Posted on

In the Beginning was The Word. And The Word was No.

In the Beginning was The Word.
And The Word was No.

You know how you find yourself having a realization (at your age?) and wondering how you had never conceived of such a thing in your life…and you are kind of shocked (and maybe embarrassed) that you never did?  Well, that is what happened when I decided to go ahead and purchase the bright pink sleeveless dress with the too tight armholes.  It took my entire adult life to have the courage to buy a dress that had most of the elements of design that I liked – but not quite – and change it.  It may sound silly, but, before that, it had never occurred to me to buy something that had been designed by someone else, say thank you very much but I am going to improve upon this – and do it.  I have perfectly beautiful arms, even if they are the size of canons.  I used to pass on dresses, wondering:  Why do I fall in love with great dresses that squeeze into my armpits and push a little burp of fat out from beneath?   Until I took my power back.

One day I thought differently.  Why have I passed on great dresses when all I have to do is change the thing I don’t like; the thing that isn’t for me?  I’ve got scissors!

I had unleashed the Tiger.  The day after I bought the bright pink sleeveless dress I was reading the standard story of Cinderella to the girls, when I stopped, and said NO.  I liked the story of Cinderella –even loved it in some weird, familial, archaic way.  But it, like the pink dress, was too tight – unfinished – and it did not fit me.  Instead of tolerating it or allowing the previous storytellers to bear down on me, I decided to improve it.  For me.  And for my daughters.  So I did.  Sometimes saying No is the perfect beginning.

I did not retell the story of Cinderella.  I kept it as is.  And I opened it up.  I told the girls how Cinderella had a hunch that all the girls in the Kingdom after they had seen and tried her single, lonely glass slipper (while The Prince searched desperately for her), dreamed of owning their own pair.  I told them about how she decided to make that possible by launching the Cinderella Glass Slipper Factory.  I told them how her princess friends joined in with their own expertise to make it happen.   For us, saying No was a Yes to a better princess story.   One that fit.

I wore the bright pink sleeveless dress with comfort and confidence; and it still looks great.  And I told the Cinderella story over and over until it I wrote it down and until I had it illustrated and until I had it published.

What No has been your beginning?

Posted on

“Princesses with a Twist” Brings Its Female Empowerment Message to Life with Pop-Up Event

Virginia Wolff, Chicago's premier florist, working to transform Vanille into "Snow White's Happy Apple," for a day.
Virginia Wolff, Chicago’s premier florist, working to transform Vanille into “Snow White’s Happy Apple,” for a day.

Vanille Chicago, a female-owned bakery in Chicago, will be transformed into Snow White’s Happy Apple bringing to life one of the storylines from the book series “Princesses with a Twist.”

The books imagine what happens after ‘happily ever after,’ and in one of them, Snow White overcomes her fear of apples to open and run a successful apple-themed bakery.

The event is designed to show a correlation between the storyline and the successful businesswomen that exist in real-life. In the books Snow White overcomes her fear of apples to open a successful apple-themed bakery. Along with Sophie Evanoff, owner of Vanille, Virginia Wolff, Chicago’s premiere event florist, will participate in the event by helping convert the space for the day.

A real-life Snow White will do readings from the book beginning at 7 am and every other hour throughout the day.

“Princesses with a Twist,” expands the female narrative by showing life is not all about finding a prince. Happiness is defined in several different ways, not simply through marriage.

Kid-friendly activities will take place throughout the day and 10% of all sales for the day will benefit the book’s Kickstarter campaign. Specialty, apple-themed treats will be available for one day only.

Date: Wednesday, July 22
Time: 7 A.M.-6 P.M.
Location: Vanille Chicago, 2108 N. Clark St. in Lincoln Park
Posted on

ChicagoInno: Cinderella Runs A Glass Slipper Startup In A New Chicago-Authored Princess Book Series

princesses-with-a-twistChicagoInno tells us that ‘damsels in distress’ are a thing of the past in an article on our Princesses with a Twista book series.

“Princesses can run businesses (or really do whatever they put their mind to),” writes Karis Hustad.

This book series gives insight on what happens after happily ever after as these past princesses turn into innovative entrepreneurs.  Read more about these powerful princesses at ChicagoInno. And be sure to check out our Kickstarter.

ChicagoInno: Cinderella Runs A Glass Slipper Startup In A New Chicago-Authored Princess Book Series