#FIRSTS: THE PODCAST CONCEPT by faren tami

OBJECTIVE:  To engage the audience with raw examples of humanity based on the first memories of the interviewee would like to share. The podcast will develop with the direction of the story, bringing together an organic, fluid means of conversation.

The main focus in regards to the theme #firsts, the people chosen for interviews are people that in relation to the interviewer (ie. a friend, colleague, classmate, acquaintance, or family member) because memories (good or bad) are being brought to the surface – which make the content of a more intimate nature than the mainstream podcast. However, by doing so, this podcast will bringing to the surface the intimacy of our conversation, translating it into an audible version of thoughts and expressions; therefore, engaging the audience on a more emotional level.

#FIRSTS:  The title has been given a hashtag to evoke the audience to participate in the conversation. They can record there own #FIRSTS conversations and post it on an oline platform and by adding the hashtag it will be easily searchable. Also, #FIRSTS lends itself better to marketing campaigns once it gains traction. 

A Message to Fear and Bravery by faren tami

photo credit: Alicia Savage

photo credit: Alicia Savage

Here I am, up in the night as usual thinking about you. The past few months of joblessness, indecision and grief has really brought me to a place of anxiety and incompetence. December was an intense month of travelling from house to house in the suburbs carrying people and a trunk load of a ridiculous amount of gifts. I do not connected to this life; totally straights-ville in the most traditional sense: all white, all living a heteronormative life; all middle class turkey eating dinner folk with wrapped up gifts everywhere. I felt like I am back in my awkward teenage years again. Fitting in with all my privileges, but not at all. I would like very much to be an active participant in this family but I know in my heart it would not be a natural involvement. My brother and his wife are expecting their fourth child; my sister in-law made a joke that she doesn’t want to be the only one in the family having babies - I only assume she was directing that towards me. Dogs, children, and chaos – nothing of this makes sense to me.

Don’t get me wrong, I am totally and radically grateful to have my beautiful family but it is very clear to me that I am the black sheep. My partner is not welcome thanks to my father’s Catholic traditional values. They fear that my queerness will influence the children. I am constantly feeling marginalized: vegetarian, queer, female, and choosing a career in fashion is just one more disappointment. At least, that is the constant reminder from my father; on one hand, he is my biggest fan; but, on the other hand, he crucifies me for my choices.

Seven years ago, I moved to Florence based on instinct. It was not surprising my family expressed their concerns; my mother stayed in the same career since she was pregnant with my older brother (now 36 and on his fourth child). Why leave a career in design, a respectable apartment, a business that I owned and operated on weekends and my namesake collection in pursuit of only a reflex. It is hard to explain the innate feelings bubbling inside me to a family of small dreams and fear driven ideals.

Originally, I settled for a position in a small tailor shop with a women but found it hard to understand her English and she would micro-manage my pattern drafting shapes that I got to the point of hating the job just after a few short days. There I was in Florence, hating the job, in a dirty city and missing my family. I had to refrain from any calls to update them on my status or the words of ‘I told you so’ would be ringing in my ear.

One night while walking in Piazza San Simone I found this brightly lite Sartoria with pink printed walls and a mysterious man in a fedora working late on a bright pink silk skirt. My heart leapt! I felt gravity pulling me towards him and did not know why. The friend I was walking with had pushed me towards the door to approach him; I shyly slinked in the doorway to ask him if he would consider hiring me as his intern. He was a typical Florentine and was quickly on the defense, he asked me one question, "Where are you from?".
"I am from Toronto, Canada." He immediately followed with, "I love Canadians!". And we began talking, I told him of my 5 years experience in the fashion industry, the namesake collection and my accolades at the time. He asked me to come in for an interview with my portfolio the next day - we have been friends ever since. 


Fast forward seven years, and I am back in Florence speaking with a man that has been an inspiration, a mentor, and very good friend for so many years. We talked for hours, connecting on a deeper level than ever before as we shared stories of our break-ups, our crazy intense fearful families and our passion for hand-made and design - we didn't miss a beat. When we parted ways that day I had goose bumps all over and a sense of belonging. The cosmos brought us together those many years ago and once again the cosmos bring me here.

Anyways, I'm totally free falling into this message to you. I woke up in the night wondering - as I guess we do as humans – how strange it is to have grown older and how you have played a part in my development. I think about you and I am glad to be able to wish you adieu, as I continue to be brave and admire your motivation from a distance.

 

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). 

Namaste 

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?

  YOU SHOULDN’T SETTLE FOR SOMETHING THAT ISN’T WORTH SETTLING FOR…..LIFE IS TOO SHORT!

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 CONTEMPLATIONS by faren tami

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

THE START OF SOMETHING BIG?

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