this as a challenge to find an incentive for my target demographic to come!
So I came up with this idea to host a raffle. I knew I wanted to market it on Instagram since that’s where a majority of my local following is, so I wanted to raffle off something that would be valuable to those following my page.
 I came up with “The Insta-Famous Starter Pack: everything you need for a flawless feed!” 
My dream was to fill it with gift cards to some of the most Instagrammable places around and other exciting goodies that any instagram lover would die for! But I was already pouring a ton of money into something I knew I would be lucky just to break even on, so I referred back to all the stories I’d read of clever business owners getting their crazy ideas funded and did something I’d never done before.
I pitched about 15 local businesses to see if they’d be interested in collaborating on my endeavor. I was prepared for all of them to turn me down. But to my surprise, nearly half of them said yes! 
By the end of it, the basket was worth over $200 and the most I’d spent on it was $6 for the actual basket itself. I built a selfie station and made up 2 ways to enter the raffle.
1. Follow me on Instagram and share your pictures from the event using #wearisshenowpopup.
2. Buy anything and automatically get entered!
I figured that this would help increase sales and marketing by encouraging people to share! It didn’t exactly work out that way, but we’ll get to that later.

And then just to double down on the whole incentive thing, I bought a cheap cotton candy maker and gave away free cotton candy to anyone who wanted it.

little girls selling lemonade and cotton candy at a Pop Up Shop

I spent the next two months pouring every ounce of my free time into planning, building, marketing,

and personally inviting potential customers. I made flyers and hung them all around town in places I thought my target demographic might see them. I revamped my website by purchasing my own domain name, updating the design and adding a “shop” tab. I bought a white tent, a bunch of decorations and had my dad help me build a lemonade stand out of palette boards that a friend of mine kindly gave me. I printed out a butt load of coupons for 20% off my online store and handed one out to every single customer.
In the end, things didn’t come out exactly the way that I’d hoped. But I was kind of prepared for that. I knew that no matter what happened, it would be a learning experience and it certainly was! So today, here are 10 things I learned from my first Pop Up Shop!
 
WHAT I LEARNED FROM RUNNING A POP UP SHOP 
1. THE BEST WAY TO LEARN IS BY DOING
I could have spent several more years planning, dreaming and scheming until everything felt right. But guess what? It rarely ever feels like the right time. When you’re about to embark on a new journey, it will always feel scary and you’ll most likely question yourself to the point of analysis paralysis. There will always be a million reasons not to do something, but you have to push past all that and just START. Your creative brain can come up with a countless amount of scenarios as to how things will go when you do take the plunge, but no information is as valuable as the information you get by just going for it!
KEY LESSON LEARNED: Stop making excuses and start doing.
2. THE MARKET TELLS YOU WHAT IT WANTS, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND
I decided to host my shop for 2 days. On the first day, I was shocked and quite disappointed to see that much of my hard work was lost on people. My sister had set up her own table in the back of my shop to sell some of her old tchotchkes and I never expected it generate the response that it did. Right as you walked up to the yard, you would see my giant white tent covered in streamers and a big balloon banner that read “Wear is She Now.” I had set up the clothes and shoes like a real store, with mannequins and everything!
 But despite my best efforts, a majority of people blew right past all my hard work to pick through my sister’s miscellaneous assortment of trinkets. 
At first, I was extremely frustrated and upset. What was so special about a used coffee mug with a picture of a moose on it? But I was only coming from my own perspective. Sure, that’s not what I would be looking for, but if that’s what my customers wanted, then I had to deliver! So the next day, I put my pride aside and interspersed a bunch of random knickknacks throughout my clothing displays. I thought it looked messy, and not at all how I envisioned it.
But guess what? My sales almost doubled. 
People stopped to take a look at the random stuff I put out and when they did, they also took note of the clothes. It got their attention, it was what they wanted, not what I wanted. Any entrepreneur will tell you that one of the most important abilities you can possess as a business owner, is the ability to listen and I learned that first hand that day.
KEY LESSON LEARNED: Don’t let your pride and vision get in the way of listening to what your customers want.
3. ALWAYS PROVIDE VALUE 
Another vital ability to cultivate as an entrepreneur is knowing how to provide value though everything you do. Yes, I was hosting an event, for the launch of my new business endeavor. But at the end of the day, it really wasn’t about me and I learned this multiple ways while running my Pop Up Shop.
First of all, the way in which I approached the local businesses I was hoping to collaborate with for the raffle was very careful. I did not go to them and talk about myself and my brilliant new plan. I introduced myself, yes. I told them about the event, yes.
The key was, I lead with why it would benefit them to be a part of it. 
I offered to do something in return for them and let them know that this would be helpful for their own marketing efforts. I doubt it would have been nearly as successful had I approached them with a sense of entitlement.
Secondly, as I mentioned before, I had to learn to provide exactly what my customers wanted. First, you have to listen, but then you have to give. Once you know what people are looking for, give it to them! Your vision is valuable and important but it’s not as important as your customer’s needs.
KEY LESSON LEARNED: Everything you do should be an act of service, not entitlement.
4. BE CRYSTAL CLEAR
Like I mentioned previously, I spent a lot of effort building a selfie station and putting together the raffle basket, but as much as I hate to admit, few people noticed them. I had set up the selfie booth in the back, behind a lot of the displays and quite far away. There wasn’t much drawing attention to it so unless I specifically pointed it out, it went unnoticed.
I had attempted to display the raffle basket a little more boldly but I realized later that many people were confused by it. I had forgotten, yet again, to think from the perspective of my customers. They weren’t expecting to come to a yard sale and enter into a raffle or strike a pose at a selfie station.
They had no idea that the basket was worth over $200 and that I’d worked my ass off to put it together. 
When I noticed that no one giving it a second look, I greeted each person and told them right away that we were hosting a raffle and that a bunch of local businesses donated to it. You have to respect your customers time. Many of them are in a rush, they aren’t always paying attention and it’s your job to make that they are.

KEY LESSON LEARNED: Don’t make your customers do the work. Make everything clear, simple and noticeable.

 a man and a woman taking selfies at a Pop Up Shop
source: instagram

 

5. KEEP TRYING EVEN AFTER YOU FAIL
Failure is a hard part of every journey, but it’s also an extremely necessary one. In fact, we often learn the most from our failures. There was a lot that didn’t happen the way I expected or hoped, and a lot that took me by surprise, in both good ways and bad. But the most important thing you can do from there is keep going. Don’t let it break you or discourage you. It’s all part of the process. Playing it safe keeps you from failing but it also keeps you from growing.
The goal is to move on and do things smarter next time. 
You don’t want to keep making the same mistakes over and over again. You want to gather information for the purpose of using it to make you better and brighter so that the next time you try, because you will try again, you get a little closer to your goal.
KEY LESSON LEARNED: Failure is not the end, it’s part of the process.
6. DON’T REINVENT THE WHEEL 
Being such a head strong, determined person means that I have a tendency to get a little blindsided by my own ambition. Sometimes, you can be screaming the right message to the wrong neighborhood. I love to be big, and bold and extra and I don’t do anything half assed. I put my heart and soul into this Pop Up Shop and I worked my ass off to market it to the right people. But at the end of the day, while I saw this as my first Pop Up Shop, my break out moment taking the world by storm, the world saw it as just a yard sale. And most of the people coming to yard sales, didn’t understand what I was trying to accomplish. They attract an older crowd, one that doesn’t often understand the value of selfie stations and Insta-famous starter packs.
Don’t get me wrong! There was a handful of lovely people who totally got it and shared nothing but wonderful words of support! But I’m talking majority here, and most of the people that turned up were not interested in a young woman’s pre-loved clothes. Some of them even confessed that they were confused by my display.
 
Some mentioned they didn’t stop by at first because they thought it was a private party while others literally laughed when I offered them free cotton candy or a chance to win a basket of goodies worth $200+. 
I realized something very important. I could spend all of my time trying to rebrand what yard sales have been for as long as I can remember, or I could pour all of that hard work, time and energy into a market that is already built to appreciate that kind of hard work. I believe in myself and my ideas, but I was trying to reinvent the wheel. My goal was never to continuously have yard sales anyway, but it taught me a lot about about letting your creativity roam in the right spaces and it pushed me to want to take the next step of my journey.
KEY LESSON LEARNED: Spend your time and energy wisely by showcasing great ideas in the right space.
7. DON’T EXPECT EVERYONE TO SEE YOUR VISION 
Sometimes, when you have these fantastic, passion fueled visions, it’s hard to imagine that others won’t be quite as excited as you are. You may be met with negativity, or worse, silence. But don’t let this discourage you. Plan to show and not tell.
People have a much easier time coming around when they see the proof and that’s a lesson I had to learn the hard way. 
I was sitting on my couch literally shaking with nerves and excitement to send out the big text I’d prepared a month prior, announcing my Pop Up Shop to my friends. I had imagined the moment over and over in my head so many times. Everyone would be so thrilled for me, right?!
Wrong.
Hardly anyone answered. It was a bit painful and disheartening, but I had to wise up. It’s no one else’s job to be as invested in your endeavors as you are. You will have to earn most people’s enthusiasm by actually delivering on your incredible ideas. And if you’re lucky enough to have anyone that supports your visions right off the bat, treat them like the absolute gems they are.

KEY LESSON LEARNED: You have to be fully invested in your passions before anyone else is.

a man and a woman taking selfies at a Pop Up Shop

 

8. CHOOSE YOUR TEAM WISELY
This is one of the most important lessons I learned throughout this whole Pop Up Shop experience. I rarely want to trust anyone else with my ideas and visions, but the reality of running a business is that you need help. But more importantly, you need the right help.
Your team can make or break you so when choosing who you want to be a part of your journey, choose wisely. 
I learned a lot about who I can count on, who is unreliable, who’s willing to be helpful and who is unable to follow directions. In the midst of a crisis, will you and your team be able to cope? Does your team work well together?
At one point during the first day of my Pop Up Shop, it felt like everything was going wrong and the stress of it all broke me down to tears. But my boyfriend swooped in, helped me figure out every situation that was going wrong and wouldn’t let me return to the shop until I called myself a girlboss “like you mean it!” and started smiling again.
I’m grateful to be with such a supportive partner, but this isn’t always the case. It’s very common to have plenty of friends and family members, people you really love, who disappoint you, or who even go out of their way to make things harder for you. It’s sad, but it’s a reality.

KEY LESSON LEARNED: Every person you love does not have to be a part of your team, but every person on your team should be someone you love.

man holding pizza in front of lemonade stand at Pop Up Shop
My wonderful boyfriend bought the whole team Pizza 🙂

9. STOP WAITING AROUND 

One of the proudest lessons I learned from trying my hand at a Pop Up Shop was realizing just how much time is wasted by telling yourself you’re not ready. Remember how I mentioned that I pitched 15 different brands to help me out with the raffle? Well right before I pitched my first one, I was dragging my feet SO. MUCH. I had given myself a ton of silly restrictions and conditions before I could ask.
For example: “They won’t take me seriously if I don’t have business cards.”
But I had direct messaged them all through Instagram, so having business cards didn’t even matter. I realized that I was just looking for a bunch of excuses and using perfectionism as a way to procrastinate because I was afraid of rejection. And then one day, I just did it. I didn’t feel ready, I didn’t feel professional, but I asked anyway. And more people than I ever expected to, actually said yes.
KEY LESSON LEARNED: Be mindful of the stories you’re telling yourself as to why can’t do something. The biggest thing in your way is often you.
10. YOU GET TO DEFINE SUCCESS
No matter what happens, how you define success is your choice. There is no Success Police coming to monitor your results. Even your failures can be considered successes but at the same time, even the most magical moments in your career can be painted as failures if you’re always looking at the glass half empty. Any time you’re putting yourself out there, trying something new and going against the grain, that’s a cause for celebration if you ask me! There was a lot I had hoped would go differently during my Pop Up Shop, but there was also a lot to be proud of. I say, if you learned something, that’s success in it’s own right. It’s not that you aren’t successful at smaller levels, it’s just that your success begins to get bigger and bigger as you grow too!
KEY LESSON LEARNED: Success is relative to each person. Don’t forget to celebrate even the smallest wins!
So there you have it beautiful boss babes! I hope this was helpful for whatever goal you might be trying to achieve! Just know that I’m rooting for you and I’m here to answer whatever questions you might have! Good luck on your journey and remember that the world is your runway!
With peace, love and pixie dust,
-Veronica