Be Unique

I definitely think God has a sense of humor.  I went to Unique LA today to work a booth for Cardtorial.  It was my first show and I was pretty excited because hello! You're supporting local businesses.  My boss encouraged me to attend an informational meeting a couple weeks before and I distinctly remember the speaker saying think about your presentation, of the booth but your brand in general.  And to wear comfortable shoes.

The booth was already handled by my boss so the only thing I could control was me.  I wanted to be an extension of our brand.  All of our products are made of wood.  And we were pushing for our new floral monogram products.

I like to know details about events so that I can dress the part.  The California Market Center is somewhere I used to work before so I knew it could get very cold.  First things first, I put on my yellow suede sneakers which I knew would get me through the entire day.  Matching the yellow, I put on a lemon print top.  I also selected a green flowy trench that I needed to wash.  I was debating between shorts but ultimately went with my golden skirt because I wanted to keep it slightly more professional.  And off I went to work the booth.

Sales is something that I wouldn't necessarily choose to do, but something I kind of enjoy when I get into the groove of things.  It makes me do things that is the total opposite of what I'd normally do.  Making eye contact with people and initiating conversation too?  Passing out compliments left and right instead of keeping it to myself.  Sidling up next to a father with a baby carriage and asking, "So, did you buy your Mother's Day gift already?" with a smile.  Sure, there were lots of people who just looked around and left.  And that's okay.  I was really proud of myself for talking to a lot of people that day.

And then when I was walking home, a neatly dressly African American man told me I had on a very nice outfit.  He made it totally not creepy, just a genuine appreciation for the effort I'd put into the outfit.  He said he was a costume designer and was always looking for inspiration.  He asked me my name and I actually gave it instead of giving a pseudonym as I usually do.

When the train finally came, people crawled in their usual way and I waited my turn.  There was one chivalrous man who extended his hand out and said, "Ladies first."  I went ahead before he said anything more to me.  I stood near a bicycle but moved when another bicyclist entered the car.  As I was finding my place, a strangely dressed boy with bleach blonde hair and excessive jewelry told me that he liked my outfit.  He was with another guy who had on an equally loud outfit and platforms.  He asked whether he could take some pictures of me for their fashion blog.  Keeping in line with not doing things that I normally do, I said yes.  I can't find the blog.  But he did show me other photos of people he had featured before.  Compared to the others, my outfit was pretty tame so I felt honored to have been chosen.

I recently told my friend that I was 26 years old and the only thing that I could do with 100% confidence was dress myself.  And it looks like I'm doing something right.  Pretty is fine but I never want that to be my defining characteristic.  I came off the subway grinning from ear to ear because I felt validated somehow.  Two strangers, both male, said something along the lines of keep doing what you do and that was just the encouragement that I needed.  No pick up line.  No "Hey, can I have yo numba?"  Just a quiet nod from a creative to fellow creative saying, "I see you.  Keep being you."

* Sorry I don't have an outfit post, but I don't have the right space or tools to take a nice OOTD picture.

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