Hi all! Just a small update post to let you all know that Positivity in Progress has moved to Etsy full time and away from Spotify. I’ve also added new items to each of the lines, such as eco friendly tote bags as well as leggings for all different shapes and sizes. I hope you’ll all find something on it that will speak to you. https://www.etsy.com/ie/shop/PositivityinProgress?ref=seller-platform-mcnav
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When I first met Annette, I was curious about her. She was someone who I could tell had a depth of soul about her. Someone who was incredibly passionate about her craft of modelling but there was a striking difference between her and other people who I’ve met in my time as a model. She cared about the people who she interacted with. She doesn’t just look at her clients as a way of getting her next paycheck but takes an active interest in developing peoples talents and wanting to get to know the people who she works alongside.
So, when she announced that she is creating some workshops & seminars here in Ireland. I couldn’t help but give her some spotlight here on Should You Care? And she kindly agreed to answer a few questions about why Ireland, and her approaches to modelling. Hopefully, you all can take something from the interview and join her at her workshops & seminars on the 28th & 29th of April. Don’t forget to check out her exclusive introduction offer for this event down below!
Why expand past your private clients? You had a long established career helping the creme de la creme of hollywood. Why move to a public domain? I wanted to help more people. I see a lot of scams in LA, especially in the local malls with so-called scouts approaching every naive family they see with empty promises. That outraged my sense of justice. I don’t want to see people get scammed. I wanted people to have an option to go to someone who would give honest advice and direction about the industry.
What is it about this industry that gets you up in the morning? I love to see people follow their dreams and if I can be a part of that process then that makes me happy. I like working with people who are gracious.
What can people expect from a first meeting with you? Walk us through the process. Is there anything we need to bring bar a good attitude and an open heart? I love consultations! It’s very exciting for me to meet someone and go through the steps with them. I look at their photos (snapshots) during the first few minutes with them in person or via Skype. I see if they photograph well and give advice on how to get a great snapshot – I don’t believe it’s necessary to invest in professional photos until AFTER they are signed with an agency. Every agency is different and they each have their own vibe and preference for how their models portfolios should look. I then ask a series of questions about what they are interested in – both in the industry and in life – this gives me the big picture of the client. Sometimes the modeling they want is not the what I recommend. Sometimes girls come to me wanting to be fashion models but they are not the right height or bone structure, etc. so I talk to them about all the other options – and there are lots of options! – that they didn’t even know existed. I talk about model rates, casting directors, photographers, resumes, agencies, etc. I then give several examples of my personal experiences focusing on how potential models can set themselves apart from the rest – in LA most casting directors get 3000 submissions or more for each role! It’s crazy. Then they call in maybe 30-100 to audition and then it’s gets narrowed down. I want my clients to have the edge, the insider info to help set them apart and there is a lot that goes into that. We finish up the 90 minutes with a checklist of what they need to do next. My clients have the option to hire me afterwards to help with their prep but honestly I do try to give them all they need to get it going during the consultation. I am also starting monthly group classes for my clients next month. I’m really excited to now offer group classes!
Could you give an overview as to what these meetings are going to contain? I’m really excited about the TMC Hollywood workshops in Dublin! I am bringing all of my Hollywood experiences with me to share! Lots of advice and insider info on how we do it in Hollywood, what we look for, what makes a successful model, how to set yourself apart from the thousands of other models and actors that look just like you or better, etc. Sharon Hennessy is my partner in Ireland and she has a world of information about the pageant world and the modeling business in Ireland. She’s amazing and will also be a speaker at the workshop. We also have at least 3 additional luminaries who will also be on the speakers panel representing the best in their fields. The models will also walk away with runway, wardrobe and makeup instruction, in addition to photos and a lot of valuable insider information!!
In your extensive career, you have had the privilege of meeting a lot of different people from every walks of life. What would you say is the most common misconception people have about the industry? For some reason a lot of people think it’s easy. They think people have “it” and then are discovered. They don’t see the years of training and struggling before they get the right agent and get the right part or booking that finally gives them some exposure. People think it’s great that I started a consulting business and it expanded seemingly quickly but they don’t see the 25+ years of experiences that made it possible for me to do what I do. The years of working with good and bad agents so I could fully appreciate what it takes to be a good agent… the years of going to countless castings that weren’t even for my category so I could appreciate how valuable everyone’s time is and to not do that to my models or clients… the years of managing a top beauty distributor so I could understand business and marketing.. etc. Some model colleagues thought “why didn’t I do that? I’m a Model too” All of those experiences came to together, not just the modeling experiences but also the acting, marketing, and behind the scenes work, etc, to be able to create something that was solely based on my experiences. I have aspiring models come to me and think they can just start working making money. They don’t understand that in order to have longevity you have to understand the business side and have your training and marketing materials in order. It is a BUSINESS. Obviously, there are many places in this world to set up a modeling business, but what is the appeal of making your mark here in Ireland?
I LOVE Ireland. It speaks to me and I feel at home in Ireland. My grandmother was born and raised there. She always told stories of how beautiful Ireland is and also about our family struggles and overcoming challenges and the resilience, passion and the beautiful hearts of the Irish – she was born (first of 13) prior to the 1916 rising and remembered every experience and challenge. She moved to the USA in her 20’s and every Sunday played her Irish music and called her homeland “my Ireland ”. When my family and I finally went we all felt it. It was quite an experience to feel home so deeply. Last summer we spent 5 weeks there. I enrolled my kids in summer camp in Dingle and we spent time in Connemara and Dublin also – I actually worked 4pm to midnight most nights (due to the LA time change) running the Agency from Ireland worked very well and I also consulted Irish models. It was then that I met Sharon at a lunch with Louise and we set into motion what has now become the TMC Hollywood workshops! I hope my family and I can spend more time in Ireland this year and many years to come. My husband also just produced Black 47 about the Irish famine which is premiering in Dublin this March.
Like in all industries there are old wives tales or pieces of advice that have endured. What has been the most useful of these advices you’ve received and what’s been the ones the industry could definitely let go of. The foundation I work from is the same in my personal and professional life – it’s the belief that we all should help each other. I never looked at my competition as competition. I looked at people who are more accomplished than me and I am excited to learn from them. I see people who are struggling and I sincerely want to help them. When I was a new model and actor I would see successful people I could learn from and as I grew in the industry I would help people around me. It’s funny because people would say “why are you helping someone who is your competition?” I believe there is a lot of work out there and if someone “looks like me” they are still not me. We are all unique and have different strengths. It comes down to intention. If you’re intention is to sincerely help others and not for what you can get out of it then it feels good and those actions seem to magically bring success in many areas of life.
If you had a signature calling card – a singular thing that you would be known for in the industry. What would you like it to be? What would you like the modeling world to say your contribution? I would like people that say that I made a difference and helped others.
Disclaimer: This is a review unit I was able to get from the lovely people at ThinkGeek.
As anyone who has been viewing this blog for a long time, you’ll know one of my pet peeves in my digital life is that I struggle immensely with finding the right sort of bag for my tech. I’m not entirely a “and the kitchen sink” kind of person. But, with my daily commute and the amount I have to travel, I do have to consider seriously what bag will suit my purpose the best. That usually depends on what I’m doing. Am I flying? Am I just going to town? How long will I be waiting for one form of transport to another? Do I need to bring clothes? A myriad of question always accompanies all of these essential choices.
Most people would know that I swear by my Timbuk2 Custom Prospect messenger bag. It’s my regular go-to for travelling and day to day use. You can find more of my gushing over it in my Women Tech Bag Video.
So, with the ThinkGeek Bag of Holding Tote, there are a few things that are worthy to note about it before we get started.
Convertible Tote of Holding
A ThinkGeek creation & exclusive
Comes with double handles and also removable backpack straps
Custom d20 print accent
Magnetic snap closure at top
Organizer built-in to lining (9 card slots, 2 open pouches, 2 zip pouches, ThinkGeek keyholder)
Exterior Dimensions: 13″ wide x 17″ tall x 4″ thick
Weight: 2 1/2 lbs.
It is a beautiful bag; its print accent is one of the most striking elements of the tote. It’s wonderfully detailed, and I regularly got compliments and comments from the passers-by who I encountered who were curious about where on earth I found a bag that had a pattern of a D20! It’s a testament to the care and craft of putting a bag together like this. Subtle details in the stitching and lining indicate this to the core. It’s challenging to find a rough edge on the tote, and that’s a testament to the craft of it in itself. However, that robust construction comes at a price in the form of its weight. It’s a good two pounds when its empty. So, if people are expecting this to be a light bag, I fear this may not be one for you.
That being said, I wanted to put it through its paces. I was off to a Ted X in Canada, and I decided since it was an overnight trip that I would need to bring a change of clothes for the event. I was also going to need to bring some form of entertainment, food. I made a noble attempt to fit all of these items into the tote but alas I failed to do so without leaving some essential items out. Which is a no-go for this bag to be used as my new travel companion. I’m not going to lie; I was pretty astonished that I couldn’t fit more into it, dimensions wise it’s a pretty big tote bag. Now, as my Youtube Review Video will show, I am bringing quite a bit, and arguably my packing cube for my clothes was the principal offender when it came to the space available. It was still none the less surprising though, as right now it’s not quite living up to my expectations for a bag that has the title of Bag of Holding.
My timbuk2 to had to resume its position for that particular trip as I had little issue getting the contents I needed there for my trip. Throughout my time bouncing from airport to airport to get to Toronto I was curious about what other use cases could I use this bag for? So, I decided I’m regularly in and out to college as well as the gym I would see if this would be a suitable all in one solution for this, as my Timbuk2 for those trips is complete overkill. Sadly, I ran into different issues when using this bag as a daily driver for my college and gyms trips.
Cardinal of all sins for me is the lack of a dedicated pocket for my laptop/tablet. This is something I’m quite pedantic about. I think if you’re creating any bag, it makes sense to have a dedicated pocket for your tech that needs that added bit of protection. So having something that didn’t even protect my iPad had me quite frustrated in parts. I was always second guessing where things were in my bag or worrying if my lunch box was going to spill and what that would do to said iPad.
I ran into the space issue on multiple occasions too, sometimes having to forfeit a bigger towel for the gym or a bottle of water to fit something else in for a particular day. Which, evidently, isn’t a great solution for things either. It’s not as if I’d be bringing a lot with me for these sessions, but I’d always feel like I was running short on space.
It leads to a more significant comment too which is after a while it can tend to make the bag heavier than you would otherwise think. Having a 2-pound starting weight then adding other essential items on top of that can rapidly make a significant weight change to the overall bag and limits your options on how best to carry it.
My go-to carry style was to use it by the handles on my shoulder as I was always overly aware in the backpack style that a small clip only closes the bag, and it would be straightforward to reach into the bag from that position pretty much unbeknownst to the wearer. So I didn’t have enough experience with the backpack style element to make a concrete opinion on it other than its relatively well executed but the straps suffer from the same fault that others do which is the straps are awful thin. This can lead to the straps cutting into your shoulders, and I am a women function over fashion. So, in my time of usage it didn’t get a lot of use, but as always your mileage may vary.
It might seem like I’m ragging on the Tote, but really, I’m not. I think I’d be more lenient on it if they’d omitted the title of it is a Bag of Holding. I think that’s where I’ve got the most of a mental block. I can’t view this bag out of the context of it being in its brand. The line is notorious for being compact but being able to hold pretty much everything. I’ve even seen the standard bags, and others in the range attest to this mantra. This, however, doesn’t.
Let me be clear; it is not a bad bag in the least. It’s incredibly constructed, aesthetically pleasing and works as a bag. But is it a bag of holding worthy of the namesake? I don’t think so.
You can find out more about think ThinkGeek Bag of Holding Tote at http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/kgiq/?srp=1
Usually this blog is reserved for functional fashion. I’ve written guides on stylist Tech Bags for Women (and men too!) and I’ve covered how you can buy fashion focused battery packs that will suit your purpose. So I’m hoping you can forgive my fawning over these bags from Coach and their collaboration with Disney.
I just think they’re super cute, and the last time I was in Kildare Village they were half price so, they’re definately worth the look!
Last weekend I decided to take a step out of my comfort zone. Modelling is something that I’ve always had a passing interest in, but I have never felt beautiful enough or the right size to do it. However, I have hit a point in my life where I have the opportunity to try new things and really try to embrace what I want to do with my life.
So I took a selection of photos and sent them off to some plus size modelling agencies and thankfully I got a good number of replies with organisations who were interested in me and wanted to work with me. Plus Size Model Management was one of them, and I got talking to Kate about their Bootcamp that they offer potential models to help get them trained.
For the price of the boot camp, I felt I got an awful lot out of it. The training was a full day 10 am to 6 pm which a lunch break in the middle and there was only a small group of us. (Where I met the beautiful GirlGotCurves and EmmaHelbertTextile) The day was broken down from teaching us how to walk a runway, hair and makeup tutorials, model deportment, nutritional and health advice, branding yourself as a model and rounding off the day with a photoshoot!
It was an intense day, with the majority of the day focused on walking and learning how to walk. Take it from me, professional models make it look effortless. However, there is an awful lot that goes into it. As you all know, I’m doing the couch to 5k at the minute so I would have considered myself to be pretty fit to be standing around walking for a few hours. It is far more physically involved than you would think. It’s best described as a battle between your head and your body. You have to put a lot of thought into what your body is doing – how it’s positioned if you are showcasing your clothes, what way you’d be walking on a runway, where the cameras are. All while moving poised and gracefully in heels!
After lunch, we got into the psychological elements of modelling and the mental stamina that is required to model. Through the right coaching, we were talked through how even while unmoving your state can change depending on what you’re thinking of. It was a perfect illustration of how your state will define your outcome – if you don’t think your pictures are going to turn out beautiful, then they aren’t going to. If you are thinking in your head that you’ve just won the lotto, then that is going to show on your face. Your state is your power.
From that, we discussed our motivations for wanting to plus size modelling. Here is the interesting thing though, Audrey didn’t want to hear the glamorous version of our story. While our motivations can be for other people, wanting to set a good example or be a role model. Ultimately these things are critical but not as important as wanting to do it for yourself. At the end of the day, doing it for yourself and doing it for you is the only investment you’re really going to make in yourself. That is going to be the only way you’ll ever be able to actually give back to the causes you care about.
For the nutritional and health element of things, we discussed the basics about health eating and balanced diet. Audrey also discussed the more taboo elements of plus size modeling which is “is this an advocacy for obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle?” which is a brave thing to want to discuss with a subset of new modles. So, she discussed the Plus Model Management ethos, which is healthy bodies come from healthy minds. She discussed a lot of the foundation principals of CBT and how your body tells you the areas where you may be out of proportion and how that may not be healthy, but that your body should always strive to be as balanced and healthy as possible. That is what they advocate for, they advocate for positive mental image and learning where in your body you need to improve. That modeling isn’t about how outwardly beautiful you are but what light you have inside of you that you’re able to bring out to a camera. That is what makes good models, and how good models get hired. They have that spark and that element that distinguishes them from the others. Frankly, I found this to be a very empowering message to women in general.
We then moved onto social media and how to build your brand as a model. We got told some horror stories about social media gone wrong in other industries and how that can ruin your chances of getting contracts or bookings. It was a testiment to the power that social media has on your career. Which is just a good message to reiterate to others, which is always be so careful a bout what you put on the internet, because you never know who is reading or looking at your profiles.
The last part of the day was a photoshoot, and I’m not going to lie I wasn’t super confident going in front of the camera. I do think I’ll get some nice shots out of it though, hopefully we’ll be recieving our shots in the next few weeks. It was a combination of standing shots and headshots. I know I was too busy thinking for the shots. I think that might come across in them, but I know that is what I need to improve on. I know I need to work on my physical presence, as I’m not certain yet how to show what I want to show on camera. I know that will take work and it will take practice, but I know that I’ll get there eventually.
The one thing I will say about Kate and Audrey is there absolute professionalism, and care for the people in their charge. They truly care about their craft and the people who are involved with. I’d recommend them for that alone!
You can find more information on Kate and Audrey at Plus Size Model Management on:
With the new release of the Nintendo Switch on Friday the 3rd of March 2017. New owners revel in their new purchase! (Myself included) However, in the excitement, it is always likely to overlook one of the biggest features of the Switch. That is, its portability. If you have just spent €312 on a console that you intend on carrying with you on communities, you should really have a case to carry the thing in! So lets have a run down of the top Nintendo Cases that are available to purchase right now!
SF/Waterfield Design – Switch Case
SF/Waterfield Design are known for protecting they’re gaming kilt. Already having bags for mobile devices such as the 3DS and the Vita, it is no surprise that they’ve created a case for the Switch. Made from Leather, this bag has a stunning appeal in terms of its appearance. You would not mind carrying this pouch around with you in public. It just oozes of class. With room enough for cables, game cards, and headphones this pouch should definitely be a must see for those who are willing to spend a little bit more to get something exceptionally classy.
For those who are looking to move more than just their Switch and Joy-Con around. There is an option for a Multiplayer Pro Case. This can Carry everything from the dock to the Joy-Con Grips all in the typical classy design that you would expect!
Gamestop – Official Nintendo Switch Case
For those who are looking for the more official route. Gamestop Ireland are stocking the Official Nintendo Switch Accessory pack. This pack has the case itself, with the Nintendo Switch logo on the front and comes with a screen protector and kickstand/stand for the Switch included in the bundle. At €20 if you’re looking for the Nintendo solution to your carrying problem, this is a good case to look at!
HORI Switch Tough Case (Nintendo Switch)
For those who are looking for something a little bit more robust in terms of protection, but still are looking for something sleek. The Hori Switch Tough case will be a difficult one to beat. It’s hard shell, and focus on protection of the touchscreen built into the case itself makes this case a great alternative for those who don’t like the hassle of having to worry about screen protectors. (But please, put on screen protectors)
£29.99 at Amazon.co.uk
So what do you think? Are there any more cases I missed that you think should be on this list? What cases did you get for your Switch? Let me know in the comments below.
Remember to give this blog a share on your favourite social media, and don’t forget we have a Nintendo Switch Unboxing over at Should You Care? YouTube.
As someone who carries a lot of tech with them, I am invariably torn by wanting a really nice bag vs something that I know will protect my kit. So standard issue black, executive laptop bags that will basically only hold that and nothing else. Doesn’t really cut it for me. But neither, does my trusty Coach Tote that I’ve had for years prior to this!
Update 1/2/17: Got an update from Pad & Quill about the process around creating leather totes.
The Problem as it stands
As someone who carries a lot of tech with them, I am invariably torn by wanting a really nice bag vs. something that I know will protect my kit. So standard issue black, executive laptop bags that will basically only hold that and nothing else. Doesn’t really cut it for me. But neither, does my trusty Coach Tote that I’ve had for years before this! Even with my MacBook Pro having a hard shell on it, it says nothing for the sake of my Vita, 3DS, Books, Lunch that has to go in on top of it!
That is what lead to me asking the question “Are there any tech bags out there for women?” and also led me to a followup question of “Why should people care about this?”. So, should you care about it? Absolutely! Everyone needs to protect their technology, and most people want to do it in a way that is not only convenient but fashion conscious. Letting people know that there are more options out there than just regular tote bags the more people options people can have for finding a bag that suits them!
So let’s look at a quick use case, shall we? A lot of the bags that I see my friends and colleagues carry are Michael Kors. They have some breathtaking bags ranging from the $160 – $260+, and they’re awesome don’t get me wrong. But, I feel if you’re putting your laptop, purse, phone, etc. You’re going to, in most cases, be putting a lot of valuable stuff in your bag. So it makes sense that you’d want to protect them. Some of these bags aren’t designed with protective laptop spaces inside. So they aren’t ideal. But I can see the appeal of them, they’re super cute they’re known for being durable and reliable, and it has brand power.
So I decided to ask around the mobile tech community for alternatives to this. Where you can get beautiful, functional, bags that will tick all those boxes? Of course, everyone has their own favourites that sometimes cost an awful lot less! Don’t worry, though, some of these bags aren’t just specifically for women, anyone can wear these bags. It’s all down to your personal style!
Booq aims to create high-quality products that can be worn by men and women alike, with
No gender stereotyping. All bags are made from a ballistic nylon material and feature numerous compartments to ensure they are versatile for both men and women, for work and leisure. When I was talking to the lovely people of Booq, the rep who I was talking with recommended the Daypack as being one of her top picks. Just for the sheer versatility of the backpack. Booq takes pride in these bags being ethically sourced and environmentally conscious. So, this is always a big bonus for consumers who have that as a requirement!
STM’s Grace line was the brainchild of STM’s co-
Founder Andia Jacobs. The Grace
A collection of women’s laptop bags and sleeves are a reflection of Adina’s design ethos of simple, elegant, and fun, now focused directly on a female customer. With a focus on slimmer and simpler products, you won’t find an extensive range nor should you expect to fit a mountain of gear in these sleeves. At the time of writing, there was one deluxe laptop sleeve, laptop sleeve and a clutch. However, the elegant design and form factor should be a must-see for anyone who likes to carry light.
Waterfield Design / Peralta
Serenity Caldwell of imore recommends Padandquill and SF/Peralta. San Francisco’s
WaterField Designs, a veteran of locally-crafted bags and cases announces a new women’s handbag line—PERALTA. PERALTA’s debut bag, the Balani Backpack is designed to be multipurpose with a focus on a professional women’s’ everyday working life. As one of the only traditional backpacks on this list, it’s really worth a look if you’re interested in a classic twist on a traditional design.
Pad & Quill
When talking to the super people of Pad & Quill, they described their mission as a pure
one. They want to make good art. Each of their bags bears the signature of the artisan who created it, and they have a warranty on their bags for 25 years. Leather bags like these tend to be more gender neutral, making it wearable for anyone. However, for those who don’t like backpack styles, they do have a tote version of their leather bag which has enough room in it to fit your tech with room to spare.
The leather totes are 100% full-grain leather! They are constructed with UV-resistant nylon stitching and solid nickel hardware, so the bags can easily stand the test of time. Instead of cutting a bunch of different pieces of leather and stitching them together, they use unique pieces. Less stitching means less chance of the bag falling apart after only a few years.
While they are not certified cruelty free, the leather we use does come from cattle who’ve lived cruelty-free lives. The leather producer/tannery purchase animals that are raised in beautiful pastureland. In our bags, you may notice slight scarring/marks. The cattle’s entire body gets used, from the hide to the meat, so that nothing to waste.
They also are committed to strong ethical practices in everything we do. The companies they partner with to produce and create our bags are as well. So for those who are a little bit concerned about where the leather comes from, this should help to alleviate some fears!
Florence Ion recommends Timbuk2. Which, is a bag that I ended up getting from this list. They do a dedicated women’s line, which is some of the biggest that I’ve seen in my searching
the following for women’s bags. They have everything from messenger bags, backpacks, totes, duffle bags. So it’s really worth a look to see what fits your style. I got the Custom Prospect Laptop Messenger Bag, which I got in all
Black with a blue trim and I adore it. My record so far for getting stuff in the bag is the following: my MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, Playstation Vita, Nintendo 3DS, 5 Hardback books, an umbrella, 2 ready meals, 2 ciabattas and some ham and cheese. This is along with all
of the random crap in the front pocket and the internal pocket which keeps things like medicines and other essentials. That’s an insane amount of stuff! And Yes. It was damn heavy. But never once on the 30-minute trek home from my local shopping centre was it ever actually uncomfortable. As heavy as the contents were the straps never once cut into me nor did I have to shuffle around any of the contents for better weight distribution. So needless to say, I can safely recommend going and looking at these collections of bags.
William J. Mills Inc & Brenthaven
However this I couldn’t possibly complete this segment without Michael Fisher aka
MrMobile thoughts on the best tech bags. In his hometown, there’s a sailmaker called William J. Mills Inc., and they make his favourite companion bags of all time: the Classic Duffel. He’s had it for years, and he swears by it. However, for his present daily driver, he’s currently using the Brenthaven Collins Vertical Messenger Bag for the Surface Pro 4. You can find his thoughts on the bag in his Winter Wearables video so I won’t ruin any surprises for you! Both the duffle bags and the messenger bags all have a classic style about them, so could be a perfect fit for anyone.
So what do you think? Are there any bags here that would make you ditch your daily driver? Do you have any recommendations for bags that didn’t make a list? Tell me about them in the comments below. All of the links to each of the bags and people I’ve mentioned today will be in the text above so be sure to check them out. Be sure to Like, Share and Subscribe if you liked this blog and be sure to check out the video version of this blog by checking out the Should You Care? Tech channel.