Q: What was the single event that has driven my career?
A: Well, it all started in 6th grade in a small school (7-12th grade) in Pelican Rapids, Minnesota. Everyone was wearing Marithe+Francois Girbaud jeans and my mother protested the cost. Everyone tried to just have one pair and then secretly share. However, you had to have a pair to join the club. My mom tried and brought me home a pair of forest green Girbaud jeans she had found at goodwill…they were hideous! So, I shoved them in my closet and forgot about them. So now, that brings me spilling a 20 year old secret.
One random day I was at K-mart with my mother getting shampoo and conditioner; perusing, wasting time as teenagers do. We lived in the middle of nowhere.. Kmart was pretty much it. I came across a pair of Lee jeans that had a mistakenly similar wash as most of the Girbaud jeans everyone was wearing at school. I paused and grabbed them. Taking them over to my mother’s shopping cart I asked her if she would buy them for me; at $19.99 she was perplexed!
I ran in the door and collapse at my closet to dig out those ugly green jeans. I immediately took a seam ripper to them and began removing all the Girbaud tags and stitching them on to my new Lee jeans. I created a NEW pair of Girbaud jeans and threw the real ones in the garbage. My mom wasn’t surprised when I came down wearing my new creation the next morning. I smiled mischievously and went to school. EVERYONE LOVED THEM, in fact I didn’t put them back on that day after gymnastics practice. Instead, they went in to rotation. I never got my jeans back and ended up wearing the “real thing” all year while people fought over my Lee’s disguised at Girbaud.
That was when I realized how important branding was and how value was measure by consumer brand perception.
Through college I was expecting to start my own Lifestyle Branded Apparel Empire and take over the world. Now, I am more interested in helping other apparel retail and manufacturers tap into their brand potential and connect them with their consumer. I have spent years slingin’ jeans and proclaiming how great your butt looks. Honey, I’ll tell you if the jeans aren’t a good addition to your collection that’s my reputation behind you.
I am a collector, I LOVE denim, I love the washes, the shape, the stitching, the details, the history and the powerful source of confidence denim has given us.
When it comes to clothing I am a fit expert, I can find the “right” jean in the perfect size in about 15 seconds after looking at you. Need help- shoot me a photo- I’ll prove it!
Q: So, how was ButtTherapist.com born?
A: The Butt Therapist started as a whitty remark to the mondane “what do you do” question of typical introductions and strings of first dates. I have been a personal stylist for years with cards on file and ending up on a ridiculous amount of peoples speed dial. I’ve had my hands in Denim buying and developed a significant denim department for a prominent retailer. I couldn’t justify saying I worked in retail or merely saying I was a stylist. It was so much more than shopping. It is about building your clients confidence. developing their own personal style that is unique to them and educating consumers “why” they are laying down the Benjamin’s on denim.
Q: Why do you use the word “Therapist”?
Visually fitting denim seemed like a natural gift. I think I acquired it somewhere in between being a size 2 and a size 12. Being in apparel sales, a stylist, a wardrobe consultant, whatever you want to call it; you become a confidant to your clients. Instead of them looking in the mirror first they turn and stand in front of you. That is TRUST. It is not described as hard labor to be slinging jeans all day or playing dress up with amazing designer collections. It is the emotional energy that becomes the heavy lifting. The energy I spend every day attempting to inspire men and women to embrace their body shape and find the best fit for TODAY can sometimes leave me completely exhausted after 8 hours. Imagine working with teenagers…I became a big sister to a lot of younger clients as well. Hence,“Therapist”.
Q: Where does the “Butt” come in to play?
A: The first thing EVERYONE does when they put on NEW jeans is turn around and look at their toosh in the mirror…there is the “butt’ and together I became “The Butt Therapist” taking your classic retail therapy to a personal level. How it became a blog from my paintings makes no sequential sense but The Butt Therapist Blog was created from my artwork.
Q: You are an artist?
A: I had just started showing my paintings publicly when I was introduced to a fellow local artist because of our similar techniques. After walking though his studio and having a long “chatty” lunch he gave me a book. “Crush it’ by Gary Vaynerchuck. I was having difficulty nailing down one true passion and he thought it might help me focus. At that time I was working on 9 full-time projects with a full-time job and feeling like I was going in too many directions to get anywhere! I read the book that night and there was one question that captured me “What one single thing can you write 50 topics about in the next 30 minutes without research”. DENIM! I live and breath denim but it was only part of my life; I almost thought it was merely circumstantial. Within 48 hours www.ButtTherapist.com was live and I started navigating though the social media maze, bending the corporate rules I was taught in college, begun experimenting with personal branding and writing about what I knew…JEANS. My experience, your experience and learning about what other people had to say about denim in their stores, in the news, the good, the bad, the really ugly, and most importantly about what loved denim is on their toosh.
In February 2011, Gary Vaynerchuck started following Butt Therapist on twitter and I take it as a huge hug. I don’t have a million followers but what I do have are passionate denim addicts keeping tabs on my days full of indigo.
QUOTE: Denim is my constant and I think in many ways it is its own language that needs no translation. We live our lives in our jeans and with that most of our memories happened or are going to happen in a pair of blue jeans! Don’t you think they deserve a little credit?
“The best description: Revolutionary and conservative, sexy and romantic, elegant and casual, chic and sporty. No other fabric has been better at interpreting all our contradictions.” -Elio Fiorucci