Valentine's day. Some couples love celebrating this day. They either go all out, spending up on expensive 'sexy' lingerie, or they spend a night out at their favourite fancy restaurant. Some prefer to give chocolate, flowers or jewellery. For people like me who are single (and happy to be, I should add), I don't like celebrating this day at all. In fact, I never liked it much when I was in couplehood. Don't get me wrong. I like the idea of a day celebrating love and romance and milestones. But like most holidays such as Christmas and Easter, it has become commercial and tokenistic. Signs blaring everywhere you walk to "buy this for your loved one" and "celebrate by buying this" can make you feel nauseus. Why set aside one day of the year to celebrate being nice to each other when we should aim to do one small act of kindness every day? To understand how this day came about, I began enquiring on the webs, because I am curious. Where did Valentine's day begin?
According to the BBC website, the origins of Valentine's day go back to third century Rome and a priest named St Valentine. He arranged marriages in secret after Emperor Claudius II banned it because "he thought married men were bad soldiers". When Claudius found out, Valentine was thrown in jail and sentenced to death. He apparently fell in love with the daughter of the jailer and when he was sentenced to die, he wrote her a love letter on 14 February, signed "Your Valentine". That is one version.
History.com has a cute little video about the beginnings of Valentine's Day right up to it's modern day transformation of commercial 'couples in love' celebration. The statistics in this video, which are American-centric, are staggering. According to the video, more than 35 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate are sold each in the US and 220 million roses are produced for this holiday alone.
But in a series explored by NPR, the dark origins can be linked to Rome and the feast of Lupercalia. "The men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just slain". Women would line up to be beaten by drunk naked Roman men because this would make them fertile. The history, thereafter, gets a bit murky.
In 15th Century Britain, the holiday became romanticised and hand made cards became a 'thing'. Towards the end of the 19th Century, the industrial revolution came. Factory-made cards were produced to celebrate the day, en masse, and of course, companies like Hallmark grew. Now it is one of the most commercialised days of the year and brings in big dollars.
IBISworld research in 2014 found that Australians will spend approximately $791.4 million in anticipation of February 14. If you take a closer look at the graph, $441.6 million is spent on travel, alone. Kind of blows your mind, doesn't it?
Valentine's Day is commercial and tacky. Giving someone a heart-shaped box of chocolates that somehow encapsulates your love on one day of the year seems a little contrived. Perhaps if couples tried demonstrating small acts of love each day instead of waiting for that one day of the year may alter the divorce statistics.
I like the idea of the alternative, SAD - Single Awareness Day. Celebrated on February 15, the day after Valentine's Day, it acknowledges the growing number of single households all over the world and the number of people who choose to be single. It is OKAY to be single. It is OKAY to be proud to be single.
How do you feel about it? Do you care about this designated day of romance and love? Are you in a couple or are you single? Or does status even matter?
I have introduced a new incentive to reward my loyal customers who buy multiple sleep masks from me by offering 12% off your purchase (not including the shipping costs). When you spend 100 USD or more, all you need to do is enter "SPEND100LMS" at my Etsy shop checkout. And that's it! I don't intend on putting any expiry dates on this promotion as it is my way of thanking all my customers for their wonderful support for the last seven years. I can't believe I opened my Etsy shop in 2010 with a small idea and big dreams. When I first started sewing, everything in my shop was hand sewn. That's right, I didn't have a sewing machine at the time. Even the pleated ribbon was done by hand. And yes, it took hours. Eventually I borrowed a sewing machine from a friend of mine until I could afford to buy my own sewing machine. So, once again, a big thank you.
I now have a handful of ready-to-ship items in my Etsy store. Instead of waiting 2-3 weeks for me to sew up your order, you can now choose from cotton and satin designs in the 'ready-to-ship' section in my shop. Items will be shipped out in 3 to 5 business days, thereby enabling you to have your sleep mask sooner!
Some of the new designs include a dragon print in satin as well as beautiful vintage-inspired cotton prints with Vintage Paris themes. The back of the cotton masks are cotton jersey so they are very soft on your eyes.
i have rejigged the website to fall in line with a more modern, sleek look. Over the past two years, I have moved from Paris to Melbourne, Australia. It was a massive move for me, especially after almost eight years living in France. I still miss it. I prefer it but I made a decision to come back 'home' and ho back to school. And that is precisely what I did.
So so while I toil away in a part-time job, I go to school. In between all of that, I sew for my brand Love Me Sugar. I feel like my eyes have opened after a long, long time.
To be challenged by something I've always wanted to do. Write.
Esty Lingerie Christmas Giveaway 2011
Win a deluxe 4-piece lingerie set,
handmade for the winning entrant
by four different independent designers
including a Love me Sugar Sleep Mask
Go to the Esty Lingerie website to find out more!
I call her Veronica Lake. A collage of the inspiration behind the Love Me Sugar pink polka dot sleep mask.
Burlesque Burlesque sleep mask in silk and tulle...and Swarovski. For a very special occasion.
Available on the new Love Me Sugar online Boutique
Model: Claire Conan-Vrinat, Photographer: MadEmoiselle Sugar
A little sneak into what I have been working on. Featuring the divine Miss Claire Conan-Vrinat with silk dupioni sleep mask in pink with daisy trim.
New in Store Tassle ear plugs inspired by Audrey....yes, that little film called Breakfast at Tiffanys
I have been very busy indeed. Tassel ear plugs are my newest item in my store. I am quite obsessed about wearing sleep masks and ear plugs and thought I would fancy up the ear plugs up a bit. There are a few styles and colours to choose from including black, shimmering gold, dusky pink, red and ivory. All are made by me with Mack's safesound foam earplugs with a NRR rating of 32 dB. These are great for muting loud noises including street noises, parties, loud concerts and snoring.
I have some long tassel ear plugs and short tassel ear plugs. If the long ones are too long you can cut the tassels to suit. The earplugs come in a organza gift bag. They, along with all my items in my store are lovingly gift wrapped in tissue paper.
I do have to put a disclaimer though. I often stumble upon reviews by customers who buy earplugs and then complain that it doesn't block the noise of their snoring partner next to them. Let me be honest. YOU CANNOT completely block out the noise of a snorer with foam ear plugs. And I should know! I sleep next to somebody with sleep apnea and let me tell you that the only solution for them is probably a snoring machine which assists them breathing. Or sleeping in another room. Just saying...ear plugs are fantastic and I sleep with them every night and it defintely helps me sleep. It blocks out all the street noise, especially in Paris where the dump trucks come by in the wee hours of 7 in the morning!
Take a look and retweet if you love!
Work in progress, sales, fashion, vintage, cinema and other ramblings