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Tuesday
Aug092016

meet my new textile brand : DishRaggs! 

It's been 6 years since I embarked on my very unplanned 328-day odyssey across the country, but it still feels like yesterday. An experience like that changes you forever – the way you think and approach life. How could it not? Two of the most relevant things I learned: you need to always have faith and always follow your heart ~ your heart knows what's best and faith will guide you.

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase" ~ Martin Luther King

I'm still not sure how I ended up living in a tear drop camper for the better part of a year, but I wouldn't change a second of it. For some reason I was meant to – whatever that means. I let my heart guide me and although I may have seemed bat-sh*t crazy at times (and maybe I was) it opened my eyes to a better way of thinking: it's way more fun and liberating NOT to do what's expected of you. Your heart usually has a different plan, so be true to yourself.

After my adventure, I knew I wanted to learn more about yoga and getting certified as a teacher was my next step. I signed up for the YogaWorks Teacher Training Program in Pacific Palisades, CA. In some ways, I guess I was still on my adventure – it just took on a different form. Once certified, I moved to Laguna Beach where I opened my own yoga studio right across from Table Rock Beach in S. Laguna. I had never taught a day of yoga in my life, but decided it was perfectly logical to open a studio anyway. If you knew me you'd understand that's how I roll, lol. I figured the best way for me to log some serious teaching hours was trial by fire and to open my own studio. Holy sh*t it was the hardest thing I've ever done. I'd traveled the world (took my first biz trip to Berlin at 24) and ran my own company for over a decade, but teaching was unconscionably hard and stressful; it's one serious game of Simon Says. Thankfully, somehow, I found myself surrounded by the most wonderfully dedicated group of yogis that helped me build my confidence and develop my own style. The office next door even hired my to teach yoga to their staff everyday. My determination was unyielding (I had no choice really, lol) and I am so thankful I stuck with it. Teaching yoga will always be part of my life. :)

During my time in Laguna I also paddled for the Dana Outrigger Racing Team. See post below for more info on that! I can't speak for all outrigger canoe clubs, but paddling for the Dana Outrigger Team is (arguably) one of the most physically, mentally and socially rewarding experiences in the world. I am so blessed beyond words I was able to experience this chapter with such amazing people. Btw: read "Boys in the Boat" if you haven't already! 

Sometimes life throws you a curve ball (or 4 or 5),... In September 2014 my lulu died suddenly. At the young age of 9 1/2, my seemingly healthy little lamb suffered a heart attack in her sleep. Sure that's a peaceful way to go, but waking up next to her cold stiff body was horrendous. I know that's a horrible graphic. Sorry. A few months later, Christmas 2014, my dad died unexpectedly as well. Less said about this the better. I still get choked up talking about it. I was surrounded by so much love in SoCal, but something was missing. My east coast roots were calling me back. June of 2015 was the icing on the cake when a good friend committed suicide and I was the one who found the note (WTF). A couple other things happened that I don't feel necessary to share on social media, but suffice it to say they sucked too. 

Jump ahead (current situation): I've followed my heart back east. While the scenery is much different, I couldn't be happier. Nothing trumps family and unfortunately it took a tragedy for me to realize they won't be here forever and I've missed too much already. I've experienced so many incredible chapters and this one is proving to be just as rewarding and entertaining. After a very inspiring dinner with the CEO of Little Guy Trailers, Chris Baum, I decided to start my own textile line: DishRaggs. This new avocation may seem way off beat, but at the time we met I was in the middle of taking sewing lessons (something I'd always wanted to do) and I was signed up for a screen print workshop in Brooklyn just a few weeks later. With no formal plan for my newly developed talents, one organically materialized! I've trademarked and incorporated "girlreinvented" and will run DishRaggs.com under the GR umbrella. This is nothing I ever envisioned for myself, but that's how I roll and I couldn't be more excited! :) 

So yes, I'm starting my own DishRagg empire in my brother's garage! haha I couldn't make this up if I tried. I've heard rumors that some very successful businesses have been born in garages, so I'm calling my little factory "Empire Garage."  My brother is my savior and my biggest fan (and I his). I literally have a heat press, sewing machine, grommet press and all sorts of other things in my workshop. Oh, and I'm also about to start teaching (subbing) yoga at the Saugatuck Rowing Club in Westport, CT next month (woot woot)!

Some designs are below. After much research and sampling, I'm starting with a 20" x 20" flour sack towel. A "typical" dish towel might be a little more narrow and longer, but the quality and size is inevitably the same. I prefer this size as I LOVE how the graphic sits on the towel and they really are the perfect size for camping (RVs and campers), bath, bar, boating, etc... (and home of course ;) I will expand from here, but right now I'm focusing on this one! 

I have my first distribution outlet in place (working on it now), with Little Guy Trailers. My towels will be featured on their online shop (teardropshop.com) as well as FB and Pinterest. In addition to securing as many distribution outlets as possible, I will be managing my own online store as well (DISHRAGGS.COM, work in progress). It's been a long process, but it's all coming together. I just formally received my LLC docs and my resale permit so I'm officially good to go! A lot mor designs to come!! 


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