Monday, November 23, 2009

Regarding Pink Hair.

My hair is, more or less, half pink. It has been this way for a while now, and I don't see it changing anytime soon. I get a lot of reactions to my pink hair - almost always positive - and a lot of curious questions about it. So I thought I'd take this time to answer some of the most frequently asked questions, as well as picwhore all of my pinkhaired history.Love at First Pink

Question: When did you first dye your hair pink?
Answer: I first put pink in my hair the summer before my freshman year of college (I'm a junior now). I dyed the tips pink. They lasted for about a year before, sadly, breaking off entirely. Turns out damaging your tips is not a lasting solution for wanting pink in your hair. I moved on to bigger and better things soon after my freshman year, adding more and more highlights (I call them, cleverly, pinklights).

Question: What dyes have you used? Which is your favorite?
Answer: First I used an N'RAGE one step bleach/dye kit, which was great and lasted several months. Then I tried to keep my pink bright with manic panic cotton candy pink, which lasted about a week and a half before fading. Next I used Special Effects Atomic Pink which tided me over for about a year, with touchups once a month. Now I'm using Special Effects Virgin Rose, which starts out more red than pink but fades into a brilliant fuschia and lasts much longer than any dye I've used yet! I must say it's definetly my favorite to date.

Question: Do people respond to your hair? What are the best and worst repsonses you've received?
I look like this about once a monthAnswer: More people than you'd think respond to my hair! I get loads of compliments on it from chicks my age, and smiles of solidarity from other pinkheads. I also get some unexpected compliments: once, while I was in a Starbucks with my dad, a middle aged businessman approached us and told me he loved my hair. I was so flattered - even corporate dudes love my hair! I was also complimented on it by my wonderful previous employers at during the interview proccess. It seems to help me get creative, fun jobs rather than hurt me! To date the only negative reaction to my hair was when I worked at Olive Garden. I was a hostess, and apparently sat an elderly couple. Their waitress came up to me and informed me that all they could talk about was my hair, how it was a disgrace, how Olive Garden was supposed to be a "high class establishment" and people with pink hair belonged in "Steak and Shake," and how a complaint to management was imminent. Oddly, my hair was up at the time, and my pink was not even that visible! Happily, I was not fired, and received no further complaints about my hair.
Oh god, I'm making that pouty face.
Question: What do your parents think about your hair?
Answer: My poor parents learned long ago to give up any semblance of control over my hair. One time when I was in 7th grade I got in trouble for giving myself an impromptu haircut in the bathroom (to the principal's horror, my mom reasoned that it would grow back and did not ground me). Throughout high school I tried blonde, red/purple, and black. My senior year of high school my mother bribed me to keep my hair naturally colored (which I did - and promptly pink'd it after graduation!) I don't think my parents mind my pink hair. My dad sees it as a sign of my creativity and often uses it as an anecdote when bragging about me to various business associates. My mom (who went to burning man this year, props to her!) told me she was considering dying her own hair pink to match her new pink laptop. My sister, however, wants me to dye it back to brown for her wedding. Boo.

WTF am I doing here???
Question: How often do you have to dye it? Is it difficult to maintain?
Answer: I typically dye it about once a month. In between dyes it fades to a peachy blonde color, especially at my roots where I use the most shampoo. I also have to bleach my roots ever 6 months or so to avoid that nasty grown-out look. In general, re-dying is no big deal. I have a stockpile of latex gloves and aluminum foil, and I just chill with foil on my head for about 3 hours before rinsing my hair in the shower. It can stain if you're not careful, so I try to be careful! I also try to be gentle with my hair because the pink parts are bleached, and they're a bit more damaged than the other parts of my hair. Other than that it's not too bad at all.

Question: has pink hair affected your self-image at all?

Answer: Pink hair has definetly boosted my self esteem. I have a tendency to think people are judging me if they look at me, and before I had pink hair, I would have a mini freakout trying to figure out what on earth they were staring out. Now, it's obvious - they're looking at my bright pink hair! Having pink hair makes me feel more adventurous, creative, and fashionable, even on the days where I wear sweats and jeans. It helps me feel glamorous and girly at the same time. It makes me happy when I see it all bright in the mirror - after all, pink is my favorite color! (Have you noticed?) I don't think I'll be getting rid of it for a long time - it's definetly become a part of my identity now. I would be sad without it!

Most recent pic!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fashion Design Portfolio in Progress

So as some of you may or may not know already, my major at IU is Fashion Design and Apparel Merchandising. The fashion design certificate at IU is an extremely rigorous 2 year program that is bigger than a minor but smaller than a major. It covers every part of fashion design: Design and Construction studios, Drawing and Portfolio studios, Computer Aided Design, and Field experiences, as well as Theory and History courses. Currently I am in a lab class constructing skirts and pants, and a design class learning the basics of fashion sketches and portfolio pieces. At the end of the semester I will have 2 completed skirts and a pair of pants, as well as over 15 pieces in my portfolio! But I thought I'd share some of my designs that I've made so far.

"Redesigning the Trench Coat" First look: gabardine motorcycle style jacket with leather pants and rubber boots. Second look: gabardine dress with leather boots + vinyl umbrella. Mood page theme was "protection" so there are weather elements and cameo to symbolize the protection that Trench coats provided the army in WWII.

First I'd like to point out that I have never, EVER drawn anything substantial before this year. I've made some pretty awesome abstract illustrations and doodles but never people or clothing. Also, my design class is NOT an art class: we are not given any direct instruction as far as things like proportion or making a sketch look realistic. What we are given as a resource is a huuuuge textbook called 9 Heads which is chock full of croquis (blank human forms), flats (a garment drawn as if it were laid out on the ground to show construction techniques) and working sketches (a drawing of the garment on a human form to show how it looks being worn). We were then told about Mood Pages or Mood Boards which is basically a collage that expresses the theme or inspiration behind the garment you have designed. Then we were told to go forth and create! Each week we have a new assignment to turn in with two looks, flats, working sketches and a mood page. So far we've designed for the US Open, created an outfit based on the Turban Squash, redesigned the Trench Coat, constucted half-scale garments based on the architecture of IU, reconstructed a full-scale "problem garment," and designed looks to fit into the Halston brand. We are given a week to complete each assignment and although the course is only worth one credit (grrr) we all bust our butts in the fashion lab for many, many hours! I will have a complete portfolio of these and more pieces, including my final line (10 looks around a common theme) later on, but I figured I'd show some of what I've been working on.
Designing for the Halston line. Blue china silk scoop neck dress with yellow ultrasuede belt and matching hat.

I really wanted to develop my own style of designing and drawing that would be easily recognizable. I didn't use any of the croquis provided by the 9 Heads book at all, so I basically had to teach myself how to draw people from scratch. I decided early on to reject the standard high fashion model, which is abnormally tall and abnormally thin. I create designs and draw women that are full-figured, even plus sized. My croquis are all very curvy and even the fit model for the skirt I am constructing is curvy. The more I design the more practice I get so I have definitely improved over the course of the semester!

Dress inspired by the Turban Squash. Sweetheart neckline and bubble skirt with oxford shoes.

Half-Scale dress designed by me and 2 other girls based on the McKinney Fountain

My most recent designs are definitely the best but they are still being graded so I haven't gotten a chance to take pictures of them. But here is a slight overview at least!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Caffiene is my god

So I'm taking a quick, jittery break from studying. By the way, if anyone wants to know about marginal propensity to consume or save, real GDP, aggregate demand or supply and/or disposable income, ask me, since I now understand it enough to feel relatively confident about my midterm tomorrow. Does anyone else love caffiene this much? Seriously. Best invention ever. Anyway so I'm officially scheduling in time to work for OmgLia since I'm not getting much done updating at 3am every night... from now on, Friday is OmgLia day. I will wake up early and report to work at the library, and work diligently until I am all caught up! Mostly for my benefit, but also for all those who are curious what tasks go into running a DIY shop from a dorm room, here is my To Do List for the next few Fridays:

1. Update Etsy/website with finished pictures (finished means cropped, resized, background whited out, and any contrast or color adjustments.)

a) Alice in Wonderland Line (preview to the left)
b) New stud earrings
c) Necklaces, earrings and clearance updates (need to move old items to clearance!)
d) Add new photoshoot pics to existing items

2. Advertising

  • a) Set advertising budget, contact collected potential advertisers to purchase slots

  • b) Write advertising code and page for OmgLia to bring in more advertising revenue

  • c) Make new advertisement banner, whore it everywhere

3. Accounting

  • a) finish updating 2009/2008 balance sheet using paypal, propay and income statement

  • b) Add any values from receipts including post office fees, credit card purchases, etc

  • c) Collect data from net income or loss per month

  • d) all kinds of data analysis! (this part is only fun if you are a huge excel nerd, which I am!!)

4. Newsletter

  • a) Depending on budget, purchase newsletter production company like Vertical Response

  • b) Develop template for regular newsletters

  • c) Set up a schedule for sending newsletters (Currently it's something like whenever I feel like it, which is not often enough to bring back many customers!)

  • d) Create newsletters with original content, coupon codes, pictures, etc that people will actually read, not send to spam box, and perhaps even click on once in a while!

5. Blog

  • a) Brainstorm blog posts based on polling various readers about what they want to read about. Create blog posts. Post regularly!

  • b) Research ways to get more traffic to my blog (keywords?)

  • c) Figure out how the hell to move this blog over to >.<

6. Etc

  • a) using new site banner, design new bag toppers, etsy banner, link banners, and business cards.

  • b) order more business cards

  • c) Depending on budget, purchase Flickr account and upload as much as possible to it.

  • d) take pictures of any leftover inventory to upload to site

  • d) make more stuff (funny, you'd think this would be a more important one, but honestly with all the rest of the stuff I have to do, creating inventory is really NOT as prioritized as one would assume. They should tell you these things BEFORE you start your own DIY business!)

Anyway. So that's that. Now I shall return to studying. PS, note for all college students reading this: IF YOU HAVE NOT BEEN TO YOUR UNIVERSITY LIBRARY, VISIT IT ASAP. I've only recently made studying at the library a habit of mine, and I've noticed SUCH a change in productivity from when I tried to study (unsuccesfully) in my dorm room. Also, the resources of the IU library are absolutely staggering: everything from paid subscriptions to any online article I could ever want to read, to one-handed keyboards in case I break my arm, to printers capable of creating life-size posters, to ... well, books. They even have a cafe downstairs with SUSHI, and 5 floors of studying lounges. AWESOME. I'm making a library kit with all the neccessaries to take with me every day when I stop by here for HOURS. Ok. seriously, back to studying. And also my favorite picture of me from this weekend's photoshoot!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dorm room pics!

I finally got my dorm tidied up and looking nice heres some pics

The actual color of dorm room is very pinkish, I covered the light with tissue paper to filter it . Also those are candy corn "christmas"lights sent by my mom as a hallowen present!

My bed, with my awesome rolly laptop table!
To see the rest of the pics, click here!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ideas for blog posts?

So, I really don't update enough. Like, 3x or so a MONTH. What the fail is that?? Dear readers, I'd like to know what YOU want me to write about! Please vote in this poll so I can crank out some new awesome entries for you.

What would you like to read about on the OmgLia blog?

View Results
Create a Blog Poll

Sunday, October 11, 2009

5 Easy Ways to Earn Extra Money

So, times are hard, bla bla bla. You need extra money for gas, for your kid, for those shoes, whatever. Doesn't really matter to me, I'll take extra money whenever, bad economy or not! As such, I've become an expert at figuring out ways to sneak extra cash into my wallet. Every little bit helps and it all adds up over time. However I do remind you know that the tips I'm sharing are NOT a substitute for real, substantial income. Its more like some extra pocket cash. Second, I have already written a review of ways to make money via paid-to and survey sites, which brings in about $30-$60 a month extra for me! You can see that information here: . But here are even MORE good ways to make extra money!

Checkbook Cover by bagladiesinpa

1. Donate plasma. Every decent sized town should have a plasma donation center. Donating plasma is fairly easy and you can do it up to twice a week after you pass a screening and fitness exam which takes about 2 hours - additional visits take much less time. You can make roughly $200 or so extra a month donating plasma. For more information and to find a donation center near you visit this site:

2. Sell any extra stuff you might have lying around in your house on Ebay, Craigslist or Livejournal. Some things you might sell include clothing, CDs, video games, DVDs, action figures, keychains, old jewelry, unused makeup, purses, shoes, or craft supplies. If you're absolutely desperate and have low standards, people will also buy your used underwear. (I've never tried this, but apparently you can get $30 for a pair of your panties. Hey, if the demand is there, why question it? Or even think about it and wonder what kind of people would ever want to buy a pair of used panties? .... exactly, let's not.) Livejournal has loads of awesome selling communities, though you'll need to know a bit of HTML and join lots of communities to get your items out there for people to see. Ebay is great too, but once you add your items, they can tend to get lost in the fray. To boost visibility of your stuff, advertise the items with an image or two on livejournal! There are communities just for that sort of thing - if you want some help finding them, just check out my profile.

Earrings by hollee

3. If you have a marketable skill, put up an ad on your local craigstlist offering your services. Marketable skills can be anything from cleaning houses, to walking dogs, babysitting, making websites, creating artwork, whatever. Charge on a sliding scale to attract more business - remember, every little bit helps!

4. If there is a university where you live, check out whether they have a research program that offers paid studies. For example the psych department at my university offers up to $10/hr for certain studies, and they are always looking for demographics like people who smoke pot, drink often, don't drink at all, have good hearing, etc. It's similiar to the "paid surveys" that are on the make money online tutorial, only its for academic research, not market research.

Cash Ledger by orangebeautiful

5. If there is something you know a lot about that other people are interested in - for example, social networking and marketing, cooking, MMORPGs, anything -- make a blog about it. Once you get a lot of entries and a decent amount of readers, charge money to advertise on your blog with Google Adsense, Project Wonderful or private advertising. This idea is definitely more long-term and takes a lot of work. To me it's one step below opening up a handmade store in terms of the amount of work it takes compared to the profit margins - but if you've got time, you've got a computer, and you've got something to say, go for it! For an idea of how to maximize profit potential on this particular idea, here's an awesome example of how to make $2500 in a month.

If there's anything you know is a surefire way bring in extra cash, let me know and I'll add it here! I'm always open to new ideas!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Halloween is just around the corner, and at Indiana University that's a HUGE deal. Aside from your standard drunken debauchery and an unusually high proportion of ridiculously skimpy clothing, Halloween is an awesome holiday to celebrate at college. For example, my dorm is hosting a Halloween Arts and Crafts Party, a Thriller Workshop - side note, fun fact about me: I was on a hip hop dance team in high school and we not only learned Thriller in all of its 13-minute long entirety, but we performed it every weekend for hours at The Baxter Avenue Morgue in Louisville! -- as well as a huge Halloween Dance, a Halloween Charity party for disavantaged kids and an in-dorm Haunted House. WHEW! In summation, my dorm is pretty much the best ever, and I luff it. *luffs dorm*

Anyway, the real question here is, what am I - and what are you - dressing up as this Halloween? By principle I tend to abstain from the obligatory skanky mcskankskank costuming that seems to flood the women's section of costume stores. I tend more towards literal costumes and the previous costumes I have worn were, on the whole, rather strange. Now that I am a fashion design major I feel like I should branch out to something interesting and perhaps a twinge more crafty than usual. My general intuition is to go to the Salvation Army, pick out something ridiculous, and make it into something awesome - but what should I look for? As an inside joke, my friends and I were all going to go as Little Britain characters and I was going to be Emily Howard, but frankly, nobody would get that reference at all (did any of you? yes? maybe? ....nobody?) and some of my friends might be in different states than me for Halloween anyway. So ... that leaves me with pretty much nothing. Help me come up with some ideas, dear readers!

Side note: check out the amazingawesomecrazycool Halloween jewelry at

Monday, September 21, 2009

Update from My Life

So I've totally been slacking on the blogging thing - sorry! What happened is I moved into college and got swept up in the world of homework, parties, socializing, and more homework! Luckily for me those are all extremely enjoyable things, so I haven't been missing the internet TOO much. My plan was to take some pictures of my dorm to show my blog, but then my camera broke - so I haven't been able to do that yet either! What I have done, is go to a lot of classes, meet a lot of new people, and make some awesome artwork. I'm majoring in Fashion Design and so I'm doing a lot of drawing and sketching, plus making two skirts right now for a fit model in my class, which is exciting! Boy I wish I could take pictures to show you all *mad* soon, hopefully. Anyway just thought I'd check in and let you faithful readers know that I haven't dropped off the face of the earth. In lieu of awesome dorm or fashion design pictures, here is my boyfriend Aaron creating some amazing artwork for my dorm:

I'll be updating soon with the new Halloween goodies for OmgLia.Com!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Giveaway Drawing Video and Winner

So my boyfriend and I documented our proccess of drawing the winning entry for the Mario Mushroom giveaway! First, we had a fluke and picked 000 as the winniner comment #. The next time was, thankfully, succesful, and here is our (rather dark and muffled, I'm afraid) video of the experience:

So the winner of the giveaway is.... Nerdygamergirl!! Congratulations, I'll be emailing you and if I don't hear back in a week I'll draw a new winner.

Monday, August 10, 2009

College Countdown: 3 weeks

So I'm returning to college the last week of August and, although I'm trying not to think about the daunting task of packing my apartment up and cramming all of my stuff back into a teeny dorm room (yes, I'm living in a dorm room again! Why? Well, it's convenient, and I don't know how to clean stuff on my own. Also, less space to tidy up) ... I'm really excited to head back to IU! Here are the classes I'm taking next semester:

I assume this means "Fashion Design 1: Conceptualization." This class is for Fashion Design students ONLY. *jumps up and down* I'm so excited! There's a lab AND a lecture. OOOOH. SUPER excited.

I think this has something to do with finding a job or w/e. Some required bullshit class, I'm sure. At least it only meets 8 weeks.

I think I'll probably do very well in this class. It's only for Apparel Merchandising majors with Business Minors - like me! Business majors don't take it cuz they're special or whatever. *bitter* What? I didn't get in, I can be bitter.

I managed to scrape by with a B in microeconomics last semester and swore never to draw another stupid graph or do another stupid contrary-to-common-sense-math problem again. Analysis I get; technical mathematical stuff makes me want to strangle small innocent children. Kill me. Kill me now.

Why do I have to take this? I tested out of English. I'm brilliant at English. I'm hoping I can drop this stupid for-credit-only class. I think I'm waitlisted anyway.

Ever heard of the freshman 15? How about the sophmore 15? Yeah. I'd like my high school body back, please.

I took intro to anthropology my freshman year, but since I transferred schools my credits didn't fill up all the way and now I have to take practically the same class all over again. Oh well, it's only a 100 level so it shouldn't be too difficult. Maybe now that I'm an *upperclassman* I can bribe some freshies into giving me their notes, or something. *evil grin*

and there you have it. Bad news: classes start at 9:30 am Mon-Thurs (though, I've been waking up at 8am all summer for work so it won't be too big of a difference.) Good news: no classes on Fridays. Bad news: boyfriend and I have no idea what to do about the long distance thing, as he's been staying with me for the past 2 months. We're thinking a homeless shelter and/or a camper. No, seriously.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Worst Morning Evar

On August 4th, Louisville was hit with yet another freak storm (that makes 3 this year: freak wind storm, freak ice storm, freak rain storm, WHAT THE HELL). I had an absolutely awful day and I'd like to complain to all of my wonderful readers about it, even though it was like 3 days ago (clearly I'm still not over it). HERE'S HOW IT WENT DOWN.

* I woke up at 8am to pitch blackness, hail and thunderclaps
* the boyfriend begged me to call into work and spend the day cuddling, but like an idiot I decided work was more important (fatal mistake #1)
* realized I'd left my umbrella at work. (fatal mistake #2.) went outside with a towel over my head.
* Waded out to the parking lot to find that a tree limb had fallen on my car during the night.
* drove to work in pitch black rainy traffic
* realized my regular parking space is 4 blocks from my work and I didn't have an umbrella. (FACEPALM)
* I decided to find a parking space on the street. I realized I haven't parallel parked since I took my fucking drivers test. (fatal mistake #3). About killed myself trying to manage it, called my dad, who works a few blocks away, screaming I DON'T KNOW HOW TO PARK DOWNTOWN HOW DO YOU DO THIS CAN YOU COME DO THIS FOR ME???? In the end though I totally managed it, A+ for me.
* I walked across the street to my office, thinking I'd been all clever for parking so close. However during the proccess of walking this 30 or so feet, I ENTIRELY saturated my pants/socks/shoes with water, as well as getting a faceful of blowing rain despite the towel I was huddled underneath.
* when I finally managed to get across the fucking street dripping wet, I got to the office only for the other intern to tell me that no one else was even in yet. apparently all my coworkers had decided to do the sane thing and lay low until the storm let up somewhat

I spent the whole day in wet pants.


On the bright side of things, it could've been much worse. The apartment across from mine was hit by lightening and burned down. You can watch the videos my boyfriend took of the fire on my Youtube. So, even though I was pissed off and wet all day, at least I dodged losing all of my belongings to a freak lightning accident by a good 50 or so feet.

Monday, August 3, 2009

GIVEAWAY! Win Mario Mushroom Earrings and Necklace

That's right it's time for an OmgLia giveaway!! I will be giving away the following two items:

1 Pair of Mario Mushroom One Up Earrings in red or green
1 Mario Mushroom One Up Necklace in red or green
Total Prize Value: $26

How to Enter
There are several ways to enter this giveaway. Each option is worth 1 entry and you can choose to do as many as you like for a total of up to 7 entries! Leave a comment for each individual entry.

1. Visit OR and pick out your favorite item. Comment with who you would buy that item for (yourself, your 5 year old sister, your grandmother, etc!) and why, along with your email address.

2. Subscribe to my newsletter to receive monthly coupons, offers, updates and behind the scenes information about OmgLia, and leave a comment on this post with your email address.

3. Follow me on twitter at /omglia and leave a comment letting me know you're following, along with an email address.

4. Facebook fan me at My Facebook Profile and leave a comment with an email address.

5. Follow this blog publicly and leave a comment letting me know you're following, along with an email address.

6. Link Back to this giveaway using a banner, tweeting or facebooking , blogging, a myspace bulletin, etc and leave a comment linking to your promotion, along with an email address.

7. Purchase any item from OR and leave a comment here with your email address.

This giveaway ends Monday, August 17th and a winner will be chosen on that day.

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Winner announced soon...check back!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland Hand Drawn Art Wallet I have been a devoted Alice in Wonderland fan ever since my grandmother handed little-girl me two tattered, yellowed copies of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. After diving headfirst into the crazy adventures of the books, I spent hours staring in mirrors, kittah at my feet, wishing for something extraordinary to happen. Nothing ever did, but I still feel pangs whenever I glimpse a white rabbit scamper past. I can vividly recall my favorite moments from the books: painting the white roses red, the knitting sheep in a drifting canoe, the Jabberwocky poem, the tiger lilies, a river of tears. I was inspired to make an Alice in Wonderland ink drawing, which I sprinkled with images from the books and then turned into a wallet.

Needless to say, I nearly died after hearing about the Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland remake. Tim Burton is one of the most amazing modern artists and his work is IMPECCABLE. I know he'll do Alice justice. Personally, I hated the original Disney version of the book. It was crass, trying too hard to be funny, and visually unappealing. I was never a fan. The books, however, paint a magical world of fantasy and adventure which has been represented for years by various artists but never brought successfully to life in a film. What I've seen of Burton's movie thus far gives me excited chills. I can't wait until it comes out (3/05/2010)! For anyone who's ever quoted The Jabberwocky from heart... this movie, and the wallet I was inspired to create... they are for us.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Ohio Girl Talk's: Omg!Lia? Interview

Ohio Girl Talks is featuring an awesome interview with me! Check it out:

Ohio Girl Talk's: Omg!Lia? Interview

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Best New Promotional Tool!

The other day, as I was browsing through my Google Webmaster Tools and searching through all the links pointing back to, I stumbled across something .... amazing. It's a site called Polyvore and it's basically the coolest thing I've ever seen! From the site:

"Polyvore is a free, easy-to-use web-based application for mixing and matching images from anywhere on the web. It is also a vibrant community of creative and stylish people. Polyvore lets you create sets composed of individual images using an easy to use, drag and drop editor. After you have created a set, you can publish and share it with your friends and the Polyvore community."

Essentially, it's a group of creative people who are interested in fashion, creating style boards using images from all over the web- including! Unbeknownst to me, users had added all of the pictures on my site with plain white backgrounds and begun using them in their fashion spreads. As an apparel merchandising/fashion design major, this site appeals to me in just about EVERY way possible. I'll be making my first spread soon.

Dark by raxa featuring Prada

Why I Find Polyvore to be an Excellent Promotional Tool:
1. When an item is added from your site, Polyvore provides a prominent link back to your site along with a price, tags, and a link to other items from your site.
2. Internal links to an item on a website are rated higher in SEO (search engine optimization) than homepage links - aka, as a result of these internal links, my site shows up higher in search engine results!
3. With just a click, your image is added to a database of thousands of members to be featured artistically in ways you never imagined! Not only is the creator of the spread perusing your items, but they are turning it into a beautiful work of art to be appreciated by thousands more!
4. Advertising potential! Using your items in visually appealing situations lends opportunities for ad copy and, with permission, even graphic design potential. For example: "Look how cute these earrings look with a lavender shirt and a pair of Mary Janes! *pic of outfit*" Once a customer can visualize your item fitting into her closet, she is already on her way to purchasing it!
5. The creators of the style board AND the owners of the items featured are both given excellent, easy-to-find, prominent credit.
This site is my FAVORITE new promotional tool!

Arguments Against Polyvore
Many on Etsy have brought up the point that Polyvore is encouraging "stealing" of images and items for an unintended purpose. For example, a photograph that is altered within a spread. My counter to that is this:
1. Your item is given a link back and is clearly named and credited to you both with a hover-over and a sidebar link. Also, I have found that commenting on a work and saying "thanks for using an item from *my site link*" is another great way to further promote credit for one's work. It is quite similiar to being featured in a blog with a link back - but much more artistic and creative!
2. Worried about your images being stolen? Sadly, images are practically free for the taking online. Most of us don't have copyright lawyers to defend our work. The solution: watermarks. Don't post an original photograph without a big stamped URL over top of it! That way no matter where your image ends up, your site is always credited - plus no one but a customer has the original image.
3. Etsy items and, as I understand it, Photobucket and Flickr items, are not allowed to be added to Polyvore. This prevents uncredited items and encourages direct links back to original content on the website of the work's creator.

Take a look at some of the gorgeous creations featuring OmgLia items! Can you find them? It's like a treasure hunt!

Are you a member? Post yours!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Worst Craft Fair Experience Ever

So, I had my first huge show this past weekend. It was a 3day music festival called Forecastle Festival and by all rights it seemed everything was going to be awesome: great music, 17,000 attendees, awesome location, good weather. However, my experience quickly soured as the three days of the festival wore on. Here is my story ....

The night before the first day of the festival, we went to set up our booth and were told we didn't have a location assigned - our first warning sign. So we somewhat randomly chose a spot and set up right next to a huge fountain by the DJ stage. The next sour spot was a runin with a festival employee. My friend - who is not from the area and doesn't know how to navigate downtown Louisville - was waiting in his car for me to find a temporary booth watcher so that I could come park for him. The employee screamed at my friend to move his car, to which my friend asked if he could direct him to a place to park? The employee said "that's not my problem" and proceeded to actually call the cops up and continue screaming insults at us as I RAN out to the car to move it for my friend! The employee continued to creep around our booth the entire day, finding things to pick at us about (for example, my boyfriend didn't get a re-entry band - because he wasn't planning on leaving - and the employee sent an apologetic coworker over to reluctantly scold us. WTF?) As far as sales, traffic was slow at the spot I chose on the first day. I barely made 20 sale or so. But no matter, Fridays are always slower than Saturdays! I remained optimistic.

Saturday morning I showed up at 12pm to the sight of my entire tent flipped over, soaking wet, my booth dismanteled, and my inventory all over the ground. My first thought was back to the employee from the first day, but I have no proof of anything. Nothing was stolen, although my tent frame was bent and broken, many of the metal chains on my necklaces were rusted, my signs were all soaked through, and I lost about 2 hours moving my booth away from the water and towards a more protected area. No one assisted our move.
No one came to apologize for the loss of our booth (although many curious bystanders asked what happened, and a few volunteers informed us that they'd fished our tent out of the water earlier that morning, Christmas lights and all). I sent my boyfriend to buy us a new tent and pocketed the loss myself. A kindly security guard told me to ask the event staff to bring us the weights that were provided to every vendor. We asked 10 different staff members and were told repeatedly, "that's not my problem." I began to wonder what their problem WAS, exactly ... clearly it wasn't helping the vendors with anything! I did see several security guards smoking pot and harassing attendees, though.... hmmm. At any rate, we set back up for the day and tied our tent down to a streetlight and a bench for security. Unfortunately, we realized that day that this was a bad location. All of the vendors around us had picked up their tents and moved. It dawned on us that the music festival was focused much more on jam bands (who played at the other 2 stages) and not electronica. There was nobody at our booth for several hours, and thousands of people milling around the other 2 stages! We decided to move our booth one last time on the third day.

My devoted friend and I moved the booth all by ourselves in the 90 degree weather, up and down 2 flights of stairs, to the more populated area of the fair. We were EXHAUSTED. We asked for help from the staff but no one would lend us so much as a ride in a golf cart (altough the owner of the festival did run me over with some tiki torches and knock several of my items off the table with his golf cart....) The location we moved to was much better traffic and entertainment-wise, too bad we only had that benefit for one day! It was enough to help me finally make a little bit of profit after my expensive booth fee, though. At the end of the 3 days, we were exhausted (8am to 2am every single day, carrying heavy stuff and little relief from the heat!) but we had fun. All of my friends came to help out and I met some great people. I am very dissapointed in the disorganization of the staff, but as an attendee I'm sure I would've had an amazing time. Not sure I'll try to do this festival again in the future, though.

What are your awful show experiences?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

New York City!

Lately my family has been experiencing some financial problems, so this summer I found a really well paying internship in an office working for a website. The only problem with this otherwise ideal job is that I work everyday until 5pm, leaving me with very little time for things like socializing and, sadly, my business. I've hardly had time to update my site, much less make jewelry, all summer. And with the new relationship I've begun, has all but been pushed to the backburner. It makes me sad but I'm making more money at this job than I would be doing the site full time. Ah, well.

Anyway, turns out I'm not very cut out for office life. My stress levels have skyrocketed! So I decided to take a vacation last weekend and my wonderful father used his frequent flier miles to buy my boyfriend and I tickets to NYC. We stayed with my sister in Newark and did all kinds of awesome NYC things: we went to Hell's Kitchen Flea Market (I highly recommend it!) and got all manner of useless items (him) and accessories (me). He bought himself a pair of fake D&G sunglasses and a fake Rolex from a creepy street vendor, which made him the biggest, happiest dork ever. That's him modelling them over on the right! We saw a lot of art and went to the Museum of Modern Art, as my boyfriend is an artist. He was quite inspired by the $250,000 price tags on some gallery works. We picnicked in Central Park and stalked the elusive Naked Cowboy in Times Square, who we could not find. It was a really awesome trip and a wonderful break from the monotony of office life!

Now I'm getting ready for Forecastle Festival, a huge arts/music festival in Louisville and my biggest craft show yet! I'll be working my butt off all week, wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Craft Fair #2 and my life

Can you see my friend sleeping in the chair behind my tent? Teehee.

My second craft fair of the summer was, to be honest, quite dissapointing. Last year at the same fair I made over $200 - this time I didn't even cover the $75 booth fee, even though the weather was great! I think either there were less people in attendance, or my booth was in a worse location. My other hypothesis is that for the first day, there was a jimmy buffet cover band playing RIGHT NEXT TO ME for 7 hours straight. Unfortunately, I suspect that this awful music drove away some customers as remaining in my tent for over 5 seconds was akin to torture ... at least for me. I hate Jimmy Buffet with a passion. Luckily, there were at least 5 drunk middle aged women who were so into it that I felt entertained enough not to commit a henious act of violence unto either myself or the 5-person band.

Luckily, my friends came to cheer me up and we ate snow cones and acted ridiculous and rode on carousels and conned carnies letting us throw darts at balloons for free. The picture on the left depicts me acting absolutely ridiculous, please enjoy it.

In other news, I got my braces off and I have a new boyfriend (more on him later!) TEETH:

*happy dance*

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I broked my site

Awesome, so I accidentally deleted my site and have to rebuild it from scratch.
Woo go me.
Hey, at least I'll know not to do it again.
Anyway, in the meantime, please buy from my etsy shop:

Site should hopefully be back up in a week or two.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

First craft fair of the summer!

So my first craft fair was a total success! I tripled my entry fee and then some. Of course, let's keep in mind that this was the cheapest of all the fairs I'm doing this summer ... the one coming up in July is $500!

See the 10 or so carebears chillin around my table? They are KID MAGNETS. As if my booth wasn't already pink and girly enough, little girls could NOT resist dragging their mommies into my booth to point out each of the carebears by name and squeal happily (meanwhile, their mothers looked at the jewelry! Win!) I also had some other kid-magnet props like a unicorn head and a gumball machine. *tents fingers evilly* little kids cannot resist the gumball machine.

Unfortunately for me, little kids also have no money, so I have to rely more on parents and older chicks for sales. My first two sales were to women in their 30s, one of which kept stopping in to tell me how many compliments she'd gotten on her new skull earrings! And one preteen girl and her mother apparently shared the same taste in jewelry and bought over $50 worth of merchandise between them!! Now that is my FAVORITE kind of sale.

I've definitely learned some good lessons from this first fair which I'm going to apply to my future fairs this summer. Hopefully these can help some of you as well.

1. Accept credit cards! Over half of my sales were charged to a credit card, and the majority of the sales on credit were higher cost items. I use ProPay, an affordable credit card processing platform. As long as you have the CC number, expiration date and zip code, you can go online to the propay site and process any amount on the card. I couldn't figure out how to work my Knuckle Buster so I ended up writing them all down by hand and shredding them once I had processed the cards, but all of the orders went through and I'm really glad I took CCs!

2. Showcase your least expensive items! My stud earrings are $3-$5 and I put them front and center. Lots of shoppers made impulse buys or didn't want to spend very much, so having them featured like that really helped them to sell, in my opinion.

3. Use eyecatching displays! Heads literally turned when people passed my booth. Not only is everything bright pink and colorful, but I had so many interesting props to look at that several people came in just to examine them! I found most of my props at yard sales and flea markets for cheap!

4. Don't pack up until the fair is really over. My biggest sale happened less than an hour before the fair was schedule to end. I know it takes a while to dis-assemble a booth, but it's not worth saving an extra few minutes if you lose a customer!

5. Test your display before attend a fair! I ALMOST did this. I set up my tables and tablecloth in a room in my apartment, and halfheartedly tossed some of my props on top. But I didn't set it up completely and I'm really sorry I didn't. I need another table, more displays with varying heights, and better necklace displays. Luckily I've got time to get these things before my next fair in a month!