CEO and fashion powerhouse Katherine Power recently posted an inspiring photo on Instagram that showed the first ever post for her website, Who What Wear. It was a piece about leather jackets showing an assortment of models and celebrities sporting the cool accessory. Was it groundbreaking? Hardly. Was the artwork forgettable? Absolutely. Did it matter? Not in the least. Power and her partner kept at it, little by little, and now Who What Wear is an incredible fashion resource full of stylish design and great tips. I check it daily. Thinking about firsts steps reminded me of my first ever staging job- a loft downtown LA in the bank district. It was 2007 and I was obsessed with Flor tiles. I think we all were.
The loft was empty and had some unflattering metallic silver paint on the window trim. I painted it white for a brightening, streamlining effect and then I added this hodgepodge of furniture, embarrassingly enough some of it was collected from street curbs before trash day.
You can barely make out the tip of the “chandelier” I made, consisting of pleasantly shaped twigs and palm fronds tied together and spray painted white. Yup. That’s how fancy I got. Want to hear something even crazier? When this loft sold (with multiple offers) the buyer actually put in the contract that the wood chandelier must stay. Some lawyer wrote that. In a contract. About my pile of spray painted twigs. I still blush thinking about it. And then there’s this gem in the bedroom:
I was really into Phillipe Starck at the time and wanted to try out the regency look, so I SEWED this bizarre canopy with a zebra accent. I remember now it was a shower curtain from Target. Can you imagine anyone actually sleeping in something like this? It’s so embarrassing, but it did look pretty empty before:
So there you have it. This dark, gloomy apartment facing an air shaft, next to a generator that ran 24/7 still sold with multiples. That’s LA real estate for you, but I like to think that someone still might be coming home to turn on their little woodland chandelier and bask in the fantasy of living in a remote cabin. Just kidding. That’s like totally rotted by now.
We all start somewhere. I’d like to think that I’ve gotten better all these years and projects later, but honestly, some days it still feels as hard as the afternoon I first walked into this loft with nothing but a paintbrush, a bevy of trash furniture, and the Flashdance soundtrack to sustain me. But we keep on. And that is what makes the difference.