Isn’t this lemon skirt the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?! *all the heart eyes!*
Anyway, I have been getting an abundance of questions lately regarding this blog. I have so much to share that I couldn’t possibly cover everything in one post so I’ll be sharing little tidbits every now and then and will hopefully make it a regular series, if you guys like it! Today, I’m starting from the beginning….one of my most asked questions.
Why did I start my blog?
I’ve mentioned bits and pieces of my story on here already, but I’ve never covered the whole thing. Lets begin…
Why I Started My Blog
For as long as I can remember, I have loved to draw. I loved drawing anything and everything, but mostly people. I have also always loved fashion. I vividly remember dressing up in my mom’s heels and great-grandmother’s fur coat and attempting to put on the brightest lipstick I could find. I was always creating outfits for myself, dressing up my dolls and picking out clothes for my friends. I learned how to hand sew when I was around 10 and created clothing for my dolls and for myself. Wearing something that I created made me feel so proud and accomplished. Fashion design was my passion and I knew even before this moment that it was the only thing I wanted to do.
Fast forward to high school. We did not have a lot of money to go school shopping, so I would babysit frequently and use the money that I made to buy clothing. At the time, I bought nearly everything off the clearance rack from discount stores. I was always very good with money and knew how to find great deals on items within my limited budget. I got compliments on my outfits daily and was constantly asked where I had purchased something or if I could style someone. I wasn’t wearing the “trendy” clothing at that time so I definitely stood out. I was wearing items that were “different”…things that I loved…and for this, it was hard to fit in at times.
Before college and throughout, I was ALWAYS drawing and designing….on newspapers, on napkins, on receipts, anything I could find. After graduating with my AA, I decided to go to fashion school. I applied to many different schools and ultimately decided on one that was five hours away because I had family there and didn’t want to be in a new city by myself. This ended up being the most heartbreaking and worst decision of my life. I had taken a summer job to save up for my move and ended up having to use all of this money to live on. The recession hit during this time and I was unable to find a job. I had barely enough money to eat, but I wanted this so bad. There were so many bad signs leading up to this move but I forced it to happen anyway. Long story short, I was taken advantage of and scammed out of a lot of money from this school. After thorough investigation, I found out that they were not accredited, did not have qualified professors, accepted any student that would pay, and would not allow classes to transfer to any other college (not even one of their other campuses). There is so much more to this story, but in short, I lost all of my money and had to pay back my very expensive loans for this private art school that I did not even get anything out of. The school was going through protected form of bankruptcy so I could not even file a lawsuit. I worked so hard to save up money for this and it was gone for nothing.
I ended up moving back home, but I wasn’t ready to give up my dream. I started applying to schools again and was accepted to three of the most prestigious art schools on the West Coast. I qualified for financial aid and had a few scholarships, but unfortunately had to turn down my acceptance to all three schools because I couldn’t afford the additional costs that weren’t covered by my aid. I was absolutely devastated and it was at this time, that I reached the lowest point in my life personally.
I ended up going to the local university to finish up my BA in art and marketing. I took as many figure drawing classes I could and found a new love for my sculpture class. People are just not interested in fashion where I live and that reflects in the school as well. There were no possible classes for me take that were even close to what I wanted to do. I ended up essentially creating my own course through my sculpture class where I would create dresses out of everyday materials for my projects. Being short on cash, I used any household item I could find to create wearable works of art: newspaper, toilet paper, foil, metal screen, wire, etc. and built these dresses on my dressform (ensuring they were my size, of course). I was known as “the girl that made paper dresses.”
After I graduated, I STILL wanted to get some kind of education in fashion. I started looking into Master’s programs only to find out that I could not use financial aid for a Master’s degree. At this time, I was still paying back my loans from the school that scammed me. I was also living on my own, working three jobs and saving up for a wedding. Paying for another degree was going to be absolutely impossible. You don’t know how much this hurt me. At this point, I was heartbroken. I felt that I had the talent, skill and ambition, but obstacle after obstacle was getting in my way and keeping me from the only thing that I ever wanted. I had no other choice than to settle.
It was at this time that I lost my job that I had had for over three years. It was a month before our wedding and we had just put money down on an apartment. I applied for hundreds of jobs and went to so many interviews only to be told that I was “overqualified.” At this point, I just needed a job and didn’t care where it was but ironically enough, no one would give me a chance due to my education. I ended up being unemployed for over six months and it was during this time that I really delved into the world of blogging (something I had discovered a year prior). I would read posts everyday of these girls (all of which are wildly successful now) that would share their outfits for the world to see. I thought that they were so courageous for doing that and I loved that I could get to know these girls through their writing. It was such a lonely time for me and I felt that I could really connect with them and that finally, I had found my “tribe.”
I decided that I wanted to start a blog too. I kept it a secret and did not tell ANYONE. I took terrible mirror photos of my OOTD’s from my phone. I started to see that people were reading it and it freaked me out. My (now) husband ended up coming across it somehow and I was so embarrassed that I deleted the whole blog. I kept it in the back of my mind for the next few years, but there was always this pinging in my head to start it up again. I ignored it and moved on with my life.
Three years passed and I was feeling very unfulfilled with my job. There was no stimulation, no spark, no creativity, no passion. I lived my days like a robot, doing the same boring thing everyday. I was not happy and I knew this is not the path I wanted to go down. I still had this yearning to create a blog and honestly, after all the roadblocks with fashion design, I felt that it was my last chance to really go after my dreams. I figured that if it didn’t work out this time, then it was time to give up.
I began researching every single waking moment for the next six months until I decided that I was finally ready to take that step. I was so nervous about going outside my comfort zone and sharing myself with others and most of all, I was worried about what other people would think. The moment I hit the publish button, my whole life changed and I had no idea how much more it would change. I consistently starting posting from day one and even though, no one was really seeing my outfits or visiting my blog, I kept going because I loved it so much. It gave me a creative outlet and started to fill the missing pieces from my life. I decided that I didn’t care what people thought anymore so I shared what I was doing. Some were supportive and others were not, but it was okay because I was doing something for me. It was then that I started my Instagram account from 0 because I had previously thought Instagram was lame. It’s funny how things change haha! I did not go into this expecting to make money or to get free things or be “Insta-famous” or anything like that. It was really as simple as …I just really REALLY love fashion and want to share it with the world.
I’m two and a half years in and although my life has completely changed, my motive still has not. Fashion is literally my life. It is everything to me. I am a strong believer that things happen for a reason and while there were infinite situations preventing me from fashion school, nothing has prevented me from starting this blog. Blogging has not only blessed with me a creative outlet, but it has introduced me to so many people that I consider my best friends, has brought about more opportunities than I can even fathom that I deemed impossible just years ago and has given me purpose and direction when I felt so lost in my life. I have worked harder than I have ever worked for anything in my life, but through this I have found a passion that I never knew existed. I am still learning new things everyday and still have so much more to learn and even though I don’t see myself as “successful” in the tradition sense, I feel that I have successfully created a life for myself that brings so much joy and freedom. I only wish I would have started it sooner.
Top: Chicwish (on sale!) | Skirt: Morning Lavender c/o | Shoes: LC Lauren Conrad (similar here) | Handbag: Bronze Times (on sale for $32!) | Sunnies: Celine | Cuff: Brook & York | Ring: Rocksbox
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