My great mistake, the fault for which I can't forgive myself, is that one day I ceased my obstinate pursuit of my own individuality // Oscar Wilde

Tag: work

// working from home.

I don’t know if I formally announced this here, but I am officially a real part of the workforce! Yes, post-college, one of my internships turned into a job. I am currently the first full-time employee at Wendy Brandes Fine Jewelry. Now, I know what you’re thinking–what on earth is Eryn doing with her time? Is it fun to work for a small company? Wait, where does Eryn even work? IS THERE COFFEE INVOLVED? And if so, how many cappuccinos does Eryn drink in a week?

And I’ll not pretend that any of you are actually that curious about my day-to-day life. But you might actually be curious about how to stay motivated when working from home, on your own schedule, and starting from the ground up. So I’ll share the very minimal insight I have on those things. By that, I obviously mean that I intend to begin filling you in on the trials of now owning my own schedule.

But first, let me answer those pivotal questions.

1. I am OBVS doing a lot of research. My official title is “Public Relations & Marketing Coordinator.” And when working for a small business, that means that I do everything from searching for buyers on Linkedin, to making what some would consider a “sales pitch,” to convincing my boss that I’m extremely trustworthy.

2. Working for a small company can be a lot of fun! I get along great with my boss, and really, that is the only thing that matters. Yes, the ONLY thing. I work with the owner/designer/CEO of the company, so when she is working on a new design or coming up with a new way to market materials, I get to learn about it. And! I even get to make suggestions. We have a good team effort going.

3. I work from home on most days. As I am settling into my position, I will begin to schedule more meetings out of the house and attend PR events and whatnot. But for now, my efforts are in researching. Remembering a person’s name or title in an organization goes a long way in a phone call with someone who really had no desire to speak to you in the first place.

4. Yes, I know this was the most important question. There is a lot of coffee involved. During our weekly meetings, if I am going to be even one minute late, I spring for coffee and doughnuts. Because everyone needs that extra boost in the morning. And the bus is only sort of a reliable method of getting to work. I make an effort to drink coffee at home, but will go out for a cappuccino and a morning set-up session at least three days per week. This is mostly to keep me from being so spoiled that I work in my pajamas.

I just finished setting up my home office! It’s really basic right now, with only a desk. And I decided that paying $15 for the trash can that was really cute was silly. So paper bag it is.

DSC_0004 DSC_0010 DSC_0015 DSC_0018 DSC_0025 DSC_0029

// Gap zippered denim leggings / Sam Edelman suede “Petty” booties / thrifted camouflage jacket / Warby Parker glasses / Madewell bracelet / bag found at TJ Maxx / Gap striped shirt //

So I am definitely still adjusting to being my own boss (when it comes to the way I spend my days, anyway). In fact, because I was home for my sister’s wedding for the past five days, I decided not to get dressed until roughly 2 pm. Of course, work began at 9. But I wasn’t required to be up and about. And I therefore wasn’t. But! From research I’ve been doing on how to make the most of your work from home and really learn to be your own boss, in a sense, here is what I have found:

1. Set-up an area that you will work from every day. Preferably not where you eat your meals, if possible. Having boundaries is a good thing!

2. Surround yourself with inspirational/pretty items.

3. Wake up early and get ready for the day! It gives you more motivation to be social, even over the phone.

4. DO NOT SNACK ON ALL OF THE GROCERIES YOU BOUGHT. That would end badly for a number of reasons; your budget will decrease, while your waist increases. No bueno.

5. Follow-up on everything. Whether it was a random meeting, realizing you have a mutual friend who also likes luxury jewelry, or you made a phone call to a buyer who doesn’t seem to care. At all. Remembering to call or email and say thank you makes all of the difference when you are speaking to them the next time around!

I had grand plans of making that into an infographic. A really cute one. But the boy got free tickets to this show. So that clearly took precedence. Next time!

Also, if you haven’t checked out the company I work for yet, you probably should. Wendy blogs a lot and is generally hilarious, I am in charge of the PR Instagram, and we are amping up our Pinterest presence. Oh yeah, and there’s Facebook. Of course.

// stripes & stripes.

This week has been crazy! Between the grocery mishaps and the missed trains, I somehow lost my metro card. I went through my emptied grocery bags. I went through my wallet (and found three expired cards; I’m talking years old). I went through my purse (it’s known for eating things like my keys, and disposing of them only when it is ready). I looked under my bed, in the refrigerator, in the trash…nowhere to be found. I eventually gave in and just bought a new metro card. But, not until after the closest train station informed me that it could not take debit cards. A kind stranger let me go through using their card. Things have looked up since then!

At work this week, I have been busy with designing fabrics, same as last week. This time, though, I made a geometric, hour-glass-type shape. After I was finished with that, I started work on a blue pattern that you would usually find on fancy china. Sort of kind of only vaguely resembling this. Yesterday, I worked on roughly 15 of those. Or things sort of resembling that. Out of the 15-20, we narrowed it down to three. With those three, we adjusted them into several shades of blue each. Then, finally, this morning, I found out that we had a winner! The client chose one of our patterns. So today was spent blending the two Pantone colors in different ways to make (hopefully!) the perfect design for her pajama line.

And now, an outfit!

DSC_0013DSC_0024 DSC_0023 DSC_0019Shirt, thrifted: Ralph Lauren // Silk shorts: Kate Young for Target // Belt: thrifted // Shoes: Via Neroli // Bag, sent from my mom: Sephora //



More photos Allison found–I believe these are from September? We baked at a camp outside of Asheville for a weekend. It was a magical place.

I want to be outside.

{.:.you gotta lose a couple fights to win.:.}

Good morning readers!

This week is seemingly NEVER ENDING. Like that movie with the giant dog that flies? Some of you will know what I’m rambling about.

I worked last night and in my usual absent-mindedness, I forgot to change out of my flats and into my Toms/Keds/tennis shoes. Yes, I’m sure you’re all thinking that it can’t be much different–that Toms and Keds offer no support anyway…but WOW. My feet were in so much pain! I had to soak them in the bathtub when I got home, just before I passed out.

Yesterday was an all-around drab day. I wanted to spend my morning outdoors, enjoying the lovely sunshine and cool weather, but rather, was stuck inside writing a paper that was due in the afternoon, which I had (ONCE AGAIN) over-procrastinated on. Quite badly this time. Nonetheless, I finished my paper, turned it in, and drove straight to work.

But this tree made my day. It is so pretty. I took the picture at the beginning of the week when it was raining, but as I do not have a photo from yesterday’s blue skies, I will upload it now, anyway.

Unrelated note: Allison and I are going to Nashville tomorrrow! We thought that with Thanksgiving coming up, we would be working on Sunday (unusual for cupcakes; we are closed Sundays). But alas! We will get to go after all. UAL, here we come!

{.:.that looks a lot like a gnome.:.}

Allison let me decorate my first cupcake yesterday! Let’s just say that my skills are lacking and produced a gnome-like product.

{.:.gnomes aren’t all that tasty looking.:.}

Allison and Hannah made some adorable minis, though!

{.:.aren’t they adorable?!?.:.}

Enough cupcake talk! I made breakfast day before yesterday and it was oh-so tasty! I made grits with pepperjack cheese, plopped an over easy egg on top, and super crispy bacon on top of that. MM. It was a tasty start to my day.

{.:NOM NOM.:.}

Has anyone else seen the movie Tarnation? It won at several film festivals and is a compilation of home movies and photos that put together Jonathan Caouette’s life. It’s pretty good. Very sad, so far. His mother is schizophrenic and Jonathan is coping with growing up homosexual. I’ll give it a 6.5/10.

What’s on the agenda for the rest of the day? Probably more movies and homework. Nothing exciting. OH, I almost forgot to tell you: MY SKETCHBOOK CAME IN!! The project will begin in a couple of weeks, when finals are over.

{.:.the beauty isn’t just in looking at the stars; it’s in choosing to do so when you have other options.:.}

Today, in my usual blog searching, I found a beautiful project. Oscar Lhermitte, a London-city-dweller, noticed that no one in London could see the stars (this goes for most metropolitan areas), and decided to “recreate the missing stars in London”–though they are not real stars, his project can share in the beauty found just above The Smoke.

Lhermitte got his funding from The London Chapter of the Awesome Foundation (how cool is that name?!) and created his “stars” from balloons, LED lights, and remote control devices.

Check out this amazing video with footage of his project, as well as some of the viewer’s responses: http://vimeo.com/11602702

{.:.your knees are scratched and your eyes are black.:.}

Oh Friday, how I have missed thee.

It is time for another glorious morning rant. However, today’s topic cannot be attributed to today’s morning, mind you. It all happened yesterday, but I was not near a computer so that I could share my Thursday. Here it goes!

I woke up yesterday morning feeling…not at all refreshed…at about 6:32 am. But was that first time I was awakened from my unresponsive coma? Not even close. It all started at about 3:00 am. I woke up with a severely upset stomach. I’m not talking about a regular, “Take some Pepto and it’ll clear that right up” tummy ache, but rather, a “Someone is making a fist around my stomach, and clearly trying to rip it out of my insides, and away from its warm resting place” ache.

In general, when awakened with an ailment, I have the mindset of “sleeping will make it better.” Not this morning, though. It was a distinct pain that was capable of crumpling my body into the fetal position as I laid on the bathroom floor–the cold tile as my only comrade, cooling my body in an effort to calm the spasms of my stomach.

When you find yourself in these positions, with the only viable culprit being your beloved Firehouse Subs, you swear to yourself that if you just get “it” over with, you will be fine. If you can just force yourself to purposely endure the grotesqueness of your situation, you will feel better and might return to sleep. I, however, have not honed my skills in producing a catalyst  for making myself endure unpleasant situations. I can barely drink Nyquil, and we all know how beautifully you sleep when you do that. So imagine just how disturbed I was at MY OWN thoughts to induce a reaction.

I never went through with it. I just laid on that cold tile with my purple, wrinkled pillow case under my head. My biggest fear, seeing as I was already next to the toilet, and therefore armed with the only weapon I had, was that I would ruin my brand new purple pillow case.

Two hours later, after I went on a rigorous hunt for anything medicinal that might cure my ailment (I only take medicines when it is the absolute LAST resort). I found nothing, and in doing so, returned to my bed and my crumpled positioning.

Magically healing

I woke up at 6:32 am, only one and a half hours later, and I got dressed, grabbed my four pack of muffins and drove to work.

At work, I ate a banana nut muffin, had an iced white chocolate mocha (with an extra shot of espresso, thanks to Mr. Andree!) coffee, and everything was better. I am positive that a good muffin (or muffin top, in my case) will cure just about any morning.

Unrelated Note: I seem to have a green, leafy substance stuck in my plastic badge holder. I imagine it is quite embarrassed at this–it’s similar to the spinach that always seems to get stuck between your incisor and molar, on the left-side of your  mouth…which is only visible while smiling, making it almost a ghost-like Jolly Green Giant inside of your mouth to your colleagues, who have no immediate plans to inform you of your misfortune.

Song of the day: “Favourite Food” by Tokyo Police Club

{.:.Well it’s a big big city and it’s always the same.:.}


I’ve had two quite lovely mornings. Hence the lack of my “Daily morning rants.” I would hate to make something up. Contrived efforts are always obvious in writing. 

So, instead, I thought I would write about what I’ve been thinking of for the past couple of days, in light of not having a stressful morning to clog my brain. 

I have been doing a lot of research and writing this morning for my job. While sipping my now cold cup of girly pirate joe, I have been thinking of creativity. What drives it? Are we all born with it? Can we be taught to be creative? All of these things bring up the “nature vs. nurture” arguments that we have all heard until we can almost recite the debates verbatim from our professors, classmates, and work colleagues. 

Fashion sketches-not my own, but I will post some soon. :)

But really, can one be trained for creativity? I think it is a possibility, yes. At the other end of the spectrum, though, I think that some people are born with an aptitude for those right side of the brain tendencies. I like to think of myself as a creative person. Yet, somehow, in those fields of creativity, I find that there are strains. There are still boundaries that may not be crossed, and if working in a creative job setting, you must make your personal creative talents flow toward what is being asked for by the consumer. Once you get a feel for how to please this consumer, is it possible, after much repetition, to be trained into a creative mindset, just like you can for a technical career? Well, why not? The ability to predict the next up-and-coming trend can be achieved by knowing your audience. 

I guess once I have finished college and get out into the workforce, which, I hope, will be conducive to creativity in some way, I will find out for sure. 

From what I have observed, it seems that on the one hand (especially in the fashion design world) you have two types of designers–those who set the trends, and those who mimic the trends and add a bit of themselves to the latest bandwagon. This is often separated by the higher-end fashion labels versus department store labels. 

Based on that judgment, in order to really “make it” in this world of avant-garde and wearable fashion, you need to have the edge to create the trend yourself. While having the marketing skills of the trend-mimickers. Clearly without bouncing off of each other, the demographics would be small for both fields. 

All of this being said, I think that I will benefit from working for one of those bigger-named designers until I really learn the industry. Then take it by surprise, using what I have learned from those greats before me to develop my sense of style–both avant-garde and wearable. So that I can suit both. 

Unrelated note: I have a strange sharp pain in my lower back and taking a prescribed muscle relaxer will only cause sleep to be unavoidable. Muscle relaxer + coffee + coffee + coffee? Hmph. Maybe.

Song of the day: “Whistle For the Choir” by The Fratellis

{.:.fake meat + milkshakes = oversleeping.:.}

There is something about knowing that the reason that you were up so late was to be with friends, eat mystery meat at Steak & Shake, and use a jolly good British accent that makes waking up thirty minutes late for work completely worth it.

Ahhh this morning. Where to start?!

My first alarm went off at 6:00am. Which I did not hit SNOOZE for. I, rather, turned it off. I have another daily alarm that goes off at 6:30 am, which I somehow managed to subconsciously turn off. I love that my fingers can work to do exactly what I want, even when my brain has not yet emerged from its hibernation.

I am enjoying a banana nut muffin from Earthfare. With that organic muffin, I am drinking a Naked drink. This has been a very delicious breakfast, however, at a total of $4.50, I am not sure I can afford to keep up with this healthy habit. Maybe I could make my own muffins? But I imagine the ingredients for organic muffins are just as expensive as purchasing the muffins…we do have a juicer, and since the juice ($3.79 before tax) was considerably more costly than the muffins ($4.00 for a pack of 4), maybe buying fruit and producing my own juice is a viable option. We shall see. I also had this thought about my favorite coffee beverage–double tall iced white mocha. Mmmm is there anything that is more invigorating in the morning than two shots of espresso? I dare say not. My sister used to be a barista, so we had plans of grandeur of her getting up every morning to make my iced deliciousness in a cup, yet it seems that I leave far too early for it to be a daily habit. I’ll keep working on this money-saving concept. I’m terrible at it.

{.:.We sit in separate cubicles, being the same.:.}

\”Little Boxes\” Regina Spektor edition

Unfortunately I have officially begun.

Here I am, sitting in a cubicle just large enough for at least two-three hundred pound men (if they are hugging)–waiting for the elusive end of the day. My mother does it. My father does it. My step-father does it. You get the picture. We all sit and wait for our eight-hour marks so that we are allowed to leave this dreadful beige asylum. But how did we get here? When did we all become the exact same person, wanting the exact same thing?

We all want nothing but for the clock to slowly make its way to our pre-determined finish line.

Everyone is so excited for you when you get your first job offer–you have butterflies starting out, you are nervous about what you will be doing, while secretly dreaming that they will fall for your charm and promote you on-the-spot to a position so fantastic that you will actually enjoy what you are doing. Yet that never happens. Or not any time in the near future, anyway. That would be entirely too unrealistic. But who calls for realism, and why do we all want it if it is what is chaining us to our gray desks?

We all sit in our little cubicles, waiting. For the same thing. Tied down by the same thing.