Hi, I’m Jill Chivers and it’s my pleasure to be sharing these Shop Less and Live More postcards with you.
I created each and every card with love.
I was a compulsive shopper for years. And for much of that time, I didn’t even realise it. I thought shopping was a harmless pastime or maybe a contact sport I had become very, very good at. Shopping was my favourite hobby. I had more than enough clothing, shoes, accessories, handbags, you name it, but I was continuing to shop and add more to a bursting-at-the-seams walk in wardrobe.
I had racks and racks of stuff I didn’t need, or even want. Why was I buying so much when I already had so much? I had no idea what the answer to that question was. But I knew I had to find an answer.
Late 2009, I had one of those corner-turning, light bulb illuminating, AhA moments. You know those moments. I came to the hard, cold realisation that I was spending far too much on clothes (and shoes, and bags, and belts, and earrings, and all other adornments for the body). And what an important moment this turned out to be.
The path I chose to heal myself from a compulsion to shop was to take a year without clothes shopping. I had to stop the constant intake of new items into my closet; I had to put some space and distance between me and all this buying, and buying, and buying.
That year changed my life
My year without clothes shopping changed how I think and feel about shopping, and it changed my shopping behaviour.
It also led me to change what I did with my time and talents and it drew me to work in this intriguing and complex field of compulsive and unconscious shopping.
I understand what it’s like to ‘shop til you drop’ and yet still feel it was never enough.
I know how strong the call of the mall is, and how intoxicating the buy high is.
And I know how heavy all that buying and buying and buying can be.
That even though it can look fun — and shopping can be very attractive, at least on the surface — that beneath the tissue paper and logo-embossed bags, there’s an unhealthy, unattractive side to too much shopping.
That too much shopping wears you thin, wears you out, and wears you down. That even if you can ‘afford it’, there’s more than one way to be bankrupt.
And I’m here to tell you it is possible to lay that burden down, to stop the constant shopping, and to reclaim your life.
Your life is not to be found in the mall
You won’t get to the end of your life (the ultimate scorecard, if ever there was one) and wish you’d spent more time shopping.
Life is about the experiences you have, the people that you love, and the contribution that you make.
None of those things have anything to do with or require shopping.
Sure, shopping can be fun. And it’s often necessary. And there’s nothing wrong with a bit of shopping. We all need to shop from time to time.
But too many of us have elevated shopping into a deified position in our life – it’s become far too important, and it fills up too big a space. We’ve glorified it, and made it our only hobby, our favourite, sometimes only thing we love to do.
It’s important for me to say that I am not anti-shopping. But I am anti mindless-shopping. Which makes me an advocate for conscious consumption.
My goal and intention with everything I do in this space of conscious consumption is to encourage you to think about the shopping you do, and to choose it – not find yourself accumulating more and more stuff you don’t want, don’t even need, and won’t fully use.
I can help you
Through products and resources I’ve created (which you’ll find on this and other websites), I help women who shop too much to stop, or at least cut down. And I help them to put shopping in its rightful place in their lives.
I help them to create better relationships to their wardrobes, their wallets and themselves through the My Year Without Clothes Shopping programs.
You’ll find a range of useful and wide-ranging topics on my blog. I’m also a guest contributor on other’s blogs talking about clothes, style, fashion, identity, body image, shopping, communication, self-esteem and how these topics inter-relate.
I speak at conferences and other events by invitation on shopping and consumption. And I appear often in the media. My media appearances include the Today Show, Sunrise, Today Tonight, A Current Affair, The Project, The Morning Show, Triple J, Be magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Wall Street Journal.
I’ve also created the Your Media Mastery program for other entrepreneurs who wish to attract free media and master every media opportunity, based on my own experiences, observations and learning’s from attracting and maintaining the mainstream media’s attention.