VanessaAlvarado.com - Shop & Brand Owner (Body&Soul), Crafty Creative Writer Person

Hello there! My name is Vanessa Alvarado as the domain name states. The photo to the left is me in my store during its early months, it looks completely different now!

I'm a typical idiosyncratic INFP/general nerd/minimalism and art obsessed workaholic. This blog is in archive mode because I opened up a local shop with my boyfriend, AJ, that took on a life of its own- and devoured all of my life and free time along the way. They tend to do that. (I post about that frequently on my Instagram you can also shop online)

 I was vintage reseller and blogged here all about thrifting, creativity, small business, organization with some splashes of vegan/healthy lifestyle, decor, and creative development topics.

A few years into reselling I decided I didn't like the merchandise storage and constant acquisition aspect of the business, I was burned out. (Although my adoration of vintage has never waned!) Serendipitously, I ended up pursuing something I've had a lifelong passion for, clinical herbalism. I studied it for two years and became certified in a huge array of natural healing arts. Becoming equipped with those marketable skills I started selling off the rest of my merchandise at local markets and put my very first handmade natural body care products on the table too April of 2015.

I'm writing this update on our business October 13, 2018. Since that day of just a few little things on our table along with our vintage set-up we've opened our own store and we usually do over 30 market pop-ups all over Florida and Georgia, sometimes up 5 in one day! We have a team of 6 to help us with this, but AJ and I still run around overwhelmed a lot of time, trying to get it together! It's a dream come true to have both of us self-employed at the same business, but it's hard to see that being in the middle of it all a lot of the time. We're busy, but we are grateful.

Also, I am NOT sharing this to brag, but more as encouragement about how good the handmade marketplace can be to you if you're patient, hardworking, and NEVER give up, but the year isn't over yet and we've grossed well over six figures. Now, HA, like I said we pay ourselves AND a staff along with paying all overhead with these earnings. We're not Scrooge McDuck from Duck Tales, diving into a pile of coins in a private vault. We're still a long way from our goals with this business, but wow, we can say we've accomplished this!

All the above said, I had to make the tough decision to stop blogging. Blogging, journaling, writing, it's a huge love of mine! I know it's hard to believe so I screen-capped it above, I have over 900 unpublished archive posts! I have many journals filled to the brim with writing. I can journal and write all day, I adore it! Curating words and photos together is a big love, it's what keeps me going with my current brand because I do the label design, product formulation, marketing, tent design, store design, content and marketing for the brand...it's a curation process and it keeps my insatiable creation/nerd-making needs quite satisfied...and busy.

 But I had to be honest with myself. During the first year of my business I LITERALLY couldn't blog at all, just no time to actually put a full post together. (We MAKE all of the over 145 varieties of products we have by hand, at the time it was mostly me doing all the creation.) Now I have a couple of creation assistants and a bit more time, the desire to blog is VERY tempting, but I have to be honest with myself, I STILL don't really have the time.

Getting what you wish for takes LOTS of sacrifice. I still make plans for a future blog in my journals frequently, I'd love to take them public one day. But for now behind the scenes I gather the ideas and images together for possible sharing in the future.

Thank you so much if you've read all of these rambling words and other rambling words in the past. I wouldn't be where I am running a successful, profitable, business without this blog, I fully believe that.

Randomness:

I'm a HUGE Michael Jackson and Prince fan. My MJ+Prince record collection is formidable. (God rest their souls, Prince Tribute here + recap of Prince tribute concerts
  • Basically all I listen to is video game soundtracks, the two legends above, Motown, classic R&B, funk and disco...
  • Anime fan and general Japanophile. Unabashed lover of all-things-kawaii.
  • Comic book  + horror video game fan. Favs: Batman, Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Parasite Eve
  • Robot + dinosaur toy and miniature object collector- I'm picky about the ones I induct! (New collections, unique witchy/zodiac art & objects + 60s-70s psychedelic art prints)
  • My love of DINOSAURS, CEPHALOPODS and ROBOTS knows no bounds
  • Random, but it appears my most-viewed post on all time is a tour of my old office cubicle!
  • I once lived in a camper on a mini-farm with a boyfriend--- and no internet! Loved it. 
  • It's weird for a young tech-person who works on the web but ...I hate smart phones and struggle to use them.

Blog Must-Reads:

Home and Organization

- My KonMari Method Journey: How to Organize Your Home Once- And Never Again!
- 15 Feng-Shui Tips for Wealth and Productivity
- Guides for Organizing Your EVERYTHING: Home, Schedule, Money, Cleaning, Life!
- Short Cuts for Living a Healthy, Minimalist Life

Personal / Creative Inspiration

- My Favorite Posts from 2014
- Odd Jobs: My Journey to Self-Employment
- Philosophy Lesson: The Mexican Fisherman and the American Fisherman
- You're Exactly Where You Need to Be
Blogging From Inside the Confessional: 6 Reasons Why I'm Crazy Honest on My Blog
My Herbalism School Experience
Adventures in Soap Making: The Best Damn Dinosaur Fossil Soap You've Ever Seen
My Childhood Bedroom

Blog and Business Tips

- My Top 22 Digital Tools for Running An Online Business
Try This: An Exercise to Find Out Exactly What You Want to Do For a Living. For Really
How to Earn EXACTLY The Amount of Money You Want to Earn
- 6 Offbeat Tips on Full Time Blogging and Getting Advertisers You Haven't Read
- A Round-Up of My Blogging Tips Posts

Vintage Selling Success Stories

Kimberly, Published Writer, Mom, Turns eBay into a $3K/Month Gig
Scavenger Life Vintage Selling Chat: On Earning $13,000 Per Month and Living The Dream

Gorgeous House Tours

- Ranch Dressing with Eartha Kitsch's Perfect Mid Century Modern Ranch
- Becke's Expertly Staged Cozy and Industrial Vintage Home
- Sherry's Gorgeous Mid Century Modern Home + Her Epic X-mas Collection
- Bianca's Artsy Tasmanian Bungalow
- A Literal Secret Hippie Hideaway
- Bianca's Cozy California Casa
- My Fresh, New, Light-Filled Office

My Favorite Round-Ups

- A Round-Up of My Favorite DIY and Craft Posts
- A Round-up Of My Interviews with Thrifters Around the World
- A Round-Up of All of My Body Care DIY Posts (deodorant, toothpaste and more)
- A Round-Up of My Healthy Recipes / Weight Loss Posts + My Raw Vegan Series

Travel Favorites 

- My Grandparent's House in Puerto Rico
- Come One Come All to Groovy Land: Toast and Jam in a Colorful Folk Art Garden
- The Amazing- And Scary- Wolf's Museum
- A Tranquil Mid Century Modern Church
- My Favorite Place in the World. The Hostel in the Forrest Part 1 and Part 2
- Japan: History | Kawaii | Mountaintop Vintage Shop | Signs | Highlights | ALL The Food | Cats
- The Art of Sampuru: Contemplating Hyper-Realistic Fake Food in Japan

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Feel free to contact me if you have additional questions. You can chat with me on Twitter and Facebook. I also have an FAQ with information you may find useful.

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