#FIRSTS: THE VIBRATION of authenticity by faren tami

The word authenticity holds a tremendous amount of meaning; and, to understand it we must escape the self in order to find its trueness. Of course, the self is inescapable in the physical sense of the word (still, some may argue this), but the real truth begins with the willingness to be stripped down to show a kind of sincerity that is indisputable that no one can deny the self its certainty, not even you.

       Coming to fully embrace the significance of such a loaded noun I can relate to its rawness – and it hurts like hell! Uncovering my own appreciation for authenticity has been a process that only recently have I realized the emotion it contains. A word like this has such strength; it has graced the lips of my mother throughout my childhood, though I never really understood its true value…so where do I start?

       My pursuit began unlike any other; where some opt for the ordinary, I dive right into the deep-end with the strange and unknown - a podcast. I have never produced a podcast, let alone recorded my voice for the sake of playing it for the masses. To be honest, I dislike the sound of my voice, but I think knowing these truths are just part of the process – and is that not why we are here?

       I began this endeavour in search of rawness in humanity and to capture words that might be too rigid on paper. Because after all, there is something to be said about the tone and vibration in a persons’ voice and I wanted to be there to capture that on tape. Translating thoughts and emotions in an audible version is what has captivated me in this form of media. The authenticity of two beings just being themselves, no fluff, just a fluid conversation led by the story-telling of the interviewee’s #FIRST memory. The subject is up for interpretation, anything goes and no topic is off-limits, which is what makes #FIRST so relatable.  

In the initial #FIRST episode I do not shy away from the touchy subject of my best friend’s relationship with her parents. She describes the events of her #FIRST memory as a child loosing her parents in the petting zoo because she got distracted by a deer. After trailing away from her family and not being able to find them for a few hours, Kathy came to the conclusion they were just not looking, or even (assumed) to care. This idea of has now become her reality; this dated presupposed notion has affected her in ways that Kathy herself doesn’t even realize. Perpetuating this 'false' memory, Kathy sees herself as the victim or "forgotten daughter" in the family unit, a role that spills over into other areas of her life. It’s unfortunate this theme has been replaying in her mind out of familiarity as a kind of comfort in understanding her relationship with her family.

       Kathy’s sister (according to Kathy) has done “everything the right way”. She compares herself to her sister because she has a perceived sense of security. There is constant pressure from society to have the house, the job, the partner, the car, and the pension in order to feel fulfilled and protected. If we are off “chasing the deer” we are seen as irresponsible, lacking in knowledge or even an outcast from our family. I can relate! So I interrupt her cycle of negative self-worth and challenge her with a question, “Why are we living for society and not for ourselves?” This expectation from decades of practice has crippled us in many ways. Doubt and fear have taken over our independent thought. And according to my mom, to be authentic we need to combat these defeatist ideals that are ingrained in our psyche. Because only then will we be truly authentic to our being. Thinking and feeling and loving who or how we want are the fundamental lessons here! I say, go… chase that deer and try (try?) to be free – your authentic self is waiting.  

#podcast #FIRST #authentic #concept

September: GROWTH by faren tami

September has been a hard month... and without getting into the nitty gritty details of things, let's just say it was a month FULL of growth. I believe sometimes you need to go through the valleys to get to the highlands of where you are now — it makes for a stronger person!

I have been listening to Tara Brach everyday now, she has so many powerful lessons in just 1 hour of her podcast. She also has a soothing voice (that has put me to sleep on many occasion)...

Take a listen/download my favourite one:

Pile on the "TO DO" by faren tami

This summer has been so lovely. And I am so grateful for the time I have to really discern what path I want to take next. The time has also given me the flexibility to work on projects I have always wanted to finish, as well as work on that never-ending "to do" list. 

Since finishing a wedding dress in July I have made a big long "to do" list for August - this is kind of exciting because it also gives me a due date to finish everything. Let's see if I can do it!

The month of May-hem by faren tami

How is it June already? Where did May go? Every year I have that same thought, that the month of May is so full up with: birthdays, Mother's day, dinner dates, family events, coffee meet-ups, appointments, over-time, extra curricular and those pesky "life" chores.  Not to mention, we are all just getting reacquainted with warm weather. We forget sometimes to sit and enjoy the lilacs, which are only in bloom for a short time. And by the time you sit down to appreciate the beautiful colours and smells, they are gone with the crazy June winds (we have been having recently). 

Change man, it's hard. Time moves so quickly that we forget to be present in the moment. I often find myself, planning my next move, or next sentence, or dwelling on the past (like right now, I am writing about where the heck May went!). Reality is... we are in the thick of summer season NOW, we are all trying to store up our vitamin-D and green spaces like squirrels that we forget the to really feel the breeze on our skin.

So June... here we are. I'm happy where I am and how life has made a shift (but hopefully not shifting too quickly that we miss the month of May the next year around). 



Bad Girl: BE GOOD by faren tami

I have been a bad girl, I know.

This idea of manifesting is hard when you need to keep on top of the fluff that goes on in every day life; plus, I will have to admit...writing is not a forte of mine, so sitting down to write isn't always easy.

However, I do have great strength when it comes to committing to something. When I say I am going to do something - I do it! You can ask any one, when my mind is stuck on something I cannot let it go... this goes for passions, conversations that I think went really badly, or even those ideas I have never developed (oh, yes, even the ideas won't go away until I have exhausted the possibility of its possibilities). Which makes this writing another task in my brain that just won't go away until I do it. However, it has (and will be) a great opportunity to see what happens in the next year in connection this manifesting project.

Hmm, what I have learned so far? To be kind to yourself... maybe not every idea needs a special moment in the sun. Taking time for yourself might be what you need and that is okay too. So be bad, even if that means being good (to yourself). 


Subject: "...a word from an old man" by faren tami

While cleaning my inbox of a mass over-load of old emails… I came across an email I wrote 5 years ago. It began with a powerful quote that read something like this:  

Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2006 15:47:33 -0500 (EST)

  "…so many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they are chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.“

  ….do yourself a favour and stop chasing the things that don’t give you meaning. Consentrate on the people and things that make you the MOST happiest…(like music, cooking, writing, dancing, your family, your girlfriend/boyfriend….you get the idea) Because life is not worth the things that you just settle for….life is love and the people that mean the most to you!

  So if you are working at a job that you HATE or going to school because "that’s the thing to do”…..ask yourself this question: why am I wasting my time on this? Does this really make me happy? What could I do to make me love what I do?


I guess I was so moved by the quote that I sent this email out to everyone in my contact list. I don’t really know what compelled me to write but soon after I sent this email I received some amazing responses, one from a friend who was so inspired that he decided to book a trip to South America… and another replied with, “This is exactly what I needed, Thx.”

There is really no explanation as to why or what compelled me to send that message out to everyone in my contact list… but you never know who you are going to inspire in the process, so, why not share it?

Therefore, this is my message to you… LIFE IS A JOURNEY WORTH TRAVELING – SO START LIVING. 

Speak Up: This Ain't "Telephone" by faren tami

Like in the game telephone, there are words that can be misconceived when speaking at a whisper. Which is why this game is NEVER good in business or in building relationships, but we do it all the time! Whether it's not speaking to the person directly, or through text messages, via email, or just not communicating all together. Why do we do this? It's frustrating and it makes the situation a heck of a lot more mixed up then it was to begin with... so why can't we just SPEAK UP!?!

Over the past few weeks I felt like I had been playing telephone and not getting any results - for the obvious reasons (as mentioned above). So this week I took matters into my own hands! I presented the board with a proposal of action to take over operations. It will be a huge undertaking because it will mean moving to Peru for a couple months out of the year, but this is what needs to happen in order to get this business off the ground. Not to mention, it also falls in-line with a life goal to be living in a warm climate during the Canadian winter months. 

So... there you have it - be direct. It will save you the long "telephone" line of miscommunication. 

The Turning Point: Manifesting Change by faren tami

When you are at the end of your rope and there seems to be no where to safely land. What do you do? For most people, we panic! And why wouldn't you panic? It's scary up there on that rope... holding on for dear life (maybe even by a thread), and how can you save yourself when all you can think about is falling to your (hypothetical) death? But listen, no clarity comes out of panic. Did you ever see Indiana Jones panic when a huge boulder came hurling at him? NO! If only we could think more like Indiana Jones life would be as easy a a trap door. 

My point is, that in order to jump off that seemingly scary rope you need to start getting a grip on life. Stop. Breathe. And think of possible ways to use your Indiana power.  Is there a (metaphorical) rock near by (a.k.a. a good friend)? Can you swing to a safer area to land? Can you use the rope as a zip-cord?

Manifesting change starts with the idea of change.

I know this is true because just seven months ago my rope became very fine and brittle, the more knots I tried to tie, the more my rope began to break. I had some clarity tho once I accepted that I was falling and that is when I began to think like Indiana.  

The idea of where my life could go was getting me excited, just the idea... that desire for change made me really manifest something I never thought possible. But only a couple short months later I was laid off from my job and positive things started happening! 

So, on this April 1st my friend and I had come up with a plan to track our progress of manifesting. The plan is not fully realized just yet, but there has been little seedlings planted in hopes that in a few months from now it will grow into a bigger plan - which is to be presented as an art project next year. 

I am SURE you all have big ideas... but the REAL test in that turning point is, how Indiana Jones are you?  


Concrete is such a versatile material; whether it’s building up a retaining wall, a foundation for a house or used for an industrial building - this material is not usually seen as creating beautiful pieces of beauty.

I guess what I’m saying is… materials (like concrete) can be transformed depending on the value the it is given. When you have a retaining wall, which is not really seen as beautiful and therefore given the value as merely functional, there is an over-sight to its industrial beauty. However, if concrete is designed and formed into a beautiful graphic pieces of wall art (as seen below) - that gives the material a higher value of something more then just a functional use but an esthetically beautiful one. It is an easy concept but I like to apply this same principal to fashion… giving ‘old’ materials a higher-value - a new lease on its life cycle.

Most of what I work with are new high-quality fabrics, but for some pieces within my collection I like to re-purpose materials by incorporating them into a new design. This idea has been termed as up-cycling; a much more environmentally conscious way of recycling - which actually takes more energy to downgrade the material (also called down-cycling).

This concrete 'concept’ of giving the material a greater value and up-cycling materials is just the foundation of building great ideas…

REFLECTION: G-SPOT by faren tami

Guelph. How did I get here? A city that sleeps… the streets are dead at 9pm! It’s been 3 weeks of aggy-central and I’m about to burst. Although I can’t complain too much I have been keeping myself busy. Biking has become my new stress reliever… it gives me a sense of adventure in a city that consists of cookie-cutter houses and bleach blonde mall-goers. Some days I would be out for 2 hours exploring…(sniffing out an ounce of cool)…I found nothing (would have loved to have taken some pics, you would have been bored out of your mind).

Although, there is an advantage to the ghost town… there is no traffic! I sail down the streets with out a worry in the world that I will be cut off by a taxi pulling into the bike lane or a pedestrian J-walking… that caution is right where I left it - in Toronto. Let’s be serious, I love Toronto! Crazy driver’s and oblivious walkers are part of the charm… it’s amazing how the cars and pedestrians move together as though it were a dance. Try street watching some time in Toronto, you’ll understand what I mean.

Without the hussel-n-bussel of a big city, this time in isolation (not totally an exaggeration) has made me appreciate the silence. Maybe I should take up meditation? Liz Gilbert meditates every morning to find her balance… it might even become a trend now that EAT PRAY LOVE has made it’s theatre debut (btw, great movie!).  Ummm, and I could find my chakras while biking, right? AHHH, what will I do without my bike!!!!

The next few days are going to be insanity for me. Moving abroad and packing is going to be a challenge considering I only plan on taking 2 bags. Being a fashion designer, how can one fit her life in 2 bags (one being carry on)? This is going to need some major meditation and chakra help. I’ll let you know how it goes… I might even have some tips for those of you moving/travelling. In the meantime, wish me luck!

REFLECTION: Last Day to a 5 Year Chapter by faren tami

Today was my last day at NuMode Apparel, and what a special day it was.

Soon I head off to Italy to peruse a dream that I have been putting off for years and now seems like the perfect time to go.  My heart is telling me this is the right time; to learn, to be inspired and to live the Italian life I was meant to live. It was hard to make the decision to leave a company that has taught me so much…. it’s kinda like your first love, you know it won’t last but when it does end you will always remember it and think of it fondly.  

As I start to tear up now, I remember my first day as it was yesterday. I will miss the NuMode family because they have been my life for the past 5 yrs.  Everyone made my last day so special, I even received a “good luck” cake as well as a lovely card and a few gifts. I held back the tears as I cut the cake and made it through the meeting with my boss…I really wish I could have told him how much I appreciated all his support and understanding through my many ups and downs….and there were a few. 

Well, I guess this means I will have more time to write this blog :) Thanks again NuMode for the unbelievable 5 years… I will miss you all!

Insiration Nation: Frank Gehry by faren tami

Last saturday afternoon I found myself wandering the College St. public library for inspiration and I came across a documentary, “Sketches of Frank Gehry”. Ummm, could be interesting, right?

I was undoubtedly blown-away with his deconstructivism and modern cubist style.  Gehry transforms architecture “…from a conventional science into a sublime and majestic form of art”. He is responsible for some of the worlds greatest works of architecture; the stunning Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum, the Hall of Fame and the list goes on. I was also surprised to hear he was born in Toronto!!!

Well, I highly recommend a stroll to the library for inspiration and knowledge into the the life/works of Frank Gehry (my new favourite Architect).

The Launch: FAREN by faren tami


Ok, I’d have to admit, I’m a virgin….to blogging. My motivation to start? Well, it seems to be the trend these days….Haha! No, seriously tho, this blog is basically about connecting with people, am I right? A social networking tool that is an accessible way to promote yourself and draw people into your “world”. As for my world….? It is the “ultra-glamorous” fantasy land of fashion, which is much my reality and inspiration in my daily life.

The photo seen above is from my Fall 2009 debut at the Elle Canada’s New Labels Competition in April 2009. To see more of the winning collection:  http://bit.ly/cuiGUd