27 July 2013

I wish I could create, I just want to do better.

Hello.

Let them potate


Who you reppin'
#2
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#5

23 July 2013

OK -- I'll start an Online Thrift Store.

Hey guys!
I know, it's been a while. But here I am, alive and stuff. Seriously, if you really miss me you should tweet me or get a hold of me through Facebook or send me an email -- I'm always there. I miss you too.

Anyway, a few nights ago I had a sobering realisation: I don't really blog much about my shop and love for thrift shopping and selling. I'm always thinking about my shop and how I can make it work and make it better. I mean always. So here's my story.

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I've been thrifting for as long as I can remember. My mother had me when she was quite young so money was always a tight situation -- but she always managed to bring me beautiful clothes and shoes whenever she came to visit. Later, when I lived with her I learnt that most of my childhood treasures were pre-loved finds. From blue jean dresses to my favourite Pierre Cardin suit -- most not new but new to me. Even during the time I lived with her she still would go thrifting and bring us great one-of-a-kind clothes. My favourite pieces from my preteens (floral shorts, two button-up and zip floral jumpsuits and a sleeveless poloneck dress) were all bargains.

I suppose the thrifting business has always been in the family because during her trips my mother would pick pieces for her friends, their kids and even my own friends. She'd wash and then resell them.

With my enterprising mind, love for great bargains and inability to say no to pretty clothes I conceived my Thrift Store on a whim in December of 2011. I don't have close friends for whom I could shop so I figured that buying and selling to all the "friends" the internet allows me was the closest (if not best) thing. That's how Stratafords was born.

It has been slow-moving in the last year it's been open, I won't lie, I've often thought about getting rid of all the merchandise that won't sell and calling it a day. But I can't. This store is a great part of my dreams and the future I'm hoping to build. Hopefully, one day, momentum will build and I'll make it a success. I see a small office with me doing my creative consulting, freelance copywriting/social media work and selling my Stratafords stuff. A desk, computer, a file cabinet and clothing rails. I know I can make it happen.

[That's my short story. I've decided to bring the business and my love of thrifting to the blog -- so expect a semi-regular feature on things thrifting and Stratafords.]

Do any of you guys have small businesses or secret entrepreneurial aspirations? Share share.

Thank you so much for reading.

Sincerely,
Nomali.

16 July 2013

You gotta milk the goats, you gotta clean the veranda, man you gotta turn that goat milk into cheese in time for breakfast.

When I left my job in May I interviewed with a "cool kids" brand that does pretty innovative work. They were looking for an intern to help out online. It was made clear from the start that there would be no remuneration  which considering the specs and what was expected of me I was open to. In the initial exchange I learnt that the social media intern would come in a couple of days a week, for a couple of hours at a time and help with their digital efforts. 

Thinking that I  had a freelance gig lined up as soon as I served my notice period at my job, I was willing to work for "experience" at this internship and bulk up my CV. But by the time I went to an interview with them the internship spec had changed. I was now expected to do a lot of what's in my repertoire, what I was trying to get people to pay me for as a freelancer. All the while they still maintained that there'd be no pay. It went from "we need someone to help us think of fun things to put online and answer customer queries online to dude, you'll be our in-house copywriter/ideas girl." My freelance gig fell through and instead of spending my rent/food/life money commuting to a job that wasn't paying me I ended passing on the internship.

I always find myself on this very thin line. Especially as a creative without the "recognised" training from a school that charges 50K a year to teach people how to be creative. What I lack in "formal training" I have always been more than willing to make up for in starting at the bottom and my will do attitude. But I've found that the bottom is, often than not, a very unreasonable place. A place where only a select few without rent, bills and teens to feed can thrive and grow.

Just last week I applied for another internship at a magazine's online department. The specs are absurd but I'm at a place where I feel like there's no other way for me to make strides in my career. So what if the unpaid internship expects me to have a car (which I don't), be willing to work full-time for the remainder of the year and bring a certain number of skills with me? It's a foot in the door.

But at what cost to me? Even though I'd be doing a 9 - 5 I'd still have no way of paying my rent or getting to said 9 - 5. I think it's very thoughtless of companies to expect young people to work on a full-time basis for free. Starving artists are not a novelty. Being young, gifted and hungry is not a luxury. And if we're being honest only the sort of people who live at home (have rent allowance) and got cars as their high school graduation present are the target market for these internships.

I'm not even sure where I'm leaning when it comes to this particular internship. Half the time I do these things to prove to myself that I can get them then I let anxiety get the better of me. However if I am short-listed for interviews and end up getting this internship I'll do my best to make it work. Something's gotta give.

Sincerely,
Nomali

9 July 2013

Packages From No One.

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Earlier in June my former colleague messaged me to tell me that a package addressed to me had landed on my old desk. I could believed it! I love receiving post that's not bills or useless catalogues so of course I insisted that she open it and let me know what's inside. When she said "a pair of pink Ray Bans" I couldn't believe it. I didn't believe it until I actually took the two taxis it takes to get to my old job to pick the package up later in the month. They're just beautiful! The package was addressed to me but there was no note as to who it  was from. I have a few ideas but I like thinking there's a mysterious dark, tall stranger who thought I deserved this baby.

Sincerely,
Nomali.

4 July 2013

One Butter Beer, Two Butter Beer, Three Butter beer.

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I've always considered myself to be a winter baby. I guess it's because I'm a homebody and when it's cold I really don't have to go anywhere, it's not expected of me. But then I moved to Johannesburg and I learnt that winter really means cold, chattering teeth at break and sleeping in socks like a business man. I still love it --even though I learnt that I'm more of an autumn baby after all. These are 7 Things I like about winter:

1. Layering. This the most fun thing in the world. Wearing tights under my dress, a light jersey and overcoat with everything.

2.  I love Staying in.

3. Cosy knits are another winter perk. cardigans, beanies and socks. New socks, always.

4. I love winter because it means hearty, warm food. Some people call it "comfort food." I can't wait to have a kitchen and big ass stove in order to experiment and cook.

5. Sleeping in. I've had a bit of time to sleep in this past month and it's as good as I remember. Actually pulling the blankets over my head when I see that it's dark out.

6. I tend to lose track of time in winter. I really wish I could afford to be a woman of leisure and get lost in the sun setting too early and rising too early...

7. Well I find the warmest spot in a place, a spot that has been bathed beautifully in the elusive sun. Bliss.

What are your favourite things about winter, if any?

Sincerely,
Nomali

3 July 2013

I am your block, I am your boulevard, I am your bayou and baby I don't mind

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Sometimes I wear clothes that make me feel good when I step out the door. This was one such day. I've been wearing this dress a LOT. It's black and neutral and makes getting dressed easy. Today was my first time wearing this coat, Jo'burg winter is playing games, yo. I have a parka and leather jacket I haven't gotten to wear. My shoes are dusty because I did quite a lot of walking today and the interview went well. Just realised that I didn't list my earrings in the details, they're from a clothing store in Jo'burg. I love sales. They make me so happy! See how my face's still struggling after I realised that Gentle Magic was fucking it up? We'll get there.

Also -- I ate pineapple slices yesterday, left my mouth a bit sore but it was worth it. Does anyone know which spice is used to make the spicy pineapples Durban beach fronts are famous for? Do let me know.

The title is from Zora Howard's Before Bed. So much beauty and truth. So quotable.

Sincerely,
Noms

1 July 2013

I don't want to be the girl who laughs the loudest or the girl who never wants to be alone.

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I'm quite exceptional at making plans: from mental notes (crazy notes I keep in my head) to actual lists of pieces on paper and note books to digital quick notes on my crapberry... I've been meaning to blog. I've been making plans about blogging but somehow great feelings of apathy and my crap laptop won out and I never got around to it.

I'm back in the saddle, looking for work and trying to pay bills because, you know, being a grown up sucks wet, soggy toast. I even decided on a whim that a contract position of eight to 12 months in a small - medium PR agency is the best thing that could happen to me right now. Of course I'm looking at everything from writing tomato sauce stain remover copy to folding t shirts at a Mr Price. Of course.

Last week was the fourth anniversary of my mother's death. It wasn't as brutal as they have been in the past. It must be because I was in public when I actually realised and didn't dare make people uncomfortable with my tears and feelings.. I ended up writing a poem I'd been putting off. My life in first drafts nstuff...

That's all the catching up we'll be doing today, lest I bore you out of your minds with my ramblings. I'm really   grateful for my sister and dudes with beards. Really.

Before we go into the list of songs I've been playing non-stop, allow me to shamelessly plug my sad Facebook page. You should like it. That would make my day, whenever it is you choose to like it.

Now, on to the music part of this Monday. This is the music I've been playing:

1. Jesus Walks - Ye.

I actually started listening to this song on the Friday Yeezuz, which I haven't heard, leaked. There were so many strong and mixed feeling on my twitter TL that I got all nostalgic and listened to old Kanye.

2. Bad - Wale ft Rihanna

I follow Rih oon twirra and when this remix came out I succumbed to all the Navy's gushing... Why? I've had some issues... I hope to be listening to Wale's new album one of these da... Okay, before 2015.

3. Pink Matter - Frank Ocean ft Andre 300

Lawdt... This is one of those sexy song that make me want to get all dresses up and go dancing with a dude. I've been listening to this song twice a day the whole week.

4. Just Give me a Reason - P!nk ft That guy I don't know

She's my angst spirit animal. My queen. the quote "I ain't afraid to love a man and I ain't afraid to shoot him either" reminds me of her music. I spent the whole day yesterday listening to this particular song.

5. Love of my Life - Badu ft Common

I always was late to the Badu party, I'm still crawling. Saturday was dedicated to this song. It drips '90s nostalgia for me. Reminded me of block parties and this cute ensemble of orange knee-length tights, peplum cotton vests, jelly baby sandals and flower motif hats I owned in '95/'96...

6. Fuckin' Perfect - P!nk

What better anthem to help you feel good about yourself?

That's all.

I've really missed writing on here.

Sincerely,
Nomali.


@nomalifromsoweto

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