The Job Experience

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Being silent for a while has been a lesson about myself. Even when I was working 50 or 60 hours a week this past few months, my mind would write incredible verses, sentences, opening lines for a possible book. And as soon as reality came crushing, the words so craftily arranged on the back if my eyes would dissipate and be lost forever.

I started paying attention to people around me for the sole purpose of creating interesting, top notch characters. I saw my body detaching from the moment and moving backwards, like I wasn’t experiencing everything that was happening in front of me and my body was just a shallow robot following mechanic orders. Then again, I was working 60 hours a week, I was so tired it might have been the only way I found to cope with it all. Cope with the 10 hour work shifts, the low paying job I had.

I started working for Limited Brands at their warehouse last september thinking I would be the only one with a degree. Presumptuous, I know. I quickly realized some people there had BAs in Creative Writing and Masters in Marketing. It didn’t make me feel any better that I wasn’t the only one overeducated.

Single moms and teen moms were going after money to raise their children, hoping the seasonal position would became a full time job eventually. That would be ideal, because then they would have access to benefits, health insurance, security. Sometimes, that can be an overrated concept, but not in their situation. Substitute teachers looked for stability, an extra source of income, anything to help them pay their house mortgage and their holiday expenses. Married moms were looking for a way back into the job market.

When things got rough, women cried, picked fights or ran away, never coming back. They were either fired or just resigned, backed up by Ohio work laws. Here, differently than in Brazil, you are allowed to abandon your job without notice. You can also be fired and loose everything overnight.

It was certainly an emotional, stressful experience. But maybe, just maybe, it was the first step I had to go through to have a better job next time.

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Roughly dilapidated

Juliana Sayão Domingues Clark, 2013. 

Like a dilapidated diamond, I am a conjoint of small polished surfaces.

Fifty eight facets, fifty eight sides represent the fractions of personality I am aware I possess.

The fractions are uneven, contradictory, pointing in different directions, but they never annul themselves.

Their edges were cut, trying to masquerade the roughness of the original stone.

The roughness that was born with me, and in me still lies.

The roughness that are implied in all my statements, in my journey, in myself, especially when nobody knows or tries to see.

The roughness that I touch convulsively and I conceal within me.

The roughness only I know.

Me and my facets, we all talk.

We talk about love, marriage and babies.

We talk about life, and death. About the birds, the skies, the dogs, my dogs.

We pronunciate words without real meaning, except for the ones we signify ourselves. We create our own language from zero, from our roughness.

We disagree. Argue. Fight.

We incite the suicide of ourselves, aiming to become one homogeneous block.

I urge to unite, to be coherent.

I need to kill the dissonance in me.

I need to control the many “me’s” in me, though I am tired of fighting myself.

I am tired of fighting myself and my roughness and my language.

I need to accept what I am.

I am the nurturer of my dreams and agonies.

The ultimate gardener of my own anxieties.

The unity within the caos.

I am the meaning of all the sentences that rush through my brain and scape through my mouth. I am the intent within the act of saying and writing.

I am the conscience behind the roughness.

The complexity within the order.

I am the thesis, the antithesis and, finally,  the synthesis.

I am.

Emma, 5, gives life to strong, female role models

Jaime C. Moore is a wedding and lifestyle photographer who need creative ideas to portray 5 years old girls, since her own daughter, Emma, had just turned 5. All she could find was pictures and tutorials on how to dress your daughter as a Disney Princess. It was not so much about not liking Disney Princesses – Moore claims she loves them – but it was about how massive it had became: 95% of what she found in her research for inspiration had the princesses in it. Isn’t there any other costumes, any other role models that can inspire girls photographs and make them see themselves differently?

“Five is such a fun age, the age you realize your little one is not so little anymore. She has begun to think for herself with her own opinions and questions about the world around her, it’s pretty amazing”, said Moore. “Emma is a very creative and independent girl herself.  I had mentioned several times about needing to photograph her 5 year portraits and when I proposed the idea of doing something completely new, she was so excited. We had so much fun picking out the costume pieces and through each woman’s portrait I would tell her about each incredible woman. Learning of Amelia Earhart seemed to be her favorite (although Jane Goodall was a close second), just the idea of her dressing like the first female pilot to fly across the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean thrilled her. I love her facial expression in the photograph, I took the shot as I was cheering “Emma you just flew a plane, by yourself, over the Ocean!”, in her eyes I see so much pride and confidence. I love seeing that come through an image and it means so much more seeing it in my daughter’s eyes.”

Jaime and Emma research was extensive, but they selected 5 remarkable women: Amelia Earhart, Sunsan H. Anthony, Coco Chanel, Hellen Keller and Jane Goodall. Emma would not only dress up as these women, but mimic their poses and recreate an original photography.

“There were many different reasons why I chose these 5 amazing women. Each woman is so very different in how they’ve lived their lives and how they have changed ours for the better. A big thing for me was that these incredible women overcame such obstacles and persevered to change their lives simply because they wanted to…. Amelia wanted to fly a plane, so she did. Not letting society’s “rules” direct their lives for them, they raised the bar and we should continue to.”, Moore explains. “Oh there were hundreds more woman we loved for the project, but it was quite tricky. We needed women who had portrait style photographs of themselves that I felt we could replicate, women with quotes that were appropriate to have featured under a little girl and because of certain copyright laws we tried our best to make sure the original photographs were of a certain age or public domain.”

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Info:

Jaime C. Moore website: http://www.jaimemoorephotography.com/

and Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JaimeMoorephotography

Gingers taking over e-commerce

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Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. We are all out there, seeking for some relatable content, maybe something funny that would lighten up our day. Entrepreneurial companies like Ginger Problems catch my attention particularly because of how they attend a very specific group. For those of you who don’t know, Ginger Problems is an e-commerce website that sells clothes designed for redhead people, aka ginger, or ginger lovers. It is also a Twitter character (or personality?) with more than 160.000 followers, a Facebook page with more than 5.000 likes and an Instagram profile with more than 16.000 followers. I don’t have red hair, neither does my husband, but I do know an unusual number of Brazilian gingers (be noted: non-dyed) and I’ve seen some of what they go through. It is tough being a ginger when you have to deal with tropical weather, high temperatures and lots of sun, even during winter. Phrases like this, published on Ginger Problems Facebook account, make even more sense: “I’m a ginger and this crazy. But here’s my sunscreen, I use it daily”. Funny, perky, relatable: apparently, that is all it takes to launch your own business.

Here is my interview with Trevor Denton, the creator of it all, about how the business came to life:

quirksmag: How did the business idea come up?

Trevor Denton: I’ve always been an avid twitter user and when I saw what @WhiteGrlProblem was doing I thought, well surely there has to be a GingerProblems account. There wasn’t, so I decided to make one. It took off very quickly. A few celebrities started following and then it just kept snowballing from there. I was put in the position to constantly create content and become this internet comedian. I am no professional comedian, but I will say all you need is a sense of humor to have the ability to make people laugh. So GingerProblems is my attempt at being somewhat of a comedian to the ginger population.

qm: Were you surprised by the results?

TD: I was definitely surprised at what was happening when I started the twitter account. Once I was able to gain control and really understand it’s potential (starting the clothing line and branding the company), things kind of started happening the way I wanted them to. My vision was becoming reality.

qm: How did social media helped you captivate people and customers? Is there a secret?

TD: Humor. Everybody likes to laugh. Which reminds me of my favorite quote: “I hate laughing.” – Nobody ever. Social media works if you’re social. It works if you present something your audience can relate to.You just have to know your audience. Lucky for me I can tell by their hair color.

qm:When did you start selling clothes and why?

TD: When I started GingerProblems in November 2010, I sort of gave myself an ultimatum. I had around 1K followers. I told myself, once I hit 2K, I’ll come out with a shirt. If it does well, I’ll keep this going. If it bombs, then I’ll most likely put this twitter thing to rest and move on to something else. Needless to say, the shirts were selling out and I continued. I feel very fortunate to have fell into this niche market all by just wanting to start a twitter account for fun.

qm: Would you consider your business successful?

TD: I’d say it is successful. However, I will say that it is still young and is very much so still growing. I am still young too. I’ve learned a lot by starting GingerProblems. Lots of trial and error.

qm: How many shirts do you sell monthly?

TD: Our online sales are very consistant. We sell anywhere from 200-300 shirts a month.

qm: What were your initial expectations?

TD: My initial expectations for the company were to just be consistant and keep the customer happy. I’m a big fan of companies who include free stickers or cool artwork packs with orders being sent to their customers. So with every order, we include stickers or cards with different designs or coupon codes. I feel that its important to always give more. The customer is always expecting what they ordered, but when you go the extra mile and surprise them, it goes a long way. It’s all about gaining a trusting relationship, so they know whenever they order something from GingerProblems they can expect to get more. Always.

qm: What are the difficulties of having a small business nowadays? Is there something that makes it easier?

TD: Difficulties would have to be time and money. I think that is a common challenge for any business.I wish there were more hours in a day. You just have to be patient. Social media and smartphones make everything easier. I wouldn’t have been able to do this 10, maybe even 5 years ago.

qm: Would you consider yourself an entrepreneur? Why?

TD: Yes. I think anybody who has an idea, is passionate about it, and then goes out there and does it is an entrepreneur. I feel that I’ve built something that was once such a minor and innocent idea and now has become a living, breathing entity that is part of my everyday life.

qm: Any plans for the future?

TD: For the future, I’d like to see GingerProblems offer more than clothes. I want to be able to offer actual products people use and not just wear. I’d like to see us in stores across the globe. I want to make a bigger impact to the redhead community. No one’s done us justice yet.

On time: Many thanks to my sister, who sent me the picture! She bought one of Trevor’s shirts because her boyfriend has red hair and she thought it would be a cute way to say “I love you”. Plus, I must say: when I received the package for her, I opened to make sure everything was all right and I found a sticker and some postcards in the package. They were a very nice touch.