EMV Compliance and the Small (and Micro) Business Owner

Good morning!

EMV compliance. Ugh!

This is really for those who vend at events and use mobile payment processors.  I know some B & Ms do as well and this pertains to you.

Later this year,  credit cards will have chips instead of magnetic stripes.  This means you will have to have new equipment.  The equipment does NOT attach to your phone.  It is a small box.

October 1 is the date to remember.  If you do not have the new equipment,  fraud liability transfers to the merchant.  Read that again.  YOU will be responsible for any fraudulent transactions.  And trust me,  the thieves are going to look to see who is compliant.

1. Don’t panic.

2. Etsy is supposed to be on top of it but there is no information.  Just my opinion- I see why Etsy went public.  This change is very expensive and going public gave them the cash to become compliant. I’ve asked about it here, page 41:  https://www.etsy.com/teams/7722/discussions/discuss/15487786/page/41?post_id=282953973

3. Square has a reader for $49. You get back your processing fees (up to $49) in the first 3 months you accept payments.

4. Paypal has not issued their reader as of yet, that I’ve been able to find.

I’m just sharing what I’ve found.  I don’t know anymore than you.  I’m a small business that had online stores and I vend at several events per year.

I hope this at least puts it in the back of your head. October starts the shopping season so be prepared.

http://techcrunch.com/2015/01/13/paypal-here-adds-windows-support-will-launch-a-free-emv-card-reader-later-this-year/Square-contactless-NFC-EMV-reader screen-shot-2015-01-13-at-4-26-38-pm


Bell Bottoms the Black Pearl Way!

Growing up,  I was awkward.  I had no butt (still don’t). I want cute short but I wasn’t tall and slender either.  As a result, I rarely wrote jeans.  They just weren’t me.

A friend of mine posted that bell bottoms are back in style on Facebook.  I had to chuckle at some of the responses.

“I loved them! ”


Everyone has their opinion but at Black Pearl,  we LOVE them! And now that curves are in, the bell bottoms of today are made with this in mind.

Bell Bottoms with Fringe Necklaces by Black Pearl PhotoGrid_1433512985144 PhotoGrid_1433512957694

I visited Minnesota in April and raided my girlfriend’s closet. I got a ton of jeans, including bell bottoms and am awesome military green khaki jacket but that’s another post. I tried them all on and couldn’t believe how I looked!

I think I have found one of my “go to” outfits for the summer!

See more of my outfit here.

What do you think of bell bottoms?  Are you going to get some?

New York Does It Again

Black Pearl’s vending trip to New York was a success in more than one aspect.

1. I received great positive feedback and made some money. Made some great connections and had a good time. There is potential for this market and I would like to see it grow.

My setup at the Harlem Popup Shop.
My setup at the Harlem Popup Shop.

2. I got a henna tattoo for my reconstructed breast! If you have been following my journey, you know that a tattoo had been on my wish list for my reconstructed breast. But, I admit, I’m a wimp when it comes to pain. I know, crazy right? Anyway, I’ve interviewed some tattooists and even though they may have be capable, they didn’t make me feel comfortable. Then I meet Natalia, a lively hall from Trinidad and Tobago. Wet get along so well that I’m comfortable enough to get my henna right then and there! Her instagram is

As you can see, sge does great work. Please support this young lady!

My henna tattoo on my reconstructed breast.
My henna tattoo on my reconstructed breast.

3. People who said they were going to come by and support actually did so! Love you guys!

Me and Kenneth finally meet!
Me and Kenneth finally meet!
Raquel and I lighting up New York!
Raquel and I lighting up New York!

4. But, in all places of the world, New York restored my faith in humanity.

There was a 13 year old boy on the subway with his bike. He had his backpack and looked a little tired. He offered me his seat while the 40+ year old “man” did not (yeah, I saw you dude). I refused and told the boy to rest. At the next stop, he scooched over and insisted.

Walking back from the restaurant, there was an old woman in front of Popeyes. She didn’t look homeless but she didn’t look the greatest either. Something compelled me, “Mama, are you alright?” She said she wanted a dollar for a piece of chicken. My friend gave her $5. She took off right into Popeyes. She was no scam artist, she was hungry!

On another train, there was another elder. She was asking for money in Spanish. I don’t know Spanish, I swear. She was just talking and talking. But yet, I knew what she was asking. I was squeezed in between 2 men so much so that I had to sit on the edge of the seat. I didn’t want to pull out my whole wallet on a crowded train. I reached into my purse and found a wad of one’s. The young, very handsome man next to me gave her a dollar. I asked him what was she saying and he said she is looking for a quarter for food. I passed the money to him and he gave it to her. 3 other women that had that NY scowl (you know what I mean :-)) also gave her money! Another man helped her to sit down. The man next to me told me he would sit on the edge and for me to sit back. Everyone lightened up and smiled.

I pray for that young man to grow into a full and prosperous life. I pray those 2 elders have food everyday until they leave us. I pray for the young man who gave the dollar to do well in his infantile football career.

I ask questions of everyone I meet so I know a little tidbit about them. I get to carry them with me everyday.

Thank you, New York for once again showing your humanity. Yes, I do ♡ NY.

The Cold War, Crochet Style

For the past 2 days,  I’ve been looking at various Russian websites.  Why,  I hear you ask?  Because the Russians are the premier (see what I did there) crocheters in the world!

They don’t use worded patterns,  they use charts.

They take this….extreeme-ripple-crochet-diagram


And with a hook and 2 hands,  turn that chart into this. . .056f947a2922366e21e6bef16a570361

They are amazing at their craft!

So, back to why I’m on their websites.  I’ve always wanted to design and create a maxi skirt.  Not the heavy maxi dress I made a year or so ago but a soft, free spirited version.  Earthy,  Bohemian,  Hippie.  You know the look. I was going to take various designs and put them together for a melting pot type of skirt but I needed to know an increasing measurement.  I figured I would find a similar skirt,  look at the pattern and see if those numbers would fit my pattern. Math is always absolute so I should be able to extrapolate numbers to what I needed to find.  Easy,  right?  Not if every pattern you find does NOT have numbers attached! Look at that diagram above, do you see numbers, measurements? No, because these Russian biatches are friggin’ geniuses at their craft! On one site, a commenter asked for the “pattern” even though the diagram was listed. Do you know what this particular Russian Crochet Queen of the World said? “Get off your ass and figure it out!” At that point, I stopped trying to get my numbers precise and I’m working on this darn skirt one stitch at a time. 2 days of squinting my eyes, having 63 tabs open (literally) and learning Russian through Google translate was all for naught. Those girls are looking down, laughing, knowing no one, especially an American, can beat them.

I do plan on making this ethereal skirt available to the public within a month or so. I have some events coming up, orders are continuously coming in but now that I’m running BPC full time, I should be able to get production streamlined. Trust me, this skirt so be worth the wait.

With that being said, I have seen very few American crocheters who can pass the smell treat with the Russians. You’re reading the blog of the first one who will.

Snowmageddon 2015!

I’m laying here in bed after my Florida vacation and I hear the plow trucks.  Again.  Welcome to Snowmageddon 2015!

Usually,  in the winter,  it’s not too difficult to stay trendy and warm.  But this year, many are having to opt for the real heavy coats, hats and scarves that do more than just look pretty.

download (2)

Those supposed winter scarves are more form than function.  They look semi-decent, are really cheap and you “think” they are keeping you warm.  That is,  until you try a handmade scarf.

Wool is a fantastic fiber.  It keeps you warm and allows your skin to breathe.  However,  when even the tiniest bit of heat release causes you to shiver,  dire action is needed.  Many poo poo acrylic but guess what?  Acrylic scarves hold the heat in! Yes, you wear the scarf on your neck or over your head and you will not freeze.  No heat is lost and I have found myself quite toasty and warm while out and about in our 4 feet of snow.

Black Pearl Creations Hand Crocheted Hats and Scarves
Black Pearl Creations Hand Crocheted Hats and Scarves

So what else do you need to survive the rest of Snowmageddon 2015?

* Snow boots. Not Uggs. Not rain boots. SNOW boots. Try Sorels. I live in mine.

* Mittens. They allow your fingers to share body heat and are warmer to wear than gloves.

* Moisturizer.  I live in Vaseline in the winter. It’s a skin protectant and your skin won’t look ashy (white people: pasty). Use a touch on your lips too.

* I don’t advocate wearing leggings add pants but I found the most adorable velour pair in Florida, of all places. The right pair can be warmer than s regular pair of pants.  I just drove 1500 miles from Florida and I was cozy  and warm. Paired with a tunic and boots, you can even wear them on casual Fridays at work.

* A hat and scarf set by Black Pearl. Enough said.

What have been your must haves for Snowmageddon 2015?

I’m Back!

*cue James Bond music*

Ahhh, yes!  I’m back!  But I’m going back to the original premise of this blog and that is to rebel in the world of crochet!

I’ve spent the last few years trying to wrap my head around this breast cancer thing and I’m just not there. But it’s not going to go away so I have to deal with it. On my own.  Because,  to be honest,  no one else really gives a rip.

So! I was laid off a couple of weeks ago and it hat only been a blessing in disguise.  I’m working for Black Pearl full time and I’m hoping to have a brick and mortar in June.

The pay holiday season was highly successful. I’m not sure if it was my simple but fun hat and scarf sets. ..

Black Pearl Creations Hat and Scarf Set
Black Pearl Creations Hat and Scarf Set

Or the fringe necklaces…

Black Pearl Creations Bohemian Fringe Necklaces
Black Pearl Creations Bohemian Fringe Necklaces

But whatever it was, I’m grateful!

So,  what’s in store?

I can’t reveal everything here (I found I have some imitators) but I can guarantee that now that I have the time to design and create how I want to,  things are about to be on and popping!

Whew! It’s Been A Long Time

I'm Back!

A lot has happened since my last post and I will update you all soon.

Now that I am almost 3 years cancer free, I thought it would go away and not be a part of my life. Then a fellow BC sister posted this video:


Now, I would have liked to think that when I returned to my blog it wouldn’t have been about cancer. And my position/status/role as a woman but here I am.

I remember not feeling like a woman (read here),and still don’t but HOW do we redefine breasts and feminity and womanhood? Those issues don’t even enter my life, they are just in my head. Does that make sense? I am not allowed to be a woman, in my life circumstances.

So, ultimately, we are (re)defining womanhood? I don’t feel I am more of a woman having children because I also have to be the provider which is defined as masculine. I repair things, shovel and so on. I have to be a man at home. In business, I have to act as a man so I am not taken advantage of and so larger entities will take me seriously. I am not afforded the luxury of receiving help or comfort.

Similarly, I don’t think Hiliary, Michelle or Condoleezza are seen as women either.

Their breasts define them…(?) What makes them (and myself) a woman?

Something changed after my diagnosis and I just didn’t (and don’t) feel like a woman. Cancer changes everything. It doesn’t go away just because the treatment is over.

It. Permeates. My. Soul.

Unleashing inner hippies one stitch at a time since 2001


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