Wow, I couldn’t believe it. Everything was going right and in the blink of an eye my life changed. For the next 2 months I sat in the house in a complete state of depression. I had quit my job and followed my passion only to be left embarrassed and unemployed. I just couldn’t understand why God would take something away from me that I had worked so hard to achieve. As you can imagine, sitting in the house for 2 months without work is not a good look for your wallet. I had gotten down to my last $100 and didn’t know how I would eat. Luckily I had a friend who worked at the NYC food stamp office and was able to sign me up. I couldn’t believe that I Mikel Prada Wearing Welch had to now go stand in a WELFARE LINE. This is so not what I had planned for my life. I needed some money quickly and decided to get a part time job to make ends meet. I promised myself that I would take a retail job and jump back into Interior Design within 3 months. A few days later I landed a seasonal sales job with CB2 furniture store in Soho. CB2 was great for me because it allowed me to save up a little money so I could go in on an apartment with 2 of my friends. Finding an apartment in NYC is a BEAST! You must have 1st months rent, last months rent & deposit. The 3bedroom apt we found was reasonably priced at $2000 a month= $6000 due at the signing of our lease (mind you the apt was in Harlem not Time Square).
To make matters worse, the mgmt office wanted us to have stable employment history. Clearly stable is not my thing. Well in NYC the name of the game is “fake it till you make it” and thats exactly what I did. I had a friend create a fake employment offer letter stating that I was making $50K and then listed him as my HR contact. Now I’m not proud about it but you gotta do what you gotta do! Getting the apartment was the easy part but trying to keep it was another thing. We were so in the hole from paying the apt deposit and our rent was constantly behind. For the next year I worked at CB2 and continued to take sporadic prop styling gigs, but our rent was still always late (like 3 months behind late). Finally our landlord had enough and we came home to an eviction notice on our front door. Talk about a wake up call! I couldn’t take it anymore. We ended up being thrown out of our apartment and I had to move in with my friend Joseph and sleep on his sofa. On a positive note, things at CB2 were going great and I had gotten 2 promotions. One day while on the sales floor I met a customer who worked as the Art Director for Dexter on Showtime and several films. Unfortunately, he lived in LA but told me if I ever came out that way he would allow me to work on set with him. Well I took that offer and ran with it. It was like an Oprah ” Ahh Ha” moment. I always wanted to live/work bi-coastal in NYC, LA and Miami and I now had an offer. So, I ask my manager at CB2 if she would allow me to transfer to the LA store for 3 months to test out the market. I had a close friend in LA and knew she would allow me to crash at her place (I mean a sofa is a sofa at this point). Fortunately, my mgr cleared my transfer and I was all set to head to LA in 2 months. The sad part is I would now have to send my dog to go live with my brother in Chicago because my life was to hectic and I didn’t know if LA would be my permanent home.