This year has been full of blessings, hard work and mental growth for me.
I've refrained from getting too personal in the interviews I've done so far to avoid any possibility of misinterpretation but as the year is about to end I think it's the best time to get everything out!
At the beginning of the year, this January, I deleted my Instagram because I felt irrelevant in the social media realm. I wasn't where I wanted to be nor did I actually know how to get there. Posting photos of my face and body everyday, travelling and having a seemingly fun, relaxing life was extremely misleading. In reality, I was just working a lot and coming to the realization that my little Jewelry business "Trejjr" was at a dead end. I almost felt like I was annoying myself and everyone else by repeatedly posting meaningless photos for the sake of social media.
During this time, I was also dealing with friend/relationship issues kind of all at the exact same time. So naturally, I was forced to isolate myself until things went back to normal in my social life.
January 2018 was a month of complete mental clarity for me, I still didn't know what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, but I knew what I felt like doing in the moment. I started to go back to into my naturally creative state that I wasn't able to find with all of the noise around me beforehand.
I've always reworked clothing for fun, but never really challenged myself in that category. Long story short, I created piece and decided to finally reactivate my Instagram to showcase the creative process and the finished piece. It sold immediately and it may seem like a small deal but it made me so happy and proud of myself! So I repeated the exact same formula: making, documenting, putting my creations *UP FOR GRABS* online for the next few months leading up to summer.
[ fast forward ]
I could never comprehend what consistent creative work, balanced with a day job while upholding a social life in the midst of it all would even look like.
When I got my first formal collab request from the Jordan brand through email I was so surprised that I had to google the sender to make sure they were real (If you're reading this don't laugh at me lol!) But seriously, it was something I didn't even consider would happen.
While working with the Jordan brand, I learned how to speak about myself in front of an audience, how to teach people about what I do, how to demonstrate my craft in a workshop setting, and how to carry myself without the backbone of close friends around to counter my social awkwardness. That being said, I'm still battling with shyness and learning how to not be the antisocial wallflower when I go out! All in all, thank you to the Jordan and Nike brand for the social confidence boost, for the consistent love and support from the team, AND for the amazing people I've met in the process.
I'm not sure how to even begin to explain my experience working with Kappa. I think the story tells itself in the photos and online content. The number one thing I'm appreciative of regarding the brand is the level of trust they had in me. I was gifted with probably the biggest project I've had in my entire life working with stylist, Zoe Costello and the Migos. Although we overcame so many obstacles in the midst of it, the end result was something I was extremely proud of. The best part is that I had full creative control and got to showcase something that was a reflection of myself. And honestly, I wasn't even sure if they were going to even like the outfits I made, much less wear them on stage. I was just happy to have gotten my work in their hands!
This project made me trust my own judgement more and also expanded my vision of what direction I want to continue in. Thank you to Kappa for welcoming me into the family, for challenging my creativity and for giving me a new outlook on business!
I want to thank everyone who has ever purchased any of my pieces, participated in any photoshoots, customization sessions, promotional events, anyone who has said anything to me this year to help motivate me and keep me on track. I am eternally grateful to all of you and it all means way more than you can ever think.
To wrap this up, I want to explain a bit about the obstacles I've faced throughout the year and how I'm going to better overcome them in 2019.
As some of you know, I work in the serving industry and I also live on my own in Downtown, Toronto. I went through most of this year only working to support living and to support my business. I know I'm one of many that are currently in the same situation if not, worse. And as all these amazing things were happening throughout the year, they were all being muffled by long work hours, pressure of performance, negotiating budgets, brands mimicking my work, not being compensated for my work by certain companies (that will go unnamed), etc. and as a result I wasn't really able to properly relish any of my achievements because instead of enjoying the moment, I was worrying about the next project, paranoid about keeping up, focusing on copycats and not actually feeling anything when people say "congratulations".
Throughout this entire process I balanced my hard work with going out and having fun with friends, working out less, not focusing on my nutrition as much as I normally do, simply because I kept telling myself I as exhausted. But it turns out that this was all detrimental to my well being. I compromised sleep, eliminated time for personal reflection and purposely didn't let myself take a step back from anything. Yes, it is very important stay motivated in work and to sustain social relationships but being fulfilled in work needs to be balanced with self care as well, otherwise you will lose yourself in work and forget that it actually started out as just a hobby.
The forced isolation I began the year with pushed me into a creative state and I'd like to welcome back small moments of time with myself so I can keep a strong relationship with myself just as I keep a strong relationship with work and social life.
Key word: BALANCE
I'm definitely still figuring things out but I have a clear vision of what I want in 2019 and my goal is to not get in the way of my own well being this time around!
If you got this far, I hope this journal entry was relatable and helped you to get to know me a bit more! Thanks for reading and leave a comment if you please!
*** HAPPY NEW YEARS!!! ***