I am so thrilled to finally be taking steps on my new path. It’s not too much of a stray from my old one, but I am finally following my heart and my true artistic passions. I graduated from SCAD Atlanta in 2014 with a BFA in Fashion Design and dreams of creating my own clothing brand. I embarked on that journey once I made the decision to move to my current home of Charlotte, NC, and began designing with a full heart and a head full of ideas. I maintained a full time job working for a local business and doing my design work at night, on my off days, and on weekends. This continued for a year until I realized that my own work wasn’t my priority, because it couldn’t be; I didn’t have the time to commit myself fully to my design work and it showed. Though I made seasonal fashion collections for a couple years and my pieces turned out well enough to make me happy, I don’t think I was able to immerse myself in the design process enough to fully realize my ideas. I was attempting to ‘dumb things down’ and make things wearable for the sake of getting the pieces done and creating the seasonal ready-to-wear collections that I thought fashion designers were ‘supposed’ to make. When you get a degree in something, there is a certain path that seems like it’s what everyone is ‘supposed’ to do. I also have major issues with the ethics of the ready-to-wear fashion industry. I can save those issues and discussion for another time, but it was making me question my decision to be in this field at all. All of this combined stretched me very thin emotionally as well as physically. My inspiration always consisted of complicated historical and fantasy references, and I was attempting to take that complexity and make wearable, every day clothing. Over the next year or so this continued, and slowly but surely, I became very discouraged as an artist. I felt like I wasn’t able to explore my ideas fully, because I was trying to make them ‘wearable’, ‘marketable’, and ‘sellable’. The pressures of the digital age were on my shoulders as well. Constant worry about social media, and having new content was weighing on me like a rain cloud over my head. I was becoming my own worst stepping stone on my journey. I started contemplating changes. I created a blog, I began drawing and painting more; getting back to my general artistic roots away from fashion and the fashion industry. In all the midst of this, I was also dealing with chronic headaches and neck pain due to genetic scoliosis, poor posture, and working patterns. Sewing, patternmaking, etc. is hard on your body, and it was starting to show on me. So, I took a much needed break. I focused on custom pieces for clients including evening gowns, a bridal gown, and others. All the while, I brainstormed, journaled, and came to one big conclusion. And here it is.
I got into fashion design because I love to dress up. More than anything, I love to create a fantasy and embody a character through wearable means. I love to transport people to a different place and time through clothing, and I love the ability that clothing has to transform anyone who wears it. I grew up in dance, on stage and performing. Dressing up in costumes and artistic clothing has always been my preferred method of self expression. My lifelong loves have been fantasy, history, literature, video games, comic books, and art. I am an unabashed nerdy girl. A weird girl. And that is what I was doing wrong. I was trying to take what I really love and make it work for ‘every day’ and ‘every woman’. And now, I’ll be doing what I really love, making it work for ‘any day’ and people like me! Cosplay and creating costumes for myself will allow me to bring my favorite characters to life, share it with the world, and create pieces I would have otherwise not thought possible. While creating wearable art and costume for my brand to sell to you will allow me to share my love of dressing up with others. You will be able to be whoever and whatever you want to be, and live a well adorned life wearing the pieces I make. Through my website store and my Etsy I will be selling handmade costume pieces, headpieces, accessories, and more. I am always open to custom commissions as well.
Though I can say that the last 3 years have been a crazy, hectic whirlwind of emotions and stress, I am very glad that I went through these challenges to get where I am in this moment. I feel like because of the challenges and emotional pain, I know where I want to go. I finally know exactly what I want to do for the foreseeable future. Sharing this story on my website means that everyone coming here knows a lot more about me as an artist. Why I have made these choices, and why I am so excited to take this new step in my personal journey. I have gotten asked a lot by people (especially locally that I know) if I am ‘not designing anymore’. That is absolutely not the case. I needed some personal time to gather my thoughts, to do some soul searching, and to just be me for a while. I am so glad that I did. I wouldn’t be where I am without making that choice. All in all, I am so thrilled and excited for what is to come and to see where I go from here. I aim to make a positive impact on women who love fashion and art, on the costume and cosplay community, and to help everyone realize that you can in fact do what you love! You just have to believe in yourself and believe in your dreams.
I am hoping to have my web store and Etsy store back open with new products within the next month, and I am looking forward to pursuing opportunities at comic book conventions, art fairs/pop up stores, and local opportunities! I cherish everyone who takes the time to read this and who wants to follow me on my artistic journey.