After college I found myself working as a forklift driver in a fish oil warehouse just outside of Boston. In all honesty I was having the time of my life until it hit me, this is my job. It’s not a summer thing, not a gig to fill some time, no, this is my real life with no where else to go.
As soon as that notion struck me it was hard to have fun on the job anymore. I unloaded shipping containers while a little voice in my head reminded me, “This is NOT where you should be”. All of a sudden smelling like rotting fish wasn’t so funny. I learned my first major life lesson when I called in one morning and said, “I QUIT.” The lesson? Don’t quit your job unless you already have another one. Just an FYI.
Things got a little desperate and after 2 months, a dwindling bank account, and no leads in sight, I started to embellish my qualifications, maybe even lie a little a bit. I applied to a job as a seamstress in South Boston having about a Home Ec. eduction in sewing but knowing I needed a more creative path. Not surprisingly I wasn’t hired. That wasn’t the first rejection either. There was the flower shop that for some reason wouldn’t trust me that I could “totally” arrange flowers. Or the custom ornamental iron company that thought I’d be a “liability”. People seemed really stuck on experience. Then a miracle happened, somehow, weeks later, I got a call back from the custom drapery workroom and was asked to come in.
That’s pretty much where this story ends, but my entire future begins. I realized knowing how to make a log cabin quilt does not a seamstress make and somehow I didn’t get fired. Instead, I worked my tail off during the day learning on the job, read “how-to” books at night, and realized this is what I should have been doing all along.
I eventually made the difficult decision to leave Boston, and my seamstress job, to move to upstate NY in order to afford more space and give myself the chance to strike out on my own. I started my Etsy shop (Lucy Blaire) and eventually began writing for books such as Lunch Bags! from C&T Publishing and Best of Stitch: Beautiful Bedrooms from Interweave, craft magazines like Stitch, Sew News, Simply Handmade, and ReadyMade, appeared as a guest multiple times on Sew It All TV for PBS, and of course started my blog.
When I’m not keeping all of that straight I’m doing my best to be a good wife to my husband Ben, and a mother to my beautiful daughter Marian in our little house with the red tin roof in Catskill, NY.