I always hear people talking about their magic number that they feel comfortable spending on themselves before they have they really have to justify it. Naturally, this number can also be different once you have a family or a child to care for, but generally speaking, the number varies with the category of purchase- for instance, clothes and shoes are much lower than say a piece of jewelry. That's why most women like to receive jewelry from their partners or from their husbands and on special occasions like holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries. I never understood why anyone would ever feel like they must rely on someone else to buy them something, but then again, my view on relationships are quite different than the majority. Then there are the friends that spend their money on experiences versus any possessions and choose to live this nomadic lifestyle. I've done both, and while my nomadic lifestyle persisted for the past few years, and possibly even longer than it should have, I'm back to loving my beautifully crafted and quality pieces. I guess you can say that I'm now a hybrid.
For women in New York, it seems that $5k is the highest number in which they will buy something without real hesitation, but anything higher it seems like they will go home and have a think. I think Manhattan women are different in this regard; they are self-purchasers, especially if they have a well-paying career and an in-flux in additional disposable income. These women don't want to seem careless, but they also want to purchase things that they absolutely adore. Jewelry is more of a lifetime investment versus a handbag, so even if the piece is around the same price, say $3k, they will think harder about it. Places like Graff and Verdura are more of the places that husbands will flock too. They are, in fact, "Husbands territory".
Then there is the woman that buys whatever she wants, whenever she wants it, without guilt or the slightest bit of hesitation. I think that person is me. In a way, I wonder if it's a matter of pride. I've earned this money myself and I should be able to spend it however I choose, without judgement or guilt. My viewpoint is rather simple on the matter though; I am passionate about great design- always have been this way and most surely always will be this way, and my "investment portfolio" happens to not solely rely on the market, but rather investments in things like art, gemstones, and antique furniture that I hold for a number of years and, if you're lucky, watch it increase exponentially in value. Someday you may wake up and realize you're not totally in love with this piece anymore and you could flip it for a rather nice amount of coin, or you can pass it down as an heirloom to generations to come. Gemstones can provide a concentrated form of wealth, which comes much closer to a true form of currency since they are rare, durable, and entirely portable. The thing about art, gemstones, and furniture is that it's value can be hedged with inflation and since there is a limited supply, their value cannot be swayed by government interference or price manipulation. One thing that I do know is that if you are clever, you can get a significant amount of milage out of one piece; so all of a sudden, that $10K watch doesn't seem like that big of an investment after all. The trick is to always remember this- what is truly special, will always command a higher price. I also think cryptocurrencies are interesting, but I don't know enough about them to put any money there yet.
This birthday, being that I turned 27, and nothing really exciting happens when you're 27, I got to thinking about how to make this year as un-boring as possible. I was talking to my mother and she reminded me that she had my brother at the age of 27. I don't know what that was supposed to mean, but I gave her a strict lecture about how we live in a different era and I don't plan on birthing a child in the near future. So yesterday, on my actual birthday, my best girlfriends (Aileen, Aditi, Bethany, and Sindhya) threw me a birthday tea party brunch at Laduree in SoHo, where we drank mock-tails, cocktails, and high tea, ate lavishly devouring French bread and macaroons, and talked about the tails of our relationships, friendships, and what I have in store for my 27th year of age. I didn't really have a good answer for them when they asked and I kept diverting to other stories that would bring us onto another topic, only to be brought back to that very question time and time again (thanks, Aileen). After looking at these wonderful photos my best friend Bethany took of me, I can't help but wonder if it's alright to not have all the answers. I'm beyond happy with my relationships (both with myself and with my friends), I'm fortunate enough to travel where I want to travel, and I buy whatever I want, whenever I want it, without the guilt or the slightest bit of hesitation. I'm totally content and beyond happy with the life I have, which right now, is entirely by-design- I am exactly where I want to be; do you think most people can say that? I am forever grateful for the experiences, personal growth, and life lessons that come along the way.
So I guess right now, I have a large C for Coco and Z for Zaza, as well as 7 additional assorted pink and white balloons floating around my apartment with enough flowers to start my own nursery. I guess it's okay not have all the answers, especially since 27 is just one of those un-boring, normal years. A big thank you to my best friends in the entire world for showering me with so many prayers and love. I love you dearly.
Coco wears: her Grandmother's beaded dress from the 40's, Prada suede heels. Photography by: Bethany Halbreich