the Vintage Modern shop – vintage, budget chic style for your home & wardrobe

The Vintage Modern shop offers curated, vintage style at budget-friendly prices. It’s like shopping with a team of interior designers without the designer price tag. And you never even have to leave your couch.

writing

Rejection is a Good Thing. No. Really.

Dealing with rejection, Roxane GayPamela DeweyComment

Hi friends.

"I have become accustomed to rejection."

These words used to greet you when you arrived on writer Roxane Gay's website. If you google the phrase, her website is still the first result.

It seems ironic now. Gay is a New York Times bestselling author who has written five books (six+ if you count her World of Wakanda comics for Marvel) along with numerous fiction and non-fiction pieces.

I mean go to her website. Her writing has been published over and over again. And it's good. Really good.

And yet, Gay titled her blog this way for a reason. Before Gay was a known name, she received her fair share of rejections. And she still does.

As this Bustle article suggests, most creatives deal with rejection. A lot of rejection.

This is part what makes creating art so difficult.

Not only do you need determination and talent to create, but you also have to go through the process of sending your work out in the world. And then hoping against hope someone else considers it worthy of being published/bought/listened to/admired.

It is an incredibly daunting prospect. I mean to me personally, it is an incredibly daunting prospect.

I have spent a long time being afraid of rejection. It has kept me from writing. It has kept me from sending my writing out to publications. It has made me afraid to try new things, like say, starting my own business.

Before I went live with theVintageModernshop.com, I wasn't sleeping well. I was waking up with backaches.

I blamed my old mattress. So I ordered a new one because I am the type of person who doesn’t function well without a full night’s sleep. But the mattress was never really the problem.

I wasn’t sleeping because I was scared and stressed out.

I was scared I wasn’t going to be able to get everything ready in time. I was scared my website wouldn’t turn out well. I was scared no one would buy anything from me.

But mostly, I was scared of putting myself out there and being rejected by the world.

But I despite all this fear, I did it anyway.

Last week, Gay read from her new memoir, Hunger, at Magers & Quinn Booksellers. In addition to reading excerpts from the book, she also answered questions from the audience.

A woman asked her about how, as a shy person, she has the confidence to put out such personal material and risk being rejected.

Gay replied, "I don't wait for confidence. I just do it anyway."

It is good advice. And obviously, it has worked out for Gay. 

I certainly didn’t feel confident when I launched the shop. I still don’t.

But that's the point. What really matters is your willingness to make yourself vulnerable.

You must look past the fear and risk being rejected.

Write the story. Paint that canvas. Create a business plan.

Your first few stories/paintings/end tables may not turn out. That’s okay.

I painted some end tables hot pink a few years ago. The tables looked amazing, but when you tried to set anything down, that item stuck to the top of the table. (Pro-tip: Don’t paint outside when it’s super humid. Your paint won’t set correctly, and you will have a sticky table top situation.)

So I learned how much humidity affects drying paint. And I have not repeated that mistake since.

Still feeling afraid? Follow Gay’s advice: do it anyway.

Make some mistakes! Get rejected! And keep getting rejected! Getting rejected means you're taking risks because you know failing isn't the worst thing. 

Nobody becomes a great writer overnight. Not even Roxane Gay. 

 

It pretty much sums up how I feel about life in general. :) Note the MORE CREATING line. Grab this print  here.

It pretty much sums up how I feel about life in general. :) Note the MORE CREATING line. Grab this print here.

The Vintage Modern shop's Top 5 Sources for Creative Inspiration

Pamela DeweyComment

Hi friends.

Inspiration is probably the most important element of creating. Without inspiration, you are just a writer sitting at a desk, a musician staring at the keys or an artist with a blank canvas.

Like most creators, I find inspiration in a variety of ways. This week I thought I would share my top 5 sources to get my creative juices flowing.

1.    Design Blogs

My favorite design blog is Design*Sponge. It was started by Grace Bonney in 2004, and it features home interiors, recipes, DIYs, before and after projects, art, business tips, and just about any other type of design you can think of.

I check out Design*Sponge not quite every day, but close. It keeps me up-to-date on the latest trends in interior design, inspires how I decorate my home and also inspires the pieces I create for the shop.

More than just the content she shares, I find Bonney herself a source of inspiration. Her blog has turned into a wildly successful company and brand. She has published two books, and the most recent book, In the Company of Women, is a New York Times Best Seller.

But Bonney does more than market her own brand, she also encourages other women to succeed. She regularly features other creative women on her blog and shares their secrets of success.

When I was creating the Vintage Modern shop, I often looked to Design*Sponge, and Bonney particularly, to figure out the best practices for launching a new business.

As I mentioned in last week’s blog, I also really enjoy the design, DIY, food and fashion blog, A Beautiful Mess. Sisters Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman have fabulous taste, and their homes are impeccable.

I can also credit this blog for cementing my love for all things blush pink.

2.    Books

I have always loved reading. Reading helps me recharge my batteries. Reading helps me disappear into another world. Reading teaches me to be a better writer. Reading teaches me more about the world I live in.

I try to read every night. And when I start a really great novel, I can wile away a whole Saturday curled up on the couch reading. It feels like the ultimate luxury.

I am currently reading Difficult Women by Roxane Gay. Gay is one of my favorite writers, as well as a feminist icon. With her book Bad Feminist, she not only coined a much beloved term, but also created a legion of devotees. Difficult Women is a collection of her short stories, and it does not disappoint. I aspire to be half the writer she is.

I am also reading In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney, as mentioned above. In the Company of Women, as the cover states, contains “inspiration and advice from over 100 makers, artists, and entrepreneurs.” Also as the name suggests, all these creatives are women.

My favorite profile so far is Genevieve Gorder’s. Gorder is an interior designer and a host on HGTV. She is also from Minnesota. (Twin Cities!) Gorder is beautiful, talented and she seems like just a genuinely lovely person.

When asked what success means to her,” Gorder replies,

“The simplest answer I can think of is to able to live my imagination and give it away to as many people as possible in one lifetime. I’m never worried about having enough inspiration. I’m worried that one lifetime will never be enough to execute it all.”

As a woman who has multiple creative passions, this answer really resonates with me. I worry that I am pulling myself in too many directions, and I will never have enough time to get it all done.

At the same time, being able to create and share my art with the world is the most amazing feeling.

Last Friday, I sold my Shoe Collector Curio Cabinet. After I delivered the piece, I followed up with some care instructions for the customer. She texted me back, “I love it so much!! Thanks for dropping it off…Even my 2 year old said PRETTY when he saw it.”

Receiving that text was so rewarding. She loved the cabinet as much as I did, and I was so happy that I could share my creation with her.

3.    Music

Music is such an important part of my life. I listen to a little bit of everything, and I often listen to music while I write. It helps set the mood for the creation process. (I am listening to the new Bon Iver album, 22, A Million a lot.)

Music can also inspire what I create. Sometimes a lyric from a song will inspire me to write a story or a poem.

But more than just inspiration, music helps soothe my soul, provides me focus and helps me unwind. I mean, is there anything more cathartic than a five-minute dance break?

4.    Pinterest and Instagram

I find so much inspiration scrolling through my feeds on Pinterest and Instagram. Pinterest has a lot of good DIY ideas, and there are so many insightful pins about refinishing furniture on the site.

And personally, Pinterest is my go-to source for recipe ideas. As someone who loves to cook and try new things, Pinterest is a great resource.

Instagram is more than just a photography site. It is an online community where people can share their art and interact with other artists.

And believe me, they are so many people making great art. The beauty shared on Instagram continually blows me away.

5.    Thrift stores and flea markets

I love the thrill of the thrift store hunt. Scouring through racks and racks of used clothing, and then stumbling across that perfect vintage coat is quite a high.

Finding thrift store treasure takes patience, perseverance and a good eye. Through my twenty odd years of combing through racks and shelves, I have developed a very good eye. I am always on the lookout for that diamond in the rough!

Hope you enjoyed my top 5 sources of inspiration, and maybe found some ideas to get your creative juices flowing!

In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney

In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney