An Unforgettable Mother-Daughter Experience
Let me start off by saying that this is something I had never even dreamed of being able to do with my daughter. Of course, throughout my years in college and in my career as a fashion designer, I always set goals that I would aspire to someday achieve. However, never did I see myself walking down a runway with my daughter in celebration of a collection I would have just presented to a large crowd of people.
So, how did this all come about you may ask? How did I, a full time teaching assistant, part-time college student, full-time mom and wife, end up creating a 10 look collection all in the mist of moving into a new home? First of all, my younger sister and her university (Bentley University of Boston, MA) were behind this entire fashion show event. My sister was actually the production director for the show and she asked me to submit a proposal for the opportunity to be selected as a designer to showcase a new collection from my brand. This was back in November, when my husband and I had just moved out of our Brooklyn apartment to live with a family member while our new soon-to-be home was being worked on. All three of us were sharing a single bedroom therefore, most of our belongings were in storage and unavailable to us. Hence, when my sister asked me to submit a proposal, I was very reluctant to do so. Not only did I not have any of my tools to create a collection, but I had no space to work. On top of all that, I was juggling college, an internship, and my job. Let's not forget my husband and a one-year old daughter, who at times had to tag along with me to class because there was no one to babysit. I thought, "this will never be possible".
Nonetheless, after much over-thinking, procrastination, and constant persuasion by my sister, I decided to go forward with submitting a proposal. After all, what were the chances of me really getting selected? I was practically the only designer all the way out in NYC while the campus was in Boston. It would be nearly impossible to travel back and forth for meetings and dress fittings. I also thought the other team members wouldn't want to choose me for the simple fact of me being closely related to one of the board members.
It was mid January when I received an email confirming that I had been selected as a designer for this year's fashion show! I honestly did not know what to feel or how to react to the news. This entire time from the moment I sent my proposal to the moment I received that email, I had secretly been hoping I wouldn't be selected. The only reason I entered, was to not disappoint my sister. Even if I wasn't selected, at least she would be happy that I tried. In the email, they asked me to respond with my acceptance of the position but, it took me three whole days to finally send an email back.
As if I didn't have enough challenges already in my life, I decided to squeeze in one more. With tremendous fear and uncertainty, I sent an email back confirming I would take part in this huge fashion event. From then on, I played an anxious waiting game hoping that our new apartment would be ready soon so, that I can begin working on my collection. In the meantime, I did the best I could to take care of other things in preparation while, I waited to get my tools. I made a trip to Boston to pick my models. I chose my music selection, did fabric sourcing, picked up my sewing machines from my father's apartment, rescued my old patterns from storage, and went through it to select patterns I can reuse for my new collection. It wasn't until the last week of February that I was finally able to actually begin working on my collection. The fashion show was on March 23rd!
It was three weeks of complete worry and pressure trying to keep a positive attitude about my success in completing the collection on time. I barely slept for that entire month before the show because by the time I put my daughter to sleep, I wouldn't get started working till about 9 or 9:30pm, sometimes later. Somedays I had to go without putting a minute into the collection because I either had class or had to work on a lesson plan for my student teaching internship or had homework to work on. I even took my sewing machine with me to Boston so I can sew in my hotel room hours before the show! Every night while at the sewing machine as I fought with myself to stay awake, I repeated to myself, "you can do this, you can do this, you can do this". In my agenda I would write to do lists and right by my notes, I would add stickers that say "nothing's impossible, get it done, and make it happen". All of these techniques along with the major concern to not let my sister down are what I believe pushed me to actually complete this job.
I later realized that this was something I really wanted to do for MYSELF as well. I wanted to prove to myself and the people who always support me that NOTHING is impossible. I wanted to show them that although I have steered away from my fashion design career in order to be there for my daughter, I can still pursue my dreams and reach those goals I had once set for myself early in my career.
I had only seen my own work come down a fashion runway once, when I graduated from college. There, I had somewhat experienced that feeling of gratification and pride you feel when you have accomplished something. However, the feeling I experienced at the Bentley University fashion show on March 23rd is unexplainable. Watching my entire collection walk down the runway to the beat of the music I had meticulously selected (put together by my daughter's godfather), just filled me inside with something bigger than fulfillment and joy. Watching the beauty in every movement of fabric, the shine of every trim detail as it glistened on the runway, just made me smile and nearly cry in happiness. As my sister and I watched from the big screen, I could see her eyes begin to water. I remember repeating to myself, "you did it, you actually did it!"
The finale, walking alongside my daughter was EVERYTHING to me because she was my motivation for success just as much as my sister. She could now look back at videos and pictures of this day and know that no matter how tough or difficult your circumstances are, you should never give up on a dream or a goal. If you really want something badly, not even the most challenging situation will stop you from attaining it. With hard work, perseverance, sacrifice, and love for what you do, comes great success. I am so grateful to the entire fashion show board members and especially my sister for allowing me to live this opportunity. I also have to thank my husband, my mother-in-law, and my daughter's god mother and father for all your tremendous help and support. Even in the most minimal way you all did something to make this happen for me.
"The harder you work for something, the greater you'll feel when you achieve it." ~Unknown
...Sew This is Life!
*To see more photos and a video of the collection please follow my brand instagram @cf_designs ! Check out @bub_fashionshow