Saturday, February 20, 2010

happy birthday to me!

Tonight I'm updating from a super-swank hotel in Washington D.C.  My mom and I came up for the weekend because yesterday was my 21st boifday (that's "birthday" to those readers who actually speak like adults)!  Although it's 10:12 p.m., my mom's sacked out in the other bed, I'm in my pjs, and "Deadliest Catch" is on the tube, this is the best I've felt all day.

Birthdays are weird.  I feel like they often just end up reminding people of the things they thought they would've had/accomplished by "this time next year" or whatever.  It's just weird.  I'm 21 now, but I'm definitely not even close to feeling like an adult.  This was my last real exciting milestone birthday.  Now I have 30 to look forward to...ok, this is just getting to be a bummer.

ANYHOW, I do have some good things to say tonight!  Not only did I make my first Etsy sale last week, I was mentioned on a blog because of my Etsy!  Check out to see a pair of my shoes featured in the latest entry.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

things I learned at the post office today

...So I think it's now evident where the "pseudo" aspect of my New Years Resolution to update more comes into play...

Anyhow!  At least I'm updating now!

I made my first sale on Etsy yesterday!  Although making a sale to someone other than one of my friends should elicit feelings of great joy and excitement, my initial reaction when I checked my inbox and read the message from Etsy was "Oh sh**!  I sold a pair of shoes on Etsy."  My Etsy shop has taken the place of the back-burner on the proverbial black&lu stove, so I was a little un-prepared to actually make a sale and transaction (I'm still a little curious about PayPal...should I be expecting a deposit into my bank account now?)

Mailing said shoes was an even bigger learning experience in dealing with the post office.  The post office sucks.  Point blank.  Especially today at 1:30 p.m.  Not only was the line incredibly long (seriously, like 12 people deep when I walked in), but the sorority sister behind me had a really annoying nasal-y voice (which I got to hear ALOT of since homegirl never hung up her phone), and the topics of her cell conversations were total "Real World: Richmond" quality.

So I learned several things from going to the post office:

1)  DON'T fall for the "priority flat rate" shipping boxes, especially if you're mailing something lightweight like an adorable pair of slip-ons.  I paid $10.70 to ship my shoes, cutting into my profit by a third.  Next time I'll be acquiring my own box.

2)  Take your own packing tape!  Or just tape and address/prep your box before you even go to the post office.  Because it sucks.  Spend as little time as possible there.

3)  Don't assume that your small-town ways and easy-going smile will impress the sole postal worker behind the counter.  He'll be more helpful to the guy with a 'tude holding up the line for 8 minutes than he will be for you and your pretty face.

4)  The post office sucks.  Avoid it at all costs.

Later today I'm off to flier up some of the VCU art buildings, guerilla style.  Wish me luck!


Thursday, January 7, 2010

"do what makes you happy--not for money or attention."

So it's been about a week since I've updated...already I'm falling short on my pseudo-New Year's Resolution of updating my blog more regularly.  Oh well!  I have 51 weeks left to improve upon this behavior.

I haven't made any shoes lately (still working on moving that 35 pair inventory--a second e-mail was sent out today), but I made myself a new bag for the new year today.  Actually, as is the case with my shoes, I didn't make the bag per-say, just customized a pre-fab one.  The quote is from the song "Clampdown" by the Clash; a top five favorite song of all time from a top five favorite band of all time.  It's just a reminder to myself to keep my head down and my chin up, and to follow the goals that I set for myself, not the expectations placed on me by others.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009


So during 15 minutes of boredom and lack of inspiration, I made a list of all my shoes (excluding flip-flops, slippers, and prom shoes).  I have a wearable rotation of 29 pairs of shoes, 15 of which are sneakers (or sneaker-esque).  This means 52% of the shoes I wear are sneakers.

* today I bought these bad boys by Nanette Lepore for Keds for $7.34! MSRP = $120

From this list I can conclude 3 things about myself:
1. I like shoes more than clothing
2. I'm on my way to becoming a sneaker-fiend
3. The affinity I have for sneakers is counter-intuitive to my gender, and I need to accept the fact that I am, indeed, a girl and not a boy.

My struggle with gender is not a new one--boys can get away with almost everything! Boys can get more tattoos, cooler clothes are made for boys, and cooler shoes are DEFINITELY made for boys (except in the case of Black&Lu--the male market is not one I've made a foray into, other than the previously posted customized Kanye/Common Vans, which technically were not by Black&Lu). 

Boys get to have all the fun. 


Monday, December 28, 2009

it really has been too long...

I know it's been an embarassingly long time since I updated Black&Lu, but with the closing of the semester and the commencement of winter break I haven't had much news to speak of!  A poor excuse, I know, I know.

I'm starting the search for venues I can sell Black&Lu shoes through in Richmond.  One e-mail has been sent, another is drafted, and I'm sure there will be more to come.  I'll let you guys know if there are any developments and if you can start finding Black&Lu at a store near you (can you tell how difficult it is not for me to take advantage of the endless rhyming possibilities with the word "Lu?")!

The book I've kind of been using as my bible through this whole turning-my-creative-hobby-into-a-business process is "Craft Inc: Turn Your Creative Hobby Into a Business" from Chronicle books.

One of the suggestions I read in it tonight regarded creative blogging, and the potential this process has to increase the success of your business.

SO, I've made it my unofficial New Year's Resolution to start updating this blog more!  And to include more personal tangents -- primarily more of an inclusion of inspirations and ideas, and an analyzation of the struggles of being a busting-ass art student attempting to become a captain of industry!  Plus I need to become friendlier with technology -- right now internet publishing is the Jerry to my Tom (ten points if you get that reference).

*Notice how it is an "unofficial" New Year's Resolution?  That's to protect myself from any liability resulting from an eventual decline in blogging once the spring semester starts and I REALLY start busting-ass.

I haven't made any shoes lately (considering I have 35 unsold pairs piled under a desk in my apartment), but I DID bleach/tie-dye some nifty tights (bought for $4 at the ole Christiansburg Wal-mart) and a Polo shirt my dad bought me that I never wear because it was just another Polo shirt.  Well not anymore!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's a bust, folks

So the show in Charlottesville that was supposed to be Black&Lu's headlining debut was a TOTAL bust.  Without getting into too much gory detail, it was poorly run, poorly advertised, and barely profitable.  

However, this failure only gave me more motivation to get Black&Lu off and running as an actual business, not occasional craft show success.  So I've opened a shop on Etsy!  So far I only have five pairs of shoes posted, but it's still worth a look.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

this weekend!

Ok, so I've completely neglected my blog in the past month.  Between making shoes and school projects, updating the blog fell to the wayside.

BUT, my show is this weekend!  And I want to thank my mom's good friend Susan Flinchum again for her generous donations to Black & Lu.  She's been a great help and support!

See you Saturday-