The Story of Frockify, Part II
If you’ve ever been fired or laid off, then you know it’s like a huge punch to the gut. I want to start out by saying I wasn’t really “laid off”. I was fired. But, I later found out the entire company I was working for eventually fired just about everyone a few months after they fired me, and then it was sold. So, at the time, I just thought I was a failure, but, in reality, the whole operation wasn’t functioning. Even still, I was devastated.
Before I was fired, I wasn’t even happy with my job. I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t excited to go to work, I wasn’t even excited about the clothes anymore; but I wanted to turn around a failing business, just like I had done previously with other companies. I wanted to prove to myself and to others that I could stay with a company for a long time and see the success through. I brought on a team of the best people that I had worked with previously. I wanted to show them I was there for them and that they had a good, solid career; that they made the right choice to follow me to this new company.
Despite my best efforts, I was miserable. I tried to keep a happy face on in front of my team, but inside was another story. I would get nasty emails late at night and early in the morning from my superiors about why I haven’t turned the business around today, or better yet, yesterday. In the office it was worse. I sat next to my boss and it was so dysfunctional, that we would yell at each other in front of everyone, as he would-like a child- throw a temper tantrum and shove things off his desk. It was embarrassing. The entire team was randomly criticized for things like coming into the office after 9 AM (even though we all slaved the night before until late hours of the night). Finally, in one of our executive meetings I was told I needed to work 30 days straight, no weekends off, so sales would rise. It wasn’t making any sense. It was driving me crazy.
(Me in one of our stores putting on my "happy face".)
So, on June 12th, 2015, I was finally let go. It was just so obvious that they were going to do it that day. We had a casting call in the office and my team and I were prepping for our next photoshoot and hoping to find our next model. We were moving desks around so my boss could finally get his own office and so that everyone who hated each other could be separated. Sounds like a healthy work environment, right? In the very short three months I was with the company, we had moved our desks three times. When we were done with the model casting, I noticed my desk was already moved, but my stuff was on the floor. So I moved my stuff to my desk but there wasn’t an open spot for me (our desks were long tables). So I cleared space near my team, but we were all feeling a little strange that I, as an executive in the company, didn’t have desk space. Later, I went upstairs to speak with the design team, and when I came back down to my desk, all of my things were moved into one little spot on the corner. Everyone was looking at me strange, like they felt badly for me. So my heart sank, and I knew what was coming. Then someone came over and asked that I see the CFO in one of the empty rooms. I became furious inside. My heart was racing and I could feel my face turning red. I went into the room and there he was with another person from accounting and they had me sit down. “Thank you for your time here, but today we are letting you go. Sales are down, so this is the reason we need to let you go. We were hoping sales would rise by now.”
Me too, I thought. But, how much can you possibly accomplish in three months when things were being run so poorly before I got there? I felt like things were finally starting to line up, and we were all adjusting to my changes. Things were finally getting better after I cleaned up the mess I acquired. I couldn’t speak because my throat was getting sore from trying to keep my tears back. I stood up, shook their hands, and said, “Thank you.”
I was shaking, but knew I had to go say goodbye to the people I had spent many late nights with at that place. It felt so embarrassing. I made my rounds and said goodbye to those who I cared about, gave the keys to the CFO, grabbed my things, and left.
(My horoscope the day I was fired...)
I immediately called Michael and said I was coming to his office. He was still working, so I knew we could discuss what happened later on. Then I called my mom. My mom calmed me down, as she always does, and said that it was for the best; meant to be. She said I should take a week to come home to AZ and relax, since I hadn’t had a proper vacation in a long time. I thought that was a great idea. We made the decision that I would go to Arizona while Michael had a work trip in Oregon later that month.
The week after getting fired was a rough one. I was feeling a little depressed, a little relieved, a little worried about what was next for me, and mostly feeling emotionally and physically exhausted. Every thought was wondering if I could have done a better job, or if my team was going to be ok, or how this was affecting Michael, and what on earth was I going to do for money. The best thing for me, at that time, was to just let it all go and relax, then figure it out after my trip to Arizona.
But then I started to get this crazy idea into my head. Maybe my mom and Michael were right, maybe this was meant to be. Maybe this would be the only opportunity in my life where I had the time and the passion to start my business. I certainly didn’t feel ready to do it, by any means, and it wasn’t exactly the way I wanted to start my business… But, I couldn’t let this opportunity pass me by.
All I was thinking about from then on was vintage clothing and my dream. Making Frockify a real thing. I was so tired of working for people, or maybe it was that I didn’t have the patience to work for people who didn’t share my vision. So the next few weeks, before heading out to Arizona, I decided that it was time, ready or not, to start Frockify.
(Michael and I went to Firefly Music Festival about a week after I was fired. We had so much fun. It was so needed. And as you can tell, I gave zero f***s about how I looked. I was still quite depressed!)