Teaching My Daughters About Friendship - And Myself
It's really clear to me, now that my girls are 10 and almost 12, that having girlsfriends has ALWAYS
been a little complicated. I used to think that because I was an "only" child, that I had a different
way of making friends. I didn't have a sibling, so, naturally I would be more eager to please and
wanting approval from my friends. They were all I had and I cherished them, I would do anything
for them. I'm still like this to a certain extent, sometimes to a fault.
It was a little shocking to see my younger daughter feel the same way, and she clearly is not an
"only" kid. My older daughter wants her friends approval too but also is very sensitive to being
petite and thinks her friends won't want to hang out if she's smaller than they are. Where does
she get this stuff from???
Sadly, she probably gets it from a combination of me and just the way we girls are wired. I have to say,
I'm not a competitive person but I'm constantly wondering what others think of me and unfortunately,
I care a little too much. So much so that if I think someone is upset with me, it can totally
ruin my day. I'm much older than 12 and while I'm able to function and not break down into
a full on trantrum - inside, it bugs me.
So how am I supposed to teach my girls to be strong, stand up for themselves, be true to
what they believe and think if I'm blowing in the wind over someone else's opinion of me?
I think by knowing the pitfalls of friendships I can impart my experience. That's it, just my
experience. From hearing that I went through it, go through it and survive it - while also
learning from it - I can only hope it will make her feel better and less prone to whims of
other people's behaviors.
So here is the incident that got me hung up - still hung up actually - and it's packed with
lessons from both perspectives.
First, let me say that I took a big risk in this friendship by telling this girlfriend that I
thought she was creating a problem where there wasn't one, insulting me in the process
and that this conversation was wasting my time - and I got up and walked away. HUGE for me!
Yay - I didn't stay in a situation that was totally uncomfortable and inappropriate.
I think years ago, I would have tried to fix the situation for her and sacrificed
my whole day doing just that. But that day? NO - I wasn't going to miss something
very important to me and my girls. She didn't want to stop talking about it and wouldn't
listen to reason. Conflict begins.
Of course, it took about 20 seconds for me to feel bad about being so abrupt - so
I texted her right in the middle of the class to tell her that I was sorry for my curt behavior.
She never responded.
Later that night, still felt bad, and emailed her about what was going on for me. Totally
from the heart - not mean, but just honest and forthright.
She never responded.
WOW. Here's the thing about friendships. Everyone has their idea on what a true
friend acts like. To me, a true friend is someone I can be myself with, someone I can
fight with, someone I can express my feelings to honestly (whether it's about them or
someone else). I'm not sure what this other person's idea of what a true friend
should act like, but clearly - it wasn't me. And definitely her not responding after the
2 times I reached out to her, proved she wasn't my idea of a true friend either.
Done and easy, right? Ha, that's a laugh.
When these things happen, I have to look at myself. What makes me want to double
back and doubt who I am and what I need to do? What makes me want to trash myself,
because someone else isn't digging me? Why do I feel the need to control what a friendship
should look like, when all I can really control is the kind of friend I WANT TO BE.
I have a lot to teach my daughters, but I have a feeling we will be learning all this together
with every situation that comes up. Some lessons I learn once and get it. Others are
more complicated and complex, revealing layers I never knew I had to deal with. I think
friendships contain these kinds of lessons and in turn make us better people.
As long as I can know in my heart that I'm willing to communicate and talk things through,
I feel good about that. Yes, I'll make mistakes, I'll offend someone, I'll hurt someone's feelings
unintentionally and maybe even intentionally - but I'll always be willing to hash it out and
get to the other side. If the other person is willing to go on that journey with me, then I
consider them a true friend. If not, so be it - thank you for teaching me something else.
In the end, we are all just trying to find a connection to each other - hit or miss -
it's all valuable.
And...a true friend (no matter how you define them personally) is worth their weight in
gold and more.
Owner of TwirlyGirl
And Mother of 2 Daughters
Living in a Bubble
I was watching Project Runway the other night and one of the contestants was doubting
herself - typical, I know. I wanted to scream at the TV, "YOU'RE THE MOST TALENTED ONE
ON THE SHOW!!!! WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO YOURSELF!"
It's so much easier for others to see the greatness in us than it is to see it in ourselves.
I got frustrated with her, because I do the same thing to myself, over and over again.
My only salvation is living in a bubble - even if it's in my own imagination. When I'm not
comparing myself to anyone else, not caring what others think of me, not trying to please
anyone but myself - I'm actually confident and happy. There is never a thought in my mind
that I can't do something, I believe in myself without question.
The minute I go outside my bubble and start comparing myself to others, my sanctuary is
burst and all the doubt and insecurity creeps in.
I do think it's important to remain humble, always striving to learn more and push one's
personal comfort zones. But there is a fine line between being inspired by others or using
what's out there to beat yourself up.
It's a constant struggle of mine. At least I know I'm not alone. When I think of comparing and
doubting myself, I remember that other people I admire have felt and often feel the same way.
This actually does help take the sting away and focus my energies on where they should be, on
being the BEST I CAN BE. Because, after all, there is only one Cynthia Jamin. I'm not in a race
with anyone, there really is nothing to compare in reality.
We are all unique, perfectly imperfect people and each one of us is going to express our ideas
and creativity in our own individual way. The need to create isn't there for us to be in a competition.
I believe that need is there to express more of the divine, more love, more joy. That's definitely a
way to keep me on track, I have a responsibility to actually show up and deliver what only I can do.
So back to TwirlyGirl and what I truly believe in my soul. Expressing our individuality is empowering
and necessary - I want girls to take that and run with it. The world needs to see and hear what we
all have to say.
Advance confidently and with love.
Owner of TwirlyGirl
Fashion School - A Glamorous Place of Misconception
Fashion school: a place of glamour, high fashion and easy work… that is if you’re a stationary
dress form adorned with a beautiful design.
I’ve always been amazed with the response I get after I tell people I went to FIDM (the Fashion
Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles) for Fashion Design. People automatically
assume all you ever do is sketch and go shopping. Shopping… news to me! That sounds like fun!
Fashion school is fun, not only because you get to do something that you LOVE, but you learn
the skills and have the tools you need to establish your dream career. It’s a lot of hard work
and dedication but is certainly well worth it.
Students generally attend 5 different classes that are nearly 3 hours long but only attend each
class once a week. Sounds easy, right? Not exactly. I guess you can compare it to Project Runway,
in a sense. Like the show, there is a short time of instruction and a long period of time for a
Unlike Project Runway, not only are Fashion Design students working one project, but multiple
for each class (Pattern Making, Draping, Graphic Design, Sketching, etc…) along with studying for
other general classes such as History, English, and Textiles.
It takes discipline and especially time management to keep on task and give each class the
required attention it needs. True, you do spend most of your time in labs, or working on detailed
projects late at night, but if you manage your time properly you can always make time for yourself.
And whether or not you are attending school,everyone needs time for themselves otherwise we
would go crazy!
One thing that fascinates me about any art or fashion school is the type of people you meet there.
There are so many people with different backgrounds and styles. It’s like getting to see the rainbow
come to life in people form.
I think the one fact about the students that is shocking to most people is that the Fashion Design
students aren’t the most fashionable students there. Crazy, huh! The Merchandise Marketing students
are actually the MOST fashionable. It seems a bit ironic at first, but think about it... Fashion Designers
focus on putting their creativity and energy into their designs and what they are creating.
Merchandise Marketing students typically are the most fashionable because that’s their niche. They
are merchandising and selling not only products, but selling themselves with their dress and appeal.
See, now it makes sense.
So next time you think of fashion school, think of not only the high fashion, glitz and glamour, but
think of what makes it that way. It’s really the creativity, passion, dedication, and hard work put in
by students that way pave new paths in the fashion industry.
The only ones living the life of glamour in fashion schools are the dress forms that fill the classrooms.
They’re the ones just waiting for their next fashion debut.
Assistant Designer, Style Coordinator & Head of Office Operations
(Yep, she does it all with a smile and tons of talent!)
TwirlyGirl's fashion designers Cynthia Jamin and Heather Marquardt, discuss fashion tips.
At TwirlyGirl, we firmly believe in buying what you LOVE. If you don't love it, you aren't
going to wear it, that's why we try to make everything unique. Every girl has their own
personality and they don't want to look like everyone else (and this remains true, even
as we get older!).
Obviously, most young girls don't have credit cards (which is a good thing). And, often
the person buying the clothing for their girl might have conflicting tastes. We strongly
encourage the person buying to really allow the girls to choose what they love. If she loves
it, she going to wear it all the time and your money will have been well spent. Same goes
for the buyer, if you LOVE it, you will wear it.
So forget about the trends, forget about what other people will think. Wear it with
confidence and be a trendsetter. Confidence comes from within and our clothing can
let our personality shine, which in turns, brings our confidence OUT.
Click on the image to view the video. Shine on!
Welcome to TwirlyGirl!
I wanted to personally share with you the thought that goes into TwirlyGirl with
the video below (click the image). We are more than just another girls clothing line.
Since I never thought I would ever be designing girls clothing in a million years,
my motivation for doing this stems from a deep desire to inspire girls to express
themselves confidently and creatively through their own self-awareness.
When I started sewing 7 years ago, I had no idea I would become an entrepreneur
at all. I had been working as an actress for several years, met my husband on the
set of Just Shoot Me, got married, had 2 daughters and took a sewing class just
for fun. If you had told me that I would be a girls clothing designer and successfully
run my own business, I would have said you were crazy. I never finished college
(although I wanted to go back before I had my daughters), so I had no background
in business or marketing let alone any technical apparel construction skills.
TwirlyGirl is a huge confidence booster on so many levels for me. As well as a crash
course in business, design, and marketing all in one, a college of my own making.
I guess deep down, I was craving an outlet where I didn't have rely on others to express
myself, could be independent, build my self-confidence and continue to learn new
things, which I love to do. I get to do all this and more, which I'm so grateful for.
Enjoy! And thank you for being a part of the journey.
• made in the usa from imported and domestic fabrics •
© 2013 TwirlyGirl LLC all rights reserved
© 2013 TwirlyGirl LLC all rights reserved