fallin’ for you

Gabrielle

Grab your fuzzy socks, brew the cider, and cozy up. Our favorite season is here and so is our Fall Mood Board!

Check out the full board here.

fallmood board

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uncertainty

Gabrielle

BP Sep3

It’s that thing that we look at down a road, not knowing where it will lead, but we keep going because what else can we do. There is no way to bypass it, it’s something that everyone has in their lives. Yet, why is it so difficult to wrestle with, to try and get some good strikes in and feel like you’re ahead?

I’d like to think that I’m a planner. I look ahead; ready to make a game plan for what comes next. That’s just how I am. Maybe it started in middle school when teachers made us use an actual planner to copy down due dates, quizzes and tests, attempting to mold organized students. It naturally turned into a habit. Now, there are many things that I start to plan that can’t be written down with a due date next to it. Plans like moving to New York or the start date of my dream job can be made, but factors outside of our own control can dictate when that happens, creating a cloud of uncertainty.

That uncertainty makes me want to pull all the bed sheets above my head and blast some Hilary Duff circa 2003. Not even the worlds best planner could plan around what uncertainty brings.

BP Sep2

With summer starting to wrap up and fall fast approaching, I look back and feel as if I’ve been in a state of limbo. I just accomplished one really huge thing, yet I’m ready to start accomplishing something even bigger. I’m on the edge of my seat, ready to start my career in my dream city. I have a plan; I’m ready to make the jump, but that uncertainty creeps back up.

Here’s the thing, some things will always be out of your control, no matter how far in advance you plan. It can be easy to let the unknown and the uncertain hold you back and keep you put. However, you can’t let it stop you. Crawl back up from under those sheets, give Hilary a break and keep going.

Embrace it.

BP Sep

women build women

Gabrielle

Sarah Sharp is a woman of wit and grace. She could be described as the best friend or sister that you wish you had and never knew how much you needed. I had the honor to pick her brain and now get to share some of her indispensable wisdom.

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VV. Tell us a bit about yourself

SS. My name is Sarah Sharp. I grew up in a suburb outside of Portland, Oregon, where most of my family still lives. Now I live and work in Brooklyn, where I’m a copywriter at an advertising agency. Besides those things I like to cook, tweet about my feelings, blog (sometimes), I’m learning to embroider, and about to buy a new sewing machine.

VV. As a woman working in the advertising industry, what have you learned?

SS. I genuinely feel like I’m learning all the time. Gross, I know. I think it’s always that way; you just have to keep getting better. I’d say I’ve grown most in the strategic part of being a “creative,” like how to present to people I’m intimidated by; how to defend work I believe in; how to accept feedback graciously, or get what I need via carefully worded email. I’m still learning this stuff, but it’s honing these more administrative skills that lets your actual work, the ideas you have, get better and really shine.

VV. What has been one of your proudest moments?

SS. I think the moments I’ve been most proud of myself are small ones that symbolize a lot. I’m sentimental that way.

There was a time last spring, leaving work in that perfect not-quite-summer New York sunshine. My partner and I had finished a really productive day and the weather had us in great spirits, so we went to a nearby bar where they put an apple and a half into a juicer and juice it into a glass already half full of whiskey and you drink two and need to lie down. Anyway, we went there and had some of those apple juice drinks and an appetizer and then went our separate ways. As I was wandering through soho by myself I realized that I was just really happy. The sun was still out, I was wearing a new dress, and I had no plans. It had been a tough year—moving to a new city, getting my first real job, going through a breakup. I didn’t realize how exhausting it all was until I was through it, noticing for the first time in that sunny spring moment that I had made it, that I had been making it for a while.

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VV. What would you like to see change for women in the working world?

SS. I want to see socialized feminine traits valued the same way socialized masculine traits are. It’s totally fine for women to “lean in,” but we set women up for failure when we suggest that being more traditionally masculine is the way to solve inequality, not least because it isn’t the sole job of women to dismantle inequality, but of course, because women are judged more harshly than men when they’re assertive and outspoken like we tell them to be. It’s a trap, and a mental gerbil’s wheel that gets us nowhere. And most of all: women have grown up in the same world but lived very different lives from their male counterparts. We have different skills and perspectives because of that, and they are incredibly valuable! I want women to be able to own their experience and perspective, and bring their best qualities to the table, even if they’re considered feminine. For this to happen, we have to start acknowledging all the structural bias we give more masculine traits, and make space for all types of humans on the gender spectrum to be successful.

VV. Do you have any words of advice for women and in what ways do you think that women can continue to build each other up and empower one another?

SS. Two things. One: let yourself acknowledge when things are hard or fucked up. It’s important to take time to be disappointed, angry, and just fucking annoyed sometimes, especially with someone who can relate. Sometimes all you want is for someone else to say, “Wow, that’s so unfair. I’ve experienced that too. I’m sorry.” Find that person. You can only understand the powers at be if you acknowledge they exist. You can only protect yourself, and advocate for a safer, more inclusive world if you’re honest about the need for those things. You need a safe space to have those feelings and conversations. I think we owe that to ourselves and each other.

Being a professional while compensating for privileges you don’t have is exhausting, but it’s also a type of resistance training that pays off. Processing this stuff makes you smarter. Understanding how the world works, how power works, makes you more insightful. Feeling the need for change makes you more generous. I have to believe those things win.

VV. You have a witty and humorous twitter, what inspires these tweets?

SS. I tell people on the internet my stupidest jokes and most embarrassing personal stories and in return I get validation. It’s kind of like, who needs a significant other?

Honestly, it’s a good way to practice brevity and it’s helped me develop my voice a lot. I hate that I just said that, god.

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VV. You share your own blog posts with some beautiful insights and intimate thoughts, what inspires you to write these?

SS. At work, most of the writing I do is for presentation slides. I’m stupidly optimistic so I will say that presentation writing is somewhat of an art and it has made me sharper. But in college I was writing pages and pages and pages, making up whatever arguments I wanted about female character development or why exactly a painting could make me nostalgic. I miss being able to stretch an idea over several thousand words—just to have that much space to play with.

I’ve loved writing since I was a kid, but it just occured to me in the last couple of years that I can actually sit down and write about personal things that are challenging me, and get somewhere, find a coherent argument along the way. I like sharing that stuff because, as with twitter, I like validation. I’m sort of joking, but I do like hearing or seeing that other people feel the same way or appreciate what I have to say. That’s always nice.

VV. As a writer what would you say to other women pursuing writing?

SS. Hm. I’m going to give advice I need to take, which is: just start calling yourself a writer and then write, and then keep writing—even if you’re worried you aren’t that good or that you have nothing new to say.

I learned to ski when I was five and fearless. Now I’m a competent, even good, skier but I’m also a fully-formed adult who understands physical pain and hospital bills. If I tried to learn to ski now, I’d be so afraid.

You’re probably never going be less afraid of starting than you are right now. The vulnerability, the distinct flavor of failure and rejection, your own internal pressure to be better—these are constants. Take a deep breath, remember that literally every person who writes first decided they were allowed to take up that space, to put that title by their name, and do the same even if you feel like you’re faking it.

If you’re already doing all this keep going and please give me advice.

VV. Any final thoughts?

SS. Thanks for having me! Follow me on twitter. Kidding. Sort of. @sarahissharp

VV. Seriously, follow this gal on Twitter and while you’re at it, check out her blog. You won’t regret it!

may goals

Gabrielle

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At the beginning of each month the ladies of Velvet + Vinyl are asked to come up with goals to work towards. There is no limit to what a goal can be and they range from personal goals to big ideas and what we want for the blog. This month, we decided to share our goals in hope that it will motivate you to set your own.

As for me, one of my goals is to focus on self-love and self care. The chaos of life sometimes throws routine out the window and demands attention elsewhere. It doesn’t appear that things will be slowing down anytime soon, so I want to commit to taking a bit of time focus on myself without losing sight of all of my commitments and priorities. It is as simple as watching my eating habits and listening to my body to eat better and disconnecting from technology to get creative and work on some art.

Another goal is to see this blog grow and continue to build relationships with our readers. I wouldn’t be part of this team if I didn’t believe in and have passion for what Velvet + Vinyl is all about. I have nothing but big dreams for V+V and can’t wait to see where May takes us.

Libby:

My goal for this month is to be more rebellious.

In the past few weeks I’ve been confined to my comfort zone, and I’m determined to challenge that. I want to abandon my inclination to stick with what’s safe and instead find the courage to pursue the thrill of the unknown. I want to feed my curiosity and follow through with the goals and to-do’s I’ve overlooked.

Kristin:

This month, I want to work more deeply on finessing my editing style, and really expanding on new concepts for shoots and video for both the fashion and music industry. Continuing to reach out to artists will be a running goal for the next few months.

Additionally, I want to work more in video. Now that I have my new editing system, I will have more resources to make editing extra clean.

I want to collaborate with lostboycrow in an interview and do a ticket giveaway for mother mother during the month of May.

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Kristy:

To shoot a look book with a Portland company I have been talking to. The girl is amazing and I would love to promote how girl next door and effortless the company is/

See how to transform an art pieces into a post that fits the V+V aesthetic.

Rachael:

My goals mainly are to continue to grow in a way that is effective in helping me discover my true passions and style when it comes to fashion, music, art and all things creative. I’ve been recently digging into what I want to do in the future regarding a career and I’ve come to realize I am very passionate about pursuing things I didn’t even recognize that I was before (such as photography and different art styles as opposed to just writing).

I also plan on reaching out to more members of the team to try to get to know them more.

Baylee:

My goals for myself this month is to learn to live a healthier lifestyle. I’m finally home from school and I’m using this time to reset and focus on bettering myself.

Baili:

My goals are to have 1500 of followers by end of may and to learn how to use DSLR.

Marin:

My goals is to get us to 1000 followers this month on the Instagram and to keep taking photos that align with our Insta aesthetic yet are still high quality.

Get inspired by the ambitious goals of our girl gang and set some for yourself!

sprung on you

Gabrielle

It’s spring. The weather is changing and so is the mood. We have all survived winter, now it’s time to look ahead. Put away the wardrobe fit for the cold and bring out the fun and flowy. Off the shoulder tops, culottes and sandals; the spring fit. Get inspired by the season and see where it takes your wardrobe.

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Photos by Melissa Epifano

tired

Gabrielle

I am tired of the idea of what is right and wrong when it comes to our bodies, the way we choose to do our makeup and the clothes we decide to wear.

bodies

Bodies.

Our bodies are not only objectified, but idealized as well. Society combined with the media has a powerful influence of telling us how a woman should look. An advertisement showing slim and lean figures calls us to love our curves when those curves are not represented. Should we have the slim figure or a body sculpted out of curves? There are too many expectations when it comes to the appearance of our bodies and it creates negative expectations and beliefs that do nothing but harm. We internalize the projections of society and the media, lowering our confidence, harming our health and hurting our over-all well being. Many go through harmful lengths to achieve the unachievable idealization when the truth is that each and every one of us is beautiful just the way we are.

When it comes to our beautiful bodies there is no right or wrong.

makeup

Makeup.

There is a stigma revolving around those who choose to wear makeup and those who go make-up free. Someone who wears a full face of makeup is fake and shouldn’t be trusted because you don’t know how they may actually look underneath it all. On the other hand, if someone doesn’t wear makeup, they must be lazy and not care about their appearance or perhaps they are anti-makeup. It is as if there is no in between. The truth is the amount of make-up one wears or the amount of time one takes to get ready does not define who they are.

When it comes to makeup, there is no right or wrong.

clothes

Clothes.

Because no one body is the same, different clothes will fit each body differently. Something may have a tighter fit for one and a looser fit on another. The tightness of ones clothes does not define who they are. The amount of skin showing or lack there of does not determine who they are. A certain amount of judgment comes from ones clothes. We are told by society what trends to follow and what the hottest styles are, but we don’t always have to follow the rules.

When it comes to how we dress, there is not right or wrong.

Do what makes you feel authentic. There is no right or wrong.

Artwork by Gabrielle