Status Report: January 2019

In 2019, I plan to post these status reports, every 30 days or so, checking in on how I am doing with my goals (personal and poshmark), and seeing what has helped so far.

Looks like I still need to work on my posture.

My word for 2019 is PROGRESS. I plan to use these status reports to keep track of this progress not only for myself, but to share any tips and tricks that I may have encountered along the way.

Poshmark Goals

Better Listings. I'm working on a new look for my listings in my closet, and therefore tried my first sale.  The sale was for everything photographed with a pink hanger (which also meant it might have been in night-time lighting and also would be hanging in front of my closet door).  They are not great photos and are from when I first started this Halika Dito poshmark journey.  It has not gotten me anywhere in terms of people actually making 3/$30 bundles, but eventually I will just delete all of those pink hanger listings and either rephotograph and relist them or get rid of them.

Daily Listing. I'm still trying to get to a point where I can easily list 3-5 items every day, but it hasn't happened. I'm getting closer, where it's about every 2-3 days that I list new items, and I have noticed that it's correlated with a marked increase in sales.

Styling Photos. I'm trying to wear my closet pieces out so I can show people exactly how they could be styled and how they fit in with an everyday wardrobe. The wearing the pieces is now not the problem, but taking photos of the pieces is still a problem. I just need to be brave enough to take out my camera and tripod and take photos of myself but it still has not happened. I also hate bothering Andrew to take outfit photos of me but that's probably something I have to get over as well.

Come From Away Afternoon

Taking a lap picture of my Playbill is the new Eva Chen pose for me


Andrew and I are new members of SHN, San Francisco's Broadway.  As part of our membership, we receive tickets to every show in a given Broadway season.  Because we are old folks, our tickets are for Sunday matinees, hence the "afternoon" in the title.  This year, I was most excited to watch the musical Come From Away.  

I had only seen the Tony performance of one song from Come From Away, and I couldn't even remember what the song was. After watching the show, I'm sure it was the opening number.  I remember seeing the Tony performance and being really impressed by the song and company. I knew I had to see it live! It was too expensive last time we went to New York (and we spent all our money on the original cast of Dear Evan Hansen) so I could only wait for it to tour and come to California. 



Since I was so looking forward to the show, I had to make sure I served a good enough outfit to match. The show is about a small town in Canada to where all the planes in the air that had U.S. destinations during 9/11 were rerouted when the U.S. airports were closed. What a crazy time. The Canadian hosts were gracious and generous as to be expected, and I thought I would try to get a nice-looking outfit in. I've also been somewhat inspired by Marie Kondo's general niceness and look of a knee length patterned floral skirt with black tights and black shoes. I'm still keeping almost everything I'm wearing in my own personal closet and not my poshmark (yet) except this gold Stuart Weitzman handheld half-oval bag. 

5 Brands I Need to Stop Buying

I truly get a rush when I'm sourcing for my Poshmark closet. But, sometimes I get so wrapped up in looking through clothes that I don't consider how much I could actually sell the item for and end up with a bad buy.  This is when trying on clothes helps, because even if something is a bad buy (for resale purposes), it might be an item that I really like and want to actually incorporate into my wardrobe.  As I type this, I am currently wearing one of my favorite "bad buys," a gray merino wool quarter zip from Brooks Brothers that may have originally been a Boys' piece and also has a small hole around the back shoulder (which can and will eventually be fixed).

BODEN Sweatshirt


It's hard to try to only source higher-end brands though, because it appears to me that most Poshmark buyers are not that into spending so much on these more expensive brands (Joie and Milly, to be specific).  This is the reason for "bread and butter brands." The following, however, are brands that I tend to keep buying even though they don't sell well:


1. J. Crew Factory
I can't help it that I'm a j.crew girl! The factory stuff is cute too! Whenever I see those little two dots, I know I shouldn't pick it up, but I can't ever seem to help it. The last sourcing trip I went on I bought two more pieces! Granted, I plan to wear them in my own wardrobe and they were only $4 each (which is cheap for me in the Bay Area) but I just know they aren't going to have a very big profit margin for me.  I think that as long as I get to wear the pieces at least once it won't be a total loss.

2. Levi's
San Francisco is where levi's headquarters happens to be, and it also happens that my honey hole sourcing spot seems to get all of levi's castaways. I'm serious. One day, there were just a ton of new-seeming Levi's items, all in size Small or 25-27. I'm thinking these must be the sample sizes for Levi's, and they konmari'd headquarters or something and donated everything to Goodwill. I picked up three pieces and so far only one has sold. I'm not holding my breath for the other two.  Also, don't even get me started on the jeans. I love my levi's but going through them on the racks and thinking through all the different styles is a real headache.

3. Boden
I never even knew about Boden until I started following resellers on IG. I had never seen it in stores or online and it was completely off my radar. In the last few months, I picked up two pieces that I thought were cute but don't appear to be moving any time soon. Even though Boden items seem to have a high retail value, they aren't moving in my closet. Plus, the vibe isn't really what I'm going for in my closet anyway.

#LazyBoss

I have been attempting to juggle a full-time caseload as a litigating attorney and trying to run a successful Poshmark business (with a supporting instagram and blog). Can I have it all? Of course I can!

ZARA PANTS


I, however, am lazy. Can I still be a #girlboss if I'm lazy? Not according to the myriad articles of the daily routines of successful women who do a million things before they get to work in the morning.  That will never be me.  I need to be at work around 9:00 am and I can barely make it out of bed before 8. My new goal is to make it to The Wing at 8:00 am (when it opens) every day and get some @halikadito content in before I have to go to my day job. This, I've noticed, is going to be harder than I thought. Again, because I am lazy.  Growing up lazy, I have learned that I will always find a way to make things werk.

Haven't you heard that quote that if you want to know the most efficient way to do something, give it to a lazy person?

Google tells me it's from Bill Gates:"I will always choose a lazy person to do a difficult job because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it."

Keep reading to find out how I am planning to find success in both jobs while continuing to be a #LazyBoss.

How I Batch Poshmark Work

As I stated in my Podcasts post, Jenna Kutcher has taught me a lot. The number one thing she's taught me is how to BATCH WORK.



1. Sourcing
Not sure that I can call this "batched" because I just go on sourcing trips whenever I have the time or whenever I see a new one. I will say, however, that sourcing really makes me feel better after a long and hard day at my day job so it appears that I will be doing it more often...

2. Steaming and Photographing
These tasks are definitely batched. I don't have studio lights so I can only photograph clothing during daylight hours, and since I have to typically leave around 8am for my day job, I can only really photograph on weekends. I used to immediately steam things and then wait until I had a free morning to photograph, but then I realized that things still get wrinkly while they are waiting to be photographed so it's better to kill two birds with one stone at one time, and that's during the day on weekends.

3. Measuring
This I want to also lump in to the steaming and photographing, but it hasn't really been happening because I keep forgetting and I want to conserve as much daylight as possible. I've recently started moving to remember to measure items before I put them in their little plastic bags for storage. I also started keeping measurements on an excel spreadsheet instead of handwritten in my Poshmark notebook for ease of access.

A March for Feminist Signs and Shirts


Despite the recent controversy surrounding the "presidents" of the Women's March, I decided to attend the event in San Francisco to join and support my fellow sisters in their quest to be regarded as equal or at least get some air time with their creative and clever signage.

   

   


On Friday, I attended my first Wing event entitled "Keeping it Intersectional: Signmaking for Women's March."  I unfortunately suffered crippling anxiety about an original, clever, and funny saying to put on my sign and ended up not writing anything.  I literally scrolled through instagram and looked up several song lyrics the entire time of the event with a blank poster board in front of me.  Needless to say I was not prepared for this event.

I did, however, if I do say so myself, make up for the sign with this absolute LEWK.

Podcast Musings and What I've Learned

One of my favorite things about Podcasts is that they are FREE! For those of us with a shopping addiction, it is very satisfying to be able to scroll through episodes and press "download" and get new content for FREE! No payment necessary! It's great.


I've recently made the switch to listening to podcasts instead of music during my very long journey to work.  This is a function of both (1) not having much new interesting music to listen to and (2) discovering side hustle podcasts that are teaching me extremely valuable information as to how to run Halika Dito.

What got me started: THE GOAL DIGGER PODCAST with Jenna Kutcher. 

I've already referenced this podcast and what I've learned in my Instagram goals post.  I still am not completely clear on Jenna's journey and what exactly they went "viral" for, but she has a very clear handle on social media and best practices for a young female to gain success on social media without necessarily being a blogger or traditional influencer.

Things I've learned:
  • You don't own your Instagram followers so building a following is only important to expanding your reach and client list. 
  • Batching work is the best way to efficiently run a business.

A Night with Kamala Harris

Rumor has it that Kamala is going to announce her presidential campaign at a rally in Oakland on MLK day.  WHAT A COINCIDENCE, for me, an Oakland resident.  Problem is, I can't seem to find any internet information about it. I may just have to hang around the Lake Merritt area on that day and wait to see if I happen across a #Kamala2020 rally.



I did have the pleasure of attending the San Francisco stop of Kamala's book tour, in promotion of her new book The Truths We Hold.  I could not wait to potentially be in the presence of a future Madame President. The only thing was to figure out what to wear. What do you wear when you are going to see a future president? I decided on my best dress (which also happens to be one of my best Goodwill finds) and my new Everlane day heels.

How to Get Over Goodwill Smells

Smells are the one thing keeping most people out of thrift shopping and prohibiting them from wearing secondhand clothes. But you can get over it! I try on almost everything I buy at Goodwill because I want to make sure that the things I'm selling are things I would actually wear.  Now that everyone is heading over to thrift stores because everyone is clearing out their closets Marie Kondo style, thrift shopping is going to go through a huge boom.  Here's how to get over the smells.



1. Get used to it! It's not that bad. It's musty and dusty but you really do get used to it. Seriously. After about 2 minutes in the store and touching the clothes, you don't even notice it anymore.  I also like to force myself to try things on so that I get the experience of what my potential customer would be buying and putting on themselves.  When I try things on, I notice that some clothes have strong perfumey smells, from whoever last tried it on or owned it, and some just smell like musty Goodwill.  PRO TIP: It also helps to try things on so that you find flaws that might not stand out when you are just looking at the item on the hanger.

2. Air things out when you get home. I've found just hanging things in my kitchen nook (on the windowsill) where they can air out gets rid of the initial musty scent before I start steaming the item. Depending on how long you let them hang up depends on how much the scent will go away. I try not to let things hang up for too long just because of how it looks visually with my apartment decor but also because I want to move quickly in getting things photographed, listed, inventoried, and sold.


2019 Personal Goals

My 2019 word of the year: PROGRESS

How will I make progress? I'm starting by writing out all of my goals for the year, in several aspects. I've already discussed goals for my Poshmark business and my Instagram account, but the following are goals I'm setting in my personal life.

This is my REAL list, please try not to pay attention to the list of things I've already bought for myself in 2019.


I recently read an article from Cup of Jo that was a great exercise in setting New Year's resolutions. From my list, I've gleaned my top 5 personal goals for this year.

1. Make more friends.
If anyone asks me what my resolutions are for the year, this is what I tell them.  It is a little bit embarrassing for me to admit sometimes, but I really don't have a lot of friends.  I do say all the time "I have no friends," but I feel like a lot of people who do actually have friends say that as hyperbole. I do have a handful of great best friends, but I haven't had a lot of friends since I graduated college in 2013.  I consider most of my college friends to still be some of my best friends, so that hasn't changed, but I feel like I haven't been making the effort in adulthood to make more friends.  I am hoping this will change with my new membership at The Wing San Francisco, starting on 1/15/19!

2. Exercise. 
Confession: I haven't worked out in 3 months. I already walk approximately 2.5 miles every day to and from BART to work. I would footnote that "every day" translates into most days, aka days where I am going to the office, aka days when I am not running late and it is not raining, aka probably two days a week. Classpass keeps trying to tempt me with no initiation fee and one free month, but I paid for Classpass for a whole two months during which I only attended one class (if that).  That's why they want me! I can't make it to classes on my current schedule! I have to figure out a way to make exercise fit into my life that consists mostly of long commutes to work and long days at work.  Fitting in workouts on weekend mornings might be what I need to commit to in order to make this happen.

3. Be on my phone less.
Although this might seem like in contradiction to my 2019 Instagram Goals and in contradiction to my want/need to share my Poshmark closet all the time, I feel like if I really plan efficiently, I should still be able to do those things and still be able to be on my phone less. I do not need to have my phone in my hand all the time.  It's how it gets lost and dropped almost every day.  I need to be the kind of person that can keep their phone in their purse because I don't need to reference it all the time.

Obsession with Blazers


I always look at blazers first when I get to a Goodwill. I love jackets in general, and blazers are something I think I gravitate to from the nature of my day job.  I also feel like, for some reason, people are more willing to buy blazers and outerwear secondhand.  I, however, RARELY wear blazers to work. I always want this to change, but it really hasn't in the past year. My commute requires a lot of walking and it gets hard to dress for the walk and the fickle San Francisco weather. I'm hoping that this blog will actually make this change.  I want to be a girl that wears blazers but I am also a girl that likes to be warm and I never seem to think that a blazer will keep me warm!

I love the look of a blazer with jeans. I, so far, have not been able to pull off the oversized/men's blazer look with jeans, but I really haven't tried. I only wear blazers with jeans for my modeling shots in my Poshmark closet! I LOVE the look though and I need to challenge myself to wear them out more and brave the cold. I can wear a turtleneck and gloves with the blazer!

More than anything I love a unique blazer. I love that Valentino one I have sooooo much (also bought on Posh) but I have only worn it about once. I decided to list it but still keep it in my actual closet to try to wear it out more. I listed it high because even though I still love it, if someone is willing to pay that price, I'm willing to let it go!

I honestly should just have everything in my actual closet listed on Posh at the price that I would really let it go out.  I already collected blazers before I started sourcing and barely wear them!  Thrifting blazers is the perfect solution for me.  I can cure my constant itch for a new and exciting blazer, then pass it on to another female boss to wear to work through my Poshmark closet. What an ideal world! Now all I have to do is start wearing the blazers and forcing someone to photograph me in said blazers so I can post more interesting listings.

You can look forward to more blazers being added to my closet because I will never stop collecting them!

2019 Instagram Strategy

After listening to Jenna Kutcher's numerous podcasts about the subject, I decided to put my new Instagram strategy for my @halikadito account in writing to help keep myself accountable and to determine at a later date whether these strategies actually helped grow my presence and/or engagement.



Instagram Goals for 2019:
5K followers (currently at a humble 256 lol)
Cohesive feed
Increase engagement with other users

This post is meant to serve as my current plan to get going on those goals.


2019 Poshmark Goals



Happy 2019! 2019 marks the start of my first full calendar year on my Poshmark journey. I want to start things off right and grow a lot this year. My word of 2019 is "progress" and I really hope to make a lot of progress in my Posh shop! The following are a rough outline of my goals for the "progress" of my shop.

1. Daily Sales
This is obviously not going to happen overnight, but I would love to get to the point where I can have at least one sale a day. Some people have multiple, which is crazy to me! I barely get 2-3 sales a week at this point. Granted, I only have 62 available items in my closet, so maybe this is good for that number.  Everyone on YouTube and Instagram seems to think that you need to have at least 200-300 available listings to get daily sales.  My storage space is not going to support that many items, but I do hope to get to that point if I can store my inventory elsewhere (see #6 below).  I don't have a monetary goal for sales at the end of the year or a numerical goal for items sold, I just want to get to the point that I am selling items on a more frequent basis. Hopefully by the end of the year I can reach daily! Maybe I will finally get some instagrams of stacks of posh packages...

2. Outfit Styling/Blog Support
When I first started my closet, I thought this was going to be my angle for selling clothes - styling them with full outfits.  This was obviously a lot harder than I anticipated.  My parents generously gifted me a Canon G7x Mark II which I learned about from @Carly [the prepster] that has a feature where you can use your iPhone as a remote. I'm hoping that this will allow me to set up my camera in different places and actually take outfit photos where I style items that are listed in my Posh closet. I'm not interested in being a fashion blogger and have clothes that are available for purchase, but I want to use this blog to help support sales in my posh closet. Plus it will be a way to hopefully show that Goodwill and Posh finds can look extremely fabulous and not make you look used! The other thing about secondhand clothes is that you can finally afford fab LOOKS for different occasions. I can't wait for this part.

3. Form an Actual Business
I want to consider Halika Dito a business and a brand.  I wanted to wait until 2019 to see where I was before forming an LLC and setting up a business bank account. I think I should definitely set up a business bank account because it's the only way I will see my profits and only use profits to invest back into inventory and not be spent on my own personal items.  I took business and tax law in law school and hopefully I can remember some things to put myself in the best possible situation for my own business.