Travel: Going Out Solo - It's Rules to This ...

Getting adjusted to the “single life” again has not been easy at all. Actually, it has required me to be more creative. It has forced me to move outside my comfort zone and try different things. I’ve never had a problem dining out alone, catching a movie by myself or shopping alone, but going out solo has always been an uncomfortable thought. As a result, I have never done it until recently. A lot of my friends are married so I tend not to bother them that often and my single friends are always on the go like me. So that leaves me, myself, and I to my own devices.

There are only so many nights I can take sitting in the house, I had to get out! So last Friday I decided to check out a lounge that I would typically attend with friends. I wasn’t nervous about it; I just didn’t want to feel lonely. And you know what, I didn’t at all! I actually met some cool people, had some good conversations and left feeling empowered!

When venturing out you have to have an open mind, no expectations and follow a few unspoken ground rules:

Rule 1: Do not tell your parents or paranoid friends that you intend to go out alone. They might sike you out of doing it because they are scary acting! (My mother is always telling me about something she saw on “America’s Most Wanted”, thanks ma.) Tell someone your plans just not them!

 

Rule 2: Select a venue that’s guaranteed to be crowded with the types of people and personalities you are comfortable with being around. A place with live music, dope DJ would be ideal or some other form of entertainment.

Rule 3: Aim to arrive and leave at a decent time. You are a woman going out alone; you still need to be careful. No need to shut down the spot.

Rule 4: Sit at the bar. (Never at a table unless you just don’t want to be bothered) The bar is where the fun starts and ends! It’s where you will meet people and get some good conversations going. So sit back, order an app or two, chat it up with the bartender and chill. 

Rule 5: Engage in some form of dull activity that prompts curiosity but not intimidation. So — yes to notes for your next blog post, no to the LSAT study guide. Your move is to be casually reading and jotting things down while maintaining a look of openness to the questions. (Stay off your phone/social media please! That’s so blah.)

Rule 6: Set a time or drink limit and do not move. Your mantra: this is not weird. Think of the bar as a much-more-fun coffee shop. You would have no problem at all sitting alone at Starbucks. (If you would, get over it! Stay committed to the process.) The bar is just like that but people get drunk, feel bold, and talk to each other.

Rule 7: Repeat rules one through six until you meet the person with whom you’ll spend the rest of your life. When people ask you how you met, make something up. Nobody wants to meet the love of their life in a bar. LOL! Just kidding, have fun with the process, don't take it too seriously.

At the end of the day, going out solo is not necessarily about meeting “my future husband”. It’s about me continuing to LIVE despite whatever craziness that is going on in my life. It’s about me being comfortable with my sexuality, confident and fiercely independent. By practicing the art of “going out alone,” I’m answering to no one but MYSELF, leaving my life to be that of a blank, unpredictable canvas colored only by magnificent opportunities, powerful experiences.

So are you ready to leave the crew at home and venture out alone? Tell me more!

 Enjoy the Journey,

Tahlee

Travel: Tips On How To Save Your "Coins" For That Next Adventure!

Traveling and experiencing all this world has to offer has become a necessity for me. The everyday grind of life can get overwhelming, but knowing that my next adventure is just a few weeks or months away is a treat! It’s something to look forward to, like a kid waiting for Christmas day to arrive. That’s the type of excitement and anticipation I feel while waiting for my next adventure.

With that being said, these adventures are not cheap. Especially when you plan two or three a year, so until I find ways to get paid for my travel, I need to get creative. I need to find more creative ways to save. Below are a couple things I’m doing or looking to implement.

1.     Re-work Your Ongoing Expenses

We all have necessary expenses but are there any “phantom expenses”? Expenses that are so small that you didn’t know they were costing you money. Money that could be used for TRAVEL! So go through your weekly and monthly expenses to see what you can eliminate or scale back. (Cable, reduce phone bill, memberships, Starbucks)

2.     Open a Dedicated Travel Savings Account

Designate this as your “Do Not Touch Account”. Have money automatically drafted from your checking and deposited into this account. As little as $30 a pay period can make all the difference.

3.     No More Pampered Princess

Being a woman is a lot of work. We get our hair done, we wax everything, get the gel nails, some of us tan and all that “ISH” can get pretty expensive. So cut back. I wear my hair natural most of the time so I reduce the visits to my stylist. Now I see her about once every three months. I also do my own manicures and pedicures. (I don't like people touching my feet anyway)

4.     Reinvent Your Wardrobe

Shopping has slowly become my least favorite pass time and besides, I have enough clothes in my closet to create a new wardrobe every day. Shop in your closet instead and resist the urge to buy. Remember, "sale" does not mean "shop". Try it for a month and see how much money you can save. (Its all going towards your travel fund)

5.     Become Your Own Chef

So much money is spent on eating out. Although it’s not my favorite thing to do, I have recognized how much money I save by cooking. I plan my meals and stick with the stuff I know. The best part is that I have leftovers to last me for a day or two.

6.     Social Spending SMH

This is my struggle. I love a brunch, happy hour or day party; however this expense can get out of control. Now I’m saying no to a lot of things or just reducing how often I go to happy hour. Inviting my friends over to my spot or going to things that are “free” are at the top of my list now.

7.     Hustle/Grind

Lastly, if you have the time, pick up a part time job/side-hustle that’s not too demanding and you can work at your leisure. This can be very helpful when you know you have an adventure approaching. I know “UBER” is hiring.

These are just a couple things I’m doing. Do you have any tips? Please share!

Enjoy the Journey,

Tahlee

Travel: The Road to Prissyness

Alright, so this post isn’t necessarily about travel but it is about exploring my friend’s journey to successful entrepreneurship. I wanted to highlight women who are “doing their thang”! Shannon Anderson is the owner and founder of Prissy*ness, an online and mobile fashion boutique. Yes! You heard right! She has a mobile boutique; a concept I have always adored. What I love most about the fashion truck is that you can find many unique pieces.

Shannon has always had a love for fashion and beauty, a passion that was passed down from her mother which Shannon has passed on to her daughter.  Her background in fashion merchandising and business has given her keen eye on what’s hot and fueled her desire to start Prissy*ness.

 

Tahlee Mambia: How did you come up with the name “Prissy*ness” for your mobile boutique?

Shannon Anderson: The original name was going to be “Vain-ish” but it conflicted with another friend’s business so I scratched that and decided to go with something that was a bit more personal. Growing up people would call me prissy and it stuck. So my business is a reflection of me.

TM: The Prissy*ness vision has changed and evolved over the first 10 months you have been operating. Tell me about that.

SA: Yeah it has, a couple things have changed. I started out with jewelry, beautiful statement pieces that would make any outfit. However, as I started to attend more trade shows I decided to expand by adding wardrobe pieces to my collection. The clothes have taken the forefront of my business. It was at that same time I decided to make my online store a mobile store as well. Now I have the Prissy*ness Fashion truck.

 

 

TM: Tell me about the clothes and jewelry you pick. How do you decided what you will show case?

SA: “You will buy a statement piece not a whole outfit”. So I pick pieces that are ethnic, majestic and unique; that’s my formula. For the DC market, most of the time I go with a Bohemian look. So pieces with a Turkish, African and Tibetan influence. However, I’m not limited to that.

TM: You buy your pieces at trade shows correct? What trade shows do you attend and how often?

SA: The trade shows I attend are based on proximity. I hold a full-time job and I’m a mom of two, so attending these shows has to work with my schedule. I usually hit the shows in New York City. I’m on the first train Sunday morning and on the last train leaving NYC.

Every vendor wants you to buy something from them, I don’t have time to visit every vendor. Prior to the show I map out a plan of what vendors I will see. It’s usually based on what season I’m buying for and the price point. I have to make sure a piece is worth buying and if my clients will pay the markup price. 

TM: What was your biggest fear with starting this venture?

SA: There were two: 1) Driving the truck because it’s so big. I drive like a “granny” when hauling it. 2) No one would buy my stuff. 

 

TM: The fears you have can’t be your fears anymore because you have this truck all over the city, lol! And your pieces are selling, I know because I have purchased several!

What challenges have you had? If any?

SA: I have had other business ventures before, so getting “Prissy*ness” up and running wasn’t too bad. The challenges came with 1) finding vendors and merchandise that worked for my clientele, 2) choosing the appropriate venue, event or street festival that would appeal to my “target customers”; people love the idea of buying off fashion trucks but you have to find where those people are! 3) Filling the need of the “plus size” woman. Many vendors don’t carry many plus sizes which bothers me because I want to cater to all of my clients

TM: Being a mobile boutique, what services can you offer your clientele?

SA: I offer a few things, 1) I can set-up displays for private events at your home, 2) I also do open house/ grand opening events for businesses and 3) I can bring the “Prissy*ness” fashion truck to your home.

 

 TM: Given your experience, can you share three pearls for entrepreneurs just starting out?

SA: Sure! 1) Don’t give up when business gets slow 2) Keep your vision! Don’t change it just because others don’t agree with it, it’s yours and 3) Do your research. Make sure you know how starting your business will affect your family life, identify your support system and it helps to have a schedule.