Deep Thoughts From The Past Week


1. Feedback from people that get you and what you do is invaluable. I have had two interactions this week, one with a wholesale customer and one with a magazine editor who both inspired me to make two such obvious, right in front of my face design ideas come to life that I was shocked I hadn’t thought of them before. Sometimes you need that last little push that you get in talking with people who love what you do but are not close to the work.

2. When you are chomping at the bit for opportunities, emails and exciting things…nothing happens. But look forward to a quiet morning and watch out, all hell will break loose!

3. The Austin clothing label, Emily Hallman is closing its doors this month. While the exact reason has not yet been revealed, in a blog post this morning, Emily mentioned that she has had an overwhelming response to this announcement and then adds something to the effect of: where have you all been? There is a very important lesson to be learned here. Brands cannot exist on dreams alone. Money must be made to survive. The word needs to constantly spread to both reach new customers and keep the love alive among the current ones. If you are a fan of a small label, be it fashion, illustration, food…whatever…please keep this in mind when you are on social media. You don’t have to spend money to show support and help make the brand succeed. Simply “liking” their posts can really go a long way!

4. I am currently failing at email. My inbox is winning and yet, I don’t really care.

5. Chia Pudding. I am part intrigued, part annoyed at the hype around yet another “super food” (I get the same way about best selling books, I eventually give into it). Does anyone have a recipe they recommend?

6. This week I finished binge watching X Files, watched a few episodes of the new Orange Is The New Black, cried my way through season 1 of Chasing Life and started season 4 of Scandal. I will sum up my thoughts here with one sentence for each: Once Moulder left, I was over the X files. I really don’t give a crap about Alex and Piper and their relationship and wish less time was spent on it. Sob, sniffle, laugh, sob, ugly cry, smile though the tears. Why are we supposed to care so much about Olivia Pope and her affair with the president, does it interest anyone at this point???

7. If there is one square inch of mud in the back yard, Mora will find it and get it all over herself.

8. Mid July is oddly a very popular time for people I know in NYC to plan trips to visit Austin. I’m afraid to tell them the truth about the weather here then. Hint: it’s hot.

9. I am a much happier person when I work out everyday…even if it’s for 10 minutes.

10. The Entourage movie is great. Not really a deep thought, I just thought you should know that.

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Media hoarding

I miss my library every day
I miss my library every day, there are two more shelves not shown here…it was glorious!

Hello, my name is Sierra and I am a media hoarder. By media, I mean books, music and movies. Over the years I have been forced to edit my collections due to either across the country moves (rip 4000 books that I had to sell as they would not fit in my pod) or the invention of a new medium. The cd to digital online versions of music has been the only non stressful change, as I was able to upload all of my cds to my computer and I’ll admit, its a wonderful space saver. The VHS to DVD change however still haunts me. Remember in Men In Black when Tommy Lee Jones is showing off the new mini disc, what does he say? Oh yes, he sighs and says “I guess this means I’ll have to buy The White Album again.” Well there were one or two movies that I immediately replaced when it came to move over to DVD, but most I did not. I have recently been missing a few movies from my deceased VHS collection though, one in particular is Sweet Home Alabama. It’s not on Netflix of free to stream with Amazon prime, so I ignored the urge to watch it for a few months. However I, like many fans of hers, have been noticing Reese Witherspoon making moves lately and then BAM! Look who’s on the cover of Vogue!! Her lifestyle “blog” is due to drop soon and she has been taking on roles with “grit”, that chick is making a comeback in a well calculated way. Well I’m no fool, I know when to recognize the signs, and they were all telling me to watch Sweet Home Alabama. So I ordered a used copy of the DVD asap…because well, it was obviously meant to be.

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I hate scary movies, but…


Are you a scary movie fan? I hate them…because they scare me, duh. I have been know to jump out of my seat in the theatre from a trailer. I can’t even handle the preview, forget about seeing the actual movie! The last scary movie I saw in the theatre was either the 6th Sense or Blair Witch, both of them traumatized me. The only scary movies I have ever been into are The Shining and The Exorcist, both of which I have watched so many times that I cannot count and they both still give me nightmares. I’m pretty sure I only watched those as I was forced to against my will.

As you can imagine I have been avoiding American Horror Story like the plague. But it keeps intriguing me so much! Especially when everyone started talking about how unbelievably amazing Coven was and how great the clothes are. So I decided the other night to get over my self and start watching it. Adam jumped on board watching it with me as he LOVES scary movies and is so excited that I’ll watch anything involving a ghost with him. The first night I thought my heart was going to beat out of my body after we watched 2 episodes. I had to turn on every light in the house to walk to the bathroom and made the dog go with me. I should add that as a very young child, I loved in a haunted house. It was in NH and built over an indian burial ground, and weird shit happened there. I’m pretty sure this is why I can’t handle ghost stuff, go figure. Violence, no problem…bring it on, I love crime shows and movies but paranormal freaky stuff just terrifies me.  I am really into AHS though, my heart beats way to fast, my palms sweat, I have to hold the dog and Adams foot to get through an episode, but its really good. Totally worth it. I’m pretty proud of myself too…ah the things we do for fashion. Do you watch? No spoilers!

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What this week has looked like in 9 quick answers

Manic Trout Earrings
Earrings from the Summer ’13 Collection

WORKING ON: Producing the Summer ’13 Collection coming out mid May and getting orders to customers and stores out the door as fast as I can!

THINKING ABOUT: What to do for next weeks vide0 from the studio. Having such a fun time making them!

ANTICIPATING: Flying to NYC tomorrow for my sister Gillians engagement party, which means I get to see all of my sisters!

LISTENING TO: Wild Belle and wishing there was more available.

EATING: I’ve been cooking up a storm! So much so that there is an instagram # called Manic Trout Lunchtime Adventures to document the lunches I make on the days my assistant is here over lunch.

THANKFUL FOR: The growth of Manic Trout this year.

PLANNING FOR: Designing the Fall Collection…getting there. Need to have it done by the end of the month, so I’m in good shape. Pretty excited with the direction its going!

READING: Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson, just started it last night, so far it’s pretty engaging.

WATCHING: I saw Iron Man 3 last night…so amazing, although I think I’d say that if I watched Robert Downey Jr. sit on a bench for 2 hours.

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What’s your support system?

The amazing Steve DeMent photographing the Manic Trout Spring/Summer 2013 Line.
The amazing Steve DeMent photographing the Manic Trout Spring/Summer 2013 Line.

I have at different times in the life of Manic Trout, hired all sorts of people to help grow the business grow.  From holiday help to assistants to interns to publicists, I have delegated on many levels.  When I still was in the day job phase, a great deal of help was necessary as my own time to give was limited, although the last “day” job I had only took up one and half week days, it still took me out of the studio an average of 40 hours a week.  So you it was necessary to have help.  When I moved to Texas I obviously was not physically near all of my help from New York and as I went full time with Manic Trout, I had to get used to not having the income from my day job to help pay for it anyway.  I have however, grown in the last year and a half enough to hire a PR firm again and have begun adding other professionals to my arsenal of help as well.  I have so far though, avoided an assistant.

Am I crazy for not wanting an assistant again?  I loved having one for many aspects of the business and I actually miss my intern who was an amazing help with jewelry production more than I can ever express, but I am avoiding having someone in the studio with me everyday.  I am one of those people who is leaps and bounds more productive when alone.  If you’ve ever been with me in person, you would know that I am a TALKER.  I will talk to the checkout lady at the grocery store for 20 minutes about the weather.  It’s just part of who I am BUT, it means I get nothing done when someone is in the studio with me.  So I just keep delegating everything else.

As I said, I have someone who does the PR for Manic Trout, a CPA who does my taxes (last year was the first year I have ever had someone else do my taxes….ummm, why the heck did I wait so long to do THAT??), a Chief Marketing Officer and a team of reps for the Sorority Collection, a cleaning woman (anyone who argues that this is not helpful for work, imagine never having tho think about cleaning your bathroom again!) and as of yesterday, I finally let a pro take my product photographs.  This last one was hard to do.  I have always taken my own product shots, but I realized that I was just not doing the best possible job, so it was time to pass the torch.  I also eased my way into this by working with the photographer on a bunch of photo shoots over the last year so I know we work well together and he knows Manic Trout. The next addition to my arsenal will be someone to do piece work in their own home to assist with production.  I am just about to the point where even doing this full time, I can’t keep up with it.

It’s like in You’ve Got Mail (my favorite movie to watch when I’m sick, so I’ve seen it a ridiculous amount of times) when Dave Chappelle (and how random is it that he’s in this movie?) is talking about dating and he says “I always take a relationship to the next level. If that works out, I take it to the next level after that, until I finally reach that level when it becomes absolutely necessary for me to leave.” Well besides the leaving bit, it’s spot on…when I get to the next level I’ll begin considering how to muzzle myself.

Who do you have in your arsenal of help?

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Sum it up

Amusing myself while waiting for sisters at the Domain

I had high hopes of getting things done (like blogging) while my family was here all week, but well…I’m sure you know how it goes.  The first arrived on Sunday, the last left a couple of hours ago and I didn’t want to break away from what little time we all have together to do anything else. We had such a great time…cooking, eating, shopping, chatting the nights away, eating…it was a wonderful week.  So aplogies for only posting a Sum it up this week, but I’m sure you understand.

WORKING ON: As I have done nothing in my studio since last Saturday I’m just get back into the swing of things.  A bunch of jewelry was pulled for a photo shoot today though, fun!

THINKING ABOUT: The last year, and what will come in the next.

ANTICIPATING: Figuring our what on earth to do for New Years Eve.  All of our energy went into planning for the past week…totally forgot about NYE. Also facing the fact that as Adam has the flu, I’m next in line.  Ugh.

LISTENING TO: The Wild Belle Station on Pandora.

EATING: It’s time to walk away from the sugar for awhile.  Way, way waaaaaaay too much.  I’m pretty stoked for all of the leftovers in the fridge right now though.

THANKFUL FOR: Having such an amazing family.

PLANNING FOR: A pretty awesome first few months of the new year are already in the works! Some great press, an exciting new project and the Spring line!

READING: Local Knowledge by Liza Gyllenhaal…so far so good.  If I get sick, the good part will be I’ll get to read it.

WATCHING: No joke, we watched Pitch Perfect 5 times this week…each and every one of us became addicted.

Holly, Sheryl (Mom), Sierra, Gillian and Thea
Holly, Sheryl (Mom), Sierra, Gillian and Thea

And in case I miss Monday…Have a Happy New Year!

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Dose of Inspiration: 8.29.12

French pastries in the rain

Lets chat for a sec about the power of a photograph.  I saw this photo on pinterest yesterday and gasped.  I actually just sat there staring at it for a few minutes, which is amazing in itself as I move fast online, especially when I’m scrolling through images.  I repinned.  I contemplated stoping work for 2 hours to watch Marie Antoinette.  Later that night I dm’d the photo to a photographer friend of mine as we were discussing French pastry concepts and he gasped.  He too wanted to go watch Marie Antoinette.  We may or may not have planned some sort of shoot largely in part due to seeing this photo. Both of us left the conversation feeling giddy and inspired (ok, he might not have, but for the sake of fluidity, lets say he did).  And I’m still sharing, inspired by and talking about that same photo the next day.


image via

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Do you think the movie Secretary is a great love story?

The other day I was having a conversation with Adam about great love stories…and about the best having to do with acceptance of a persons past and being drawn to each other.  Well not just drawn to each other, but realizing when a person is your other half…the perfect fit…that they get you more than anyone else.   A person who not only accepts your quirks, but embraces them…and who even if pushed away, will fight for you.

I hardly had to pause before declaring that Secretary fits that perfectly and I in fact took it one step further…I think Secretary is the best love story ever made.  The reaction I received however was more amazement that of all the movies out there, that this is what I consider a great love story…so I am taking it you my dear friends and asking you to weigh in.




My defense: You have two people who are perfect for each other…and they had no idea until they met what that even meant.  They are so perfect for each that they become the best versions of themselves in each other presence…even if they are a little twisted.  Secretary illustrates that true love is not about normalcy, its about loving one another even more for the oddness and the off kilter aspects of one another.  You then bring into play the devotion and loyalty aspect, the tenderness and then toss in the kink, why its a modern day fairy tale!

So have you seen Secretary?  Do you agree or disagree with me on this, and if you disagree…what’s your favorite love story, I would love to hear!

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Daily Muse: 4.21.11

we heart it

Remember in the movie Splash when Daryl Hannah started to dry out when she wasn’t in water?  I’m feeling oddly vacant without the presence of a large body of water in my life.  I’ve never lived on the ocean and am usually content to visit the edge of one once a year…and last year I spent an entire week in it and looking out over it (bliss!).  So why the pull?  No idea, but the inner conflict between staying put and growing Manic Trout to the next level while saving a conservative amount of money prior to moving vs packing up my apartment right now as I have not signed my lease for another yet are really struggling right now.  Part of me keeps saying that I should wait until I can afford to live on the water but that part of me has been getting smaller and smaller.  oh the dilemmas we face in life.

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What I learned from sick day movies…

Being sick on the couch does have its advantages…one being that you get to watch hour upon of hour of movies guilt free.  Saturday I spent the entire evening cuddling with Faye, sipping tea and watching movies…it was however not a total waste of time as I composed a list of what I learned from my sick day…

  1. Never get involved with a guy who tells you right off the bat that he’s bad news, you’re too good for him but no one will ever love you like he does. (Riding in Cars With Boys)
  2. Even if you make all the wrong decisions in life, such as getting pregnant and married at 15, you can still grow up and write a book about it…and then have it made into a movie. (Riding in Cars With Boys)
  3. The guy your mom picks for you is most likely not the man of your dreams. (Because I Said So)
  4. Always go with the guy who you feel the most comfortable with, makes you laugh the hardest and who you have the most fun with.  (Because I Said So)
  5. Moms & sisters talk waaaaay more graphically about their sex lives in movies then they do in real life. (Because I Said So)
  6. You can meet a total stranger and fall in love with them in 3 days. (Dan in Real Life)
  7. Your brother will still love you if you steal his girl. (Dan in Real Life)
  8. There is such a thing as more than one love of your life. (Dan in Real Life)
  9. Even red meat eating, scotch drinking, work obsessed girls who don’t want kids can find love. (How I Met Your Mother)
  10. Gay men in real life play the best hetero alpha males on tv. (How I Met Your Mother)


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