Sasy Scarborough is familiar to nearly everyone involved in fashion in Second Life®. She worked for years as a customer service representative for many of the biggest brands in SL. She is also one of the “old guard” bloggers with her Sasypants blog. Her experience has made her a role model for many other bloggers. As lead organizer for Hair Fair, she is the heart, soul, lungs and lifeblood of that event. She also runs a shopping sim called The Deck and a bi-monthy shopping event called My Attic. In addition, she has her own business selling her Slink applicator items, primarily nails as well as a pose/pose set business with Whimsy Winx. And with all that, she still has time to have fun and socialize and make the most of her Second Life.
It’s Only Fashion: What was your first day in Second Life like? What made you stick it out through the learning curve?
Sasy Scarborough: My first day in Second Life was amazing, I was taken in hand by a friend who introduced me to it, and he had four girls waiting at the gate with him. They took me to all the free places like Free Dove, and Pazazz Hair and thirty minutes later I was denoobed.
They then took me to Transylvania, the sim that was just incredible back then, and we danced, which was the main reason I wanted to join Second Life, because I had seen him salsa on shared screen. There was a huge market event on at Transylvania that weekend, and I complimented a vendor on her items, and she whisked me away and got me to model for her for a goth school girl outfit…she then gave me the outfit and years later I was still on her wall in her store.
I found Second Life just full of possibilities so learning everything was worth it.
SS: Live with Whimsy Winx, that pretty much wraps it up. But honestly some of the exciting things have been when I was invited as Press to a Press Conference with Bruce Willis when he came to SL for his new Die Hard Movie. There have been so many amazing opportunities like that over the years.
IOF: When did you begin creating? What was the first thing you made. Did you save it? Did it work?
SS: The first thing I ever made, I honestly think was a pair of system layer slippers in asian print, because I was Managing House of Zen at the time, and thought they would be really cute, I was wrong. Second, I tried to make Geta out of prims, and I honestly think I still have those in my inventory somewhere — ok I just checked and showed Whimsy and she laughed at me, so yes I still have them.
IOF: How did you choose your store name? Does it have a special meaning for you? If your stores is named after yourself, how did you go about choosing your avatar name?
SS: My Store name is based on my older blog name (Scarborough Flair), which of course was a take on Scarborough Fair, adding the L for Flair, and then just broke it down. I like it a lot actually, and no one else had it in SL so it is mine.
My name of course the last name was a pick, but my first was some dumb yahoo handle, that luckily for me they didn’t let me at the time put two s’s in the middle of my name because in early 2006 you couldn’t put rude words in your name. I am so glad of that now, because I just really like Sasy spelled how it is, and I still get to be Sassy about it.
IOF: What is the most challenging part of being a creator in Second Life? What is most rewarding?
SS: Honestly I don’t ever think of myself as a creator, because my main work in Second Life has always been managing stores and working alongside some incredibly talented people. Even my work with Whimsy when we do collaborations, was more me having so much input — being bossy — when she was creating, that it just flowed over into us doing things together.
I work behind the scenes a lot more than in front of them, and I like being able to help it be easier for creators to create, while I can tackle the other parts of what is involved in running a business in Second Life, whether full time as a Manager, or freelance when I just go in for a bit and literally pull a store apart and put it back together again with the owner.
IOF: Where do you get inspiration for your designs? What is your process like?
SS: When it comes to my nails, the first hundred sets came out of my head, I didn’t look at anything, it was all just either in there, or things I had seen over the years. I actually trained as a nail technician when I was in my twenties but didn’t proceed with it, and I guess it was just sitting there waiting to be unleashed. I have to say I much prefer virtually, no harsh chemicals. Sometimes I make things for my friends, they may want a particular thing, but generally it just comes or it doesn’t. I am lucky enough to not push myself to create.
IOF: How do your first and second life design aesthetics resemble and contrast with each other? How would you describe your design aesthetic? Who is your customer – the person you are thinking of when you design?
SS: I have always been incredibley colour coordinated. Things had to work with each other, so to me making sure nails highlight a look, or inspire one is really important. Also with working alongside other designers, a lot of tweaking and opinions come into it. I am really hard on some when it comes to things like colour especially…one of my growl worthy things is bad browns, if you are going to make one, and you should, it should be earthy or rich and there shouldn’t be green floating through it.
IOF: One of the challenges of creating is Second Life is dealing with IP theft and the DMCA process. Many of those problems are due to flaws in the DMCA legislation itself. What changes within the control of Linden Labs that you would like to see?
SS: I have had a ringside seat in this area with work many times, I even did a post on how it really impacted my SL and how I gave up a great job, with a wonderful creative team. I am very glad LL has made it impossible to open a new MP store without pay info on file, but I wish it would go further than that, I think that to cash out of Second Life you should have to have a premium account. They cost barely anything a year, you get most of it back in stipend, but it would mean LL has a constant track of you. I think that with the money that some are able to cash out, it would stop a lot of the issues.
I also on many occasions have wanted to be Fashionista Linden.. or a team of us that actually know when someone’s work is in fact their work, and that we can just remove it. I think that the rules/TOS say straight out LL is the boss, and that should be enough. If they see something shady they should not fear legal action, they should just remove it. I have seen items with DEMO still in the name, logos still inside the object, so blatant, there is no reason that cannot be removed.
With the Marketing/Shopping Group I own ‘What’s New SL’ I make sure to check every single store before they are added to the group, to stop the use of things they shouldn’t. I encourage people to join the group and get information on great releases from fantastic stores that they know have been given the once over from the start. It is a little insurance that way, and if something does happen in that group with DMCA’s and theft, they are removed. Sometimes we cannot wait for LL to take charge, we have to be willing to do so ourselves.
IOF: How has your second life changed your first life?
SS: I sleep the most peculiar hours, my old Boss calls it SMT (Sasy Mean Time). It also makes it very complicated being sixteen hours ahead, having to constantly think in reverse, and often not being aware of things in RL dates wise because of it.
Other things it has done has given me skills I never had before Second Life, Photoshop, modeling in 3D programs, pose making. It has also enriched my life with doing the things we do such as Hair Fair, Another Fundraiser and other fundraising events I have been part of. Knowing that in eight years I have helped raise over $60,000 at least is pretty amazing, and makes me proud to have been able to.
IOF: Is there anything else you would like to share with readers?
SS: My Partner Mel Vanbeeck whom I met in Second life over seven and a half years ago is the most amazing man. I am grateful to Second Life for having him in my life, and just for the opportunity of knowing such an incredible person. My friends who I get to spend each and every day with, they are my rocks, they inspire me through their talents each and every day, and I am so lucky to just have a moment of their time to share their dreams and passions with.
I encourage anyone that thinks that they have nothing they are able to do here, or are hesitant to try to go for it. I couldn’t build, but worked from my second day in world. I have not stopped since. You have to just find out what you can do that others may need, or just create for yourself and see where it goes. I felt like just through working I wasn’t contributing enough to this great world I had joined, so I started blogging, because I could spread the word on things – bit of a talker I am. Through blogging I got to meet even more amazing and talented people and also got to help so many that were starting out, new to SL or just a little lost. Just go for it.