Whurl Photo Tips

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Photo tip day! I’ve been wanting to make this post for awhile and finally partnered up with my talented illustrator pal Louise Androlia  to help cute it up.

Some of these tips may seem like common sense to some and a complete surprise to others, and that’s okay! It’s important to me to remember that Whurl sellers range from first timers to decades-old vintage stores. I gathered these tips from a combination of my own experience and analysis of the sales report, meaning the majority of items that sold have these things in common. In my opinion, photo and price are the top reasons items sell. It isn’t necessarily the item since an item that appeals to me might not even appeal to you. But how do I know if something appeals to me if I can barely tell what it is from its photo? Make sense? Here are my tips:

1.Be sure to show the entire item in one photo (don’t cut off the bottom of a dress)

2. Always use natural light or profesh lighting! Dim lighting is a huge no-no

3. Solid backgrounds work best to not distract from the item!

4. Make sure your photos are always in focus.

5. Show as many angles as you can of the item (the more photos you
add, the better!)

xo

Sam

A Day Without A Woman

IMG_1867.JPGHey everyone! I’m writing to let everyone know about this Wednesday’s A Day Without A Woman strike and my own personal thoughts about it.

It’s been comforting to see the ripple effect caused by the Women’s March all over the country and what has come from that. I’ve been trying to stay active as much as I can, though I admit, it never seems like enough. I was interested when I heard about the upcoming women’s strike (or A Day Without A Woman) that was being promoted by the Women’s March. At first I thought “how is me not working on my small business going to help the government take notice of gender inequality?” and more importantly “what about all of the women that can’t afford to just skip work? aren’t many of those women the ones being ignored or mistreated in the first place??” I highly recommend reading through the info on the Women’s March website, which is chock full of reasons why to participate as well as a letter to send to your employer if you are planning to not go into work. Here’s a succinct explanation from their faq

” The goal is to highlight the economic power and significance that women have in the US and global economies, while calling attention to the economic injustices women and gender nonconforming people continue to face.  We play an indispensable role in the daily functions of life in all of society, through paid & unpaid, seen & unseen labor. “

Another aspect that helped convince me of the importance of a strike was reading about the Icelandic women’s strike of 1975. About 90% of the women in the country went on strike for a day in a demand for equal rights. Since so many women didn’t work, they basically shut down the entire country and really opened the eyes of many men to see the necessity for gender equality. Afterwards, laws were passed to ensure equality and five years later the first democratically-elected female president in the world was elected in Iceland.

As I mentioned earlier, I completely understand that not everyone can take the day off of work. In chatting with my friend Susan about this, she brought up a need for a bigger blackout than planned: social media silence. In many ways, I feel more visible and active on social media than I do in working for my small business from home. Almost all of my friends are small business owners, freelancers or writers and likely feel the same way. Also, this is a great way to participate in the strike without skipping work if you’re unable to.

So all of this is to say: I’ll be on strike on Wednesday, March 8th. I’ll be doing the least amount of work I possibly can, I’ll be absent from all social media platforms, I’ll be wearing red in solidarity and I’ll be supporting only small women-owned businesses. I hope you’ll join in and please feel free to share the graphic above by Marisol Muro on your social channels to let your network know!

Rainbow Citrus Cloud Cake

IMG_6486.JPGAn alternate title for this cake recipe would be “Lazy Rainbow Cake” because it’s literally the easiest rainbow cake of all time. You don’t need multiple cake pans or anything fussy. All you need is one bundt cake pan. Lucky for me I picked up one from an estate sale a few weeks ago still in its original box from the 70’s!  I made the actual cake from scratch using the recipe below but if you wanna be even lazier (it’s okay, everyone is accepted here, lazy and all!) you can just buy a box cake recipe and skip below for the real instructions.

  • food coloring bottles of each color you want to use (i only used red, green and blue)
  • 2 cups all- purpose flour
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1½ stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp orange oil or extract
  • ¾ cup room temperature whole milk
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a separate bowl whisk flour, baking powder &salt.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar for 5 minutes.
  4. Add vanilla and orange extracts.
  5. In another bowl whisk egg whites and milk until combined.
  6. Slowly add the flour mixture to the sugar/butter bowl wit the mixer on low speed until everything is all in one bowl.
  7. Make sure to scrape sides and get everything mixed together
  8. Divide the cake batter into 3 bowls.
  9. Drop in food coloring drops until you get the desired color. I prefer to add slowly because I was looking for a pastel color scheme
  10. Butter bottom of cake pan thoroughly
  11. Now for the tough part! Deciding which color you want to go where, ha. Pour the first bowl of batter in the cake pan clockwise from the top (this will help you keep it consistent when you add the other colors after).  Try to do it as evenly as possible so it covers the entire bottom of the pan.
  12. Then repeat with the remaining two colors.
  13. Bake for 50 minutes – 1 hour.
  14. Let it cool for at least 20 minutes before flipping the bundt pan upside down to get the cake out.
  15. Then you can frost with whatever kind of frosting you’d like! I chose a marshmallow vanilla I found at the store because it was intriguing and I was feeling too lazy (there’s that word again!) to make my own from scratch.
  16. Obviously cover with sprinkles.
  17. Cut and enjoy!

Holiday Party with Big Bud Press plus pop-up at Friend Mart!

And suddenly it’s mid-December! Not quite sure how that happened so fast, and also not sure if I desperately want 2016 to be over or if I never want it to end? Regardless, here we are, and I wouldn’t want to send off 2016 without saying thanks to everyone who has been so supportive of me and my business. Lacey and I decided what better way to celebrate our customers than to throw a party for them, right? This party will actually have it all: free drinks & snacks, shopping from Whurl, Big Bud Press, Robin Eisenberg, First Ladies Vintage, Not My Circus Vintage, and more! Oh, and did I mention it will take place inside Lacey’s rainbow-muraled headquarters? Hope to see you all there!

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I’m also SO excited to be part of a pop-up on Saturday at Friend Mart with some really amazing artists and designers like Tuesday Bassen, Twerkstorian, Lillipore, Carly Jean Andrews and way more! I’ll be bringing tons of vintage denim dresses, jackets, and patches so you can create your own masterpiece OR you could could have Ben from World Famous Original chainstitch your fave nickname to the breast-pocket of your new dress. The world is your oyster, my friends!

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Hope to see you guys this weekend and thanks for making this year so amazing for Whurl!

Holiday Cocktail Recipes

image1 (6).JPGI’m so excited for this Friday’s Holiday party we’re throwing with Big Bud Press and I’ve kicked into high gear with prep! One of my tasks, as challenging as it may seem *sarcasm*, was creating fun cocktail recipes using the spirits provided by Heritage Distilling. They provided us with Ginger Vodka and Bourbon and my goal was to make two cocktails that tasted both refreshing and wintery.

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Bourbon Lemon Cinna-cider

1 part bourbon

2 parts apple cider

2 lemon slices

cinnamon stick for flavor and garnish

 

Ginger Vodka Cranberry Spritzer

1 part ginger vodka

2 parts cranberry cocktail

a splash of lemon lime soda

cranberries for garnish

 

 

Georgia Hardstark’s Closet Sale! Shop Now on Whurl!

I love hosting closet sales on Whurl because even if I already am friends with the person, I learn so much more about them by digging through their clothes. We had been talking about doing this for awhile, so when I met up with Georgia for lunch and she showed up with two giant bags full of impeccably pressed and folded dresses I knew looking through was going to be so fun! She cares as much about clothes she’s ready to get rid of as she does the ones she’s keeping in her closet: a true vintage lover! Read below to find out more about Georgia and check out the sale on Whurl now by searching for user @hardstark on the app or under the hashtag #georgiasclosetsale

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photo by Mandee Johnson

What’s a typical day in the life of Georgia?
If I don’t have a morning meeting or appointment, I’ll sleep in a bit which is my favorite indulgence. But the moment I’m up, my whole day is emails and appointments and social media and researching serial killers and running errands. I’m the kind of person that only feels productive when I’ve got a million things to do.
As an A+ podcaster, what are your fave podcasts to listen to?
Oh gosh there’s so many. I’m currently obsessed with the food-centric Smart Mouth, the short stories of The Memory Palace, and every night I fall asleep listening to Sleep With Me Podcast, which is better than Ambien for my insomnia.
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available now on Whurl! More added tomorrow at 10 am PST

I love that you’re donating 20% of proceeds to NOW! Why is NOW important to you?
It was so difficult to pick an organization to donate to because there are so many worthy ones out there. I like that NOW doesn’t focus on just one group or cause, but fights for a diversity of women’s rights over a myriad of issues such as domestic violence and ending racism.
What’s your favorite gift you got for Hannukah?
When I was a weirdo teen, my mom got me a Rocky Horror Picture show calendar for Hanukkah. It was one of the coolest things I’d ever owned and showed me that she supported my originality. I’m a terrible gift giver which makes it even harder that my husband is effortlessly great at it.
What’s your fave vintage clothing era to shop for and why?
I’m a fan of anything between 1940s and 1980s, but I’m incredibly picky about what I’ll wear, and the cut of the 1960s seems to compliment my figure best. My style is somewhere between a grandma and Janet from Three’s Company. But more than anything I love stuff that others would find “tacky.” It makes me so happy when I find a dress that makes me laugh out loud by its whimsy and originality. You can’t find anything modern that makes you feel that way.
Name a fun fact most people don’t know about you.
Ummm…oh! I hate to be barefoot. I can’t even walk around my own house without slippers. It just feels so unsanitary.
available now on Whurl! More added tomorrow at 10 am PST

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Available no on Whurl! More added tomorrow at 10 am PST

Check out the sale on Whurl if you haven’t yet!

Rose Bowl Recap

The flea market yesterday was a welcome distraction from life. At first, I realllly didn’t want to go but I knew I had to so I could find great vintage for Whurl’s holiday assortment.

I was actually pretty invigorated once I started shopping. It’s easy to forget how soothing colors and textures can be for your mind. I love that marabou cuff alongside the flower button. It’s all in the details with vintage!

img_4319How amazing are these vintage tree ornaments?! I’m seriously on the hunt for vintage christmas stuff, but these were a bit out of my price range.

img_4315This is one of my favorite booths to pass. Literally the best selection of color-coordinated kitchen kitsch. I have such admiration for the woman that runs this booth and how well she merchandises her booth every week.

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I stopped by to visit Caitlin after a bit of shopping. Her booth always makes me happy. I can’t believe this amazing shirt she has?!

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Literally the best flea market snack ever. Refreshing and revitalizing.

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Rows and rows of perfect lil deadstock patches. I picked up a few for a project I’m working on.

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This god damn mannequin head!! I’ve been searching for years for one at a decent price and they’re always insanely high OR not for sale! This one was the latter; just a display for a jewelry booth.

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And here are a few pieces I picked up and will be posting this week! Comment below or DM me for a tag.

Helping how I can

IMG_4253.JPGStill trying to climb out of the post-election depressies. It’s like any healing process: one second you think you’re great and “recovered” and then something will remind you of your new reality and it will hit you like a ton of bricks all over again.

Anyway, one huge aspect of those lovely depressies I mentioned is I have had basically no interest in working or anything Whurl-related. I still love my business (duh) but I can’t but feel like nothing really mattersssss. It’s not like I didn’t feel like working but I DID feel like doing something else; nope I pretty much just wanted to cry and sit on the couch all day. I was brainstorming ways I can help those in need and landed on an answer that will not only do that but help motivate me (and hopefully you!) to sell more on Whurl this season and make a difference at the same time.

The fee I receive for every sale made on Whurl is 3% of the sale price. That’s a standard amount and on par with the likes of eBay and Etsy. When you sell on Whurl between now and 12/31/16, that entire fee will not go to me, it will go to NOW the National Organization for Women. NOW fights for abortion rights, greater access to reproductive health care and economic equality as well as combats against racism and bigotry in the LGBTQ community and works to end violence against women.

I hope this helps you (and me) to try to ramp back up on working on our livelihoods & hobbies with more vigor. If you haven’t already, download Whurl here.

What do we do now?

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Well, I’m not sure if this is a blessing or a curse but here I am, with a blog I launched just days ago and swore to add content to as regularly as possible. I had no idea that I would feel like this soon after. The same way you feel: devastated, heartbroken, confused, angry and most of all terrified. One idea I always try to put into practice is focusing on today instead of future-tripping on tomorrow. Emphasis on the word try. Today that feels absolutely impossible but I’m trying. Below are a list of ways you can help right now if you want to. And if you’re reading this post I’m guessing you do.

Support for the next generation of nasty women

Step Up propels girls from under-resourced communities to fulfill their potential by empowering them to become confident, college-bound, career-focused, and ready to join the next generation of professional women. Upcoming events here or donate here.

Running Start is another organization dedicated to educating young women and girls about the importance of politics, through the Young Women’s Political Leadership Program and various other fellowships and internships. Donate here.

imMEDIAte Justice is a nonprofit organization that provides a platform for girls to share their stories. We connect girls from underserved communities with

hands‐on, girl‐driven media production taught by professional filmmakers. The result? Films that don’t just change the lives of girls, they change the world. Donate here.

 

Support for POC and immigrants

Showing Up For Racial Justice is a national network of groups and individuals organizing White people for racial justice. Through community organizing, mobilizing, and education, SURJ moves White people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability. Volunteer here and donate here.

The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights works to protect the best interests of children who come to the U.S. on their own. Donate here or learn about how you can volunteer as a Child Advocate in Chicago, New York, Houston, and Washington D.C. here.

The National Immigration Law Center is dedicated to fighting for the rights of low-income immigrants through litigation, policy analysis and advocacy, and various other methods. Donate or learn how you can attend a local training here..

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)works to promote the civil rights of people of color and to eliminate race-based discrimination. Donate here, and find your local chapter for more ways to get involved here.

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund fights for racial justice through litigation, advocacy and education. Donate and learn about ways to get involved here.

Black Lives Matter is a chapter-based national organization working for the validity of Black life. We are working to (re)build the Black liberation movement. Find local events here.

Border Angels is an all-volunteer non-profit that advocates for immigration reform and social justice focusing on the U.S.-Mexico border. It offers educational and awareness programs and migrant outreach programs to San Diego County’s immigrant population. Donate here.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is the country’s largest Muslim civil liberties organization. Donate here or find your local chapter here.

The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) is an advocacy and organizing group focusing on achieving human, civil, and labor rights for immigrants. Donate here.

Women’s Rights

She Should Run is a non-profit that aims to get more women into elected leadership roles. You can donate here or anonymously ask a woman you know to run for office.

The Center for Reproductive Rights is the world’s foremost legal advocate for securing women’s access to quality reproductive health care. Donate here.

NARAL Pro-Choice America is a political advocacy group focused on fighting for women’s reproductive rights and freedom. Click here to donate and here to volunteer.

National Organization for Women (NOW) is an activist organization, foundation and PAC that advocates for equal rights for women. Donate here, and look for volunteer programs, like clinic escorting, on your local chapter’s page

Planned Parenthood is the country’s leading sexual and reproductive healthcare provider. Click here for nationwide volunteer opportunities (including as a clinic escort) and click here to donate. Local chapters also list more extensive volunteer opportunities, so take a look at your specific chapter (here’s New York’s page) for more.

The Reproductive Health Access Project is a non-profit that trains clinicians to make quality reproductive healthcare more accessible. Click here to donate.

SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective is a network of 80 local, regional and national grassroots organizations and more than 500 individuals, as well as white women and male allies, who support our goal of improving the lives of women of color in the United States by advocating for Reproductive Justice. Their mission is to strengthen and amplify the collective voices of indigenous women and women of color to achieve reproductive justice by eradicating reproductive oppression and securing human rights. Donate here.

LGBTQ Rights

Volunteer with GLAAD if you believe in the power of the media to shape and direct popular opinion about LGBT people. Volunteer here

The Mazzoni Center offers healthcare services to LGBTQ population in Philadelphia, including trans clinical care services, walk-in HIV and STI testing, primary care, and addiction and recovery services. Donate here and find information about volunteer opportunities here.

The Sylvia Rivera Law Project provides legal services specifically to low-income people and people of color who are transgender, intersex, or gender non-conforming. Click here to donate, and click here for to volunteer.

Sexual Assault  & Domestic Violence survivors

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) advocates for victims and attempts to change policy surrounding domestic violence. Click here to donate.

The New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault lists a number of ongoing volunteer opportunities in childcare, community training, rape crisis counseling, and legal advocacy here.

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) is the country’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, which operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656-HOPE; online.rainn.org; rainn.org/es) and programs to help victims of sexual violence. Click here for information about how to volunteer for the hotline or in your community, and click here to donate.

(many of these orgs were pulled from this list)