Thursday, July 18, 2013

Heidi Fail: Sewing Internship

Photos from Season 12 Designer Portfolios

Project Runway.
New Season.
I have a bottle chilling in celebration.

In honor of watching people follow their bliss, I'm sharing a post below that I wrote almost 5 years ago. It is a reminder that we all need to continue to follow our own.
Even when we hit roadblocks.
And then laugh as we run past them.

From Heidi 2009:

A couple weeks back I decided that I wanted to put myself out there in the sewing community and find a place to soak in more knowledge, more expertise...experience for my passion. You should go right to the top, right? The best place I know is in Scottsdale where I had my wedding dress altered. It is run by one of the most outspoken, funny, 50ish Italian men I've ever met. No one is hiring. I get that. So, I whipped up an application for apprenticeship/internship complete with the icon above and a list of the services I could provide the shop in exchange for some lessons of the thread and fabric sort.

I picked out a cute shirt that wouldn't get super obvious armpit sweat stains and headed up to Scottsdale. I hadn't been in since the wedding so I was rehearsing how I would try and explain who I was to the Eccentric Italian Tailor (EIT). Then, rehearsed how I would move in for the kill with my fancy internship application and dreamed of my first precision tailored suit.

My sticky clammy hand (so sticky) opened up the door and I saw EIT marking off some pant legs for hemming with his chalk disc. He looked up and said, "Heidi?" Um, seriously? I freaked out on the inside a bit. This is the guy that Neiman Marcus refers their clients too. He's probably sewn 50 yards of fabric together to make a pair of pants for Shaq and he remembered me? He continued on with, "How the hell have you been?! Oh, my God you look great! Look at you, you must have lost 20 pounds since I saw you last!" Um, I'm up 10 since the wedding weight but decided to reply with, "yeah, about 15." We hugged, did the fancy cheek kiss (which always makes me scared I am accidentally going to do lips) and chatted about life since the wedding.

Finally, he asked me what brought me in that day. I handed him my app, trying not to raise my arm too high and expose the dripping sweat armpit mark and told him that I was looking to work for free to learn more sewing skills...follow my bliss. He immediately said, "Absolutely not, I'd never get anything done because I would be staring at you all day." Ouch, it stung, but felt so good at the same time. The muffin top coming over the top of my jeans was giggling with excitement over the compliment saying, "we told you it was OK to sprinkle your oatmeal with chocolate chips!" He was serious. He continued on that they were too busy, and also that I was too tall for sewing...It was *whisper* "better suited for the Vietnamese girls that are at eye level with the machine."

I couldn't even give my services away.

We chatted some more, hugged again and I was back on the road, with sweat stains that had doubled in size. My lip started to do the quiver in anticipation of tears of disappointment. Instead, I took a few deep breaths and decided to think about the good things about me putting myself out there:

1. I tried, no wondering, "What if?"
2. Maybe I don't want to be hunched over a sewing machine all day...just part of the day.
3. There are other ways to learn, no need to stop.
4. When I am ready to hire, I now have the best rejection line ever. "Sorry Brunhilda, but you're just too pretty."

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