viva ivivva

It’s now been almost 3 years since I began this life-changing journey with ivivva. I say life-changing literally because I went from a place of such negative energy and a dream crushing environment that I didn’t think I would ever find a career I enjoyed. Then I applied to work for lululemon.

Miserable at work for the umpteenth time, I decided that if I was going to sit around and not be utilized to my fullest potential then I might as well sell stretchy pants. I didn’t know a thing about the brand, culture, heck I may have only stepped into the store once in my life. But I applied to what I thought was the position of a lululemon Assistant Manager. I was qualified and desperate for change.

 

In the next week or so I received an email to meet with the manager and interview at a coffee shop. Still being full time, I had to sneak away at lunch and was curious to know why were weren’t meeting at the mall… where the lululemon was. It wasn’t until about 5 minutes into the conversation I realized I hadn’t applied to lululemon, I applied to ivivva, a brand of the parent company but just for girls. Young, athletic, empowered girls. Jackpot.

The excitement was bubbling within me and I knew this was too good to be true with the more information I was learning. I would be assisting in building out a showroom and choosing paint colors, hosting community parties with 12 year olds, and sweating in my community. I had the opportunity to share my dreams and goals with my team and be held accountable for them. The company cared about my personal conquests just as much as my career aspirations. It just kept getting better and better.

I went back to work beaming and knew the job was meant for me. All the proverbial pain and suffering through my past & present would all be for the caring & enthusiastic future! I had made such a connection with the manager, E, and had felt so confident in my answers that were truly how I felt, that I prayed this would be it. This would be what I was meant to do.

With a preplanned trip to vegas, I was hearing phantom rings of my cell phone or imaginary vibrations for an email. When we returned I met with E again and spoke with the Regional Manager. Each time I felt increasingly ready to take on this job and join the company. I attended a conference celebrating women in leadership and  while I was in a breakout group about negotiating pay, my phone was vibrating in my purse. I ran outside and answered to hear E’s voice offering me the position! And for the salary I was hoping for! I couldn’t wait to accept but, of course, played it cool and told her I’d get back to her in the morning. The best part? B and a couple of our friends were at the conference and I was able to immediately tell them. Perfect timing!

After I accepted, the next weeks were a whirlwind of training, community events, yoga, painting the showroom, ikea day-tripping, shelf assembling, and social media blasting. We were creating a place for girls to feel strong and confident and also find some athletic wear. But the retail was never first. It was always about the girls (and still is!) and that’s what made everything so fantastic. Our main focus was setting up the showroom and connecting our community. It was truly ‘living the dream’.

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Mega Bus Memoirs

Once upon a time, October 2012,  I was invited by one of my closest friends to visit her in Nashville. We had a girls trip planned and I was really looking forward to it. This would be my first trip to the city and I quickly looked into travel arrangements.  Well I searched online for airplane tickets and even tried to map out the drive from Indiana to Nashville but I decided that trying a new means of transportation would be an incredible journey! … boy was I wrong.

It all started one day at work when I was trying to book travel information for my sales guy to go up to Chicago for the weekend. He said “Oh just reserve the MegaBus” and I was all “Whaddaheck is the MegasBus?” He was throwing around words like fancy, double decker, luxury, bus and the fact that it has stations all over the USA including from Indianapolis to Chicago, Cincinnati, and a few other spots. He promised that he had never had a bad experience and since he didn’t have to worry about travel inconveniences while he rode, he could plug his laptop into the bus outlet, sign onto the free Wi-Fi and be in Chicago before he knew it.

I was intrigued.

So while I was trying to figure out the most cost effective way to get 5 hours southeast, I looked at their website. They had a line from Indy to Nashville! And only $28 each way! Booked!

I was very excited and had been reassured multiple times that everything would work out great. So I packed my suitcase and brought my laptop to watch a few movies and I figured I would be all set…

Well, come Friday, B thankfully offered to wait with me at the ‘bus stop’ (really just a random MegasBus sign in the middle of the street) so I wouldn’t have to leave my car downtown while I was away. The bus was supposed to come at 5:30ish. But there was no sign of anything for close to 3 hours. 3. Blake had to go to the meter at least five times to put more change in. We kill time as it drags on.

Finally, the luxurious bus rolls up close to 9pm and by this time I have already made friends with a woman who was waiting. She has a boyfriend in Nashville and takes the bus at least twice a month. She swore she only had one other bad experience. Unbeknownst to her, this adventure would top it.

This bus rolls up. Not even a double decker. Top of line bus system you say? More like busted up Greyhound. This bus was like if the worst of the Greyhound fleet mated with the metro that Jerry Seinfeld took to Coney Island in that one episode… completely wretched.

At this point I am already thinking I should turn back. Don’t get on the bus, my conscious says, you’ll be murdered at the gas station in Louisville. But I want to see my friends so badly that I walk past the obvious drug deal near the luggage rack and stagger all the way to the back of the bus. But, unless I want to sit next to the 300lb cousin of the main character from Slumdog Millionaire who is humming some incomprehensible tune, I turn around and head back up to the front begging my new friend to let me scrunch in next to her. Before the bus even makes it to the highway I am choking back tears, praying that I will have the courage to ask the bus driver to drop me off at the closest McD’s so B can pick me up.

Here are some of the luxuries I was ‘accommodated’ with on this bus trip:

  1. No working electrical outlets
  2. Broken Wi-Fi
  3. Heat stuck on 90 degrees
  4. 3 week old baby in the front seat
  5. Mother breast feeding said baby in the front seat (no problem with that) but the nipple makes an appearance
  6.  A screensaver sexy selfie, radiating off of this person’s computer in the pitch dark
  7. Stopping at THEE sketchiest gas station for a half hour pit stop
  8. No music because my phone was almost dead and no way to charge it
  9. And the constant worry of where the heck this Hell Bus was going to drop my pitiful butt off in downtown Nashville.
Basically any girl’s worst nightmare.
3 Days Later

I have an awesome time in Nashville, trip of a lifetime with my best friends, but I am absolutely dreading my return home. I almost consider just buying a plane ticket in order to avoid the inevitable. I even cancel my original departure date because I am too gun-shy to get back on that bus. But I suck it up and get to the bus stop and guess what is waiting there already? The conveniently advertised double decker luxury bus. It was like the bus right out of heaven’s gate. I couldn’t believe my eyes! And it was a Monday so it wasn’t very full. I went right up to the top deck and had a whole row to myself. I could look out the plexi-glass roof and plug my computer in. It was a miracle.


So I enjoyed the ride to the pitstop with playlist making and then I was able to rent a redbox at the McDonald’s to watch the entire length of the trip home. Blissful.

I’m not sure what advice to give you on this bipolar mode of transportation. Just be prepared for anything and come with a fully charged phone.

everyday i'm strugglin' (2)

No ‘Poo? No Problem.

A few years ago when I was getting my Masters, I had some extra time on my hands. I was Pinteresting, Stumbling Upon, and blogging my life away when I came across a few articles that inspired me. The subject: ditching shampoo. I was so skeptical and frankly grossed out. Thinking about not washing my hair seemed pretty unfamiliar since it was something I had been doing it everyday since birth (basically). But I was curious and had all the perfect factors to dive into this experiment head on *wink.

The first few weeks were a trying time. Your scalp almost goes into this shock and craves the chemicals it has become to used to and produces an ungodly amount of oils. Just straight up greaseball central. So if you are thinking of trying out this method, consider contemplating if you have these going for you:

  1. No life– preferably you should be in a long distance relationship and live with your grandmother & her shitzu.
  2. No job– Okay, well, no full time job at least. You can work 4 hours a week at your neighborhood golf course.
  3. Live in Arizona –The dry heat really does wonders in zapping out grease, but don’t stay out in the heat for more than an hour for fear of sweating.
  4. Live 30 minutes away from friends –this really locks in any need to consider maintaining a social life and will ensure Friday nights home with your own bottle of wine.
  5. Ignore the haters– Haters gonna hate, okay? We all know this. But even some of your closest friends will turn on you and your new lifestyle. Be prepared to defend your beliefs! Also, when you do see your boyfriend once a month, he may think you are a little stinky… but don’t let that deter you from your mission!So there are you 5 easy steps. ((also you need long wavy hair & naturally not very much grease))

All you do is ditch the shampoo, wet your hair and massage it like you would if you were shampooing it (but you AREN’T!), put some conditioner on the ends, and boom! You’re ready for the world, or the couch… whatever, I’m not one to judge.

Really, that’s all there is to it! Your hair may be a little greasy around your face but there are many different remedies for that, many include baking soda. I would just suds up some of my bar of soap and rub that around my hairline.

My hair developed what I like to call a ‘grunge’ feel. Once you get used to it, your hair will be so manageable (no more stray strands falling into your face!) and it will have so much natural volume. You won’t even need hairspray to keep it in place.

everyday i'm strugglin' (2)

Almost Losing the Presidency

Spit freeSince the debates for the next President of the USA have recently been all over the news, I am reminded of a time when I once held office… in high school. That’s right, I was elected Student Body/ Senior Class President the end of my junior year.

I was gunning for this election in particular because it was the first time in 3 years my family wasn’t moving over summer break. I was ready, I had ideas, and my senior class of 27 students wasn’t going to know what hit them. I was a force, all right. But what my peers and I didn’t know was that my presidency would ultimately be compromised. One fateful day on a bus trip back from an amusement park, I was going to have to fight to maintain my presidency!

It was May 2005 and the pollen levels were a little too high. The last day of school was on the horizon but first, Lagoon Day. The whole school took buses to our local version of a Six Flags or Kings Dominion but Lagoon was a mormon owned theme park with a few good roller coasters, a cross-park gondola, and refreshing Lagoon-A-Beach (get it?). And I loved that place. Actually it was where B, the combination of 3 brothers, and I spent the majority of our summer days. So of course I already had a season pass. We could drive, we had Nokia cell phones, and we especially went on Sundays because… you know… the mormons. They were all in church so the place was empty!

We didn’t have to wear our school uniforms for this field trip so I was looking fresh in my new jean skort and argyle polo. It was beautiful afternoon with non-stop activity… that quickly turned eventful on the way home. Now, I like to blame my father for this next part:

When I was growing up I would see my dad spit all the time. When he was running, mowing the lawn, in the parking lot, everywhere. Well, not really everywhere, or all the time, but it was enough to leave an impression on me that this was not a ‘repulsive’ act. And since I’ve had miserable allergies my entire life, there might have been a time or two when I had to hock a loogie of my own… innocently.

Soooooo I don’t know how it started (blame it on the pollen), really I don’t (definitely the pollen), but I ended up spitting out of the bus window while on the interstate and the loogie immediately flew right back into the bus about 3 seats behind me, hitting some kid the face. Whoops. Now, I can’t truly remember, but I’m sure I continued participating in this dreadful act all the way back to the parking lot of the school. A couple of the other kids had joined in too, but, as per usual, I was the only one spotted. Supposedly some of the parents picking up the younger children caught a glimpse and, per their detailed description, this was a horrific scandal. So utterly appalling (to them) that my mother received a call from the principle that evening and I earned in-school-suspension the next day. I had to prepare a statement to the whole student body apologizing for all my wrong doing. Was I truly wrong? No, obviously not. I was dealing with a bunch of amateurs.

But there I was crying in a windowless room for the entire school day while forming this ridiculous letter of apology that I sincerely did not give two craps about. The only reason I endured this harassment was because I knew I was future president of this establishment. This act would not stand in my way and I had to repent (literally, it was Christian school) for fear of losing the one thing I had wanted quite badly for a long time. So you better believe that was the most sincere apology speech I had ever given to the whole of the student body (…about 200 kids from 8th-12th grade) ((it was a small school)). And they all ate it up, practically asked for seconds! I was wrong, I admitted to it, and I apologized. That was all it took, the letter was my ticket to freedom. And I tore the stub right off that ticket and headed straight into my senior year. Spit free.

everyday i'm strugglin' (2)

How to survive… losing your keys on New Year’s Eve

You know that feeling you get when you realize you’ve forgotten something? That pit in your stomach when you know something is already lost but you’ve forgotten to arrange a backup? Well I had that feeling at about 4am standing in front of our apartment on New Year’s Eve 2014 while frantically searching my purse for our keys. They were definitely lost and we definitely didn’t have a spare. Happy New Year…

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The night started off solid. My husband and I had planned an adventurous night for the New Year celebration and met some friends at a nightclub downtown. Since we live about 30 minutes from there and didn’t want to have to drive, we used our favorite ride-sharing company, Lyft, and made it downtown for less than $20. A steal!

We enjoyed a wonderful night of dancing, laughing, meeting new people, and we even won best dressed couple at the club, it was a great night! But, once the New Year’s Countdown ended, our group started to dwindle and what we thought was going to be a long night out, quickly became an early one. And that was a problem for us. You see, the ride-sharing companies of Lyft and Uber can have astronomical surge rates for New Year’s and we were told they would mellow out around 3am. So we decided to wait it out… I fall asleep at another bar (because it was 2 in the morning) and we are ‘politely’ asked to leave. We walk around downtown in the freezing cold to kill time, then we finally park it in the lobby of a Hampton Inn. It was warm and nobody questioned us. We both doze in and out for an hour when we finally hit 3am… the rates are still too high. But I have to call it, we are exhausted and cold and just want to be in our own bed.

No Lyft cars were available so we have to use their competitor UberX, which is hit or miss in our city. The car drops us off at home … $115 later… and as we cross the threshold of the apartment building, my hand is rummaging around for the house keys in my purse. But I am coming up short. I panic because I think they might be in the UberX car but that guy is long gone by then with no way to contact him.

So that feeling of “Oh well, at least we have a spare… oh wait” starts to creep up but then I remember that we live in an apartment complex, with lots of spare keys, surely the 24 hour maintenance man can let us in! Nope. Apparently we agreed in our lease that they can’t give us keys outside of the leasing office business hours… soooo we start immediately calling locksmiths. One comes at about a quarter after 4, and after the $40 consultation he determines our lock would have to be drilled out for $150. Which we would have paid since we were screwed at this point regardless but we didn’t know what our complex would do to us. So we paid the locksmith for nothing and sat in the hallway and pouted. Well, I was crying out of mere exhaustion and even contemplated breaking one of our windows, while my husband contemplated our limited options.

We brainstorm and decide to walk across our complex to a neighboring hotel to at least get some sleep. We could figure it all out in the morning. But, by this point, both of our phones are almost dead, it’s freezing out, my feet hurt, the walk felt like an eternity… and I start to realize I feel like a hooker. Perfect evening.

The hotel reservation was really for two nights since it was technically New Year’s Day when we rolled up at 5am. Bonus. Once we get to the room, my husband immediately uses the hotel phone to call his boss (the only local phone number he knew since our phones were now dead) and tells him where we are and what happened in a voicemail. So all we had left to do was sleep and wait. But before we fall asleep we realized that the apartment complex will not be open on January 1 so we won’t be able to get in until January 2 and we have a whole day to kill.

The next morning his boss comes to save us with bagels, extra clothes, and phone chargers. Then he takes us to his house for a day of recovery. But unfortunately we couldn’t stay long since I am highly allergic to his cats. Back to the hotel we go where we spend the night with a delivery pizza and a Shark Tank marathon. The next morning we awoke to 4-inches of snow that B has to run through to the now open leasing office, get a spare key, get the car and come pick me up – and we’re late for work because the office doesn’t open until 9am.

Happy FREAKING New Year 2014!!

P.S. I waited a whole year to post this because B still says it’s ‘too soon’… Needless to say we are laying low this year.

everyday i'm strugglin' (2)