I now fully understand the phrase “what a whirlwind it’s been.” After moving from a little town named Eureka, in central Missouri (I know, you’re jealous), to one of the most prominent cities for art and culture, Florence, Italy; I thought I had seen it all. Moving to Florence was such a huge contrast to Missouri, and what I thought would be the most exciting experience of my life. After Italy, I admit, NYC seemed a bit black and lifeless. To this day, I couldn’t be happier with my decision to not get sucked into the corporate world of fashion. I feel the industry, at times, has no conscious sense of responsibility to mother Earth or the mass public. Moving to West Chester, PA I thought the excitement I had felt going from the farmlands of Missouri to living amongst the ancient ruins of Florence, could never be matched. Well, I could not have been more wrong. Finding not one job but two, I had the pleasure of working for two strong and independent female business owners. Each of them taught me tons and trusted me with their lives, aka businesses. For the most part life was good. And then fate stepped in.
Literally, the shock of my life. Someone believed in me, my designs, skills, thoughts, dreams and goals. As if it could not get any better, they also believed in my closest friend here in West Chester, Emily. With what seemed like the flick of a wand, I had two amazing humans who wanted to make my dreams a reality. (My parents, of course, have always been the most amazing support system for me, but they get to take a back seat on this "investing in my future thing” finally). It was so exciting, I could not believe it. I mostly sat there in shock, probably grinning from ear to ear, while they explained how they wanted to help change Emily and my life for the better.
We would be partners and have artistic direction of the brand I had already begun to create. We would get our own work space and a salary to live off of, but most importantly we would get time. Both of us were working two jobs and were functioning, like so many others in our generation, off of one day off a week if we were lucky. Try scheduling a doctors appointment, dentist appointment, and hair appointment with only 1 or 2 days off a month. It made me want to call my mom and crawl into bed (sad but so true). So you can imagine finding time to make a handbag, clutch, or backpack for a client was borderline impossible. But really, receiving this offer was like living in a movie or the best Shark Tankepisode ever, just without the sharks.
It has been a little over three months since I learned of this new possibility for my life and two months since we have been working full time on it. We moved into our Tesoro and gleek headquarters 2 weeks ago, and we now have our own offices and even a studio/workspace for all my big equipment (photos soon to come). There are endless questions, lists, and new ideas every day. Some old stresses have melted away and are now replaced by new ones. There are, as always, about a million things bouncing around in my brain every second. From bag designs to photo shoot ideas to which restaurant we should review next (so I can explain away another burger and french fries in my life), the possibilities are endless.
We decided to keep a journal of our experiences so we could have something to look back on when this thing gets big or goes down in flames (fingers crossed for the first of the two). Today I feel gratitude, and I cannot wait to see where the next three months will take us. Sometimes, if you work your ass off, amazing people will take notice and your life will change forever. So, if you made it to the bottom, thanks for reading (mom, I know this is basically directed at you and dad haha). Please keep following our progress and if you can, share the link or buy a bag!