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June 15, 2009


Whitney, once again, you leave me STUNNED at your amazing network. I was just at Shabby Apple this morning, because I had been referred from a completely different source. And voila! Here it is on your amazing blog. I think new strengths emerge daily, as we allow frustration to become an acceptable part of how life works. Love the image of Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music at the bottom of this post.

I am so glad they started out with simple designs. That's what I love so much about their line. Simple. Timeless. They're dresses that you can keep in your closet, pull it out a year later, and not feel out of style.

Your influence is far and wide. I've seen many 'a Shabby Apple dress here in NYC.

How has been the response to your call for micro-credit donations on your website? I love that you are continuing to make your vibes felt in that way as well. Just last night I heard the UN Ambassador to Bangladesh speak, and she mentioned the profound impact of micro-credit programs on the overall economic development of the country.

Just saw a great post by Pam Slim (Escape from Cubicle Nation) whose thoughts echo Athelia's:

"Living with constraints and challenges is one of the best learning opportunities you will ever get. By succeeding in a tough economy, you will be much better prepared for life than peers who graduate with offer letters waived under their noses the moment they cross the stage to collect their diploma. Constraints breed creativity. Creativity is the single most useful skill you will ever develop."

I love the bravery in holding fast to your standards. It's defining in a respectable, wonderful way. I too, love the Shabby Apple classic, tailored, modest style. Beautiful.

The one personal frustration that immediately came to my mind as I read this wonderful post happened a couple years ago when I mulled the idea of starting a blog. My husband is the computer geek in the family and I thought I'd give him the task of creating our know, team work. Well, he set it up, but all I could do to give it "personality" was give it a name and change colors and fonts. Weeks past and I finally realized my husband didn't care what the blog looked like (surprise!) and didn't have time to walk me through design, so I took a leap and spent a few days of study, trial and error, and finally success designing our family's blog. It was a stretch, but it felt great to broaden my creativity in an area I thought was beyond my reach. It actually was fun too!

I love the dresses from Shabby Apple and am happy to hear more history about the company. I have 3 dresses already and hope to have many more in the future.

how cool is this! one thing that stuck out to me about your story was the fact that you were flexible. when an appropriate work opportunity in your field didn't materialize, you created a job for yourself inspired by one of your non-academic interests.

sometimes geographic location does effect the choices available to us, but i think your story is demonstrative of the fact that no matter where you find yourself, you can do something you are excited about.

thanks for sharing your story!

What a cool story of "making it work." I love Shabby Apple's dresses, and the "fit to flatter" section is a great idea. It's always nice to have some guidance in that area.

What a pleasure, to love what you're doing! And to know that no matter what, you get to continue to make it go. The dresses are great, and I love that you've really defined your style without limiting it. How creative is that?!

As with Janna, I too have seen many 'a Shabby Apple dress here in NYC. It's nice to see dresses designed to be with selves and to the knee vs taking other styles and modifying them (BLAH). Very smart going back to a vintage inspired-- classic yet contemporary! I generally have to go to a vintage store for that look. ;)

also, just fyi, I am in SLC a couple times per year. I would love to talk to you about your children's line. check out my site and let's talk! kisses, lanola

I have two of the dresses pictured above, and have many more in my closet (it helps that CK is my sister!) I love wearing them, I always feel like such a fashionista!
It has been really amazing to watch CK take this idea and build it into a full-blown company--and I've even got to help name some of her items!

My husband (a successful businessman and father) received a key piece of advice early in his career. (I am twelve years younger than he, so he had ample opportunity to pass the advice on to me!) Embrace a spectacular failure when you are young. First, you will gain invaluable experience and not repeat the mistake when there is more on the line. Second, you will learn resilience. People who do not experience failure until later in their careers often cannot recover from it. Kudos to you for turning seeming failure into success!

I love Shabby Apple and have known about them from the beginning... they are my "goal" as I try to better myself and loose weight to fit into some of their great outfits. I am pleased they carry a few things in plus size and love that I can find cute stylish (yet not trendy) things while still being modest!

This was a great inspiration to read. I love that you're able to do what you want to do and when you can do it, and not feel so compelled to meet others expectations on how you should really be doing business.

What an interesting blog post! Definitely the story of persistence in the face of adversity, and some stellar fashion sense!

Constraints force us to be creative. I find that being on a budget for my own around-the-house design projects encourages me to be creative, to repurpose and redesign with what I have. I see and encourage my clients do the same to get the most bang for our buck and talents in a project. What results is great pride and discovery in using our strengths to overcome limitations.

Love your designs! So happy to have found your site. I have a friend who dreams of growing her wedding dress business. This post will inspire her.

Amazing blog entry, very inspiring and uplifting! I am following my dreams of being both a theatre actress and an author. I love writing and performance art. Sometimes it is hard because the entertainment business is very hard to "make it" in I have always believed in myself though and will continue to push through the barriers to make my dreams a reality :)

Thanks so much for the wonderful blog post!

what a great journey through frustration to fruition. I've always loved the Shabby Apple style, it's nice to know all the depth behind it.

I love this article - well written and insightful! I'm going to take your advice about reflecting on the frustrations/constraints in my life to heart to see if I can uncover some strengths I've developed in the process. Thank you!

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About this blog

  • When I took a sabbatical from Wall Street to pursue a different dream and help others live theirs, I learned that women in the U.S. may be placated, even pampered, but because we aren't dreaming, we are also desperate and depressed. Drawing on a variety of sources, ranging from academic studies to pop culture, dare to dream encourages us to dream. And then to act on our dreams.


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