I’ve been home for a month now after our huge trip around Europe. Douglas is settling in and has already been more active and still feeling a lot of the positive benefits of travel. He has been going out more often, even taking the city bus with his home care worker and has been out later than myself and his sisters a few nights taking in local concerts. I really think this trip gave him more life, more confidence and more energy to hold onto life. It’s easy to fall into a routine of thinking you can’t, so you don’t and you stay in and you give up on life. With a degenerative illness this happens. I think finding reasons to keep living can keep you healthy longer. Feed your soul. I know before the trip we thought his time was coming to an end. He was very down and had little to live for. But now he seems to have a lot to live for. I’m very proud of him.
As for me, I’m guns blazing setting up a new direction in life. A friend said I look different, I AM different. I reminded myself I can do crazy adventures and pull them off. I had to take a week off when I got home to be by myself. I went to the cabin in the woods and sat in nature. I kayaked on the pond and made friends with a family of loons. Well I tried to but they can hold their breath under water a really long time. But I could tell they were feeling me. I wasn’t 100% but I got back into a normal sleep schedule and following most of my self-care wellness plan habits again. I got into flow type activities when I started researching my ideas I had while travelling. I came face to face with a baby squirrel a few days in and almost realized my joking concept of being so long in the woods I learned to talk squirrel. A friend came up to keep me company on one of the nights but left me right before a raging rain and wind storm. I was scared. It’s the middle of nowhere and the sounds the old cabin makes in the wind can be mistaken for an alien abduction. I came out stronger with a lot of work done on my plans. I did a lot of personal analysis as well. The trip gave me a lot of inspiration. Graphically, branding wise, product wise and also I looked at why and what type of life do I want for myself. Why did I want to do a fashion line again versus some other ideas? In the end I decided fashion for me is an art and a love and I needn’t start that business because the numbers didn’t work out, the work load didn’t work out, and I was going back into it for the vanity aspect, to feed my ego and say look at what I made!!! Not to say I won’t do a run again for the pure joy of it but it wouldn’t be a viable business and all that time in seclusion in my studio wasn’t right for me.
I decompressed with a road trip and a stay at a friends air bnb with a group of girls who really get me. They reminded me who I am. And the ocean too with its ebbs and flows brought me back down and solidified everything I’d been researching. It’s all about home. I want to enjoy our Summers and be out in the world.
I want instant gratification too, I want to spend my days meeting people, become apart of a like-minded community, stimulate the local economy and to have the freedom to come up with a variety of beautiful off the cuff ideas. I want to be mobile, have the freedom to go to my customer not locked in a store all day like Quartier Mode figuring out ways to get my customer to me. I felt trapped most days. I did have a wonderful and inspiring community around me which I miss everyday. But the overhead costs of a brick and mortar take away from the love when the stress of meeting financial goals brings you down. There are many many hats to wear in fashion production and I wanted something more hands on and practical to a broader market.
So I thought how can I use some of the amazing signage and beautiful things I’ve seen on our trip and take them home with me? And I thought what’s happier than giving a kid and ice cream cone? I can realize some branding visuals I love and dress in Birds of North America dresses also day with a cute apron and do what I do to show my love. “Feed the people.” A phrase I coined dating a chef years. Something I wanted to do too. I had dinner with a friend when I came home at the new St. John’s Farmer’s Market. IT felt alive with ideas and grass-roots passion. We had some yummy spicy food, and my friend leaned back satisfied and said ” I really need a gelato or something sweet”. I did too. And I remembered a recent visit with a cousin who runs a gelato shop in Ottawa… so I emailed him then and there. Give me your info. He did. Kids, men, women and even dogs eat it. You eat it when you are happy, when you are sad, when you celebrate, when you are mourning. I can sell at markets and make friends with like-minded vendors and buy my locally grown organic lettuce on my way out for the day.
I know! What the? This is a whole other direction than my fashion background. But a lot of the skills I have with that will come into play and it may afford me the ability to make a few clothing runs too out of love. Yes! I am actually going to gelato school in November. It’s official. And it’s not that far off from previous experience. I did do a stint at a friend’s cupcake and cake cafe in Montréal who I studied business development with. I learned a lot of skills there in food production. I also became dubbed the Cronut lady for my Friday specials that had a line up and sold out every time. I don’t recommend eating a lot of these though I did have a 90-year-old customer who lived off them and came weekly. I told her I’d didn’t to want to kill her but her response was “honey, I’m 90 I can eat whatever I want”.
I’ll tell you more about this venture later but I have a business advisor and am working with a women’s entrepreneurial network to get off and running and feeling alive again! My brain is satisfied. I think I can pull this off like every other adventure and I can’t wait to share it with you!