HI, I'M CHRISTINA TOPACIO AND I'M A SIZE 8-14

How is that even possible you might ask? Yeah, same. 

I've always had the privilege of walking into any shop and gathering a haul of items to the fitting room and leaving with a good chuck of said haul. Well, all that has changed. 

For my 29th birthday, I was determined to find a birthday dress to celebrate my last year of my twenties. I went to ten shops or so and tried on ANYTHING available in a size 10 which is my "larger" size. The shops were a variety of department stores, boutiques and fast-fashion stores. After noticing that not only did 8 (my actual size) go over my thighs or over my shoulders, the size 10, size 12 and the size 14 did not either. Wait, what. A size 12/14 of which I've never worn in my life, doesn't fit me either? Yeah, you could imagine my surprise.

I'm all for embracing any label, as long as it fits. But, I know I'm not a size 12; my clothing at home (size 8 or 10) fits perfectly. So, what's the deal? After being defeated on my original shopping trip, I went out on a whim a few days later to some random shop near my home to give it one last try. And everything I tried on FIT. It was all size large and fit me just right, so much so that I left with a few new tops and dresses in addition to the "birthday" look. 

What's the conclusion? The industry sucks, man. Most of us watch that size label and swear to never exceed that size or to get lower in number. But, what I've noticed, after my breakdown in a fitting room at a well-known designer shop in front of a sales associate who happens to know my blog (HI!), are these designers and this industry are making size labels with all different measurements, despite that being the "correct" size you may be. Many of my old vintage items have size labels like size 22, size 4, size XXXL, and so on and each one fits like a glove. What's more, a friend's clothing line, produced here in LA, fits me perfect at MEDIUM or size 6/8. So, what's the deal? 

My original tears in said fitting room, came from a place of not feeling like I had a place, a home. I never understood my friends who've had/have issues finding wonderful items to wear to express their style; it was always a journey. I'm now in the same boat as now I no longer have the same destinations I normally did. I can't hit up the Grove when I'm searching for a fun, party dress or a new, white blouse. So, where is a girl to go? 

This post doesn't come with a solution unfortunately. I'm still figuring out "stock" destinations for myself to find great products. I may just have to go back to thrifting, which never disappointed. I'm sharing simply because I know I'm not alone in this in-between size quest. Would love to know if you have found some destinations you hit up when craving a shopping trip. 

photos by: Kaye McCoy

TAKING A LEAP

I crave being present with other dope women; there's this succinct feeling where I realize everyone in this room/space/area has the power to create something incredible. We are all capable of doing something that makes us happy and causes others, in turn, to be happy as well. We have the power to be the undeniable force we aspire to be, whether it's creating our own business or managing our lives, our homes and our bodies. How insane is that? That we're 100% capable of empowering our lives to exactly how we choose. 

I choose to create a life that I'm inspired by, a life that makes me want to get up and be in action. I choose to create JIG+SAW to inspire a community and encourage more collaboration, more community, more connection in person. JIG+SAW's core is to create a safe, communal cowork space where women can come and hustle their hearts out, make dope sh*t and utilize the resources provided by JIG+SAW. This will take time to create, come to fruition and grow. And in the meantime, we've created a workshop where incredible women in LA can come together and get their sh*t together, whether it's just a business idea on a post-it or you have a team of 10, the JIG+SAW workshop is giving you a sampling of what the future JIG+SAW will have. 

If you're in LA and you want to see what it's all about, I would love for you to come. It's coming up on 5/16, ticket sales end 5/10. There's so much to check out, the agenda is f*cking packed and there's so much knowledge being tossed around. There is definitely something for you there.

Check out the workshop here.

And thank you, as always, for sticking by this gal's journey. MUCHAS APPRECIATION over here. 

photo via Teen Vogue

#WOMENWHOHUSTLE JIG+SAW WORKSHOP

Hey you! You fearless a$$ woman on a mission,

You're starting your business or you've been in the trenches for a minute. Don't you just wish you could all the information you've ever needed in one place? Well, don't you worry girl. I got you. 

JIG+SAW is hosting its first workshop this coming May and I want you there. Tickets are selling quick + don't want you to miss it.

Head to jigplussaw.com for all the details! 

see you there! xC

THIS IS ALL SO NEW

I'm celebrating my six months as an entrepreneur. It's the scariest thing I've ever done before including moving from city to city without resource, cash or people. I've literally had the hardest and greatest time, having left behind what I know to create something I know is needed. Beyond needed. But, I need to be so real with you all. If you follow me on Snapchat, you'll know what I'm about to say. It goes against all the advice I've been given, along with the highly-regarded fake it till you make it. 

I have no f*cking idea what I'm doing. 

And, I found when you tell people that, it alleviates the pressure that one another may be feeling and it becomes this, "We're in this together" moment that I thoroughly appreciate. I think I've gotten to the point that I crave that connectedness and no longer want to engage in idle conversation. I notice I'm far more curious in people these days and what's going in their lives. I'm interested in how we're similar and different, how I can support and contribute and what causes we believe in. It's incredible how seamless those kinds of conversations have popped off as of lately. I also feel like I joined this underground, unknown women power club where we acknowledge one another from across the room and give each other the nod of solidarity. It's f*cking beautiful. Likely, this is all in my head but perhaps there are just less walls surrounding me and my openness to people has become so real and so valuable that it's like I'm seeing who I really am, for the first time ever. 

Then, there are times when sh*t comes crashing to the floor. And, it's such a disastrous feeling, a defeated feeling. Working on JIG+SAW on a daily basis, I'm confronted with the understanding that people don't know my business and to not be offended when collaboration doesn't pop off in an instant. It's all been difficult to run + build this business, maintaining the blog (which ps. doing a terrible job) and managing client expectations to top it off. 

But I realize that this is all part of the journey. And, I'm learning to be okay with the imperfection at hand. I feel confident that this is where I'm supposed to be. Fingers crossed, you think so too. JIG+SAW will be a part of my success, this I know for sure. But, beyond that, my life is so much better than it ever had been. This is mostly in thanks to the people I surround myself with now, and dropped those who were irrelevant. 

So, in celebration of six months, I cheers you. Thanks for motivating my a$$ to get sh*t done. REAL TALK.

 

creation by me, image blends from tumblr + chapter friday