Love the one you’re with! (Your body, that is…)

Over ten years ago, when I was in my early 50’s, I developed our distinctive line of clothing for very personal reasons: to flatter and support my own changing body.

I wanted to wear clothing that expressed who I was as an artist and also minimized those “problem areas” that had seemingly appeared out of nowhere.

Over the years, our design team at Art of Cloth has learned to address these particular issues that we sometimes don't like to talk about with our flattering silhouettes.

More importantly, we learned that calling these areas "problems" - and not talking about them - is not the way we want to approach our relationships with our bodies and how we clothe them.

What I’ve noticed in 15 years of dressing women, though, is that we are never happy with the body that we have.

We are too fat, too thin, too busty, too flat, too this or too that. We have "muffin top", "back fat", "gizzard arms", and "saddlebags". The list goes on and on.

Right?

But we decided we don't want to live that way. So all of here at Art of Cloth got together and made a new list...

This bunch of girls in a warehouse has made it our mission to design clothes with the aim of celebrating your beauty, not avoiding your body!

Now, the rest is up to you!

You need to LOVE THE ONE YOU’RE WITH! (Your body, that is.) Here’s how we think it's done:

1. Channel energy into positive things. Your relationships, your passions, and what’s meaningful to you. Life is too short to be wasting energy on what you think is wrong with you.

2. Celebrate your own kind of beautiful! Beauty comes in all different packages. Our culture and the media try to tell us what beauty is, but don’t fall victim to that.

3. Be healthy. If you feel good, that’s what really matters.

4. Cultivate confidence. It’s an inside job. Let your beauty shine from within.

5. Have fun! Life is meant to be lived and your body is your vehicle on this journey. Enjoy it. Honor it. Appreciate it.

We are proud and happy that our concept of artistic, flattering clothing for women of all shapes and sizes has taken off and been so well received, but more importantly we want you to love and embrace the ideas behind it.

Over the next few weeks, we’re going to take some Time to Talk about how to actually do these five things above.

We all know that we are supposed to love our bodies and embrace our differences... but how do we do that if/when we don't always feel the love? 

We invite you to begin living this list with us here at the studio, because we're on this journey together.

Can you do me a favor?

Will you shoot me an email at rose@artofcloth.com? Just take one of those five items above and tell me how you try to accomplish it in specific ideas or actions? I'd love to hear how you do the above.

(And if you don't do any of them, maybe share which one you think is the hardest to tackle? Or what you do to handle these issues?) 

Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks again,

Rose Corrick
CEO, Art of Cloth

 

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How I Silence My (Very Loud) Inner Critic

Following up on my last post, I want to start talking about "living the list" when it comes to our relationships with our bodies. Let’s start with my first item: how to silence that “Inner Critic".

You know what I mean when I talk about the "Inner Critic". It’s that voice that says, “Boy, you look fat in that outfit," when you try on your clothes, or maybe a bit of, “Just who do you think you are...?” when you step out of the box and try a new look. 

I’ve lived with my Inner Critic my entire life.

I grew up with the constant nagging feeling that I just “wasn’t good enough." I would continually undermine myself with what I wasn’t…and that list could be pretty long.

Who I actually was didn't matter. 


Ignoring that Inner Critic never worked. She was (and still can be) too loud and obnoxious. 
Until I actually began to listen to my negative self-talk, I didn’t stand a chance. Rather than let it feed on itself and shut me down, I learned to funnel that negative energy into another direction.   


How did I do it? 


I channeled the energy generated by that internal monologue into positive things.
When my Inner Critic tries to run the show, I fight back by doing something positive, no matter how much I don’t feel like it.


Here are three ways I do it, to this day:


1) Create a different inner dialogue.

I take a deep breath and check in with myself:

1) What is really important to me?
2) What do I want?
3) What makes me feel good?  


And then, I give myself time and space to really listen to my answers. I’ll write it down if that’s what it takes to get through the process. Make no mistake, it’s a battle!

Last night, all I wanted to do was crash and watch Netflix instead of showing up at my expressive dance group. I almost succumbed.

But I focused, and focused some more, and zeroed in on the fact that if I just went and did it, I’d feel good...I remembered that:

1) Feeling good is important to me.
2) I want to feel good.
3) Feeling good makes me feel good!

I tricked my resistance so that I could get around it and do what my body really wanted to do.

2) Hang with those who love you…especially puppies and babies.  

See yourself in the eyes of others who love you. One of our readers wrote in that when she sees herself as her grandchildren see her, she remembers what’s really important…the love they share, and not how she looks. 

I’m not blessed with grandchildren yet, but through the eyes of my 3-legged dog, Mitch, I am someone who is adored. When I allow myself to feel love, I feel better.  It’s as simple as that.  

3) Do something for someone else.

When I get out of myself and my own problems and give to someone else, I feel better. One day last week, I was overwhelmed with “stuff”. Endless to-do’s, challenges, and problems, and not enough positivity to tackle it all.  

So, I left my office and wandered out to the Dye Studio to find Michelle, my talented and hard-working Lead Dyer, who was working solo that day. I told her I’d like to be her assistant for the next hour. After her initial reaction of surprise, she took me up on it.  

For the next hour, I washed dirty dyeing bins, hung garments from the dryer, and worked side by side with her to help her accomplish her tasks. I got out of myself and did for another. 

And yes, I felt better.

I would love to hear what you do to feel better when that Inner Critic is coming after you. What small or big things do you do to channel positive energy?  

(I so appreciated all of your wonderful responses to my “Love the One You’re With” blog.  You have so much collective wisdom, and I want to keep hearing it and sharing it!)

Rose Corrick
Head Girl in the Warehouse
Art of Cloth

Please Forgive Our Learning Curve...

If you’ve been with me the past 3-4 years, you know I’ve launched not one, not two, but THREE websites.  

We started selling Art of Cloth online under a different name, Artful Sister, because I didn’t want to compete with our Art of Cloth wholesalers.  About two years ago, I listened to a wise consultant who told me that I was confusing my customers by having two different brands.  

“Be who you are”, he said.  

It resonated - that’s what Art of Cloth was supposed to be all about. Why weren’t we practicing it in our own online presence?

I took a deep breath, ditched Artful Sister, and began showing up as Art of Cloth. Period. One website.

As expected, I did upset many wholesalers by selling both online and selling to their stores. While that was painful - I’ve always had great relationships with our wholesale customers - the connection we were making with you was something special.

So much so, that as I shared with you last month, we’ve now left the wholesaling business altogether to focus solely on YOU, the retail online customer.

Alas, what does all of this mean for you?  Well, I am now personally devoting my time to delivering the best product that I can to you. I’m also diving into the website, trying to learn with my merry band here what we’re doing right and wrong.

What I’ve found is our big miss:  

We don’t stock enough quantity of our best stuff, and when we’re out, we’re out.

So, here is what I want you to know: if you like something, buy it. This is NOT a sales ploy.  I really mean this.  If you wait until it goes on sale, chances are your favorite garment in the size you need will be gone.  

For example, that same consultant from above made a very good point when the Seabreeze in Purple Persimmon sold out in one week.

"Wouldn't it be nice if we had more of those...?"

The simplicity of it all!

I am so sorry, but for our Fall collection, we’re only going to be able to restock a very few items.   

The good news is I’m paying attention and am designing our Spring Online collection with this in mind.  

As such, please tell me what you want more of on our website.  Tell me styles that you like, the colors you like, and the sizes you need. If you’ve been frustrated that your size sells out early, tell me!  Send me emails personally at rose@artofcloth.com and I will take note and respond. I promise!  

For me, this is a great learning experience. I’ve been a designer and artist my entire professional life, but I have never been so in touch with my customers as I am now with the new Art of Cloth!  

And admitting that I’ve made a mistake and hoping you’ll bear with us as we correct our faux pas is a big step for me.  (What I do know is that it feels good to be honest and humble about our screw-ups!)  

(Shown above: Angelica in the Bella-V in Purple Persimmon. One of those we were able to restock!)

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