Archive for April, 2011
A little bit of background on me: I have a Bachelor of Science with a major in Computer Science. The programming portion has always been relatively easier for me, it wasn’t an ‘easy’ degree to get but it was the natural choice for me to take. When I graduated from university I didn’t know what I wanted for myself. I got a job as a programmer and I HATED it. I eventually quit because I just couldn’t do it for the rest of my life. I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. Would I go back to school and learn something else? Would I get a job somewhere? I started to explore my options and applied around to contracting services figuring I’d be exposed to a variety of companies. I got a job as an admin covering a maternity leave at the company where I still work.
While I was an admin, I discovered that it is not the career for me because I don’t have the patience. After my term was up they kept me on contract and I still did admin-type work and a little bit of analyst work. I was eventually hired on as an analyst and they used me to automate a lot of their manual processes and I discovered that is what I enjoy doing. Unfortunately, I had problems with my boss and I was still treated like an admin and my experience and skills were not valued.
I eventually got a new position in my company and I thought it was great. Sure, I am one of 2 non-engineers in an engineering department but I was going to be learning some very valuable processes for our company and eventually take them over. Great! I was going to have a boss that treated me like I have something to contribute AND they hired me because my skills and background contribute greatly to the department.
Perhaps that is still the case, but this week I overheard my boss tell another manager that he has 2 employees in his department without degrees, me being one of them. EXCUSE ME!?!? Did I just pay to hang out at university for 5 years for fun? Did I take Operating Systems with a crazy hard professor just because I like to torture myself? Did you not hire me partly because I could automate and improve processes in the department? Did I not do some work with your department BEFORE you hired me because you needed my computer skills?
This is my glass ceiling. My company values engineers above all. Every job posting pretty much implies “if you aren’t an engineer, don’t apply”. Perhaps my boss meant to say that 2 of us don’t have engineering degrees but he definitely did not say that. I have some other friends who are not engineers as well and we all feel like the company treats us like we have no post secondary education.
Can I really stay working at a company where I probably cannot get ahead? Not because of my gender but because after my name I have a B.Sc. (Comp Sci) instead of a B. Sc. (Eng)?
Did you hear I’m having a sale in my Etsy shop in honour of Earth Day? I am offering 15% off of everything in my shop. The coupon code is EARTHDAY15.
You can pick up a beautiful summer scarf made out of banana fibre which is an eco-friendly option because it is a completely renewable resource. The original price is $70, the sale price is $58.75!
You can also view my creations made out of recycled sari silk which are eco-friendly because they prevent all of the exceess silk in sari factories from going to landfills!
Happy Earth Day and happy shopping! 😀
Please meet Sarah-Maria of the eco-friendly clothing shop, meerwiibli on Etsy. She is a talented designer who opened shop on January 1st of last year! If you would like to learn more about her, check out her facebook page or her website.
I’m a fashion designer/seamstress/photo researcher who lives in the Catskills but grew up in Switzerland. That makes my clothing Swiss made in the USA!
What makes your clothing eco-friendly?
Well, we all create waste and even making clothing from environmentally responsible fabric creates pollution and waste but it also creates jobs. I love using bamboo knits. Bamboo is an amazing fiber which is also super-soft, draws moisture away from the skin and it’s naturally antimicrobial. I also use organic cotton and most of my fabrics are made in the USA or Western Europe, where there is a high anti-pollution standards for manufacturing.
How did you get started in the world of crafting/design?
I grew up in Switzerland, handicrafts are quite important there and I learned knitting, crocheting and sewing starting in 3rd grade in school.
Your etsy shop is called meerwiibli, does this have any meaning to you? How did you choose the name?
Meerwiibli means mermaid in Swiss-German. My family crest is a mermaid and I’ve always been completely obsessed with mermaids so it was quite an easy choice.
What is a typical day for you?
Sadly I still spend most days at my day job. So my sewing time is between coming home and dinner and on the weekends. I end up working about 60 hour weeks between my day job and my shop but I love it. I’ll be trying to cut back hours at my day job soon though, yay!
What inspires you?
Beauty and nature. It’s all around us. Plus I have a serious fabric buying habit. I often buy the fabric first and design around it after I have the fabric, not the other way round.
What is your favourite thing in your shop and why?
I’m always a sucker for my coats and jackets and they seem to be my bestsellers usually. What I love about outerwear is that you can just put on a great jacket and the whole outfit is saved.
If you could go back and give yourself advice on starting out on etsy, what would it be?
I should have opened my shop much earlier than I did. I thought I needed items in stock and while it sure helps it’s not necessary. I had a hard time getting started because I just didn’t have the time to create stock.
What are some of your favourite etsy shops?
Fairysteps is making me a pair of vegan shoes, her work is amazing! I really want a piece by Leanimal of Project Runway fame, her work’s been hugely influential to me. I’d love to have one of WoodlandBelle’s terrarium rings and emiliefriday has made some amazing felted figures for me.
Do you do any other types of crafts?
Well, nothing as well as sewing though I’ve incorporated needle felting into my sewing before, love doing that. I used to be a doily-crocheting maniac in middle school….
Is there any craft you wish you knew how to do?
Shoe-making! Oh my goodness I really need to get on that! I’m a shoe addict but also a vegetarian – not a good combination, it’s really hard to find awesome non-leather shoes that are cool and good quality.
Zombies, pirates, ninjas, or vampires?
I’m going to have to go with pirates as the Pirate School books, written by my husband Brian James, always crack me up!