715 pieces, 165 buttons, 55 tags, and 1 million stitches. My tidal wave has returned.

in the middle of hat making

Over the last couple weeks my tidal wave has returned and smashed up my life. I can’t say I mind really, in fact if I’m actually glad. I would like to tell you what kdon hats and tidal waves have to do with each other.

Let’s rewind a couple of years.

A recent graduate from fashion school, a year or so under my belt of traveling to farmers markets and music festivals selling my wears, I was ready to take on the world of fashion, design and sales. During school I had purchased the inventory from a vintage store that was closing down and frequently had one-day sales in community halls to pay the storage fee’s, and make some cash. I would enlist my fellow classmates, bribing them for their time with as much vintage as they could carry home.

With a few months of being a graduate behind me, I began to feel the world’s weight and pull for a steady career. Bills, rent, and debts loomed over my head and I succumbed. I accepted a job at Jacob as a merchandiser, oh it was fine you know, regular hours, discounted clothes, regular pay with scheduled raises blah blah blah.

I worked at Jacob for two days before I rented the movie “Le Edukators”. This movie started a tidal wave in my life that has come full circle now, two years later. If you have not seen this movie, I will recommend that you go get it right now. If you have ever questioned the meaning of life, the purpose we live, why we strive, and what we strive for, rent this film. If you are in need of a kick in the corporate-starbucks-walmart-jacob-ass rent this film. If you feel nothing, rent this film.

I refuse to spoil it for you, so I will tell you is this; the day after I watched it, I quit my job and began the process of opening a store. period. I jumped off the cliff and did not look back, I did not secure a parachute, tried tested and true, certified by whomever certifies those things, there was no safety net, no guarantee, so salary, no employee benefits, no paid holidays, and yet, I jumped.

It was exhilarating, wonderful, scary, stressful and on I could go, but the reason for this post is not to bore you with the ups and downs of small business, it is to tell you how my tidal wave has returned.

In short, the store closed, the credit men call me, the city likes to tow my car because I have too many tickets that aren’t paid and sometimes I wonder if those soup kitchens have soup that I might enjoy. In response to these and many other things, I decided to do the “right” thing. I looked for a j-o-b. Yup that’s right, back to the grind looking for the all-Canadian, all-American dream package complete with a shiny red bow. I did something that I swore I would never do again.

Maybe I have a thick skull, maybe I learn things the hard hard way, maybe I get afraid of not being secured to something secure. Maybe society tells me that its better tie myself onto the same boat as everyone else because that’s the way things work, and that’s the way it has been designed for us.

Have a clean and tidy house, decorated with beige and cream and all colors in between. Work 8-4, 9-5, or whatever, get 2 weeks at Christmas, see the dentist get those teeth pulled and whitened, and charge it all to the company plan. Spend all your time working and cleaning and dreaming about those 2 weeks a year. For me this equation doesn’t work. (I’m not knocking all of you out there who have such luxurious deals, in fact on some level I am envious, so please no offense.)

I picked up a job at Bohn and Associates as the Business Administrator, the filing, typing, bean counting, spreadsheet making 8-4 glory that we all are fighting tooth and nail for. It had it all, it was glorious.

Until of course, I sent an invoice to the wrong client, put in a couple numbers in the wrong place, and cared more about the arrangement of green apples on my desk than doing a mail merge. They fired me. They sure did.

And may I quote…

“…. this job accentuates all of your weakest points, it actually highlights everything you struggle with and doesn’t allow you to use your natural abilities and gifts. Kim you need to find a creative job, because obviously this job is not for you. We are sorry…”

As I sat in the boardroom sobbing like an orphan left on the side of the road, I knew she was right. Was the promise of money and security really enough for me to give up who I am, was I actually willing to sell out for cash and holidays, and free concert tickets… For a moment I was, and then that moment passed.

I had never been so glad to have someone say those thee words.

Kim, your fired.

And the wave crashed. I walked home, with all the contents of my desk, including my green apples, and started feeling something again. Who am I? What is it that I do? What do I want to do? How can I live and exist and work and create and be happy? How does this happen?

My head spinning I sat down announced to my roommate… ” It’s do or die time Aimee. I’m going big or for broke, so lets cross our fingers that I can pay rent in 3 weeks!”

Thus, my tidal wave has come full circle. I have finally realized that it is not enough for me to do my art on the side. On the side of a job, on the side of my brain, or in my side time. Design is my everything.

Kdon hats, the beginning of do or die time. What I have learned is, there is never a good time, never a safe enough time to leave your job, change careers, become and artist, move to a new city, start again, try something new, or live like you only have one day left. There is always something that will get in the way, change your mind, something that makes it too un-secure, and you can live you whole life making excuses why you never jumped in with both feet. If your like me, it will take an inspirational movie, years of pendulum swinging, a constant knocking and bashing at the door, repeat experience after repeat experience to finally clue in and accept the tidal wave waiting to crash the world as you know it all around your feet. I hope for your sake, you aren’t as slow a learner and open the door today.

May I leave you with two questions.






Because all we have is today.

14 thoughts on “715 pieces, 165 buttons, 55 tags, and 1 million stitches. My tidal wave has returned.

  1. I can’t find “Le Edukators” on imdb.com as an exact match. Is that the working title or do you know when or where it was made?

    Congrats for doing things your way. I’ve received tonnes of advice and words of wisdom but none stuck with me like this: don’t think and jump off that cliff. The universe has a strange way of catching you.

    Sometimes we need free-falling before we catch ourselves. Thanks for sharing your story. I’m so inspired. xxo

  2. @ stephanie, i would try searching then under “the edukators”, its a german film with subtitles,
    but that should be the title.
    thanks for reading, and leaving your words back 🙂
    hope you can find the movie….

  3. Kim, i just read this now. It was very inspiring, very touching. It is the exact situation i am in right now. Thanks for the reminder, it is hard out there, but if you sit there waiting, nothing will ever happen. Hard work pays off. Congrats on everything.


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