Fashion Business Owner Musings: When We’re Too Frazzled for Appreciation


By the time you’re reading this, my latest trip to Europe has come to an end. But I’m writing this one day into the trip. I had what should have been a very exciting week ahead of me– four days in The Netherlands to celebrate the wedding of some dear friends, followed by three days exploring Berlin, a city I had yet to visit but had wanted to for a very long time.

On the morning I was leaving for my trip, I woke up anxious and a little crazed.  I wasn’t leaving until 9:30pm, I had the entire day to get work done, but I still felt like there wasn’t enough time.

I got up way too early, unable to sleep past 5am because I was worried about all the work I had to get done. I completely skipped my morning routine, which sets my tone for the day and helps me stay calm, something I really could have used right about then. I immediately opened my email, a habit I stopped doing in order to have more productive mornings. I was a mess.

I was trotting from kitchen to office, coffee in hand, no breakfast, mentally scanning my to-do list before I even got to my computer. I was frazzled and distracted.

I walked in my office, had my phone in my hand, my computer up and running, my notebook on my desk, trying in vain to squeeze information and must-do’s out of all three devices at once. I was a cartoon of an overworked business owner that morning. I’m sure I looked ridiculous.

And then suddenly, without even realizing I was going to do it, I threw my phone across the room. Seriously, just threw it.

I sat there for a second and then I gave myself a talking to. (I swear I’m not making this up).

I said,

What are you doing? Why are you acting this way? Stop it! Stop it right now!

See, what happened was that I realized that I had lost all touch with my priorities and my appreciation for what I have.

I mean, I was going to spend a week in Europe, for goodness sake. I was going to attend a very happy occasion and celebration. I was going on vacation! But what I didn’t have was any sense of excitement because I was too worried about things like responding to emails, tidying up my office, finishing that blog post, scheduling those social media posts…

I wasn’t appreciating my situation, or enjoying the moment, or feeling those excitement butterflies. I was flustered and annoyed that I hadn’t gotten enough done by this point.

And this, my darling designers, is all too common a situation. We are “hustling” too much to take it all in. We are running round too quickly to take note of all the great things that are happening. We are “too busy” to appreciate all that we have.

I learned a lesson that day. I learned that I will always default to this behavior if I don’t consciously tell myself to stop. I will always let myself feel like I couldn’t possibly slow down and enjoy the moment when there’s just so much to do. So if I want to be truly grateful, if I want to enjoy the moment, I have to stop thinking that emails are a priority over my own happiness.

I hope this little story helps you to identify when you’re doing this too, and reminds you to stop, take a breath, and enjoy your life.

Lots of love and encouragement,

Nicole Giordano

Nicole is the founder of StartUp FASHION, an online resource and community supporting for independent designers around the world with building their businesses. A deep love for the craft of fashion paired with an adamant belief that success is defined by the individual, led her to found StartUp FASHION, where she helps independent designers and makers screw the traditional fashion business rules, create their own paths, and build businesses they truly love. More than anything else, she’s in the business of encouragement and works every day to remind makers and designers that they have something special to offer the world and that they can, in fact, do this thing!