Thursday, June 22, 2017

Trying to Find the Good In Everyone

Well since my last post which seems like forever, so much has happened and then on the flip side of that so much as NOT happened.

Why is it when you are trying to get something off the ground you are hit with the worst flu you could ever experience in your life? I wished for death a quite a few times, I couldn't breath, my head felt it weighed 5,000 pounds, my body ached, and if I laid down I would have cough fits.

Isn't life GRAND!

With me trying to get my recycled wedding dresses off the ground, I have learned how to post things on EBay, and I have been graciously given a few dresses that I would like to believe someone would wear. The wedding dress I have is still available and then again, I see wedding dresses just sitting on Craigslist unsold in which case the owner of those dresses just keeps renewing their post over and over. Tell me why I would be nervous right? I mean if they can't sell their wedding dresses, what makes me believe I can sell mine?

I tend to wonder how these other companies that recycle wedding dresses have become so successful and with a great following? Okay, I know, we all have to pay our dues and we all have to take the hard road and then by some freak thing, all of a sudden, the phone starts ringing and people begin pounding down your door looking for that certain dress they saw on either Facebook, Craigslist or through my website I developed...RIGHT? (well that's the plan)

Sending Emails

Well I have sent many emails to Make A Wish Foundation and yet never have they returned any back yet. I even called them and left message after message and still not one call returned. I would think that someone would want to work with them and at the same time giving money to them to assist in the wishes that need be granted. 

Phone Calls

So I decided if the office for Make A Wish Foundation won't return my emails then phone calls is the next avenue I would take. I will call their corporate offices. As I made my calls I was switched from one person, to the next, and the next and with each transfer of calls, I had re-live my reason of why I was calling and then finally after almost losing my cool, what happens? I get an extension and I am being told to leave a voice mail. So, I did and still two weeks later, not one returned call to me. 

If it was a snake it would of bit me

Now I am sure that many of you have heard or even told yourself, "if it would of been a snake it would of bit me" it just kept following me around and around and around and I guess I was so wrapped up in my life, I just didn't see it. 

About two weeks ago, I was driving through McDonald's getting my usual junk food instead of actually making dinner, and as I sat waiting at the drive-through window there was a box filled with change and attached to the window and it read; "How the Ronald McDonald House helps families and you can too" well that was one time and then other time I was walking into my local grocery store and there was someone standing outside with a name tag that read "Children's Miracle Network" and they were asking for change for their organization. 

Now I know that we all have heard of people standing outside of stores asking for donations in the form of change or dollar bills and actually using for their own benefit instead of the actual organization. But, I have my very special reasons for loving this place. So, I dug into my change purse and pour in my lose change and walked along my merry way. 

Then the next day I see the Children Miracle Network again and the next store and the next, then once again as I am making my way through McDonald's yes once again, I see the Ronald McDonald's House box asking for donations and once again it is almost filled to the brim. 

Then it dawns on me right then and there, was I seeing these organizations for a reason? Was I supposed to see these because if it was a snake it would of bit me? Am I supposed to focusing my attention on this organization? 

Okay, so I thought Make A Wish Foundation was the key group I wanted to work with, but now I am wondering if I am supposed to change my direction of thinking and start all over by contacting Children's Miracle Network? 

So recently, my youngest daughter, my baby that was born way to early, she comes into my office and tells me how some hospital has now joined forces with the Children's Miracle Network and they are working side-by-side in assisting families with their medical needs in hopes to have their baby live long loving lives. 

My mind began to trail back to when she was born and how the Ronald McDonald's House was there to help me through the hardest transition of my life. I was standing over my youngest daughter as she was plugged into every single working machines that assisted her in breathing, living and not turning jaundice. 

I do consider my youngest daughter a miracle, she wasn't supposed to live, she had a 6% chance of survival and she beat the odds. Have I found my founding fact of who I want to make donations to? Well, time will tell, I am going to write to them and see if I can in fact use their non-profit licensing instead of me having to get my own. 

Is that even possible? Can I actually use someone else's non-profit licensing? 

Friday, June 16, 2017

When all else fails, create your U-Turn

Does anyone remember as a young child you would go to your mom and dad and tell them, "my throat hurts." and of course mom instantly slammed her hand into your forehead to see if you had a fever, dad rolled his eyes and would tell you, "you're still going to school tomorrow," and before you knew it, mom had a spoon full of the worst tasting medicine in your mouth demanding that you swallow when actually you wanted to throw it up.

Like that horrible tasting medicine, we come across people that will give you the advice that you don't want to hear and it creates that horrible taste in your mouth. Swallowing bad tasting medicine that your mom knows is good for you, is also the same in business. The advice given can be horrible yet you know what others are telling you is actually the best thing for you.

Well, yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking to several business owners regarding my recycled wedding dress business and why I wanted to do a non-profit. Several which I mean FIVE all told me the same thing, "Start as a profit making business and create a name for yourself and once established, then, you can change over to a non-profit. You want to gain trust within the community that you live and a great following and by doing that, you need to create a name first."

Okay, so the first business I walked into and was told what I need to do first, I angrily stomped my feet out of their business dragging my youngest daughter behind me and grumbling some obscenities under my breath. I know out of anger I think I created some new foul words and of course my daughter looked at me as if I was possessed while almost fearful of me.

Yet, when it came to the second business, and third and fourth, and finally the fifth and I was told the same yet in a different format that was when I knew I was in trouble. I was pissed because someone couldn't see my vision of what I wanted to do, what I wanted to create for families and loved one's who would be missing their child once gone.

Oh sure, I got the, "wow, your amazing for wanting to do that BUT..." I didn't want to hear that "BUT" within that sentence of the other looking back at me, and these were all very successful businesses. I didn't go to some mom and pop business stores or my local liquor stores, I visited other companies somewhat similar but not completely the same. For instance, I checked out a vintage clothing store, a resale clothing store, a wedding dress salon, etc. etc.

My daddy always told me, "if you got more than three people saying the exact or almost the same thing, maybe you should take stock in what they are saying and open your ears not your mouth."

So for now, my non-profit book is going to go on the shelf and I am going to focus on making my business cards and building my website. I happen to come across a dear friend of mine who owns Haute Madre a woman's recycled clothing store and I have to admit, she does pretty well for herself!

Her name is Michelle and she happens to know a woman who has her hands on several wedding dresses and wants to unload them and hopefully will give me a great deal. I am finding out that several women want to hold on to their wedding dresses for their daughter to wear when she gets married.

Well, after 29 years of doing weddings, I have NEVER EVER SEEN a bride wear her mom's wedding dress EVER! I have seen brides rip and tear apart their mom's wedding dress and incorporated it into their bouquet or have a portion of it sewn into THEIR CHOSEN wedding dress but NEVER have a seen a bride and I have done over 800 weddings walk down the isle in their mom's dress.

A bride wants to wear her own style of dress, she has her own fashion sense and she wants the dream of picking out her own dress and showing it off. A bride has dreamed of what her wedding dress will be like and that dream does not include walking down the isle in her moms dress. Oh sure, its an admirable thing to do and just about every mom wants to see their daughter in her dress but mom's have to remember and so many forget, this is YOUR daughter's wedding NOT YOURS!

God, if I had a nickel for all the weddings I did and for every break down that every mom had related to what her daughter wanted meaning the style, theme, food, invitation, I mean the list goes on and on, I would be filthy rich! So many mom's become engrossed in the planning of their daughter's wedding and they tend to forget it's not YOUR wedding, it's your daughter's wedding and I have told countless mom's over and over and over again, "it's not your wedding, it's your daughter's wedding so bite your tongue, write the checks and just breath."

There was one wedding I did and the husband and wife just separated three months before their daughter's wedding due to the husband being unfaithful. The dad went to the daughter and asked if he can bring his new girlfriend to his daughter's wedding. Wow, you should have witnessed the break down not just from the bride but from his wife! It brought a whole new meaning to the Hatfield's & McCoy's.

So For Now....

I am now creating my U-turn and so many of us when we have a dream of doing something, we can still do it but we may have take a U-turn and that's okay, we are still doing our dream we are just taking different avenues.

Think of it this way; when your driving in the busy downtown streets and your map quest tells you to go right and you are met with a dead end, do you give up or do you find another way to get to your final destination? No, you don't give up, you find your way around the crazy busy streets until you finally reach where your going.

There are always different ways of taking your journey, and you will come across one road block after another and you will be met with challenges that you thought you would never meet, but its baby steps and we must learn to walk before we can run.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

My Mama Said There Would Be Days Like This

As young girl I wanted to be right just ONCE or multiple times and have my mom be wrong just that ONE time or even multiple times. Yet, no matter what happened in the end of everything I did, she was right and it just bugged me!

Still now at the age of 56, when I tell her my ideas and thoughts along with what I want to accomplish, she of course tells me what can go wrong, what will go wrong, and then as I stand there still I want her to tell me how right I am but, that doesn't happen and why? Because to this day, she is STILL RIGHT!

The Vicious History of Life!

I would like to meet the kings of wisdom who always said, "history will always repeat it's self" because now some how some way I have become my mother telling my own daughters what can happen, what will happen, how to do things, how not to do things, what to say, and, well you get the idea especially if your a mom!

I would like to know when I became my mother especially when it comes to my daughters? Has my mom's own wisdom poured over to me or has life just been such a learning point as I walked through some of the darkest places of my life while learning just how cold and mean life really can be? Are we supposed to take the darkest points of our lives and learn from them, of course we are.

As I grow older and still feel I need to impress my parents with my very own success, a very daunting and exhausting task, I decided to try to venture out and get my real estate license. After three failed attempts of wanting my real estate license and only seeing the beauty of selling homes and making a bundle of cash yet it never happened. I failed the real estate exam THREE TIMES!!

Why is it we always see the glamour of things and not the reality of things when we venture out and try something else? Do our minds become so fogged up that the reality of what can go wrong we tend to push away the reality of it instead of facing our challenges head on?

Does the success we crave and yearn for become so dark and unattainable due to the challenges we take on the very challenges that often rattle our minds and dreams so deeply we tend to give up and why is that? Why is it when we talk to someone that actually made a success of themselves we always ask ourselves, "okay, so what did they do to become a success and not me? What obstacles did they face and how did they overcome them? Where they independently wealthy that it just didn't matter what financial struggles came their way it was just drop in the penny bucket for them?" 

Okay, I get it, I know we all have to pay our dues and we all have to start somewhere yet there are so many out there I feel they have a dream and within a matter of months they have become this great success.

"Wish Upon A Wedding Dress"

My dream of opening up my own "Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses" as a non-profit is becoming just depressing. I shared earlier how I was one of the lucky one's with my youngest daughter. She came into the world when I was almost 30 weeks pregnant and well, babies often born at that age will suffer complications and often never reach a certain age or they are left with multiple challenges not only for themselves, but for the families of these children.

The very vivid memories of myself being at CHOC Children's Hospital in Santa Ana, California of me standing over the incubator of my daughter who was literally plugged into every machine possible to help her breath, work her kidneys, assist her in not becoming jaundice, blood tubes, blood pressures, I mean you name it, Sela was hooked up with it.

I still remember the three families that were told their son or daughter would never reach the tender age of young child and for now, just make the most of the time they have with their beloved child. I vividly remember the tears of these families rightfully knowing they will have to bury their babies yet I was going to take my daughter home.

I had heard of "Make-A-Wish Foundation" and it just stuck in the back of my mind of what they do and how they take in donations to help the young dying children or teens have one last wish before they die. The one wish they wanted to accomplish before they take on their last breath and close their eyes and let the Angels of Death come and take them away from their families as they weep of their child now gone.

I always told myself if I ever won the lotto I would give a big chunk of my money to this organization because I was one of the lucky ones, I got to bundle my baby up in the blankets I bought and the darling little outfit for her first adventure into the world and now coming home with me for the rest of her life.

I managed to save my money and buy two wedding dresses and one evening gown. One of the wedding dresses is a vintage wedding dress that is just amazing, it was hand made and just a stunning beauty. The other is more simpler wedding dress that is still very pretty and the evening dress well, that can be worn by a more mature woman who is marrying again yet wanting to keep her attire simple yet elegant. Or, it can be worn at a black and white affair, a dinner party, wine tasting event, you name it, once this evening dress is worn, you will be the talk of the evening!

Simple Yet Elegant $75.00 Size 16

Beaded Sheer Jacket

Beaded & Tailored

Strapless Simple Yet Elegant Dress Size 4-6 $150.00

                                                              Hand Made Vintage Wedding Dress

So those are the dresses I am trying to sell and make some money so I can start my non-profit and work side-by-side with Make-A-Wish Foundation so I can bless those that are in need of support, love, and comfort for their beloved babies!

I have posted my dresses on Facebook (Vancouver, WA Free, Buy, Trade or Barter)  and Craigslist (Portland OR then by clicking on CLK short or Clark County) and yet not one hit. I guess I was thinking that this was an easy sell because they are in fact beautiful dresses. I have done my homework for the vintage wedding dresses and I have talked to vintage shops and found out that a vintage wedding dress such as mine could go for much more than I am offering.

So, as I sit and lick my wounds and still check email on a daily basis along with my posted Facebook page and Craigslist I still pray and hope that someone will buy these while still seeking out donations of wedding dresses, I hope and pray that this dream comes full circle and I can make one last wish for a child to come true.

If your interested in purchasing these dresses please contact me or if you have any thoughts or ideas of how I can make this dream come full circle, that would be amazing!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 12, 2017

If You Seek Do You Really Find?

There is always that old adage, "be careful what your searching for, you may not like what you find." Man, oh man is there some real truth to that or what!

Trying to find ourselves is one of the most trickiest things one will ever do. Sure we do the same thing each and every day and follow what everyone believes is what we should do.

  • Grow up
  • Go to school
  • Go to college
  • Get a job
  • Fall in love
  • Get married
  • Have kids
  • Be house poor
  • Become broke
Somewhere amongst that pattern I just laid out we all begin to feel the pressure when we are in high school because your parents or extended family are breathing down your neck asking you, "so what do you want to do when you grow up?"

Hundreds of thousands of people will map out their life. For example, my best friend, her son told everyone he wanted to be an architect that is all he ever wanted to be. He studied hard in high school, graduated with honors, moved on to community college and of course graduated with straight "A's" and was accepted at one of the most prestigious colleges in Southern California.

He has now graduated, and of course landed a job as an architect and now realizes it is just not for him. How many times has that happened to us? I was always the shy kid growing up. I lacked great self-esteem and I always wanted the opposite of everyone said I should be and success was one thing I thought I always lacked.

I was always scared to push myself and do exactly what I wanted and I am now suffering the great consequences of those fears. For example, since I was so scared to speak out in public due to my stuttering problem, I always feared speaking in public. Speaking in public to me meant you had to be sure of yourself, you needed to feel secure with yourself and since I never did, I just stuck with waitressing. One dead end job after another. I became accustomed to that life style and just let it take over. Little did I know it was actually leading me somewhere.

I still have a firm belief that we need to take stock in ourselves and jot down what we feel are our greatest strengths and weakest strengths. For our weakest ones, we need to climb out of the box that we have become so accustomed to living, a box that has now given us security and create challenges for ourselves that we thought we could never do.

For me, it is selling wedding dresses. We need to follow what our heart of hearts really tells us to do not what is expected of us.

Wedding Coordination

To this day, I still remember working at a fancy restaurant as a food server and the manager coming in ready to pull his hair out in a total panic. The booked a very large wedding party of more than one hundred guest and trust me, it was falling apart right before his very eyes and he somehow lost control of the entire event.

I was standing next to the burners waiting for my food to come up and my heart just went out to him. I know how that happens and I too have lost control of a large dinner party I was working and needed the help of others to turn it around. Before I knew it, grabbed me by my hand and begged me to step in and help him out. Out of all the servers working that night, out of all the other servers that had far better talents then myself, he picked me. I still think it was because I was the only food server on close range of him.

I remember taking him by his hands and shaking him then yelling for him to get a grip and just talk to me. I first asked him what was missing, then what he needed, and I took it from there. I walked into the room with my pen and paper and went to each of the tables, took their drink orders first. Ran to the bar and ordered a multiple of drinks.

II gathered as many other servers and told them where they went and run! Then, the food, then the cake, the dance, the music and before you knew it everyone was laughing and mingling and having a great time. To this day I have no clue how I even pulled that off. 99% of the time I was just winging it and making it up as I went along.

As I got better at it, I became more aware of my surroundings as a wedding coordinator, it just kind of took off especially since I helped my continuing guest and their daughters wedding. I learned that the most important part of a wedding is...

The Wedding Dress!

How many people have walked away from any wedding and they talked about the wedding dress? TONS! Out of the 600 plus weddings I have done, during the night of the wedding that is all I ever heard.

Oh trust me I have heard,

  • Did you see that wedding dress, it is just ugly or what?
  • Man she wasted her money on that dress
  • Does she think she really looks good in that dress?
  • What was she thinking when she bought that dress?
  • It looks like she is just ready to burst out of that dress!
  • Did the dress cost more than the wedding?
  • Why would someone want to spend that much money on a dress you only wear ONCE?
  • That is one of the most stunning wedding dresses I have ever seen!
  • She looks like an angel!

I mean I have heard it all yet the one thing I also heard over and over, "this is not the dress of my dreams, I just settled for this dress because we couldn't actually afford the one I really wanted."

That just broke my heart, here is a lady who is marrying the man of her dreams supposedly and she is just "settling" for her wedding. There are so many women out there that cannot afford the dress of their dreams and that dream wedding is no longer a dream.  

I remember working at David's Bridal, that place is just insane! We had to sell over $2,500 dollars in wedding dresses each week and if we didn't, we got fired. That is how it was when I worked there. So the real truth behind that store is the wedding dress assistant will tell you how great you look even if it is the most atrocious wedding dress on a bride just to make a sale.

I REFUSED to tell a bride how great she looked in a wedding dress to make sale. I would be forthcoming and tell the bride that it is not in her best interest to even entertain the idea of trying on certain wedding dresses because it does not flatter her personality, figure, and the theme of her wedding.

Trust me, that pissed off my manager but oh well! Imagine, someone is coming to YOUR store and putting their trust in someone they DO NOT KNOW looking for guidance and acceptance let alone, spending hundreds on a dress that is ugly? I learned a great deal about wedding dresses and styling the bride when dressing her for one of the biggest days of her life.

I would pull out dresses that often the bride turned a blind eye too and told her, "trust me, this will work" and as always, when the dress came out and on the bride, tears would begin to fall.

So, now I am still trying to get my mission off the ground and start my non-profit and start to sell my wedding dresses. I already have three that I managed to buy.

1942 Vintage Wedding Dress

Let's see what happens!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Continuing My Mission

Yesterday I spent a good part of my day pondering on the idea of opening up my business. I have tried multiple avenues of operating any business and the problem was I was trying to many things that I really had no idea exactly what I was doing.

I went to law school because I thought it was expected of me to succeed through my parents vision. That of course never turned out. I then ventured off to medical school and well, that never panned out either because I was not bilingual in Spanish. Living so close to the border of Mexico leaves one that does not speak Spanish pretty crippled in the work force.

So after licking my wounds of not being able to work in the medical field or the law field, I decided to take a back seat to anything I would ever do. I took to being a single mother of three girls while seeking to find a husband and always finding one yet I always found myself signing one divorce paper after another. I always thought I wanted to be married with a husband, kids, and he works and I stay home with the girls.

I even became envious of other women who had what I wanted. So envious that I almost became resentful to them even if they didn't know me. They were living out what I thought were my dreams and my life.

It never once dawned on me where my expertise actually really was yet it was staring me right in the face. If it could of slapped me it would of left a massive red welt on my face and I think I still would have ignored it. For some reason, I was determined to try something else other then accept what was sharing every inch of my space within myself.

From Slinging Hash to Planning Weddings

While I worked as a waitress I had worked multiple special events and always jumping and taking full charge of everything about the event at hand. I knew how to place the entire room, how to arrange the seating, set the food, set the table, run the room as if I owned it, and when it came to weddings, well that was a whole new thing and, for some reason I knew everything about and yet still, I was chasing other dreams, dreams that started at one point yet never became a full circle.

Weddings were so easy for me, finding wedding dresses and fighting for the bride and what she wanted was like taking candy from a baby it was to easy. I became a pit bull when the bride didn't get what she wanted. If someone stood in my way or wanted to change something that was not supposed to be changed, anyone and everyone would hear my slow growl then turning into a full vengeance of gnashing teeth followed by a barking demand to back off!

After 29 years of doing that anyone with half a brain would have known this was their calling but NOPE not me! I always had multiple people knocking on my door begging for help with their wedding, begging for help finding their wedding dresses, begging for help in the design of their wedding and yet still it never once dawned on me that this was my calling in life. I guess because I couldn't stay married made me think how could I run a wedding business? Does that even work together?

My Own Epiphany

While I was out shopping at my favorite second hand stores I always came across countless wedding dresses. Dresses I would see and knew if I could re-design them, clean them, I could sell them with no problem. But through heavy sighs and often just passing it by, it never came full circle. Yet, I always felt that circle tugging at my heart and sometimes that circle would keep me up at night lecturing me on why I didn't see what the circle was actually trying to tell me.

Now, twenty something years later, here I am pounding on my keyboard about seeking and finding one's mission in life and making it come true. Does that make me my own personal "Oxy Moron" ?

So I have finally decided on a name for my company and before I announce it, I want to make sure I make it legal and then once it is legal I will be more than glad to share the name. I managed to scrap together $100.00 dollars and bought two wedding dresses and one is in the dry cleaners and the other is hanging in my closet as we speak.

Research, Research, & MORE Research

After doing my research of what I want to do and trust me, that has been all I have been doing each and every morning for the two months! Research and study, read about 501c3's, take notes, read, research, take notes, read, and read, and read again. I found out that such a business venture as what I want to do can earn $430,000 in the first year.

Now I just need to some how find the money to get my:
  • 501c3
  • Business cards
  • Design the website
  • Business license
  • Letters
  • Logos
  • Contracts
  • Company policy
  • Do's and Don'ts of my mission
I need to contact my charity of choice which is "Make A Wish Foundation" an organization that depends solely on the donations of others to make dreams comes true.

Imagine If You Will

I blogged earlier how my youngest decided to make her entrance while I was in my almost 30th week of pregnancy. After relentless trying from multiple doctors working together to get her to stop entering the world to early, well, she proved them wrong and there she was! This tiny baby that when laying across my chest, her head would rest on one shoulder and her feet would touch the other shoulder. She weighed a total of almost 3 pounds at birth.

As I picked her up I saw that she was completely blue around the mouth and eyes. I asked the nurse if this was normal and suddenly the nurse grabbed her and ran out of the room screaming with a panic shrill in her voice, "CODE BLUE INFANT" over and over leaving me to panic and wonder if I would ever see her again.

My Eyes Wide Open

While I stood over my third daughter plugged into just about every machine one could ever imagine in order to assist her in living, that was when I saw countless families at the "CHOC Children's Hospital" in Santa Ana, California listen to the doctors telling parents their child only has weeks to live.

Some were told their child will live to be five or maybe ten yet their life will eventually come to an end they will have to bury their baby. I would sit and rock my third daughter while I watched parents just cry and scream at the fact that they would never see their baby ever live a full rich life.

Time Is of The Essence is so meaningful to the families of these children that will never live a full rich eventful life. These families that must remain strong and forever forthcoming they are forced to make each and everyday a day filled with memories. Pictures will hang from their walls from current to then gone and each and everyday, the parents will pass those pictures and wonder why or what happened  to make their child die.

I watched parents blame each other while I was in the hospital nursing my own baby to health. I watched them make bargains with God, I watched them pleading for more time, I watched them yes, even pull the plug.

Giving back to a dying child, a child that has one last wish before he or she dies is something I hold near and dear to my heart. I know I was the lucky one, I know I was given a chance to make a difference to a dying child and that is my mission in life.

Selling wedding dresses and then give 15% of my proceeds to "Make A Wish Foundation"

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Be My Guest

For some reason growing up I began to stutter. From the age of four to sixteen, I was just a complete mess. I was not able to form one sentence without stuttering. It was so severe I remember driving my dad crazy to the point where he would yell and scream for me to "spit it out" for what I was trying to say. My mom would jump to my rescue and tell my dad to back off that he was making the situation worse.

For years my parents took me therapist, psychologist, and any other doctor that could "fix me" and find the cause and the cure for my troubled time. To no avail, there wasn't one through all those years that could help me. Finally, at the age of sixteen and my parents at their total wits end, they found another therapist that literally had the growl of a lion and yes, even the bite similar to a lion.

I remember very vividly sitting in his chair on the first day with my mom next to me. My dad felt it was worthless and told my mom with such distain and anger that it was a waste of time and we just have to let it go and accept that I would stutter the rest of my life. But, my mom never gave up. So, as we sat in this musty dirty office watching the puffy over-sized grey haired doctor reading over and over the notes from the countless other doctors then picking up the half-eaten jelly donut and actually sucking out the jelly he looked at me and studied me like I was a lab rat.

He never said a word to me or to my mom he just kept studying me over and over then finally he leaned back in his beaten down chair and clearing his throat he finally spoke.

"Get her a job as a waitress and don't come back till she has one. Pay the receptionist on the way out and have a great day."

We just sat there dumbfounded and so unclear of his statement. My mom tried to intervene his request and he quickly cut her off.

"Mrs. Wright, this is all a mental thing, a blockage of words from what she wants to say, what she is trying to say, to actually saying it."  

So, we left and my mom began the footwork. I had never tried to get a job before and she took me under her wing like a good mother does and she helped me land my first job at "Bob's Big Boy" I still remember the bun hairpiece I had to find and the pantyhose I had to wear. Well, as soon as I learned I had to speak to people, let's just say I was fired within fifteen minutes of being hired.

Then there was five other restaurants that hired and fired me then finally, I walked in to Coco's restaurant and found Ginger. Her daughter had the same problem as me and Ginger then took me under her wing. She gave one seat at the counter and instructed me to just say, "hello" that was all. After working there for one week, my stuttering stopped and I was fully engaging in conversations with other guest all around the restaurant.

Little Did I know...

Little did I know that my stuttering would ever lead me into the food industry but it did. I stayed working as a waitress for years. I had made connections through out the industry such as managers of hotels, motels, venues, and still it never dawned on me that this was the start of my career in the event planning industry.

I lived and worked in Long Beach, California at a restaurant called "Shore House Café" I had regular customers that came in each day and it was great because I knew just how much I was going to make each and everyday in tips. One couple I had been waiting on for almost a year sat in my station and within minutes their voices were raised and becoming a spectacle for other diners eating there. I quickly walked over and asked what the argument was about and that was when it began, February 18th 1987

And It Was Created...

My customers shared how their daughter was getting married and they were having issues with the wedding. They had exactly 55 guest arriving from out of town and they had wanted to them to stay in ONE hotel on the SAME floor with interlocking rooms and had no success.

So, I shared how I knew some managers from all the years of working in the hospitality industry and I could possibly lend a hand. That same day I went to the brand new Sheraton that was up and running for maybe less than two months and walked right in and spoke to Jose Cuzco the hotel manager a man I had met at one the hospitality functions about six months ago.

Jose quickly remembered me and, upon speaking to him I shared how I was helping with guest coming in for a wedding and I needed 28 rooms for the 55 guest arriving and they all needed to be on the same floor with interlocking doors. It was done! Jose gave me the room numbers and the confirmation of the rooms for the bride's parents.

Once I shared this with the bride's parents this still never dawned on me that this was leading to my career. I thought I was doing a favor and that's how I saw it. BUT! the bride's mother had different plans for me before I even knew it. She called me and said that the caterers were wrong and the food ordered was wrong. I quickly thought what am I going to do? I knew nothing about working with caterers and how to even talk to them.

Yet, when I did talk to them, it came out as if I had been doing this for years. Trust me I shocked myself! I just took my experience as a waitress and used that. So there I was juggling caterers and hotel guest and finalizing all the steps.

Then It Happened!

One must remember, cellphones were not created yet so the only form of communication we had was landlines and answering machines at home. I got home from work one afternoon and my answer machine was BLOWN UP with calls from the bride's parents, the Sheraton, the catering company and some company that I had never heard of that were taking care of the invitations.

All I remember thinking was how did I get to this point? What happened and why is this mother-of-the-bride calling me over and over let alone the catering company, the hotel and some invitation company? Well, I called the bride's mother and all I heard was weeping tears of how everything was wrong. She begged for my help, no, she pleaded then cried, then begged.

All I kept thinking was, "I have no clue what I'm doing, how did I get so involved?" I swore at that minute I would never offer any help for anyone ever again. But through her tears and begging I broke down and told her I would help as a friend. I grabbed my note pad, my coffee, my smokes and sat down and began calling everyone.

I quickly noticed when one fire was put out through my efforts two more fires began with the planning of this wedding a wedding where I never even yet met the bride. I noticed that I was able to handle the fires, I was able to keep my cool and make my demands of what the bride's mother wanted and I followed through.

Finally, after weeks of planning and the bride's mother telling me I MUST attend the wedding, that was when my unknown talents came through even more. I ran that wedding as if I had done hundreds of them. I kept the guest happy, arranged the food placement, decorations, gift center, the music, etc. etc. When the wedding was over the bride's mother handed me an envelope which I thought it was a thank you note.

I never opened it that day as a matter of fact I went home tossed it into my basket of bills that needed to be paid and died! I was exhausted I think I slept for two days or so it seemed like. I turned off my phone and just slept. Three weeks later I found that envelope and opened it finally and to my shock I found a check for $10,000 dollars!

The total budget for the wedding was $100,000 dollars and ten percent was the going rate for wedding planners I found out and well that is what I was paid. Six months go by and I received another phone call from a bride's mother wanting my services for her daughter's wedding. At first I paused and wondered if this is what I wanted to do? Did I want to exhaust myself once again, did I want to put my life on hold once again?

Be My Guest

After waitressing for so many years my favorite saying for all my guest were, "be my guest" for whatever they wanted and making their demands come true. It stuck with me and that was when Be My Guest was created. I took that second wedding job when then turned into fifteen more. I taught myself how to make ring bearer pillows, floral arrangements, and I even learned about wedding dresses.

I studied weddings inside and out and I became quite good at it. Now, years later and with tons of experience under my belt, I now have a different vision. I just hope it can come true.

Monday, June 5, 2017

My Mission

Okay, so I recently blogged about "What is Your Mission in Life" and after posting it, it probably sounded very contradicting especially when I shared how negative I was in my checking account. Being a single mother and all, and trying to make ends meet is very stressful.

Coming from a family such as mine, a family whose lives are a mere fish bowl for the world to glance at, we all had to portray success. So, when my brother reached success through Sun Micro Computers labeled as "Mr. Fix It" and traveling the entire globe and needing not one passport book but three, fixing computers of some of largest companies in the world, you can imagine the bragging rights my parents had.

Then I come along wanting to live what I deemed "normal" and how my parents viewed "normal" was like trying to create a recipe with oil and water. And to top it off, I throw in two daughters out of wedlock, one can only imagine the gossip that flew around the country club my parents belonged too.

I always loved helping people, I loved helping the less fortunate and my parents turned a blind eye to them. I often told others for years, "my mom is like the horses in New York Central Park, as long as she has her blinders on, and she can't see the surroundings around her, well, then it doesn't exist."

When I opened up my event management company and being a "self-taught" project manager, there was finally acceptance and beaming pride from my parents. Yet, I learned so much doing that business. I would sit and listen to the bride who yearned and dreamed of that "Robert Graham" wedding dress or the "Klienfield" wedding dress  often turning to knock-offs from one of the biggest leading wedding dress store, "David's Bridal."

I often accompanied these brides who finally accepted the fact that they would never see the day of ever walking down the isle in such designers and watching their dreams fade away of their gown choices. After more than twenty-years of dressing brides and watching their dreams fade, I knew some how, some way, I wanted to make their dreams come true.

The problem was achieving such a feat. And, of course, life got in the way. I had three daughters, been through one nasty relationship after another, five failed marriages always seeking for the "perfect" husband and never finding one. Funny, it seems like I was seeking the perfect husband and the bride was always seeking the perfect wedding dress yet, always settling for second best!

Everything I learned, everything I managed to do always led me back to wanting to fulfill my dream of helping brides. I remember when I started my event planning company and doing weddings for free because I wanted to give that bride a dream wedding that would forever be embedded into her memory bank.

For those weddings I did for free, I was always able to get vendors to donate their items such as table linens, chairs, center-pieces, flowers, and yes, even food. Little did I know or ever think that through all those years it was a stepping stone for making my dream come true. I was so wrapped up in my life and achieving success or running my house and trying to keep my kids afloat, I never really ever stopped to see where this could of led me in the future.

Now, here I am, 56 years old and in a place that I can do this and yet I am faced yet again with so many obstacles. My credit sucks and obtaining a 501c3 for people who wish to donate their wedding dress is yet a massive hurdle often leaving me stumbling for my next step as well as daunting work. It is almost stopping me from doing this yet again because of poor choices I made while trying to "find myself."

There are thousands if not millions who are seeking their mission and often find themselves in a corner and after struggling over and over what happens? They give up that is what happens. I have always said, "If I could only have someone reach down to me and lend me their hand, a hand that could help me, I would make a blow out company and also do good while creating such a dream."

By having one actually lend a hand do we appreciate the help, do we take advantage of that individual that could open those closed doors, give us that breath of air? Do we who seek the help allow us to be mentored and learn from that person? I know I would appreciate and honor that person, I would soak up their wisdom and knowledge like the sponge that sops up the spilled water.

One must be open to such a teaching, we must be willing to me molded and allow wisdom to enter, we must be able to let others educate us and not willing to throw in the towel when it gets tough because it will! Patience is a virtue and I am seeking the help while I would allow myself to be molded, I would invite the wisdom of another, I would honor that person and cherish what comes my way.

So, let the dream begin!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

What is your "LIfes Mission?"

So, I have shared so many times how I began to notice things about my youngest daughter being very particular about how she does things in her everyday life. It became even more transparent as she grew and changed.

For example, I did her laundry for her and hung up her jeans in the closet and when she entered her closet she had a complete meltdown that it was not done properly. So, it went from her jeans to her shoes, to how she manages her daily routines. I noticed it became an obsession with her. This obsession took control of her everyday life and almost became crippling for her and I had her tested.

Well, after seeing a therapist and her pediatrician, she was diagnosed with OCD and Anxiety. Thinking that these doctors were just total QUACKS! I decided to shake up her daily routine by taking my daughter out and running errands when she was supposed to be home brushing her teeth and washing her face. Well needless to say, that back fired on me BIG TIME! She had a complete meltdown that she was not home washing her sheets or brushing her teeth or even washing her face at the designated time that she did these daily routines.

So, the doctors wanted to find out if I her mother, had the same issue. So, I was also tested. I came back with 5% OCD and 95% observant. The doctors of course thought something was wrong with the test and actually issued another test and it came back TEN FOLD BIGGER! I was 4% OCD and 96% observant.

So what does this have to do with your "Life's Mission" well for me, EVERYTHING! Working as a cashier at one the biggest leading retail stores, I cannot begin to share how many people have come through my line and shared some stories. And, me being 95-96% observant, can only imagine how my head was spinning!

I cannot begin to tell you how many people complained about their job, how their life turned out, how their marriage is falling apart, how their children are drug addicts, alcoholics, teens with babies, and mothers who wish they could not be a mother for at least week. I had NO MERCY FOR THESE PEOPLE! My sympathetic bone did not come alive, they did not tug at my heart strings, actually, I just shook my head and wished them a good day and was glad they were out of my line!



If I saw some man or woman walking down the street homeless and hungry, their head hanging down, in tattered clothing, and lets throw in starving, I can tell you exactly what they are thinking. They believe that they deserved that type of life.

I believe everyone has control of their life and they do what they will and when they will and when they want and how. You can either hang out with dead-end people who have no future or you can surround yourself with thriving achieving people that can also engage you in a wonderful life.

So, what is your mission in life?

What is your purpose for being on this earth? Is it to feel sorry for yourself that opportunity didn't come knocking at your front door? The last time I checked my neighbors come knocking on my door NOT opportunity! Do you feel you didn't get that raise that you deserved? Do you feel you got passed over for that job promotion? How about that car that you wanted and the dealership told you no due to faulty credit and delinquent past due bills.

There are many people in this world that are driven for success, they work hard, they dedicate their time and energy into their career and yes, it does pay off. But it takes time to have it pay off. Well, except for my brother the one person who's life changed in a blink of an eye because he helped a woman at a front desk with her computer.

Are you the greedy type that does nothing for anyone except for yourself? Do you put yourself out there to help others? Do you ever tell yourself, "I want to give back, I am wealthy in my life not by what is determined in my bank account or my wallet, but wealthy with a family that loves me, I have a roof over my head, a car that works, and food in my cabinets. I have a job that gives me a paycheck  and my bills are paid."

How many people walk around complaining about how their life turned out? Hundreds, thousands, how about millions? Everyone has the opportunity to do something great with their life. They have the wisdom and time to make that change in their life, to work hard, to dedicate their life to what they want. But like the many thousands if not millions of people they want it handed to them. They want the Good Fairy of Life to just walk up and hand them a life filled with riches and comfort along with entitlement.

When I was with my two oldest daughter dad, all he did was sit back and complain about how his life turned out. Trust me when his mouth was moving he was complaining he was not the Chef he felt he deserved to be. He blamed his father who was an alcoholic which ultimately turned him into one.

He complained that his anger made him beat women, he complained when he was arrested for drunk driving that he didn't deserve to be arrested. When he was sitting around puffing on cocaine with a cigarette he blamed me for being a drug addict.

Yep, it was the worlds fault that he ended up the way he did. God forbid it was his fault!

Do you even have a mission in life? Do you ever stop to think about such a task? How does one determine what their mission in life is? Awwww, that is the tricky part.

There are countless people that give back and I am not dismissing them at all. I see the individuals that work whole heatedly with the disabled. They are the caregivers, they are the one's making a change into the lives of the one that is less fortunate.

How many times have you been in line and witnessed someone short money to purchase their goods? Do you reach into your pocket and help that individual? Do you tell yourself, "well they shouldn't get something that they can't afford?"

What is your talent that you know exist in your heart and soul? Are you a good listener? Are you talented in making things? Do you know how to cook delicious foods? Do you have some spare time that you could give back or do you waste it away sitting on the couch with the remote in your hand complaining that nothing is on the television?

Make a list!

  • Ask friends and family what they see in you and be prepared for some answers you may not like because their are going to be answers that can and will possibly hurt you.
  • Do some soul searching
  • Dig deep into your heart and mind of some of your greatest achievements and how you got there. Can you share those achievements with others?
  • Are you a great organizer?
  • Do you know how to throw an awesome party that will and can be talked about weeks after the party ended?
  • What do you see doing in your spare time?  

For myself, I sat down and wrote some of my greatest strengths and weakest things I struggle with. I wrote down what I did during my career as an event planner for the past 28 years, I decided my strength is in giving back. I am far from pocketbook rich, I think I have $21.00 in one of my checking account, I know I am negative $54.00 in my credit union account, and I am negative in my US Bank account by $3.21 cents.

But, I get such an enriching joy in giving back. It gives me a sense of what God put me on the earth to do. Now I am not getting all religious or anything but there is a reason and a purpose for our mission and what we are to do with our life in which is a mission.

I am starting a non-profit and I am putting in the hard work, the time, the dedication, and hopefully the money to start this. I am giving back to brides and with 28 years experience I know just how to do that. Then with the profits I make, I am donating 15% of my money to "Make A Wish Foundation."

Everyone needs to take note of the jobs they had and the next job, and the next job, and the next job and take note of your strengths there, what made them do that job, what drove them to that job and what made them work hard at that job. Make a map, start from your very first job and map out where you were then and where you are now. You will shocked at how you find yourself!

I know I was!