Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pin me Baby!

I am a girl. A much, much girlier girl than my kettlebell swinging, mohawk sporting, doc marten wearing, 5 speed driving self will ever suggest to most people. In my apartment in the Toronto Beaches people often commented on how much girlier my home was than they would have imagined from working in the restaurant biz with me. The loud "Carla" (my 90's curly stereotype) type waitress that I was in those days didn't make one think floral prints and lacey antique doilies I guess. You, my ellenoire audience may not have that impression because I own a pretty scent & soap boutique with a quirky little curly hair salon in the back. In fact since I opened my store, many people have suggested that since my store is lovely my home must be also.....
 HA!!!! I occasionally let them in on the truth of many enterpreneurs: I work constantly so my home is an afterthought, a place to hide, sleep eat etc. When the store bills are paid, my sons summer camp/ dental appointments/ skates/ shoes etc are paid for then maybe there will be a little left over for things for the house.... but not until then. So, the secret I am sharing today is one about a crazy aspect of my neglected house, a little about what makes me the curious person that I am( in business & otherwise) and a little about the things that make me happy. I've found something that may change a habit that is intertwined with these things  I'll tell you the story.....

I. Noelle Smith. I am a magazine hoarder. Ok, there. I said it.

No, really. HOARDer. I think I could safely say I have too many magazines in my house at this moment to fit inside my car. Just last week I managed to sort through about 200 and get rid of more than half. The first box was so heavy Tim could barely lift it. Tim doesn't live here, he doesn't seem to care about the magazine issue much. Thankfully!
This cupboard was filled to the top with glossy love until last week. What did I tell you?!

Although, over the years of magazine hoarding many a relationship was damaged by the magazine issue. With one boyfriend, in an attempt to be just like his really organized mother I clipped recipes, craft ideas, exercise suggestions, articles about stuff I liked and sorted and filed them. Every night I sat watching Star Trek TNG old & new episodes (which I liked)  & politely tolerated Twin Peaks & Xfiles with my geeky S.O and clipped my little magazine pieces with my fave razor blade tool. I had a little basket where I stacked the clippings and a box with files to fill the following night. It was a lovely little system. Well, until the basket got too full and when I ran out of time to file everything. Then I realized I had an insane number of topics and it was too hard to keep track. Decor ideas, shoes, clothes, recipes, crafts, scented things I love, travel ideas, bikes, and on and on it went.... Then I gave up and just kept the whole magazine.
The collection got really large because back then I was using public transit and a magazine was the perfect commuting tool. Reading kept me from boredom, or the horrid thought of talking to someone on the bus (In Toronto, we did not talk to each other) Those glossy books kept me happy with ideas of fashions to make, things to buy, decorating to inspire and bits and pieces of things that eventually inspired what is now my career. My life on either end of the magazine reading commute wasn't all that great so living the fantasy life of being either the mystery girl on the bus buried in the magazine or the fantasy life of the girl who wore, owned or lived in/on/with the lovely things in the shiny pages was all consuming. Magazines have always been my hiding place, my reality bites but oooooh this is pretty hiding cave from the world.

 I learned that boyfriends/ men don't always "get" the concept of that fantasy. When that boyfriend & I bought a house together I began buying serious design mags for inspiration. I would happily show up with clips in my "decor ideas" file for our outings to pick paint colours and would be promptly scolded "Our house will never look like that!" and I would cock my head and try to explain that it was the "feeling" or "mood" of the room in the pic I was trying to capture and that I knew our house was not that big blah blah blah. He soooooo did not get the allure, the fantasy, the way that images on a page from someone elses life or imagination could inspire me. He dumped me, I took my magazine collection and left. I have never filed an article in any organized fashion since.

Although now, there are rules with the magazines. Fashion mags get recycled fairly often unless they are a special issue or have a stunning cover. I keep the mags ellenoire has been featured in or issues that inspire business ideas. I keep the mags that I haven't finished with yet (I re-flip through them, over and over). I keep Martha Stewart Living, Martha Stewart Weddings and Victoria without excuse. I take them out all the time for ideas for the store.  There has always been an "I open it first" rule about magazines. I take the second or third one from the rack, and no one else gets to open the mag before me. *I have the same rule with new scents that come into the store btw*

ANYWAY! You clean freak people don't get it I am sure of that. The men don't really get it my experience.

So... the whole point of this rambly ramble is I may have found the solution! I used to think the internet was the solution. Over the last few years I would find the website for a thing I found in a magazine and keep it in my favourites file then chuck the magazine. Problem solved right?  The favourites file in all the browsers is word based and annoying. I still had to remember how the heck I filed the link. It was almost easier to recall where I was when I read the magazine and then I could likely recall what year I read it and then go to my pdeudo system of mags on my shelf and find it there (Yes, my memory works like that. i.e. There is a gorgeous pic of a French style garden in a Real Simple mag issue that I read in July of 2008 in the waiting room of chemo and one day I will have that garden and I will never forget when or where I read about it) I have just never been able to make the a filing system or the favourites system in my browser to work like my memory does... in pictures and threads that connect them.......

Enter Pinterest.  A website I had heard something about a few times, but there are just so many social media things to learn about, so many ways to share links and such, so many of them kind of boring to follow, annoying or hard to link things to so I didn't try it. Eventually the glossy mag like, high res images gloriousness that is Pinterest drew me in.

What's not to love! Huge Colourful Images to scroll through, like or re-Pin!
 I had tried a site called Fab that had a similar addictive quality to it but Fab only had pics of stuff they sold. Pinterest has stuff from EVERYWHERE! It's like my girly Holodeck of endless Glossy magazine yumminess. Computer! Ideas for cat eye makeup for the party tonight!! Computer! Show me Kettlebell workouts!. Computer! Show me images of relaxing places and spaces! Seriously? How did I ever live without this?  I instantly started pinning things like a mad thing! I have added and created files (or in Pinterest lingo "Boards" Get it? Pinning Interesting things to Bulletin Boards?) like the old days.  Everyday I have to add new categories to keep up with hundreds of things I have posted already. My only wish is that there was a way to keep some of my pins private. I don't really care if people see my pins and like the rule about being the first to open the magazine, I kinda want to keep what I find to myself.... but I guess if everyone made their pins private then it wouldn't be as fun!

A friend asked me this week what Pinterest was. This is how I described it: "It's basically a gigantic online magazine with the ability to take images and "pin" them to your own bulletin boards for others to see. It's kind of like tearing out stuff from a mag at the doctors office but in an online, easy to save and share way with every magazine you ever wanted to flip through. It's all visual, which is why it's more popular with women. Each image is a link to something to buy, read or learn about. The topics are limitless. You can pin things to read later or read as you pin. You can categorize them etc... I have boards for food and recipes, clothes I like, ideas for my house, workout ideas etc. It's fun if you are a visual person"
 I told Tim about the description, and he told me to blog about how I use it. So, here we are.
It didn't occur to me until I read some of my friends other friends replies to her query that people see it as many different things. For example, one person said:  "It has recipes and crafts. If you click on one item and open it you can follow it to the web page an get the full instructions for the recipe or craft"

Lovely, Happy Recipe Pin Board... I have one of these!

 Meanwhile I'm reading this persons reason for using it and wondering if her only interests are recipes and crafts....? Really? I have to specifically limit my time on Pinterest because I could easily spend an entire day. Yes, really. A whole day. I plan to use it as the ultimate magazine that I can peruse anytime I want. I plan to use it to store links I need to find later. I plan to use it to save insane quantities of recipes I want to cook. I am already using it to capture inspiration for my business. I am working on a new marketing campaign for the store on one of my boards. BUT! The best part?  I am currently plotting to go through my existing magazine collection with all its turned down corners and find links to those things, pin them and recycle all those magazines!



  1. Nice job Noelle! I adore Pinterest and can become a pinning addict as well - love it!

  2. Yep. You're hooked. I'm not addicted to Pinterest, but I'll admit to feeling a tiny thrill every time I log on and see that ever-changing home page. Those thumbnails on my own Boards make me feel so ... so *contented*. So optimistic. Even if there is *no* chance I'll launch those projects in my lifetime. I like imagining that I will.


  3. Noelle - love it! Funny how a simple question can prompt a blog entry. I enjoy the way you described pinterest. I could use a tutoring session from you - in your spare time :)