So listen. TRIGGER WARNING- IT'S A WHOLE LOTTA GOD ALL UP AND THROUGH THIS SO PREPARE YOURSELF.
This year has thrown alot of things our way. Some positive. Some negative. When COVID 19 first hit, I cued the dramatics-- I mean hard. Just ask my fellow friends in business who I often called for advice. I had so many plans for trunk shows and presentations and growth and this and that and that and this. But I kept getting the subtle reminders and hearing this ringing in my ear, that I now know was a voice saying "that's your plan but is it my plan? ".
This year started off with incredible opportunities that COVID came in and swept away like a hurricane and just when I thought it wasn't going to get any better-- there was the voice, but this time it was "That was YOUR PLAN but is it MY PLAN for YOU? "
Not going to lie- again it went ignored and I said okay this COVID thing will pass and I still have this collection to launch, so I'll do it THIS way. And then BOOM COVID said, nah not today or Tomorrow or the next day and there the voice was again but this time it asked?
"So you're just going to stick to your plan after I told you- I HAVE A Plan? ". And it hit different. This time I was at a low place, a place I had been before, a familiar not so beautiful place and I knew had to make a change. And because this place was all too familiar, I refused to stay in that place for long.
But I also decided in that moment to do something that I don't think I have ever done before and that was to just be still.
"Be Still and know that I am God"- Psalm 46:10
See to know me is to know that I am a busy body. But being busy isn't always being productive and I finally had a moment to just be still. Well if I'm being completely honest, CORONA and all its craziness forced me to be still. But either way, your girl wasn't going ANYWHERE.
So here we were in the midst of lockdown. No in or out. No trips to vendors for fabric or meetings or in person consultations, which meant that I really had no CHOICE but to focus on what I could control and that was me. Just me.
And so I decided to remove all distractions, and become more focused on things I could control like my health and well being (I lost 22 lbs. btw) and channeled my energy into getting back to me and doing what I enjoyed which was design. It was in that moment that I began to utilize my authentic voice and be true to myself that the doors of opportunity blew open.
That was when I found peace. True peace. Real peace. And out of this quarantine came a level of clarity I don't think I would have ever gained had I continued living life full throttle. ALL GAS NO BRAKES (BREAKS)
"the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus"-Phillipians 4:7
I picked up this devotional, Battlefield of the Mind By Joyce Meyer and begin to read it everyday and honestly it changed my life. I mean this devotional was so good- I think this might be what everyone is getting for Christmas. It changed the way I thought, the way I moved, created and dealt with the ways of my mind.
It wasn't to say that everyday was easy and awesome and filled with light and love, but it made it easier for me to deal with the days that weren't.
I spent time reading and mediating on what I heard and working out and scheduling my quarantine days like any other work day. I got myself back into a routine which aided in my building, branding, creating and loving what I created. And it even taught me the importance of boundaries and protecting my peace from things and people and ways that didn't serve me in a positive way and I felt healed.
Now full disclosure-- prior to 2020, I'd been to therapy many times, I gained tools and got help and applied the tools, but this felt different, because I felt like I was finally stepping out of my own way and "looking to the hills from which cometh my help" and allowing HIM to have his way in my life and it has paid off in ways I can't imagine.
Needless to say-- when I got out of my OWN way, allowed others to step in with guidance (btw my family and friends are the real MVPs) and began to take deep breaths and let things play out IN PURPOSE and not ON PURPOSE (let that marinate) that was the moment when things exploded for me. And I recognized that voice again and this time it was LOUD AND CLEAR
It said "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."-Jeremiah 29:11
See I feel like often times, people see how we live, where we live and assume that we always have it together. They live overseas. They live in Dubai (it's Abu Dhabi btw) And so they can't have a care in the world. They see social media and ASSUME they know you and will literally have no idea of what you have survived that has now allowed you to thrive.
They can't know what it feels to battle with depression or struggle with loss or feelings of insecurity and inadequacy. Well I'll be the first to tell you that depression doesn't have a POSTAL CODE and those overwhelming feelings of anxiety don't just rest because you change your address. It's something you have to work at daily, not just pray about it, but make a conscious effort to get out of bed and do the work that God has called you to do because you all know the saying "faith without works…."
So in this past 7 MONTHS, not only have a tripled but almost quadrupled my clientele. This is considering that at the top of quarantine, I had convinced myself my business had tanked and I needed to get into the health care industry designing haute Couture hazmat suits. I briefly thought about transitioning to making masks and believe me people asked me to, but I said no. Because it wasn't my passion. It wasn't what fueled me and I knew personally for me it would just be a band-aid on the wound.
I mean I had people saying you make beautiful things but where will I wear that, how can I wear that, when can I wear that and they have now been converted to "I HAVE TO WEAR THAT. I NEED TO WEAR THAT. TAKE ALL MY MONEY DOMINIQUE-- I DON'T KNOW WHERE I'M GOING BUT WHEN I GO- I'M WEARING THAT".
So I had to remain true to what I do. See so many times in my life--I have gotten off track doing what others thought I should be doing. Yeah I've always worked in the industry, but it was helping others fulfill their passions and achieve their goals. It was helping others grow their brands and build their labels.
And I'm certainly not complaining because those opportunities afforded me on the job experience that was invaluable, lifetime mentorship and chances to travel and experience so many things with so many incredibly talented people. But, I always knew I wanted to have my own one day.
I wanted to do what I do now and that is before every piece is perfectly packaged up, it is finished with a hand stitched Devereaux label by me as the piece de resistance serving as a reminder that WOW I created this. This which was once an ideation of mines has now become a tangible creation for someone else. The feeling of knowing that I created something special that will hang in someone's closet next to their high fashion pieces and that the quality rivals with the clothing on their racks is unmatched.
Last week, was the Soft Launch of Showroom 808 with a woman in business, Sheila, who will always have my deepest respect and gratitude and this week just keeps getting better with a special announcement. Yeah I know you all are wondering when is she going to get to the good part.
I know this was long, but I just can't contain the level of excitement I feel, not just for this moment but for the moments leading up to them and the moments to come, and if I never sell another garment I can leave this life feeling like I truly accomplished my dreams. FOR ME. BY ME. Although don't let that stop you all from placing an order 😂😂😂😂
But also please know that support is and has been more than an order. It's been a share, a like, a comment, a review AND word of the mouth referral (as I still believe in those), a styling consult with clients who have now become friends and now orders. Those who have believed in the vision from the beginning, I cannot thank you enough.
And then there are the women who have been in the trenches with me. When I questioned or doubted myself. Who encouraged me to fulfill my dreams in high school and wore my not so pretty made clothes in college. Who prayed for me and with me. Who listened to me rant and rumble and cry and be weird and extra and still love(d) on me through it all. I guarantee they will get their roses from me while they can still smell them.
My Sisters and Sister Niece and In Laws.
My Longest Running Bestie.
My Sister friends both in Texas and Abroad.
My big cousins and little ones too.
My Business Bosom Buddies.
My coworker aka hotel roomie Sister friend for life.
I hit the support system jackpot with you all for real. You all have made sure that I have never known the feeling of "what do you when your family/friends don't support what you do?"
This year, I have been featured in FOUR magazines. Just peep my Press section and now I would like to introduce you to NUMBER 5 out of Los Angeles.
NOT ONE BUT TWO of my girls ("Josephine" and Sofia) landed front and center on the cover as well as a SIX PAGE SPREAD featuring "Kennedy" as well but you have to purchase the magazine to check out the entire spread.
And I KNOW this is only the beginning.
To some it may just seem like a magazine cover- but to me it's a culmination of blood, sweat, tears, tears and more tears coming together for the world to see what you are truly capable of.
And to my dreamers, creatives, writers, lovers, doers and feelers of the arts and any other industry, If you haven't felt accomplished this year. DO NOT. I REPEAT DO NOT FEEL BAD OR ANGRY OR UPSET. Just surviving this year is an accomplishment all on its own. It's easy to let societal expectations cause you to question WHO you are but NEVER EVER let it question WHOSE you are.
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14
Take every day and sometimes, hell often times every moment as it comes, because it's in those moments that the "plan" falls into its rightful place. It's not forced or squeezed or squished into what you want it to be. It will organically become what you NEED it to- for the Bible tells me so
Whew chile. 2020 what else you got for me?
"I may be young buuuut I'm readdddy, cause we likes to PARTTTTAYYYY" - Beyonce
But it will have to be VIRTUALLY for now cause the Rona is still very REAL!
A very special thanks to Mr. Dexter James aka "Little Fashion Guy" for believing enough in my brand. You can find him at @littlefashionguy on IG.
And the rest of the incredibly talented team who created this magic.
Models: @vinny.sung @iamclarissaornelas @dakota_luevanooooo_ @arichambers
Lead Wardrobe Stylist : @littlefashionguy
Assistant Wardrobe : @eyeamcouture @krisv8
Lead Hair : @veematthewsartistry
Assistant Hair : @sedbhair
Lead MUA : @annalunamakeup
Assistant MUA : @_lashmakeup_
Photographer/CD : @marcoscovosphotography
Photographer Assistant : @the_darcybirden
Art Director : @cocoxixou
Agencies : @kimdawsonagency @dragonflyagency
Follow StyleCruze on Instagram- @stylecruze but more importantly follow your dreams! I know I will!