I hate clothes shopping. Always have. I will purchase the least-expensive item almost every time, regardless of fit, function or style. Paying more than $20 for a pair of jeans/pants or shoes and more than $15 for a shirt *KILLS* me. Those prices are getting harder and harder to come by, even in the Big Box stores. I am pretty sure that if someone gave me a “$5000 Visa card with my name on it” (hello What Not To Wear, I obviously need your help) I don’t think I could be happy shopping.
I’ve got a few things working against me lately. First, I’m not sure exactly what size I am since having a baby last year and dieting when the whim hits me. Second, I tend to gravitate to clothing that is more forgiving, and by that I mean on the S/M/L size label. Add to that my self-inflicted cheapo budget for clothing only covers the very basics – like new winter coats for the kids and I – and not ‘frivolous’ things like fashionable and trendy pieces. Or professional clothing. I work from home in yoga pants dammit! I never see clients. Or do I?
This past week I went to a women’s networking function after work (work ends for me when I fall asleep, just sayin’…) and I had to wear jeans and a tee shirt. For real. Granted, it was a nice (aka not stained yet) 3/4 sleeve printed tee, and I wore a pair of heeled boots with the jeans, oh, and don’t forget the purse so over-stuffed with baby toys and Cheerios I couldn’t get to my business cards. I felt like a fraud. Professional women came wearing smart pant suits carrying portfolio bags, and women who own retail stores wore stylish ensembles embroidered with their company’s name and website. If I can’t dress myself for one night of networking, how am I supposed to dress myself for my new business venture?
Working at home is lonely and isolating. While I am very happy being at home with my kids and being a computer geek for a (meager) living, I have a strong need for me to venture outside my house to work. When I owned my craft store, I was always ‘out’ and around people. Coming to my store was fun for my customers, and because 99% of my clients were women, I enjoyed a special kind of sisterhood with them. Now, well, it’s different. I’ve lost touch with almost all of my old customers and I don’t enjoy friendships with any clients or sponsors I have now. No offense to them, but it’s *just* business.
Now I’m trying to start up a network marketing business that will allow (force?) me to get out and become the social butterfly I dream of being. I’m fine ‘socializing’ online, but it’s the face to face that I freeze up doing. I found a product that I believe in 110%, that works, and I feel I can be successful with. (It’s Arbonne International in case you are wondering…) Problem is, I really don’t have any clothes to wear! Thankfully I have an aunt that loves to shop, is nearly my size, and tends to give me clothes that still has the tags on them. I will have to shop vicariously through her closet until I can bring myself to venture into the stores for professional clothing for myself. The more immediate issue for me is finding ways to get exposed to people that would be interested in hearing about the products and my new business. Maybe if I dress a little better at these networking events I won’t scream “HOUSE MOMMY” to all these professional women!