*Photo courtesy of Castleton Photos. Note the steampunk flamingo on his shoulder. If that's not bad-A, I don't even know what is. This is one of my favorite couples, by the way!
I was asked a question today to which I had no answer, which is not normal for me, since I make a regular and practiced practice out of speaking without thinking (which is pretty impressive if you think about it, because I know that most people have to actually cogitate lucid strings of words before they spew forth from their maws. Me? Nah. ). The question was about my goals for this company. Goals? Company??? What the WHAT?? I cannot recall a time when I have actually planted myself down and thought about the direction in which I was headed. What AM I doing?
When I was 14, I went to the Kansas City Renaissance Festival. There I was, giddy with the feeling of wearing a romantic dress and being called "Milady" by men in tights and codpieces (Oh, man...this codpiece is real COD. That is my favorite Mystery Science Theatre 3000 line EVER!). I was in a dress that I had proudly stitched together myself...come to think of it, I bet I can find the pattern image. Ah, yes!! Here it is!!!
***By the way, just in case you're wondering, this is like ALL patterns. The pictures look gorgeous, the sizing on the pattern envelopes is atrocious, the methods they have you use and tedious and wasteful, and the fit of the actual garment would be more suited to a hunchback organ grinder monkey.
Yes, so I was in the dress. I had made the bodice portion out of a brick red floral pattern and then the dress was flowing and green. It had more cleavage that I would normally get out of the house with, and I felt absolutely regal. I even felt....captivating! When I put that dress on, I could literally feel a mass of unpleasant things fall away from me.It was as if I had generously sprayed Emotional Scotch Guard on my inner self, and all of the insecurities and self doubts beaded had beaded into liquid dots, rolled into rivulets, and flowed off of me, leaving me unscathed. I liked the feeling of being LACED into something, being literally "held" together by an outer force. *Once again, it's good to note here that this little bodice only felt that way for about 10 minutes, and the second my little pieces of plastic boning from JoAnn for $3.79 per yard started warming up with my body, they bent and twisted into awkward lasagna noodles.)
Even in my little rebellious puberty-stricken 14-year-old brain, I could see that other women felt confident and proud of their bodies. I could see how much fun they were having, uninhibited by the usual boxy t-shirts and bland denim leg cages. I saw how the men smiled and flirted in such an unbridled manner with these sparkling feminine forms. This was NOTHING like I had seen at high school (thank heavens) and everything that my romantic heart had ever dreamed of. I walked past several vendors selling succulent gowns, bawdy bodices, and flowing blouses. Right then, I had one of the most crystalline and revelatory thoughts of my entire existence. As I looked into one of the costume booths, my brain sparked and a voice said, "Wouldn't it be INCREDIBLE if you could make and sell these things?! What if you could GIVE other women the same feeling that you have right now?"
So, what is my goal? Phew. Yikes. I'm going to be honest here, and bare a part of my soul that is very tender, so please don't poke it when I unveil it. I want to DRASTICALLY change how women FEEL about and perceive their bodies. Not just my customers. Every dang woman on this planet. If I could bottle up and give away that poignant manifestation that I had as a teenager, I will have lived a good life. Now, I DO struggle with a natural propensity toward sarcasm and self-deflecting negative thought patterns, and I think that the REASON that I battle so much with this is because some sinister force DOES NOT want me to help women. Each time any of us wants to do something greater than ourselves, there is a mass of resistance that quells our aspirations and dims out lights. My wish is to conquer this virulent force and get bypass my own brain. I've got plans, and they don't just involve corsets. However, the corsets have been a marvelous vehicle, but this is just the beginning, I can promise you.