I think it may have all started on that wonderful moment when I spotted my first pair of Christian Louboutin pumps in a store window, their shiny red bottoms screaming out my name. Or perhaps it went back even further to when I was a very young girl and my grandmother first introduced me to the magic of needle and thread. MeMa (as I called her) helped me construct my very first handbag, which we crafted from plush maroon velvet fabric and a pink ribbon bow. I learned that day that not only was the world of fashion at my fingertips, but that my fingertips had been itching for the joys of creating fashion all along.
In high school I began designing and constructing all of my gowns for special events. Prom, Homecoming, Senior Dinner Dance—these were my moments to shine. I played with different types of fabric, mixing sheers and opaques, appliqués and embellishments until I found just the right combinations for my pieces of art. Though I loved shopping, I found that I loved expressing myself through my own creations even more. I was no longer content to look or dress like everyone else. It made me happy to be literally on the cutting edge, my sharp scissors in hand!
I first started sewing on my grandmother’s beautiful old Singer sewing machine, a workhorse if you ever saw one, and then I progressed to acquiring my own machine in high school. Once I followed my passion into college for fashion design, I graduated to the big boys–the industrial sewing machines.
My real fashion experience began when, at the age of 20, I ditched my small town college and moved to the “Big Apple.” What better place to advance my studies than in the midst of the fashion epicenter of the United States! The hussle and bussle sucked me in, and I felt like I had at last found the place I belonged, for the first time in my life. In my heart, I became a New Yorker the moment I set foot on the streets of Manhattan.
Studying fashion design in NYC was the experience of a lifetime for a fashion lover like me. I embraced every Pattern Making, Sketching, and Color Theory class with vigor! Even the subway didn’t intimidate this Fashionista, not even at 4am in the morning as I would return to my apartment in Brooklyn, bleary-eyed from an inspired night of creation. I trotted all over Fifth Avenue, searched sample sales for designer duds, swatched fabric in the Garment District, scored a job working at Trump Tower for “The Donald”, and even fell in love—twice.
First I fell in love with the amazing city and the many splendored experiences it brought me, and then I fell in love with the amazing man that I am married to today. We met in typical New York City meeting fashion—at Starbucks. When I met him, he was leaving to ship off to basic training for the Army in a couple weeks, so we quickly found ourselves both in love and in an unimaginable predicament! Separated too soon, we communicated as best we could through letters throughout basic training, until we finally were allowed to increase our communication to phone when he went on to AIT ( Advanced Individual Training). We dealt with the ups and downs of a long distance relationship, while only having the chance to see each other on weekends whenever my sexy soldier was able to take leave. It wasn’t long into our relationship that we learned we were pregnant with our bundle of joy, Branden, not so little anymore at the lively age of three.
The moment that my little man was born, I transformed from Fashionista to Mamanista.