Accessorize, but make it Self-Defense.

Updated: Jul 29, 2021

One of my first jobs as a young lady was at a co. called "Afterthoughts," which was a late 90s/early 00s kitschy accessories boutique that fit all of a teenager's delicate moods. From white satin prom gloves - to mini seashell choker necklaces for you and your best friend, it was a mall's hot spot. But as much excitement as managing all that glittery inventory brought on, I remember running to Hot Topic by the weekend for some much needed angsty and emo release.


Shops like Hot Topic's underground and incensed counterculture were alluring bc they helped me connect w these darker, more ambiguous, not so pretty places AND OWN IT. Family was supportive when it could be and friends were more than happy to eat ice cream with me and laugh through it, but as innocence evolved - I willingly began to accept fighting my own battles and tasting victory by seeking asylum in places or things that were transparent and brave enough to perhaps - dignifiedly expose and confront defeat. So sure, to hell w my Afterthoughts reputation on the weekends.

In Time.

Eventually, I'd get around to flicking off the reliable creep at the bus stop or sit down a best friend and explain to her that it's NOT okay to kiss my boyfriend. Deep down, I knew I'd firmly stand by the belief that I wasn't going to stop being who I had worked hard to become bc other forces outside of me were simply put, shitty. I'd just have to sharpen wits or reach out for resources on coping - be it counseling, art therapy, a trustworthy friend, my books, a quiet walk in nature. Besides, walking on pins and needles through life sounded like NO FUN and a lot of ruined cute shoes.

Fast forward three decades and having my own moody pre-teen later, inner defenses have absolutely AMPED themselves up to a full blown arsenal that rivals against a more "smarter" version of "shitty." Adulthood hasn't gotten any more clear and I oddly relish when life unabashedly throws a call to arms. Nvm, strike that.

Better safe than sorry.

SO! I've recently been on a lil' hunt for a somewhat nostalgic accessory in my everyday to remind me that my son and I are worthy of protecting and safeguarding from any advanced, archaic, and future "shitty." A sort of keepsake symbol of alchemy between mind and spirit, where the unknown is confronted w grace and defiance rather than fear or trauma. Luckily, IG's algorithms caught on to my witchy side and led me to Mystifying Defense.

Based out of Portland, Breyell Payne has created a beautifully crafted brand of exclusively edgy and esoteric-esque Ouija Defense Keychains and pins. Merely looking at it, the Ouija Defense Keychain instantly brings on "Don't FWM" vibes. I was pretty on board after reading its origins:

"Mystifying Defense aims to bring a variety of products into the world that more people can identify with. In doing so we create a safe space without compromise." (Breyell Payne, )

Identifiable that it is. A delightfully bold "Stay Away" is engraved at the top of this durable black planchette w a "Goodbye" at the pointed indicator. For me, this artful little piece symbolically bats lashes at all the messes I've had to clean up that weren't necessarily mine to begin with, but have shaped me into the stronger hearted/minded YET equally glittery young woman that I am today.

Thanks for existing, Mystifying Defense.

Seriously, come at me life!

Belle Payne is Owner of All Bad Days and you can find out more about her co. at:

Snag your Ouija Defense Keychain:

#selfdefense #notsorrybye #accesorize

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