Tag Archives: Inspiration

Happy New Year!


Two months ago Neil (Sewbie other half) told me to peruse Startup Vitamins and pick one out that resonated. We both agreed on the above print for the office (his garage) even though I was indecisive. And in true “things are clearer in hindsight” fashion, it was the right choice. I’m sitting here reflecting on the past year and goddamn it, it was filled with constant reminders that things fall apart. Reality checks can disguise themselves as accomplishments. Loved ones can fall terminally ill. Jobs can be lost. Life is painfully short, so it doesn’t make sense to spend precious time doing something you don’t love.

Sewbie is what Neil and I love. He’s always yelling at me for worrying about things too much. Slowly but surely I’m realizing nothing will ever be perfect. And finally I’m at the point where that’s okay. Progression comes from making mistakes and enduring failures.

My 2014 resolution: Move fast and break shit. Let it be known – I don’t make resolutions. They never hold up. But 2013 was chock-full of signs. Let it be known – I don’t believe in signs. Sometimes, things happen just to happen. And yet here I am, eager to break things. Let it be known – I’m a super cautious worrywart. The horrible scenarios I conjure up in my head are downright ridiculous.

The other day I was watching Bizarre Foods (current addiction) and at the very end, Andrew Zimmern says “If you get the chance to do something you’ve always wanted to do, do it. Worry about the bumps and bruises later.” I swear it’s a sign. A bright, neon blinking sign that says “DO IT NOW HAZEL! NOW IS THE F*CKING TIME!” I know, I know – I don’t believe in signs. But I guess if I’m going to start breaking things, my own limitations and assumptions are a good place to start.

Happy new year from Sewbie. We welcome you to break shit with us.


Say word: Imagination

I’ve always been a big believer in the power of imagination. If you could think it, you could be it. Who knew walking down a random street could have you feeling so empowered by the time you hit the crosswalk? Thomas Edison said “To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.” Dream it and do it.

imagination quote

Take Notes

One of the main things on my 2013 to-do list is to TAKE MORE NOTES. Ideas and thoughts pop up out of nowhere at almost all hours of the day and often times become lost in the wind because I didn’t take 2 seconds to jot ’em down. Well, good riddance to that. Because I’m equipped now more than ever. The following is what my note taking weaponry looks like at the moment.


1. Journals. Moleskines, ruled, unruled, graph paper, sketchbooks, small, large. I can’t get enough of them. There are stacks upon stacks of unused blank journals in my bookcase just waiting for me to grace the pages. I have so many that it’s borderline sickness really. Keeping a physical journal may be old school by today’s standards, but there is nothing like actually putting pen to paper and seeing your thoughts in your own handwriting.

2. Custom Stamp. I had a custom stamp made for my friend Chloe when she started Clo Hair Bows. Shortly after I wondered why the hell I didn’t have one made for my own company. The thing is awesome. Sewbie.com stamps on everything and everywhere! I order mine from Casey Rubber Stamps in NYC. They’re fast, reliable, and make beautiful stamps.

3. Calendar Planner. Again, old school. I’ve got access to iCalendar and Google Calendar but I still find myself aching to write shit down and cross shit out. The red one above is from Muji and is perfect because it has a monthly view and weekly view with a blank page next to each week – perfect for a to-do lists.

4. Evernote for iPad. Okay, I’m so not completely analog. My business partner and I like to share our documents and notes with one another on the Evernote app. With the ability to share and co-edit notebooks, links, sketches, etc. it’s genius and incredibly convenient.

5. Decorative Tape. Totally girly but so necessary. It adds a fun factor to cutting stuff out and pasting it your journal. I bought mine in the Philippines for crazy cheap at a flea market, but cutetape.com has some that I think I need.

6. Note Cards & Envelopes. Because there’s nothing like getting a handwritten note in the mail. I found these in kraft paper at Muji – perfect for Sewbie thank you’s.

7. Colored Pencils. Drawing is one of my favorite things to do. Colored pencils add some life to sketches.

8. Good Pens. You can never have too many good pens. I’m a fine point kinda girl but as long as you’re comfy with what you’re writing with, it doesn’t really matter…as long as it doesn’t smudge!

What do you use to take notes? I’m always looking for new and creative ways to stow ideas so please share!

‘Tis the Season

Now that Thanksgiving is over I’ve been trying to get myself in the spirit of Christmas. I mean, it’s only my most favorite-est holiday EVER!!! When I was young, I’d help my mom wrap gifts all night. I’d spend hours trying to perfect the tree. I’d sing Christmas songs at the top of my lungs. I’d even cry as I watched Frosty the Snowman melt away. Now that I’m older I find it a tad harder to get myself jazzed for the season so I’ve started to compile some things to help bring out that youthful, whimsical feeling once again, a holiday inspiration board if you will. Because with all the stress bringing me down, there’s nothing like some holiday cheer to bring me back up. In some weird magical way, it’s saving my life right now.

Special thanks…to our friends.

In the wake of recent events, namely, protests against corporate greed (Occupy Wall Street) and vigorous labor disputes (NBA lockout), a friend lovingly reminded me why Sewbie is so great (or will be) – because we are creating opportunities. I recently read two articles that are completely unrelated and yet both make valid points on why small businesses have suffered as a result of both events. And while those involved in each movement are justified in their own right, we’re taking another approach to sticking it to the man and instead providing a platform for people who want to take their creative endeavors and, quite possibly, steer the course of their own lives. Yes, I’ve always been a firm believer in drawing something positive out of the negative and void.

When Steve Jobs passed away, my Facebook newsfeed was filled with pictures, articles, and RIP’s except for one status update. It said something to the effect of “Why do you people care so much about the death of someone you’ve never met, who was the CEO of a major corporation that has made so much money off of you?” Not word-for-word but that was the gist. But if you know Jobs’ story and what he preached, then you’ll know that he was revered not just because of the iPod, but because he believed in the power of dreams. Comments like that are bothersome because it made me believe people don’t dream anymore. But to my relief, I’ve got friends to remind me that this is not the case. Dreamers are still very much alive.  I’m blessed to be surrounded by a growing number of friends who are taking matters into their own hands and believing in their own abilities through their clothing lines, pharmacies, boutiques, recruitment agencies, accessory and jewelry companies, catering, djing, photography, make-up collections, video editing, barber shops, websites, marketing boutiques, and event planning. There is nothing like collective inspiration. And a killer hustle to boot.

A few weeks ago I received a random email from one of our Sewbie designers, letting me know that we were motivating her to get to her jewelry studio and create. Talk about making my day. Neil and I are entrepreneurs at heart and working with other like-minded people whom are just as determined to get their own businesses out there has been one of the most rewarding things ever. And we’re just getting started.  There isn’t really a point to this post, but I guess while Neil and I are pulling all nighters to get sewbie.com finally launched, it serves as a reminder of what makes all the hard work worth it. We’re quickly nearing the homestretch. Thank you to our friends for the inspiration.