Friday, February 12, 2016

Behind-The-Scenes: Loads of Classes, Brand Pain, and Wonderful Opportunities

There's a distinct veneer in the lifestyle community that takes the "life" right out of it. I love writing and reading DIY and tip posts, but we tune in to blogs to see the real lives of others. I haven't done a real behind-the-scenes in a little while, here's what life's been like so far this year.


I'm not putting as much work as I'd like into our product development. The branding is tying me up in knots. I know it takes years to develop, it won't "click" for a while, but it's killing me regardless.

Before Editing

Ironically, it's easy as HELL for me to put OTHER people's brands together. Funny how that works in life. Doing your own branding is, like I once said, trying to hold on to a greased-up water snake toy. Underwater. During a tsunami. It's so much easier to straighten out someone else's mind matter.

After Editing. I'm working on a product photography e-Book to show how I do this.

Right now I've got it to where I'm working three days a week to get my teacher's brand ideas labeled, bar-coded, shot, edited, and it into websites and shops. I get to make, cut, smell, label, photograph and work with gorgeous natural products every day! The work days go by fast because we're having fun, and because the projects are non-stop. There are unique kinks here and there to work through but I'm learning a lot from all of them. After Lotus Therapeutics is done, I have five more complete brands to create on my plate thus far and more in the future! And then my own brand, it's on the back burner, haha.


Right now I'm enrolled in Reiki (last class tomorrow, yay!), Advanced Aromatherapeutic Skin Care Creation, Medical Aromatherapy and Materia Medica. Advanced Plant Medicine Creation and an Advanced Tea Blending certification are coming up, the classes will never end!  I'm saving up to eventually take some additional nutrition certifications at another school (always nice to have another perspective) and I will eventually torture myself by going back to Florida State College, to finish an abandoned degree in digital media. The photo above is a tincture and spray I made and delivered to my friend. One day I can see myself treating patients but for now I do it for free for friends/family. I want more practice before I have a practice. Right now I'm learning, feeling things out, and saving money for future projects.


I'm also still applying Kon Mari tweaks to my apartment. And you're like "B***, shut up with that S***, aren't you DONE yet?!" I keep thinking I am but I guess that's why she says it takes six months to properly do it? You do you initial purges but little tweaks to perfect your space are ongoing. The space I'm happiest with right now is, weirdly enough, my bedroom closet.  She mentions how your home should have "power" spots and for reasons I'll get into in a post next week. Her second book, Spark Joy, was really helpful for painting the picture of her method further and answering some questions that were bugging fans of the method.


There's still a scattered mess on my dining room table from packing orders and shooting things that I'm going to take care of as soon as this post is done, dammit! Bad me!


The rest of the house has remained rather clear though! I'm still taking out little donations here and there. You would think I have no excess crap left but I still find some despite how minimal my space is.


And the least Kon Mari/Zen/Feng Shui'd area of my home...my storage boxes of random vintage and nerd/Japanese things collections. I still need to list online. I'm doing that today so I can put more funds into my business bank account, even though I want to just donate it.


I haven't walked around/rode my bike around the neighborhood daily like I promised I would for my new years resolution. The picture above was such an adorable sight that I had to pull over and photograph it while running an errand the other day. That dog! Those ears! So adorable!


And then another one came and they were both barking at me and I was so happy. (So happy.) I love all dogs but especially ones with huge bat-ears. I can't wait to adopt two greyhounds one day but it's not the time yet.


And a shot before heading to the gym for one of the few times this month. This has been my worst attendance month since I started got my membership, I've just really started to hate being in there. But I have to suck it up and keep going. Once you get in a solid routine it's easier, I need to wake up earlier and knock it out first-thing. And yoga next, I get it for free with my membership and just need to start going. Blerg!

So that's life lately! How's business and other things going for you? My friend Jackie is here (yay, don't see her enough) so I'm going to pick up my table-mess while we hang, then do an errand for my teacher, then photograph stuff, then class! Work forever!
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15 comments:

  1. You are so inspiring Vanessa!
    I am reading Marie Kondo's latest book too! I had read your previous posts but it hadn't clicked that it was the same method I'm reading about now. This week I tackled my clothes (even though I'd just done it a few months ago) and ended up with FIVE bags of donations for Vinnies. It was such a good feeling :) and I can't believe I had never thought of folding and organising drawer clothes standing up so you can see each item instead of stacked! Life changing.
    It's been hard gym/yoga wise with the excitement of the new year. I'm hoping to get back to a regular yoga pattern too. We can do itt!

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    1. So happy for you that you're committing to the method and going through the steps. I can't shut up about it, it really was a life-changer for me! I can't stop writing about it and slowly refining my space. Her advice about hiding books in the closet because the titles are visual clutter that cloud the mind, was helpful for me.

      Yes, let's get back to it! I was very consistent last year, this January I've just inexplicably hated the gym, haha. No excuse, time to make it a daily thing again.

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    2. So happy for you that you're committing to the method and going through the steps. I can't shut up about it, it really was a life-changer for me! I can't stop writing about it and slowly refining my space. Her advice about hiding books in the closet because the titles are visual clutter that cloud the mind, was helpful for me.

      Yes, let's get back to it! I was very consistent last year, this January I've just inexplicably hated the gym, haha. No excuse, time to make it a daily thing again.

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  2. Branding is hard work. It definitely takes time! How wonderful that you are working towards treating patients in holistic ways. It is so important in a society that takes too many medications. That dog is super cute. :)

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    1. The dog was too adorable just watching the world from "His" balcony. They were yapping at me the closer I got but I loved it ;D

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    2. Oh and yep, I just have to shut up and let go with the branding. It will refine over time, but this has been in development hell for over a year. Let it go! haha. Agreed, I'm beyond lucky that an Herbalism school is walking distance from me so I can learn to heal people holistically.

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  3. Thank you for sharing this behind-the-scenes, Vanessa:) And can I just say how inspiring you are with your dedication to the KonMari method. I've really got to get off my butt and start doing some organization!

    PS Can't wait to see your own line someday:) Am really interested in aromatherapy.

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    1. Thank you! I can't stop with the method, it's so helpful and inspiring. I'll be sharing more details I've incorporated soon. I can't wait to launch the line, I'm working on books on aromatherapy and essential oils as well in detail from a medical perspective. :)

      You may have already seen it but I did a super detailed post on the chemical components of essential oils last year: http://www.vanessaalvarado.com/2015/11/aromatherapy-101-science-of-essential.html

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  4. Love your pillow cases on your bed and your new hair do.

    I thrifted the book on the Kon Mari method. Haven't started it yet…..I really need it though.

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    1. Thank you, it's hard to see bit that's my hair in a Wet, messy side braid before getting it straightened. ;)

      Let me know if you have any qs about the method. It is seriously life changing, I love it. Glad you thrifted a copy! I'll be posting about my progress Adding refining techniques from the 2nd book.

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    2. Bit us but, I am the worst at phone typing. I avoid it is possible :D

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  5. Seeing those two adorable dogs in the picture made me smile :) Wow, you certainly have a lot going on! Yes, branding is particularly hard. I'm trying to figure out a cohesive theme for all my shops. I also try to stick to my daily morning yoga routine. Good luck with all your endeavours!

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    1. The dogs reminded me of how much I need to be doing my daily walks and bike rides. Gotta wake up earlier. And yoga, too. :P haha My branding issue right now is the lack of story/theme. I can't keep dragging it on though, time to get to work.

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  6. You know, I know someone who is a professional organizer---but her own house? A total disaster! Funny how it is much easier to clean, organize, brand someone else's life. Maybe that's why I am so good at giving advice that I don't use myself, ha ha!!

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    1. That is soooooo very true. I could see myself being a personal organizer but I have a hard time putting things away when I'm done with it for myself, haha.

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