My decision to make a change in my environment wasn't a drastic one made overnight, it was made over time. I am now 34, a mother, a partner and a new business owner. I began this journey in 2015 when I moved to Cambodia to fulfill a volunteer position. I had no idea that it would change my life so drastically. So here’s a little about my life, choices and what drove me to be an ethical clothing designer.
I suppose my love for fashion started at a young age. When I was a child I had social parents that would dress up for their nights out. I remember admiring my mother's dresses and her red lipstick. My father always wore beautiful suits and leather loafers with no socks, it was the 80's. After they left for the evening I would sneak into my mother's closet to admire her clothes. One dress in particular had a beautifully cut black velvet bodice and tangerine ruffles. I loved that dress! I also loved her shoes, I would slide my feet into them anxiously awaiting the day I could wear them, that day never came, my feet only grew to a size 6. One of my favorite things to do was dig through her jewelry box. It was like opening a treasure box. An array of jewelry collected from her travels. I would try things on and imagine being whisked away places too far off places. Probably something that inspired me to travel.
My grandmother was also an influence in my life, she was an amazing seamstress. I would sit in her sewing room for hours where she listened to Frank Sinatra and would sew the day away. When I was old enough to use the machine I began to appreciate the skill and patience it took for someone to construct these beautiful garments that inspired my imagination as a child.
As I grew older I continued my interest in fashion. I took some classes during my school years but, the way life happened, I became a hairstylist. This was an awesome career I took great pride in, I valued my trade. I stuck with it for 12 years but felt unfulfilled. I felt stuck. I had all the things I was “supposed” to have. A great job, nice apartment, my car was finally paid off, health insurance, nice holidays, you get the point. But what the FUCK was I going to do? I spent almost all of my 20 building my skill and maintaining my clientele but I felt empty. Then, at just the right time in my lif, I heard about a volunteer position. They were looking for applicants and I was looking for change. I applied for the position and was accepted. It was exactly what needed to move on to the next phase of my life.
The volunteer position would last a few months but “what would i do after that?” . Still, with no plan in place I knew I felt bored, lonely and depressed. There was no way I could continue like this. That's when I decided to cash out and hit the road, see where the wind would take me. I've always loved to travel and I was no stranger to new places but this was a new kind of travel filled with new kinds of feelings. This time I wasn’t coming back!
Little did I know, this would not only start a new chapter in my life but close one book and open a new one.
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