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  • What Happened To The Store? A Personal Update

     Teenage me - setting sporty goth trends in the 90s and feeling dramatic about everything

    Fifteen has always been my lucky number. I played softball for a while and I’d fight harder picking my jersey number than any effort I would on the field. I can’t remember where this silly allegiance originated but I feel better when I open a fortune cookie and fifteen is among the lucky numbers listed. All of this is to say that I had high expectations for 2015, even though I only had a vague idea of how I wanted it to go down.

    January didn’t start off in a great way. Seasonal sadness and some other things stuck in a little deeper than years passed. By February, my partner Ron and I nabbed some really cheap flights to Vegas on a whim and we took off on a dreamy three week road trip through Nevada, Arizona, and California. It was a pivotal self-care decision for us. When we got back we decided to regroup and address what we’d like the next couple of years to look like and began getting our shit together so we could more easily work toward our goals and to be able to say yes to spontaneity.

    Dreams coming true - finally got to visit Salvation Mountain

    Dreams coming true - finally got to visit Salvation Mountain!

    The first thing Ron and I did was go to the bank and have a financial adviser answer our questions about what adults do with money and how to save a bit every once in awhile. We’ve been working with a budget and it feels pretty great to know exactly where everything is going.

    One of the biggest ideas we agreed on was to give ourselves the ability to say YES to change and adventure. To pick up and leave for a while if we wanted to. When we used to entertain future plan ideas it would always come down to worrying about what we’re going to do with all our crap and the conversation would fade out. We had a lot of stuff.

    Giving our terrible microwave an appropriate goodbye

    It started with our television, then clothes, the microwave, and some major furniture. We traded stuff for consumables like whiskey and candles, and donated the rest. Cutting my wardrobe in half seemed impossible at first - I’ve been overly attached to clothes since my teens because it was so hard to find what I liked to wear in size fat. It began feeling easy after the initial bags went out and now that winter is pretty much gone I’ve started cutting what I have in half again. I’ve been looking forward to it!

     Sometimes it's hard to believe that I put out this magazine - a few shots from Issue One

    When trying to figure out what I wanted the next couple of years to look like, one of the most dominant feelings was that the time was right for me to start working towards a life long dream - to start a fashion magazine that celebrates everyone. All bodies, all genders, all backgrounds. I had been loosely chatting with a like-minded Instagram bud about it and together we decided to start BUSH Magazine. We launched a successful Kickstarter campaign last summer and Issue One was released in the fall! We were so lucky to have the most amazing contributors and fashion queen Mo Handahu agreed to be on the cover, in a dress she made herself.

    Now I'm working on the next issue solo and it's going to be even better than the first. In fact, if you'd like to pitch a written piece, art piece, or a lookbook, send me an email (amarina@ursamajor.ca), I'd love to hear from you!

    Feeling cute on our wedding day!

    In September my partner Ron and I decided to get married. It was a super small affair, but a totally wild day spent at one of our most favourite places - Jungle Cat World. A small animal sanctuary just outside of Toronto, we took a group of our friends and fam to meet a lemur, a fennec fox, a serval cat, and some wolf puppies. Ron and I got to have a private tiger interaction after the ceremony and it was the most surreal of surreal moments. Afterwards, we had a huge bonfire in our favourite park in Toronto surrounded by the best people we know and our buds surprised us with a fireworks show. It was absolute magic.

    I wore a vintage, hand-embroidered muslin house dress that I got from Black Lodge Vintage on Etsy, and I added some straps to give it a little extra shape. I've had these thrifted white cowboy boots forever and I thought they were cute and perfectly comfy for the day. My bouquet was made by my mom, with flowers from her garden and eucalyptus, because it's my fave. My dear friend Yuli Scheidt agreed to take photos and unsurprisingly, she did a beautiful job of capturing the day.

           

    A fresh start for Ursa Major+

    After the wedding I started picking vintage again, in preparation to re-open the Ursa Major+ shop (I also started writing this post). That's when something super unexpected happened. Ron was offered a great job that would take us to Memphis, Tennessee for two years and who knows where beyond that. It was an opportunity and an adventure that we couldn't say no to, and we didn't. Ursa Major+ had to be put on hold, again, while we prepped for the big move. We've been writing about our transition over on our blog, Favourite Human. If you're curious about what I'm up to personally, please check it out.

     

    A geographically accurate illustration of our big move by my husband Ron

    So here I am, finally getting back to what I love so much: selling clothes and interacting with fat babes. I hope I find some great new places for vintage in Tennessee, if you know of any in the Memphis area, hook a girl up!

    2015 was so much more than I ever could have predicted and 2016 has already gotten off to a pretty wild start. I've already found some of the best plus-size vintage to date and I'm getting it all ready for the store to open up again as soon as possible. Follow me on Instagram or Facebook for updates, I can't wait to dive back into this!

    xoxo Amarina

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