Wow a new year 2018! First off I want to wish you all a happy new year!!! Now I want to share a story with you all. Get comfy because this post is going to be long.
A couple of weeks ago I was interviewed by a friend. He asked me to share my story of how I came to be where I am today. I paused a moment intimidated by the question and thought, “Well where am I?” Being such a goal oriented and focused person, I stopped to realize that I never actually shared this story. I also never took the time to celebrate every milestone no matter how big or small and here I am. This story is not to gloat because I am still a work in progress. I have so much more that I want to do and I am not where I want to be yet. This story is meant to encourage you to not give up on your dreams no matter what they are or how crazy they may seem.
The question was a simple one, “How did you break into the fashion world?” I always wanted to be in fashion and it was always a part of me. To fully explain this, I must start from the beginning…after I graduated college. My initial goal after college was to be a professional dancer, more specifically to dance for the Philadelphia 76ers. Check. My other goal was to get a full-time job out of school before those student loans came out of deferment. Check. This job was at a bank. Not my ideal job but at the time it was everything I wanted and more. Fast forward 2 years and I start to re-evalute my life. What am I doing? Where am I going? I don’t like this career but I still love dancing. Enter going back to school.
Yes, I went back to school because I genuinely thought that I wanted to be in the medical field. As much as I love and respect the field, it wasn’t for me. I quit school a semester before I was to graduate because I ran out of money. I commend people that go back to school after having a Bachelor’s degree because they give you no money. To make ends meet during this time, I bartended at multiple places and taught dance at multiple places. Frustrated because I wasted my time and money with school, I went back to working 9-to-5 again. This time in the mortgage industry. I was still dancing for the Sixers through all of this.
I also decided to start a blog that I was not fully committed to and had no idea what I was doing.
After getting laid off from the mortgage job, I started bartending everyday again and had this idea to actually start a blog. After about a year of doing that, I ended up choosing to work 9-to-5 again since it was steady and safe, this time at another bank but as a temp. This is when I started blogging for real. I loved it and after going to conferences and seeing that this could be a real career I went harder. After not getting hired as a full-time employee at that bank, I applied at multiple places and landed at another bank. While working here, I took on a fashion styling job in New York for a year and was able to work remotely. One day at the bank it became clear to me, this is not the job I want or the industry I want to be in.
I loved the fashion industry and always had. If no one wanted to hire me for my dream job then I would create my dream job. I decided to make myself a desirable candidate when the opportunity came along. I read “The Secret” for two and a half years straight and went to work believing that something was going to happen. My time with the Sixers was coming to a close and I did not know what I was going to do with myself. All of a sudden I picked up some amazing blog campaigns AND I finally I land my dream job!!!
After working for the Sixers, at the bank and in this new role while still blogging, I found myself exhausted, happier but exhausted. From my exhaustion came frustration. Frustrated because I was working my dream job but not able to give my all because I was so tired plus I still dreaded working at the bank.
In August I had a conversion with my husband-to-be and decided that I was going to part ways with the bank. This was crazy because the bank was guaranteed income and a safety net. Saying I was going to leave was one thing but actually doing it was another. To make this long story shorter I left and have not looked back since. There have been times of doubt and still are but I wouldn’t trade the way I feel everyday now that I left.
I share this story to say, “Don’t give up.” Whatever you are going through don’t give up. I let people get in my head telling me that I would never get a job in fashion because I have no “experience”. If that’s the case, create your own experience. Intern, work for free, get a mentor, most importantly educate yourself in whatever you want to be in. Dreams and goals don’t come easily and you can’t expect to just be handed things. Work hard, be nice, be grateful and stay in your own lane.
I am truly grateful for every experience, every job, every wrong turn, every not so great relationship that has brought me to where I am at today. I have my moments as we always do and will, I am human. Thank you all for listening to my story and I hope to encourage someone today. With every fiber of my being, I know that 2018 is going to be the most amazing year!
Thanks for reading!