Happy March Monday, family!! (If you're still tuning in to our blog, we definitely consider you that at this point). So, thank you, for continuing to follow Connie and I are on our weekly adventures.
Looking back on February, it was definitely an interesting blend of emotional hell yes's and hell no's when it came to my life direction. As I'm pursuing my new business path more, I would be lying if I said it has been an easy journey. In reality, it has been a mix of back-to-back panic inducing challenges broken up by blips of successful championships. Apparently, this is part of the deal when you want to be an entrepreneur and, most importantly, a better human being for yourself. But one theme I also noticed in entrepreneurs is that taking care of yourself usually takes a backseat to your goals and your business. There is misconception that "you can't have it all." So as a challenge, I decided to take my own advice last year and started taking care of myself the way I take care of others and my talent at work. I started dressing joyfully... and as dramatic as it sounds, it truly did change my life.
Being a full time costume designer and stylist has always been a goal of mine, but when I achieved it I realized I still felt like I was still lacking something. Working a minimum of 12-16 hour work days for the film and commercial industry really took so much life and energy out of me, but I ignored all the red flags. Honestly, I grew up in a family where 16 hour work days for minimum wage was the only way to survive (I want to cry thinking about how grateful I am to have such a hardworking dad). So needless to say, this lifestyle of hard work and no play was totally normal. However, there I was, starting to see that after all the successful jobs and steady money, I didn't even recognize myself. In fact, I was being a total hypocrite in the process. I was giving advice to people at work, celebrities, friends, and family about how to dress to make themselves feel good and look great, while I myself had very little thought to what I was wearing. I was dressing very practically and I revolved my life around "the job." I lost myself, my taste, my opinions, and my happiness. This will happen when you're consistently trying to please 10 clients, 5 agency people, 1-2 director(s), and multiple producers simultaneously.
Here's a quick trip down memory lane to see how I used to dress at work:
Here I am happily wiping Florence Henderson's feet after I styled her. I chose to wear cheap, muted, and boring clothing to tone down my appearance. I was there to work and get dirty if need be.
I made this costume for Patton Oswald for the Samantha Bee show and even sewed this cape for him from scratch. I wore a simple black tshirt dress on this job because I needed to be comfortable and mobile on a hot day, but able to disappear at any moment. No personality, no life.... no joy.
I made this leather jacket for this awesome pig for a car commercial. For my #OOTD I wore that cardigan because it was cold on set. My shoes have to be close toed because of union regulation. My hat was somewhat exciting, but really it was just in my costume stock and I was having a shitty hair day. My nails are the only thing with any personality whatsoever. Truly I look so happy because I didn't have a fitting with this pig and relieved his jacket fit.
Needless to say, Soma & Ulte was the first step in the right direction for me. Soma & Ulte forced me to start connecting with my own joy again and rediscover what I love about clothes. However, I went about it initially in totally the wrong way. To "dress for success" was still a misunderstanding of the true power of clothing. There was lack of emotion behind my decisions. I was choosing clothing because I loved them for their aesthetics. Nothing wrong with that, but again, that nagging emptiness still remained. I didn't feel like it was me. So, what I can say about my self discovery, is that the more I stopped caring about how I was going to be seen,and instead, dressed in what brings ME joy, I found myself again .... which leads me to the #OOTD ....
This #OOTD is more than just clothing to me. It is the ultimate example of how dressing joyfully changed me and how I see myself. It is bright, funky, shiny and absolutely FUN. It is not shy or cares about hiding. It is meant to be seen. Being and celebrating our uniqueness is not a privilege meant for everyone but you. It is a human right we can all share and embrace. THIS idea was a breakthrough moment I had last year when I first started taking my "side gig" of personal styling seriously. And since dressing joyfully and doing exactly what I preach, I am now running a successful personal branding style business. I now get to do what I love, and most importantly, help others tap into their inner joy and show them how to boldly express that to the world.
This top has literal STAR POWER and the celestial theme is something I have loved and appreciated since I was a little girl. I had glow-in-the-dark constellations in my bedroom until college and loved anything full of sparkle. This was something that brought me so much joy as a child and since adulthood, I had completely abandoned. But now, I can say that whenever I wear this, I feel that inner joy that makes me giggle like a little girl. It makes me feel alive and it makes me feel confident.
****The photo above taken by Eyoalha at an event where I got to talk about my journey and new work. See more work from her at www.jumpforjoyphotoproject.com/ ***** All other photos taken by my Connie!
This is exactly why I wore it to an event where I had to talk in front of 80+ women about my emotional journey this year and how happy I feel today. It made me less nervous because I was fully owning who I am and that fueled my courage to share my experience with everyone.
So what can you do to dress joyfully? Think about the little kid in you. Tap into his or her inner joy. Perhaps, then you'll have a life changing moment too.
Sending so much love,
Soma & Ulte