My entire life I have struggled to feel accepted. I have struggled to fit in. I can remember countless times growing up where either groups or individuals would make a point to let me know that I wasn’t one of them. I was different. By the end of 7 th grade, I was one of the tallest girls in our class. All the girls that I knew at the time did their hair the same, they did their makeup the same, and they dressed the same. Girls jeans were too short for me, so my dad bought me guys jeans because they were longer. We were not a poor family, but we were frugal. My parents did not want to pay for the name brand clothing that all the kids were wearing. I was inspired to look at fashion in a different way, and soon I didn’t understand anymore why everyone wanted to be look-alikes.

For as long as I can remember I have always been creative. Art, music, and theater were my gig. My mother was always sewing, and I would play with her fabric scraps as a child making clothing out of it for my Barbies. When I could reach the pedal of the sewing machine, she taught me how to sew. I was eight then, and I fell in love. Finding clothing became difficult as I got older. Jeans were too short, dresses were too short, skirts were too short … everything was too short. Clothing brands didn’t cater to the tall girls back then. Finding items for my closet that fit me correctly was a real struggle. My parents would encourage me to find ways to be creative and to develop my own style. Entering high school, I started to shop secondhand clothing stores. I would redesign and style those clothes into looks unlike what others were wearing. I remember a pair of 501 men’s Levi’s that I had my dad shoot holes into with his gun. I then bleached them out in the washing machine. When I wore those to school everyone wanted them. The guys and the girls were borrowing them hand over fist. I realized then … that I might have a knack for fashion.

In my career as a fashion designer I have flourished, and I have had setbacks. In my times of flourishing I was being original. I offered clothing unlike what was being seen before. These were the days of red-carpet moments, and fashion editorial spreads. I had no boundaries, no parameters. I was dreaming and creating, and the sky was the limit. My setbacks were in times where fear would take over and my designs became too safe. These were times when I was seeking approval from buyers, stylists, and my business partners. The stress to conform to trends, multiple seasons, and endless collections with numerous stipulations weighed me down. I walked away from my first clothing brand because if felt too much like my childhood experience. The struggle to be accepted and to fit in had resurfaced.

When I lost my line, I fell apart. By trying to fit in I forgot the one thing that I had learned all those years ago. In my healing I have been reminded that I was put here to stand out from the crowd. I am not meant to be like anyone else. I thrive on originality. I want to encourage others to do the same. Find what makes you different and share that with the world. We strive to bring you clothing and jewelry that help you to feel cute and original and to embrace who you truly are.

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