I just spent a couple of hours going through my Donna Flora posts over the years and reminded myself of her voice in the narrative of my Fashion Journey in SL. Gosh there are pages and pages in my blog of her designs, both as stand alones and compliments to some of my other favourites.
I found Squinternet’s shop when it was a tiny little two story shop with a couple of skins and some really pretty things in it. Even then, in her infancy, there was something just very special and unique about her designs.
I followed her into a bigger space and watched her style really emerge and found myself anxiously checking back on the store each week to see what she would put out. Squinternet was often there, busy putting up her new designs that never disappointed and always there was this table full of really outstanding freebies. I always sent noobs there so they could get just a taste of what SL could offer if they stayed. I consider it such a gift when someone can create an “experience” in SL and always when I attended her shop I found myself lingering, wanting to take in everything, consider every piece … the way we women do when we walk into a real life shop that we love. Shopping at Donna Flora was a full meal deal, and you innately understood it was because this woman cared enough, was talented enough, to provide that for all of us.
Of course she exploded into the incredible empire most of us now know and love and branched into hair and shoes and so many other delightful things.
Who has not had an invent enhanced because of her participation? Who has not immediately put her name at the front of the advertising so as to let people understand the quality of what is being offered?
Squinternet was one of the few people who ever spoke to me at an event. Over the years as I worked in publishing and television, she was a class act with every contact and even stepped in to save a mess of a display for a Treet TV expo when Perfect World Productions needed help at the 11th hour. There was not prima donna, make sure I get full credit attitude for her, just rolling up her sleeves and helping out. It was probably one of our best displays ever.
It is sad that we wait until times like this to tell people their impact in our lives. I know I made a couple of efforts to send her a note and let her know I appreciated her efforts, but even that seems so little in comparison to her impact on my virtual life. We never know what is going on in anyone’s life, or what struggles they are dealing with. I hope we will take this time not only to reflect on Squinternet, but on each other, and making a bit more effort in that regard.
I know that whenever I wanted something really special, I looked for my Donna Flora folder. It is one of only a few folders that will never be deleted because the clothes are relevant, the jewellery is exquisite, and all of it is timeless. You could always tell that she cared about everything she made. I suppose it is because of that so many of us feel like we shared a relationship with her.
As I looked at the pages of my Donna Flora posts this morning, it is like she has journeyed with me through so much of my SL experience. I learned a long time ago that it is the experiences of our lives that we hold on to . . . the experiences, and the emotions they evoked/awoke in us. I found myself smiling and remembering so many wonderful things … and I have Squinternet to thank for that and because of her gift to me, she will always be in my heart.
I believe in the power of love, and I believe that love can heal. Sometimes healing is a literal physical healing and sometimes it is the healing of heart and soul. My hope for you, beautiful lady, is that all of our love, brings you the gift of all 3.