Hi everyone! I hope you’re all keeping well? I am doing amazing. Jan is somewhere off in the world touring while I stayed here in the US watching the summer unfold, and so far so good. A good childhood friend, Liz, went away on vacation to Europe for summer and you’ll never guess what -she gave me the keys to her Manhattan penthouse, rooftop and all, which is where this blog is coming to you from. She and I stayed up all day and all night chatting into the wee hours. Now she’s boarded her 747 Boeing flight to and I have the house all to myself.
I spent my day at the TexWorld (Textile World) Trade Show at the Jarvits Center here in NYC. It is my first ever trade show attendance and it was totally worth it. I attended the educational programme where I learnt about doing business in Africa, a continent close to my home as I call it my first home. I also attended another session on starting a sustainable brand from idea to launch, which was hosted by Factory 45 founder, Shannon Lohr. It’s my intention to join Factory 45 in the spring of 2020 to launch my sustainable line of interiors.
I think strolled around the building focusing on suppliers of linen fabrics, who all just happen to be based in China. I collected a few business cards and handed out mine as well. I also learnt that India is a large supplier of linen fabrics, of which I had no idea; or that East Africa in general does not manufacture textile as such. The networking got me several websites to browse as each country has a chamber of commerce website choke-full of contacts for manufacturers and suppliers. I also made friends with like-minded friends and we all exchanged business cards and ran ideas past each other.
In the evening, I met up with my Instagram friend, Rose of DadouChic.com and we went the the Flatiron rooftop bar for some delicious Italian dinner, followed by ice-cream out on the terrace people-watching and chatting. We then got on the subway all the way to SoHo for some retail therapy before calling it a night.
I walked back into ‘my’ NYC pad at about 1opm and it was the most exhilarating feeling. I feel such gratitude that my Father organized for me to have this time away from all the difficult unpleasant stuff I’m currently dealing with back home. To have this ‘home’ away from home is surely a gesture of His extravagant love for me, His care for my needs and His provision for me. He has been so good and so very faithful, all unearned, all undeserved.
Funny story before I check out. I bought a subway ticket worth about 10 trips. When I got to the access barrier, I swiped my card and the barrier didn’t open. So I swiped again and it still didn’t open. Third time’s a charm, right? Nope, still didn’t open. Then I noticed each time I swiped, my cash balance on the card reduced, so I called for help and the subway assistant swiped one more time and told me to push the barrier and go through. So here I was, waiting for the barrier to open like it does pretty much everywhere in Europe, forgetting that the US is light years behind the rest of the world, and that I had to push the barrier myself manually with my body to get through -duh!
Moral of the story, sometimes the door is open, yet we still hesitate to go through because we expect it to open (or someone else to open it) while we are actually supposed to barge through it. This is what I intend to do with my life this summer, barge through gates, break down barriers, push doors open, try new things. And yes, I had to top up the card after that fiasco; it was easier that trying to explain it to a tired NYC subway employee that probably already had too much on their plate.
It’s way past midnight now, past 2am even, and I still don’t want to go to sleep. ‘My’ place overlooks two parks with magnificent views of the night city lights which I’m enjoying lying down on the couch facing the large glass sliding doors. I’ve been up to the rooftop where I sat and enjoyed a drink while streaming Astrud Gilberto’s ‘Finest Hour’. Tomorrow night I fly to Amsterdam where I plan to shop my weekly grocery and stock up here. The weekend will find me back here taking a huge bite of the Big Apple, painting it red, blue and yellow. I’ll be sure to share all my (mis)adventures with you all, knowing you’re cheering me on 😉 Cheers, Helena xoxo