Thursday, July 29, 2010

Design Site Reject

A dear friend recommended my condo for a "sneak peak", an expose of photos and descriptions, on a rather successful design blog, let's call it, Design Mop.  I was elated, both by the prospect of exposure for my shop (there's always a description and links to the homeowner and their business) and for the validation of my personal passion for decorating.  I've been waiting for this moment without realizing it since my reversible comforter at age eight afforded me the ability to change up my decor seasonally.  At first they seemed nearly as excited as I was about the prospect.  We began by a little exchange of what they were looking for;  What was my style?  What was my background and could I take a few preliminary pictures? More than happy to!  (The Complete Essay and more pictures after the JUMP!)

"Looks good. Looks good.  Let me run it by the editor," the Sneak Peak Assistant Editor said.

The editor. The EDITOR.  Let's call her "Clumsy." Anyway, turns out ol' Clumsy needed to see more. More shots of the layout. The rooms. Different angles. "That's all she's got?" I imagined her squaking or rather, typing.

So I cleaned the apartment, moving this and that, my camera wielding more skill than I was capable of capturing.  But I lit it, I set it and downloaded them within the hour, all for the Editor. This wasn't my first run in with Clumsy.  She might not remember, but I think she does, in fact I'd venture to blame my rejection on it. (This is my story, remember?)
We met at the Stationary Show at the Jacob Javits Center, with something like 4 million (or a few thousand give or take) vendors, my equivalent of Purgatory. Not because I don't appreciate or like print design; I really do. But after aisle upon aisle, I get a little like a child in a forest without the breadcrumbs; lost and it all starts to look the same.  I started selling cards at the shop just to save me from my indecisiveness that would lead to an hour in a drugstore, only to end up with a Father's Day card with a cartoon talking monkey.
It was a brief meeting via the same friend that recommended me to Clumsy's design site, who now has brought me full circle. Clumsy was just beginning to get some notoriety for her blog and various writing gigs for now defunct shelter mags. Oh, you could just see it in her hand on hip stance and her fake southern charm cum swagger,  "Why, who? Lil ol' me?" And I  thought, "Really this is what the all the fuss is about?" as we sized each other up.
"Sheila has the cutest, coolest little shop in Williamsburg. You have to check it out," said my friend. "Oh? Never heard of it." she smiled with daggers in her eyes. "No?" I asked, not believing her. She covers the shops around me routinely. "I'm selling home goods  at the store now.  Maybe I could send some pictures? Might be something your interested in," I suggested. "Sounds great!"  And I knew in that moment I didn't like her.  She was just so, just so, What? I don't know. I sensed she didn't care much for me either. Maybe I was projecting. Maybe I snarled. Either way, we faked smiled and parted amidst a sea of "You're Swell" and "Hey There Cupcake!" cards.  Memory is in the eye of the re-teller. 
The following week I emailed Clumsy pictures, with details of objects and designers I knew she had included in previous favorite and featured things. A week later, her reply, just a thanks for sending; Nothing more.  The next week she profiled the shop up the street carrying the very same dish I had sent her.  Scarred, I stopped carrying home wares a few months later (that and they were the least profitable category in the shop).  Fast forward two years and the fate of my decorating taste again lay at the feet of Ms. Clumsy.  I thought, maybe she won't remember. Maybe I only disliked her.  Maybe, as my friend said, she's not the one who edits the "Sneak Peaks"!
"Thanks. Looks Great. I think it's just what we're looking for. I'll be in touch after I run it by the Editor ."  24 hours later I felt like a school girl again. Not in that good butterflies in my stomach, youth in my step way. No. A school girl getting rejected by her reach college.  "You're place is so great. Loved your bedroom. Unfortunately it's not exactly the direction we're going in right now.  But we'll definitely keep you in mind for other posts!" We. We. The EDITOR.  Rejected!  

So, one man's reject is another man's blog. Rejected from their clubhouse, I started my own. 


Sonali H. said...

Clumsy has no style, or manners for that matter. Loved seeing the photos. When the link showed up on FB, I had to peek, and I was wowed. I wish you could come to Manila and transform my blah place, infuse your style as I have none of my own. But, more than the pics, I was treated to reading your amazing blog entry. Thank you for sharing, and know that, in so many ways, Little Miss Clumsy, was wrong.

What I Wear Daily said...

Your apartment looks great. I'd love to know where you shop. How did you find the wallpaper and did you hang it yourself? Nicely done.

Sheila Sharma said...

Oh you're so sweet!! The wallpaper is from Graham & Sons--probably the most prolific (cool) wp manufacturer. British. And um, yeah, my mom put it up for me ;)