Seattle Stevie Giveaway & Launch of!

Oh man!  Exciting things are afoot! is live!  Swing by and check out some of the new goodies I’ve added (like my services and portfolio tabs…), and then, pleasepleaseplease skip off to Seattle Stevie’s blog for a chance at a free pair of La Vie en Orange Upitees!

Win your very own pair of Eiffel Tower undies - in your favorite colors!

I met Stevie at a dear friend’s birthday party and we had a great time chatting.  She’s super sweet and spunky and was super interested in my undies.  She invited me to be interviewed for her blog and I couldn’t say yes fast enough!  Check it out here.  And enter to win you very own pair of Upitees!

Good luck! xoxo

See you next week at 🙂

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A Year of Going Bananas

My business is celebrating its first birthday this week!

The weird thing is, I wouldn’t have noticed if it hadn’t been for the Girls on the Run of Puget Sound auction I attended tonight.  It was just in time for last year’s Girls on the Run auction that I launched my Etsy site and printed my first La Vie en Orange business cards and donated a sewing lesson for four.

And I found myself in a similar place again this year.  I’m thisclose to having my own [dot]com…  And I made more business cards with the new url (still teasing because I’m planning on doing a big reveal with a giveaway in the next week or so…), and donated another sewing lesson package.  Such a funny moment of déjà vu.  And such a lovely opportunity to think of all I’ve done in the last year- growing a business, getting married, very nearly almost buying a house.  Wow!

And then there are the Banana Cheers.  A Girls on the Run energy award staple.  Girls on the Run is an after school program for 3rd-8th grade girls.  In a nutshell, it uses the power of movement (running, skipping, cartwheeling, you name it) to teach lessons on self-esteem, self-respect, healthy living…  An energy award is something the girls in the program give to one another for any reason- being supportive, helping one another out, you name it…

The Banana Cheer holds a special place in my heart.  It is my favorite energy award (and one of many).  One that I still do at the office from time to time, even though it’s been years since I worked for GOTR.  It’s also maybe the energy award that I brought from Kalamazoo to Seattle when I moved.  For reals- Girls on the Run of Puget Sound did not have the Banana Cheer before I moved here…  And I love that the girls in Seattle (check out their video here) love it as much as the girls in Kalamazoo.  And I have done at least four Banana Cheers today thinking about all the good and joy in the world and in the last year.  And for your support, I give you your very own Banana Cheer!

Thank you for the support you’ve shared in the past year.  For the joy and comments and creativity and business and awesome.  🙂  And in addition to the Banana Cheer, use the discount code GoBananas to get free shipping in my Etsy shop until April 15!  🙂

Where has the past year taken you?  I’d love to hear!  Please comment below 🙂


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Studio Dreams

My current well-loved, I-wish-it-weren't-so-messy-right-now studio 🙂

My husband and I have recently made one of the biggest decisions of our adult lives:  to become homeowners.  So scary and so grown up and so logical (?) in this market and with these interest rates.  And exciting.  Because we found a place we really love, have made an offer, and are waiting to hear back from the bank (we will be until May or so…).

I have to admit that I’m a little bit nervous about all the energy moving and becoming a homeowner is going to take.  How will it affect my business?  How long will it take to get settled in?  Will I still be able to give customer service I’m really proud of?  I’m trying to not over think it, but also trying to figure out what I can do ahead of time to ensure smooth sailing… 🙂  Any ideas for me?  Please comment below!  🙂

But!  The super super fun parts that I’m getting really excited about are:  the garden (I have grand dreams for a gray water reclamation project- I am loving reading The Urban Homestead– scroll to the bottom), all the decorating, and.  The studio.  🙂  Because there’s a whole room with a whole bank of windows just for me and my ideas.  I can’t wait.  I’ve made a board on Pinterest with ideas for sewing studios and details I love.

So what do you think?  I’d love to hear any wisdom you might have about moving or becoming a homeowner.  Any ideas for a badass sewing room?  Please comment below, and, if you pin, please include a link to where 🙂


P.S.  Another big move coming up soon- we’ll be transitioning to our own [dot]com!   Stay tuned!  🙂

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The current mood board in my studio

Dear Reader! How art thou? I am feeling silly and excited and a flurry of activity!

Exciting things lay on the horizon – lots of fabulous feedback from the mens about their undie needs. I heard a lot about “the junk.” But also some really giggly insights like boxer briefs being “not too creepy to cook breakfast in.” And that boxers are “grave danger when biking!”

I’m reading “The Accidental Creative: How to be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice” and have loved some of Todd Henry’s insights about how to build structure into your schedule to nurture creativity.  He’s got lots of recommendations (which I will now boil down into a neat list of bullet points, but the book is totally worth checking out!):

  • Focus – reframing challenges by asking questions (helpful list in the book) and scheduling time to deeply explore ideas/situation (without being a slave to the next task on your list or email in your inbox- so hard!)
  • Relationships – carefully choosing who you spend time with, and surrounding yourself with mentors and others to bounce ideas off of and energy with (ideas about how to structure this too…)
  • Energy – Planning for how the demands on your energy will be affected by the projects you’re working on; recognizing that compartmentalizing (“work/life balance”) isn’t too realistic when you think for a living (this is a huge one for me)
  • Stimuli – He recommends scheduling time to study things that interest you and paying close attention to the stimuli (news, books, tv, blogs, etc) you take in. Looking for diverse perspectives and dissenting opinions to challenge you in new ways
  • Hours – Giving yourself time to just sit and come up with ideas. About anything. And taking time to create for the sake of creating. For yourself.

I’ve been reading lots of books about business lately (most of the recommendations from Making a Living Without a Job) and visiting lots of museums, but some of the topics Henry explored were challenging.  I sometimes use sewing time to keep up with pop culture and watch terrible tv.  Jersey Shore?  One episode was enough, thankyouverymuch. Toddlers and Tiaras?  Same. Only a little bit of shame… 🙂

Some of his suggestions were really exciting:  like the importance of exploring topics that are personally intriguing even if you can’t see a connection- I’m planning on reading some of the classics I’ve always neglected.  And maybe studying modern dance.

One quote he cited that really got me was, “We say we waste time, but that is impossible.  We waste ourselves.”  –Alice Bloch. Alice! That hurts! But so true.

So I’m curious about what you do. Do you study or spend time exploring anything completely unrelated to your day job or side hustle? How do you nurture your curiosity and your creativity?  Please comment below!  (Feel free to include any recommendations for classics or dance anything…  :))


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Surveying the landscape

On their way!

Just a week after International Women’s Day, and all I can think about is what’s going on in men’s pants.  (Note:  I did think twice before typing that, but decided it wasn’t so racy since I’m actually talking about underpants.  :))

So I’m working on branching out into men’s undies.  My women’s boy-cuts are doing well (have you checked out the testimonials?  People say funny things about underwear!), and women’s briefs are on their way.  But I’ve never bought or made boys’ undies before, so I’m looking for men who are open to answering a few questions candidly about their underwear triumphs and fails to help me get started.  It’ll take 5 minutes or so, and I’d love your help spreading the word!

Take the survey here.  Thank you so much!  🙂

You can also swing by the La Vie en Orange facebook page and share from there.  And if you have fabulous, cheeky ideas for spreading the word via twitter (I’m @VieEnOrange), please, please, please do!  🙂


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Aux Grandes Femmes!

Panthéon - 2002 International Women's Day

Happy International Women’s Day!  I’ve loved IWD ever since studying abroad in Paris.  I lived down the hill from the Panthéon, and that year, the powers that be hung huge posters of influential women from its columns in honor of the day, along with a new version of the inscription- AUX GRANDES FEMMES LA PATRIE RECONNAISSANTE (“To the great women, the grateful homeland.”  The original inscription is Aux grands hommes…:  “To the great men, the grateful homeland”).  I remember our French teacher telling us that this was huge because it was the first time the State had used the French language to describe women as “great.”  Until then, the only “grandes femmes” were “tall women.”  Huge.

Lately, as I’ve been exploring what I do and why, I’ve been thinking a lot more about women in the media and advertising.  What better day to reflect than IWD!  🙂

Have you been keeping up with me on facebook and Twitter? You might have noticed I was really pissed off about Rush Limbaugh’s disparaging remarks, calling Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and saying he wanted her to post sex-tapes online.  Ugh.  And about all that crap with people tweeting to Chris Brown that he could beat them anytime.

But there are also incredible bright spots- like this bill in Arizona that would force advertisers to note when images have been airbrushed.  And the ads that the UK has banned for being too “misleading.” And this amazing documentary about the portrayal of women in the media, Miss Representation.  I watched it this weekend, and am feeling hyper sensitive to all the media I’m taking in.  I hope this feeling sticks with me, and that I continue to make and support images and portrayals of strong, intelligent, healthy girls and women.  Regardless of gender, I hope you’ll join me!

What do you think?  I’d love to hear in the comments below 🙂


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Market Research

Future clients?

Picture, if you will, my sister-in-law and I at a party on Saturday night. It was in a beautiful, I-swear-I-saw-it-on-Pinterest, super modern, yet way DIY loft in Portland, with 60+ gay men.  Did I mention there were only 2 other women in attendance?  A vision, right?  🙂

This was my weekend.  But I had a wonderful time and learned so much over the course of several enthusiastic conversations even though they quickly turned into me being the person cornering my formerly enthusiastic conversation partner (Seriously.  At least 4 times during the night I realized I had trapped the person I was talking to.  I pretty much just looked at my partner and said, “Go.”  I couldn’t believe I’d become that person!  Part of my day job is saving our staff at social events when they get cornered…  Oh, how the mighty have fallen…  :)).

Anyway. Did you know that men (at least several in this group) have some of the same fit issues with their underwear as women?!?  I guess I thought that since they didn’t have birthing (or not-birthing) hips nothing would be out of proportion.  But alas, no such luck, and they face undies that fit in the bottom but bundle at the waist too.  No one is immune!

The men I talked to were floored about my passion for perfectly fitting undies (it knows no gender :)), and implored me to start making men’s underwear.  I’m feeling super energized and inspired.  So.  Stay tuned 🙂

Have you ever talked to someone about a passion or interest and been met with immediate excitement and acceptance?  I’d love to hear more about it- please comment below!  🙂

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