An Assistant’s Introduction

An Assistant’s Introduction

Guest Blog by our assistant Kara

Let me begin, just this once, by stating the obvious. I have an awesome job. In fact, I think I have several, so I feel very fortunate. I am a firm believer in doing what you love first and then finding a way to make it profitable, even if it means living on bags of steamed broccoli every now and then in order to pay for an incredible experience (yes, I have done this, and yes, it was worth it). So, enter Frenzy. I met K and M entirely by chance in the summer of 2010 when, fed up with the lack of respectable, “non-shady” modeling opportunities in Ohio, I replied to an ad on Craigslist for what sounded like an amazing job. In all honesty, it seemed too good to be true. I was hired to be a promotional model for Nick Valentino, author of the steampunk adventure novel Thomas Riley. He sounded professional and generous, not at all like your typical Craigslist employer, and he mentioned that I would be able to borrow a steampunk costume from his friends at Frenzy Universe. He sent me a link to the Frenzy website, and I immediately bookmarked it. I couldn’t wait to meet the owners of the shop! I remember being very nervous when I arrived at Origins Gaming Convention on the first day of my “gig” . I was afraid that the Frenzygals wouldn’t like me. I was worried that I wouldn’t be steampunk enough. I didn’t know a lot about the genre other than what a lifetime of interest in historical fashion and science fiction (plus a few years working at the Renaissance Festival) had taught me. What I did know was that I loved Frenzy’s designs, and I felt right at home amidst the polite Origins crowd.

I came to be an employee of Frenzy Universe on a whim, one rainy day several months after the convention ended. For my day job, I’m a professional musician (I can practically hear all of you artists and musicians laughing at that statement!) and a writer. Needless to say, I have many part-time ventures, as some months can be rather slow. In the autumn of 2010, I was starting to stock up on the bags of broccoli in anticipation of a “sparse” financial season. Deciding that I had nothing to lose, I sent K and M an e-mail asking whether or not they might ever need some extra help in any area of their business. I tried to make myself sound useful by explaining my background as a columnist and a copy writer, but I mostly ended up writing a plea for them to help me channel my love of fashion and history. I fully expected them to decline, actually. I was shocked when I received a prompt response saying that they were very interested and would like to discuss details with me. I started daydreaming about having enough money to buy proper meals and historically accurate Georgian panniers!

Being succinct has never been one of my strong points, so I’ll skip ahead. Anyway, here I am today, with my Georgian panniers, celebrating a year of working for the lovely Frenzy ladies.  It’s a bit strange to think that I’ve known K and M for such a short period of time, as they seem like lifelong friends! They aren’t paying me to say any of this, by the way, although they do occasionally tempt me with candy and delicious wine (not to mention the incredible clothing and accessories). One of the most important things about my job with Frenzy is the inspiration I receive to be creative. K and M inspire me to create rather than just consume. They encourage me to try new things without worrying about failure, often when I have no idea what I’m doing (making medals, bending copper, handling very hot tools, dyeing clothing, distressing fabric panels, the list goes on and on). When I leave each day to return to Columbus, I spend the hour-long drive entirely occupied by the ideas swimming around in my brain, antsy to get home so I can start working on them.  In the span of my life, I haven’t made as many things by hand as I have in just the past year of working at Frenzy Universe. My late grandmother, a fabulous seamstress with boundless creativity, would hopefully be proud to know that I received my first sewing machine as an early birthday gift this past summer, and along with it, inherited her favourite sewing scissors. I have Frenzy to thank for encouraging that interest.

Coming up next”¦ my typical day at the Frenzy studio! I’ll give you a hint”¦ there is never a “typical” day!

NOTE FROM THE FRENZYGALS: Check out Kara’s band LONE RAVEN… they are great! (And we weren’t paid to say that… really.)

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