Flying Together, In Particular

This morning, I contemplated flight.

I was only contemplating the average airplane variety at first. As I drank my first cup of coffee, I checked ticket information and layover times, tucked my passport in the carry-on, checked the weather forecast over the ocean on Friday and considered the likelihood of a mechanical failure on a Boeing 737 during a period of Mercury in retrograde.

“What a lame time to leave the country,” I thought as I managed to conjure up a healthy amount of guilt as I considered all the reasons the business would struggle in my absence.  “If all of Hot Tomato lived inside a snow globe, I pondered…the whole studio, all the clients and files, bank records, garter bets and all the crew members too…If we were all in there together, it’s like someone picked it up and shook it for a whole month!”

{In this snow globe scenario, we’re all just kind of spinning around in there grabbing arm-fulls of hot tomato glitter and trying to organize it into tidy piles.} The truth is, we are a family that is rapidly growing, training, moving, changing, and recovering. Present and accounted for, we’re just a little disoriented.

Flight Cont.AMR_1789-21

If I’m really going to examine a concept, I enjoy Googling the root word and getting a clear definition.

flight: noun

  1. the action or process of flying through the air.
  2. a group of creatures or objects flying together, in particular.

With the above glitter globe reference, you can begin to see how my contemplation was taking shape.

I re-filled my coffee mug and took the necessary steps to ready myself for a day I knew would be filled with laughter and champagne, dazzling outfits, encouraging words and easy, authentic talent.

“IT’S SHOOT DAY!!” I see come up on our group chat from Jocelyn as I’m gathering up the last of my things to head out the door. “She’s cute for a morning person,” I smile.  She’s cheering from the sidelines today as she rocks her dreamy nine to five at the helm of The Betsey Mills Club. Today was actually deemed Vintage Hot Tomato because it was Andi shooting and Jesse assisting like the olden days of 2012 ;) But, it also highlighted for me just how much more glitter was in the globe these days.

~The Plan~

Shoot day will be Saturday. Tonya’s on hair and makeup, Jessica is Concierge to the clients, Jocelyn assists, Andi shoots and Jesse prepares far in advance of her travels, carefully making lists and packing things in a thoughtful order.

**glitter globe shake**

Woops, that’s Easter weekend!- Tonya and Jessica will both be out of town with family. BUT we decide we could make Monday work! Jesse would assist for Jocelyn, who would be at The Betsey and Jessica can cover for Tonya who is still out of town Monday. Jess would be home early enough on Sunday to wash the studio laundry, bring it in early and set up for client hair and make-up! Woohoo!

**glitter globe shake**

An evil bunny tried to take over the good Easter bunny’s job Sunday morning. But THEN….Unicorn Jessica swept in to save the day and dove in front of the Easter Bunny to save him to ensure all the kids got their Easter baskets!!! -a fictional dramatization by Courtney Smith

The real story is, Jess slipped in her pj’s moving the car and broke her arm. On Easter morning. In Cleveland. …SO, Jocelyn delivered the studio laundry to Andi to be washed and drove to Selby to pick up Jess and take her home to rest. MEANWHILE, Tonya is coordinating Abigail (whom she has been training in the art of Hot Tomato make-up) to cover the day in a pinch (her first solo day).

Abigail was able to cover with less that 12 hours notice and did AWESOME! Jocelyn was still cheerful in the morning after delivering dirty laundry and broken unicorns, I got to assist with client care and shooting (which I adored), Andi arrived with clean laundry and photographed masterfully. Clients were happy, crew felt loved and cared for, plans are being formulated to cover my absence and Jess’s recuperation and just. like. that. #tidyglitterpiles

Really, just when you think all hell is breaking loose, doesn’t that seem to be the precise moment that that everyone’s best selves come bursting out in little super hero capes? I hope you’re lucky enough to keep company with such folks but if you are in need of an infusion, join us.  

I always liked “Birds of a feather flock together” but I think  ” a group of creatures or objects flying together, in particular” might suit us better!

Thank you to my crew for doing just that! I love you all to bits.

The Invisible Woman

It’s only a matter of time. I actually fear it.

The day that I walk into a room and no one takes notice.

I am a woman who doesn’t mind being looked at. I wear my emotions, ideals, convictions and intentions on my tattooed sleeves…and statement necklaces, ripped jeans, scarves, dangly earrings, big hats and high heeled boots.

People notice me and I like that. But maybe one day I will disappear…

It’s probably me.

It’s possible that I will tire of coming up with new and interesting ways to decorate myself. Maybe the age in my face will prevent me from wanting to draw attention to it with make-up. Perhaps my body will take such a rapid nose dive that the confident woman I am today will turn into an insecure hermit in one week’s time.

Fade /fād/ verb- the process of becoming less bright

The thought of losing color and brightness actually terrifies me. Picturing my closet full of bold colors and loud prints slowly being replaced with plain, pastel cotton knits that sag from my neck and waistband in exactly the same way they do on the plastic hangers makes me shudder.

Faded hair, faded skin, faded clothes…But why? Are we actually ashamed of what our bodies are anatomically designed to do in the second half of our lives? Is it a cultural leftover? One that  states that once a woman is past childbearing age, she should just blow away useless on a breeze? Here’s my personal favorite. We often stand in judgement of other women. Then, we are totally shocked when that same language rings in our own ears. “She’s dressing too young.” “She’s trying too hard.” “Her poor husband must be so embarrassed!”

No No No No NO!8982068ecd30085eb2667e723f1ee8e3

I will NOT quietly fade away. In FACT, THIS image is hanging beside my closet! I WILL wear animal print and chartreuse hats and leggings and ….I’ll have 107 wigs and sunglasses in odd shapes and I’ll walk around town with a whole pineapple just because. My shoes will be magnificent too. Maybe I’ll wear Chucks with an old wedding gown. I’m OLD! No one is going to say anything and even if they do, it will be something like “Wow, look at that amazing ol broad!” #oldladygoals

Black Label Sessions

We don’t have to get old to feel faded. There are lot’s of women that feel invisible for a million different reasons. Andi and I went to work to create a top-shelf session, brilliant with color designed to “reclaim, replenish and reignite…” Meet The Black Label Session.

Think about those words for a moment.

Reclaim- Has a part of you started to fade away? Your style or unique identity? We have you covered. Personal shopping with a master stylist is something we offer and Parlor chats are always on the house if talking it out with a friend is what you need.
Replenish- Are you so busy being in service to others that you continually let your own needs fall off the priority list? At Hot Tomato, self care is number one. We are a group of women that will show you how to prioritize yourself in 100 different ways!
Reignite- Passion. How much of that are you swimming in lately? Let’s get that spark glowing red again! Have you recently become inspired to political activism? Dying to finally write that novel? Ready to climb to the top of the corporate ladder? Longing for regular, red-hot romps with your lover? Let us help light your fire.

join us.

Are you ready to give yourself permission to reclaim, replenish and reignite with a Black Label Session? There are so many ways to make that happen. Please take a moment to select the session options that suit you best on this Contact Form and a crew member will be in touch right away.