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Master Tailor

January 24th, 2012 by Bahama

With my new shop ready to go, I hired a vendor and began stocking.  Eventually my hard work paid off and I attained the title of Master Tailor.   To this day, I don’t think I have words to express the thrill I experienced having met this goal.

no-more-to-teach.jpg

I do believe I gave my teacher, Odas Peadin, a hug after he’d uttered these words.

It was a new day.  The accomplishment emboldened me.   I got a makeover…

Master Tailor in the Shop

and I took Bermuda on a holiday to Lake Retreat.

Lake Retreat

There I offered him an engraved ring I’d made and asked him to marry me.   He reluctantly agreed.   He never was a jewelry kinda guy…

I enjoyed that holiday so much that I endeavored to expand my business there as well.  I set up a droid to advertise at the shuttle.

shop ad

Besides fishing supplies, I offered casual clothing for the forgetful vacationer and a full service bridal shop!

Things were looking up…

|Bahama-Wear| Is Born

December 12th, 2011 by Bahama

Back in the day, travel wasn’t something you took lightly.  Public transportation was the only option and it wasn’t cheap.  You examined your bank account and thought carefully before buying that ticket.  The excitement you felt while waiting to board was often in direct proportion to the cost of the ticket and the time spent planning for the trip.

My first trip to Naboo was a big deal.  From the moment I stepped foot into the beautiful city of Theed, I was in love.  While I loved our hometown of Bestine, it was clear it wouldn’t be the best place to start a clothing business.  Bermuda did a bit of research for me and came to the conclusion that Theed would be the best choice. 

Theed

His involvement in the creation of |Bahama-Wear| didn’t stop there.  He purchased the small generic house and found the ideal location just outside the city.  He funded the initial furnishings, materials for me to stock my first vendor, paid for my tailor education and expressed complete faith in me.  In short, he’s a huge part of how |Bahama-Wear| ever came into being.  And I’m forever grateful for that. 

|Bahama-Wear|

|Bahama-Wear| was born.  With my shop open for business, I updated my public contact info:

Please visit the |Bahama-Wear| showroom and vendor located just outside Theed at –4323 3419.

(My shop stood there in that same spot on Ahazi from the day I placed it in 2004 till it was packed in the housing pack up event in 2007.  I returned shortly thereafter and replaced it in that same location.  It will be right there when the lights go out 3 days from now.)

Clothed in Confidence

October 15th, 2010 by Bahama

It should come as no surprise that many of my customers are performers by trade.  Being in the spotlight, they require various costumes and need to pay special attention to their appearance.  Their business can be a blessing… but at times it can also be unsettling.

I know many talented entertainers who work the cantinas who’s focus is clearly on their art, whether that be music or dance.  But one doesn’t have to hang around the cantina for long to realize that there are some who frequent these places who are shopping for something more than a song and dance.

Not many people know this, but when I first began my career as a tailor, I avoided using certain well known patterns and making some popular items for entertainers.  I saw first hand the reaction some of these more risque costumes begot and it wasn’t always respectful. 

I knew it wasn’t my job to dictate what people should wear and I knew that most of the female entertainers knew just how to deal with unwanted advances.  But there were those few, young and vulnerable, that I felt were in very real danger of being taken advantage of.  And for a long while I simply couldn’t bring myself to craft clothing that might increase that likelihood.

Since then, I’ve seen the inner workings of the entertainer networks a bit more clearly and I’ve come to understand that overwhelmingly the elder ents are looking out for the young ones, teaching them what they need to know to stay safe.  I’ve stocked my vendor with all types of costumes for many years now and rarely give it a second thought… Save for the occasional  young woman who reminds me. 

Today such a performer came to my shop.   She was just starting out and wanted to lay the foundation of her wardrobe.  She wore one of the standard costumes and asked to see it in some other colors as well as any other costumes I thought might help her attract attention where there was competition for business.

As I worked we chatted.  She was sweet and spoke with a soft, polite tone.   She told me how she’d been offered employment in a private establishment but that she wasn’t sure she wanted the job.  “I’m not sure if I’m completely comfortable with everything that goes on there but I told her I’d give it a shot”, she explained. 

I paused for a moment and just stared at the sheer fabric I was working with, considering her words.  I took a breath and continued sewing.  “I’ve always found it best to stay true to yourself.  Don’t do anything you’re not comfortable with”, I said matter-of-factly.  I kept my eyes focused on my work as I inquired, “Is the work in Eisly profitable?”

“It is, yet the competition is a lot heavier than I am used to.  I would love to be able to find a more wholesome privately run establishment…. It seems too many of these cantinas are skeletons now a days.”

I made her a couple of costumes that looked amazing on her.   We got her some more reserved clothing to wear outside of work and, as usual, finished off with some matching accessories.  She was a joy to work with.

With her new wardrobe safely in her pack and her bill paid, I gave her a gift.   It was an entertainer’s dressing robe, made specially for preventing accidental exposure during wardrobe changes in crowded cantinas.  “I know how those gents in the cantinas can be”, I explained.

She laughed and agreed, “I know what you mean.”  She added, “And I decided that I’ll just be bartending at the club.”  I told her I was relieved to hear it.   And I was.

She left the shop with a giggle and a smile, leaving me confident that she’ll be alright, no matter what she wears.

Simple Pleasures

June 3rd, 2010 by Bahama

After many weeks of organizing, packing, preparing, delivering things here and there, cleaning, ordering and generally working towards putting Moneta to rest…

I finally took a break.  And what better way to unwind and relax than to go fishing? 

Looking to avoid any crowds I decided to visit one of the remote outposts on Yavin IV.  The weather wasn’t bad …but it’s Yavin IV so that’s not saying it was good either.  It’s never been a favorite fishing spot for me.  The water has an odor to it I can’t quite describe and the bottom of the rivers and lakes tend to be dark and muddy.  You often find that if you stand in the same place too long you slowly start to sink. 

But I set out with the goal of catching a rare fish found only in this place, so I went.   After a few hours with little to show for it, I sat on the shore, nibbled at the lunch I’d brought with me and thought about my shop. 

There’s still quite a bit of organizing I’d like to do.   The inventory has slowly been dwindling… though not as quickly as I’d like.  I won’t have room to store all that is left once I fire the vendors. I should really try to sell off those remaining components since I won’t need those for a while… if ever…

And that’s about when it hit me.  When had it become a forgone conclusion that I was closing up shop for good?  I don’t remember ever making the conscious decision about that. 

Maybe it was preparing for Moneta’s end.  Did I just naturally extend that to my personal life?  Did I just assume that everyone else’s departure should lead me to do the same? 

Perhaps it was that dream.  No doubt, it changed my perspective on all I have here.  It was both a surprise and a relief to find that the greatest joy in life really does reside in those simple pleasures – putting in a hard day’s work, time with old friends and the opportunity to meet new ones, meeting challenges and finding ways to overcome them, taking the hard road and feeling the satisfaction of looking back at how far you’ve come….

I realized that I don’t need the shop, the factory, the vendors, the fancy trinkets, the big house, … I don’t need any of that to live and be happy.  There is a simpler life out there than the one I’ve been trapped in for so long.  And I’m ready to give it a try.  Ready to give up my comforts for a taste of it.

Is this forever?  I don’t really know.  I know enough about how life works to never say never.  But for now?  For now I’m satisfied to put aside the life I’ve been living and get back to the simple things that make me happy. 

Like catching this silly fish.

Scared of a Stormtrooper

April 26th, 2009 by Bahama

One of the perks I enjoy as a trader who doesn’t take sides in the war is the ability to go where I please and, generally speaking, not have to worry about who has control over that particular area.  Rebels and Imperials alike are happy to buy my goods and very few bother to inquire whether I’ve taken up sides or not.  I am, after all, just a simple tailor.

The sight of stormtroopers has never really bothered me.  In fact, I’ve been known to smile and nod to the regulars in Theed.  Why not?  They have credits to spend on clothing the same as everyone else.

But the other day, catching a glimpse of that familiar white armor out of the corner of my eye suddenly caused a wave of panic to wash over me.  The pistol!

 Now I had no real need to worry.  The pistol was safely hidden back at my house in the potted plant where I’d left it.  But the fact that something as familiar as a stormtrooper had suddenly caused me panic made me think.

I have no desire to live in fear of any faction.  It’s good for my business and my stress level to remain that simple tailor who sells to all without discrimination.  I’m a little angry with this man for having burdened me with this silly pistol and all the baggage that has come with it.  I’m a little angry with myself for not having had the courage to refuse it in the first place.

When he contacted me again to ask whether I’d purchased armor as he’d suggested, I explained that no, I hadn’t and I didn’t plan to in the future.  I told him in no uncertain terms that I had no desire to live in fear.  He asked about my past and i stood firm in my refusal to give him any more information about myself.

I saw him in the Theed cantina shortly after our conversation.  He sat alone in a dark corner.  I avoided looking in his direction and didn’t let on that I’d seen him.  Outside the cantina, I ducked behind a pillar and spied on him for a bit.

I still don’t have a clue what prompted his interest in me in the first place.  I don’t know why he’d be concerned about me having weapons and armor or even more perplexing, why he’d fake it if he’s not.  I honestly don’t know if he means me harm, is trying to protect me somehow or if I’m just a pawn in some mind game he’s concocted to stave off boredom.

It’s tempting to simply cut off communication with him.  Everything to do with him seems to lead to danger or the threat of it.  And he remains distant no matter how hard I try to be friendly.

But I’m not sure it’s wise to walk away just yet.  They say keep your friends close and your enemies closer…. so which ever he is, I suppose it’s best to just play along for now.

The Commerce Union

October 10th, 2008 by Bahama

The committee came to a decision last night.  We all agreed that the needs of our members can best be met by making our union official.  So I acquired the necessary device and registered our new guild. 

I’ve written before about how uncomfortable I am with the titles and all.  But I’ve decided to step outside my comfort zone  and accept the position of CEO.  I believe in this project and I’m passionate about seeing it succeed even if I’m not the ideal woman for the job.

Fortunately, I’ve got a great team. 

Brassk Gilla has taken the position of Executive Vice President.   His clear thinking and good business sense has been instrumental in bring us this far.  It doesn’t hurt that he’s quite personable (for a Trandoshan) and has inspired many to eagerly follow him (who wouldn’t be inspired by “Do it, or I’ll eat you”?)

LongJie Yun is our Vice President of Logistics.  He is an accomplished pilot whose skills will certainly help us secure the most efficient and profitable shipping routes.  He’s made himself available to help train new pilots as well.

We’ve several positions we still need to fill, but we’re off to a great start.  

Staying Busy

October 7th, 2008 by Bahama

Since the Beowulf Squadron dissolved, I’ve been looking for ways to keep myself busy…and keep my mind off how much I miss everyone. 

What started with casual get-togethers of local business people has recently transformed into an official committee with the purpose of seeking out ways to connect merchants and shippers with one another to maximize profits.  As chairman of this committee, I’ve had plenty to keep me busy.  So much so, I decided to leave the new guild so I could concentrate my efforts on my job as chairman.

It’s been a great opportunity to meet some new people and use my own business experience to help others…. and just the thing I needed to fill the hole WULF left in my life.

Secret to Success

July 10th, 2008 by Bahama

Many years ago, when I was first starting |Bahama-Wear|, I dreamt of a successful tailoring business.  Back then I thought if I could just sell enough clothing to support myself, I’d be successful. 

Recently I’ve been thinking about what success means now.  Admiral Fenris shared his thoughts on achieving the rank of Admiral and obtaining his pride and joy, the Agamemnon.  I completely understand how he might be a bit sad to have reached the top. 

My business now is successful beyond anything I’d imagined.  Just the other day, a customer I’d never met called me a celebrity.  I still find that rather funny and I know he was probably just being a little dramatic…. but it made me think.

I have achieved creating a successful tailoring business.  So what’s next?

I like having goals.  I like working toward something.  So is there still something for me to work toward? 

Though sometimes it’s like keeping up with the laundry, I try to keep my vendors well stocked.  I work toward serving the customers I have and winning over new ones.  I work to supply uniforms to the fleet and find ways to get all our members everything they need to succeed in their choosen professions.

But in all the work and goals and meanings of success, a key thing is lost.  See, I didn’t become a tailor because I wanted a successful business.  I became a tailor because I have a passion for clothes.  Because I love the thrill of putting together a terrific outfit or discovering a color I’ve never tried before or making someone look really good. 

Success isn’t defined by how many customers, ships or credits.  It doesn’t depend on level or rank.

Success is knowing what you love to do and being able to do it. 

A Couple of Rings

June 12th, 2008 by Bahama

I was working in my shop the other day when a couple came in. 

The woman walked in and the gentleman ran in after her yelling, “Hey!”

I said hello and asked if there was anything I could help them with.  The woman ignored me and walked over to the vendor.  The gentleman looked at me and said, “I need a ring.”  Before I had a chance to respond the woman said, “Come on, I got one.” 

“Well I need one”, he replied.  In a harsh tone she said, “You didn’t get yourself one??!!”   Sheepishly he replied, “No.”  She marched back over to the vendor and purchased a second ring.   I smiled gently at the gentleman and said, “Looks like she’s got it for you.”

She swung around abruptly and said, “There!  Now let’s go.”  She was out the door in a flash.  The gentleman politely thanked me and then ran after her.

I give that marriage 3 days.

One Man’s Trash

June 5th, 2008 by Bahama

Sunset over Merchant Tent

I was out doing some bargain hunting the other day.  I did a search for all items selling for a credit.   I picked up a couple of paintings, a load of couches we used to decorate the guildhall and various little nick-nacks.  Good deals, all of them.

A pack for sale caught my eye.  It was named “+20 Power Bits”.   I don’t do much work at all with enhanced items.  The couple of time I’ve bothered to enhance a piece of clothing it’s been just to add +10 luck to a wedding gown.  After all, every girl should have as much luck as possible on her big day!

To someone who doesn’t work with them much, +20 power bits are quite high.  The limit is +35 and it takes someone with a lot of experience and luck to produce that.  I personally can’t make a +5 bit so I quickly saved the waypoint for the +20 pack and went to check it out.

The vendor the pack appeared on had only a few items on it.  Other packs were labeled ‘+30 bits’ and ‘+35 bits’.   Every other pack was listed for the maximum number of credits – so not really for sale at all.  Why the heck would someone be dumping a pack full of +20’s?

I purchased the pack and was immediately guilt ridden.  It had to be a mistake.  None of the other packs were for sale.  A pack with 34 +20 bits was certainly worth more than a credit.  This poor trader had made a mistake and here I was taking advantage.  Shame on me!

I quickly took down the name of the woman who owned the rest of the packs on the vendor and added her to my friend list.  When she showed up as available, I tentatively sent her a tell.

“I bought a pack from your vendor yesterday.  I think it might have been a mistake”, I began.   “The +20 power bits?”, she replied.   See.  I knew it.  Too good to be true.  It was a mistake.  I started thinking about whether I’d retained the waypoint for the shop so I could return it to her…

“No, that wasn’t a mistake.  I don’t use the 20’s.  Only 30’s and up.”, she said.  I reread that line over and over with my jaw hanging low.  Whoa!  She doesn’t even use the +20’s.  They’re beneath her.  She continued, “I was actually planning to fill that pack up with 20’s before you bought it.”  

Needless to say, I’ve saved the waypoint of that vendor.  One man’s trash…(No, you can’t have it.  Go find your own trash! :P)