Both of my grandmothers have taught me a great deal about style and confidence, but for the purpose of this post let’s talk about my grandmother Theresa who my family called Gran-Tee. My Grantee, who passed away last summer, used to bring me along with her to flea markets when I was growing up. She would spend hours combing through all these trinkets and treasures committed to finding the just-right piece.

Years later, she would call me in college to make sure I hadn’t missed the sale rack at the GAP in Wellesley where she lived. “I grabbed a few things for you just in case Katie,” she would say.

She introduced me to the best consignment shop I have ever been to…where still to this day I will run in for five minutes and leave with a killer Free People dress. She taught me the art of putting together an outfit. Through her I learned that it’s an art that can be supported by high fashion, designer clothes – but that also be assembled through creativity, patience, love and joy. Her outfits were prime examples of mixing and matching classic, funky and hip pieces in innumerable ways.

I wore a par of her earrings every night when I rushed a sorority in college freshman year. We were given the advice to “wear something memorable” so older sorority girls would remember who was who. Later on, a senior in the sorority I joined casually mentioned to me that they called me the earring girl during rush week. I had already received so many compliments on her earrings I wasn’t actually that surprised.

She would also – this is my favorite – stop tall women on the street who were well dressed and ask them where they shopped. She was ALWAYS, always looking out for me.

I’m writing all this today from the perspective of owning your truth and owning your style. Last year, I gave up this passion for style because I felt fashion wasn’t valuable or meaningful enough. My rationale was, If there are starving kids and savings accounts and all these worthwhile reasons to hold on to our money – why should I be spending it at a store on clothes?

Those concerns in the above paragraph are valid, but fashion, and the way I dress myself, is part of my creativity in action. It’s a way that I can show you who I am, just like writing this blog is. It is valuable because it lets me express myself. I don’t think I’m cool, or more lovable when I have an awesome outfit on. But I do feel more alive, more passionate and more fired up about enacting change in some of said issues in above paragraph.

Don’t do what I did last year. Don’t ditch your creativity or passion because someone challenges it. Own it. Own that you love it even though they can’t see the value in it. Own the fact that helps you light up, and light others up around you, and ultimately enact some pretty amazing change.

Three things:

1.) I’m in the recipe prep and handout development stage for my next lecture on Tuesday, September 16th covering the Sugar Blues from 7-8pm at The Healing Place in Medfield. I hope you will be able to join me!

2.) Currently obsessed with all the garlands at the Paper Source. My Aunt bought one for my cousin’s birthday party this summer, and I stole that idea for birthday potluck tomorrow night!

3.) Fresh flowers. All the time. Buy yourself some flowers this week. You will be amazed how much joy they bring you!