How I Lost & Regained My Confidence In My Craft

“If you love something, let it go. If it returns, it’s yours; if it doesn’t, it wasn’t.”

Overview

At the young age of 5 I had a love for clothes. When I turned 9, my dream to be a fashion designer was born when the first season of America’s Next Top Model aired. That dream never went away, but progressed into me designing lyturgical dance uniforms for my childhood church dance team. Eventually I went on to design my senior homecoming dress and my dress of a friend’s prom I attended. My dream continued to progress so much that I went on to major in it in college. My leisure activities involved me becoming a photoshoot stylist for an upcoming magazine, participating in local fashion shows and making outfits for myself for special occasions. At this time no one couldn’t tell me that i wasn’t going to be the next *insert favorite designer here*. I even landed an internship in Brooklyn, NY as a design intern which confirmed my desire to become an entrepreneur.

After graduating from LSU, I decided to take it up a notch and try my luck at New Orleans Fashion Week. I made it to New Orleans Fashion Week Top Designers Competition in 2016 and in 2017. The first year I was so ecstatic to just be there. I couldn't believe that I was chosen to be in a real fashion competition. The second time around I was determined to win. Unfortunately, I did not win or even place. Participating in the Top Designers Competition in 2017 left some mental cuts that later worsened as 2017 progressed. Not winning really made me second guess myself. In that moment I said I’d never do another competition again and it was possible i’d never do another fashion show either. Before this competition, I had no fear or doubt when it came to me being a fashion designer. After this competition; however, I begin to lose confidence and I could not shake the thoughts. There were so many things that I had planned, but then I started making excuses. Not having a job in fashion did not help, but instead contributed to me feeling like maybe I needed to change careers and that it was possible fashion was just a hobby for me.

Moving to Dallas, it seemed like everything came full circle. I landed my first job in fashion and I started to love clothes again. After getting frustrated over hearing the same tune of not having enough experience for a more involved role, I became frustrated and one day pulled out my sketch pad and was taken back at my skills. I had totally forgotten what it was like to channel what I was feeling into a 2D image on paper. A couple days later I began working on my patterns. In this moment I fell in love with my craft again. I asked myself why would I let that feeling go?  

To view more of this collection, visit my portfolio here.

Lesson Learned

At age 9 I had always known what I wanted to do. I knew the route I needed to take to get there and I took it. Once graduating from college it seemed like the route no longer was clear and the tunnel got longer and longer. I took over a year break from designing and pattern making. Partly because of my Master’s program, but truth be told, I got afraid. My route was no longer A + B = C. It became something very unfamiliar and a little too overwhelming to handle. I felt like I did what I was told to do to get to where I needed to be, but as always they forget to mention what happens between starting the journey and getting to the destination. I’ve also come to realize we live in an instant world, but there are things in life that won’t be instant. You have to put in your time and earn your stripes. Once I accepted this, I decided that I would keep my ambitious mindset, but insert patience right above it so that I don’t miss out on my journey--because guys, the journey is literally the best part. All in all, everything that has happened I don’t regret. I needed to take a break so that I can fall in love with my craft all over again. The new love I have for my craft is accompanied by maturity and new life lessons. Don’t be afraid to take a break and regroup--if it’s meant to be, it will be.

Let me know in the comments what you think of this post. Don’t forget to like, comment, and share this with your community. Be sure to subscribe to my blog so you never miss a post.

Love, Light, & Peace to You

-KUpshaw

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KiYada Upshaw

24 year old millennial building an overnight success story 1 week at a time. Talking about building a fashion brand while being a young newly wed keeping God at the full font of the relationship and career.

Career Interview with Coach Ebonie of Simplicity Health Style

I am thrilled to announce to you guys my first speaking engagement via video chat. Ebonie reached out to me after following and watching my journey on Instagram during my down time of blogging. Y'all know i'm shy when it comes to talking on a video (haha) so bare with me as I get over this fear. Excuse the technical difficulties. Everything that could go wrong with technology went wrong that day, but all in all I said what God wanted to say. 

Feel free to like comment and share it.

Enjoy!

 

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KiYada Upshaw

24 year old millennial building an overnight success story 1 week at a time. Talking about building a fashion brand while being a young newly wed keeping God at the full font of the relationship and career.

August Garment of the Month: KiYada Upshaw Khaki Pants x Closet Finds

Tired of wearing the same outfits over and over again? Need some help creating new outfits with what you already have? Well keep reading because I have some awesome tips for you.

KiYada Upshaw

Blazer: The Limited | Denim Shirt: Altar'd State | Pants: KiYada Upshaw SS'17 

Watch: Michael Kors | Bracelet & Earrings : Charming Charlie | Necklace & Shoes: Ross Dress For Less

Overview

My biggest fashion problem is I always feel like I never have anything to wear so I result in buying something or making something new when there are many items in my closet collecting dust. If I just took some time to create new outfits, I can help save the environment by purchasing less and save The Hubs from sending me the eyes emoji after seeing a purchase in the account. So I pulled out my khaki pants from my SS '17 collection, made a few alterations by shortening the hem just a tad bit for my 5'2 self and spent approximately 2 hours trying to find the perfect outfit. I tried on top after top after top making probably 5 or 6 outfit combinations with this one pair of pants.

3 tips for creating new outfits from your closet finds:

Staple pieces: these include your basic black, navy, khaki, gray, white and any other neutral color in trousers, blazer, button down shirt, and dresses. Every girl and guy absolutely has to have these solid colors in their closet in it's most simplest style. This is your starting point for creating a fresh new outfit. 

Print and/or vibrant color: Next you'll need to add a funky print, a pop of color, or both if you're feeling yourself. You want to add in some color or a contrasting print because your neutral pick will enhance your print and/or pop of color. The base color of my blazer is white, but it has a tweed zigzag blue print. My khaki pants compliment the print by bringing out the blue color.

KiYada Upshaw

Accessories: Yes, you need these. I didn't know how important accessories were because normally I wear the same jewelry day after day because it's quick easy and let's face i'm lazy most days, but I needed something to add to this outfit so I could stop thinking as though I looked like a high school boy in this outfit. My statement necklace and vintage flats really gave me the added touch I need for this outfit. The soft blue color in the flats, the floral embroidery on the toe of the shoe, and the hints of pink in both the necklace and shoe added just enough feminism for an added boost of confidence to rock this look. For men opt for a funky tie and contrasting handkerchief. 

KiYada Upshaw

Bonus Tip:

Where are you going? : Even if you don't have a specific place to go, you still need to have a general idea of where you'd where your "new outfit" to. I wore mine to work, then to an appointment, and later to my friend's fashion show. I got 3 uses out of this one outfit in one day.

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KiYada Upshaw

24 year old millennial building an overnight success story 1 week at a time. Talking about building a fashion brand while being a young newly wed keeping God at the full font of the relationship and career.

Fashion Business : Target, Removing Veteran Brands

As much as I would love to continue talking about how Amazon is dominating the game i.e like their newest brand addition, Nike, but I’ll let you go look up that story up yourself. What’s better than shopping at Wal-Mart for clothing? Shopping at Target for clothing and accessories. I know I am not the only one that makes a Target run for one thing and come out with more than I needed. They have such cute items and let’s face it, their prices are what entice you to continue to buy. 

KiYada Upshaw

Overview

This week Target was in the news for a very bittersweet change. They are getting rid of some of their veteran brands and replacing them with newer brands that will bring a fresh, trendy, and boutique feel to their apprarel and home décor sections. I first saw this story on Snapchat and had to swipe up to read the full story. I for one am very sad because when I first started my college journey in 2011 my mom and I purchased all of my dorm room essentials from Target and most of my freshman year wardrobe came from there, too. I still have some of those items to this very day and I am not ashamed to say that six years later. That means the brands spoke to me and were made with great quality. So who are the brands that will be replacing favorites among Target’s loyal customers you might ask, keep reading to find out!

Brands such as Cherokee and Circo, lines for children will be replaced with Cat & Jack label. Art Class is another brand that will be put into place for the older kiddos. My favorite brands Massimo and Merona will be replaced with A New Day, Goodfellow & Co for the men, and JoyLab entering into Target’s athleisure section giving the brand a little more edge in this department. All these changes will be ongoing and slow, but should be in full effect by 2019.

 

Lesson Learned

Well Amazon, you have done it again by shaking up the veteran retailers and making them rethink their strategy to keep their customers. And to the customers you have done your duty by reminding retailers that you have the purchasing power they just have to supply the products. What have we learned from Target? Don’t knock the algorithm or you’ll get left behind. When think of myself as a shopper, I know that I like exclusivity. I know that when I go into a store I want to be one of the few people in my town that has purchased an item (which is why I like to make my outfit for special occasions). Target has listened to you as a consumer and played close attention to your purchasing habits. They hear you loud and clear and will be bringing you fresh and new designers to shop from. Their shops will mimic that of a boutique giving you the exclusivity at a much cheaper retail price tag. On another note, Target over the years has been implementing other omni-channel strategies to continue to meet consumers shopping habits and changes to compete with Amazon (i.e buy online pick up in store, the Cartwheel app, 2 day shipping option, amongst many other things to keep their customers coming back. I think one of their biggest innovations was the $1 section near the entrance). What has Target taught you? Do you shop at Target? Leave me comments below about this news.

-KUpshaw

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KiYada Upshaw

24 year old millennial building an overnight success story 1 week at a time. Talking about building a fashion brand while being a young newly wed keeping God at the full font of the relationship and career.

Fashion Business : Amazon, Is It Becoming A Conglomerate?

Where do you go to shop for products with a cheaper price, conveniently shoppable on smart devices, and can get it in 2 days or less? If you answered Amazon, you are correct. Amazon came on the e-commerce scene in 1995. The brand first started off as a bookstore and since then sells products for your home, yourself, your wedding, and let’s face it, anything else you can think of they have it and if they don’t, please rest assure they will have it sooner than later.

Overview

KiYada Upshaw x Amazon

Lately Amazon has been in the news for their big purchase announcements and other innovative things they have been working on. First on the list to talk about today is Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods. This came as a shocker to some and others simply was waiting on it since Amazon opened Amazon Go, a "no line, no checkout" way of shopping for food. With Amazon Go, shoppers are able to enter into the store using their Amazon Go app grab the items they want and then walk out without the hassle and frustrations of waiting in line and/or checking out.

Okay back to this Whole Food purchase. Amazon purchased Whole Foods for a whopping $13.4 billion dollars! Whole Foods has been the leading pioneer of offering fresh USDA approved organic groceries and other products at high quality and those oh so high prices, but lately grocery stores like Trader Joe’s, Walmart and Costco has been catching up to the retailer with the shift in consumers knowledge of the effects of eating and using chemical based products and the demand for more eco-friendly, organic products.. This purchase is two-folds: on Whole Foods end, Amazon is helping them to navigate their products in a technology driven world while also reducing their prices without sacrificing their high quality products which Whole Foods has been known for since it started in 1978. For Amazon, they have been trying to push their brick and mortar presence because, as mentioned above, when they initially started they were seen and portrayed as a brand who sells to consumers directly from the comfort of their home or wherever they have access to the site.

Next, Amazon Prime Wardrobe. Prime Wardrobe allows customers to order at least three clothing items up to 15 items at a time without purchasing it. Customers only get charged for what they keep and if “try before you buy” isn’t enough, for those that keep four items they will receive 10% off their total price and if five or more items are kept the customer will receive 20% off the total price. Are you enticed to try it yet? For any unwanted items, customers can ship them back to the store with a prepaid shipping label enclosed in the order. Prime Wardrobe, as the name hints, is only available to Amazon Prime members. Members will have up to seven days to try on the items and return anything unwanted. Amazon has been doing well in the apparel sector and with Amazon Prime, customers have been allowed to shop for apparel and accessories receive them in two days with free shipping and no hassle returns for unwanted items. Prime Wardrobe is the next big service they are offering their customers to help alleviate the biggest online shopping problem of sizing and fit while still allowing millennials and gen. z the comfortability of shopping from home.

Lastly of today's fashion news, Amazon Prime Day. Amazon Pride Day started in 2015, when the brand wanted to celebrate their 20th anniversary. After seeing the success and revenue generated they decided to do it again in 2016 to see if the same would happen. Now on Amazon Day 2017, Amazon saw more than a 60% growth in sales and a significant amount of Amazon Prime membership signups. Those apart of the prime membership are the only shoppers that can take advantage of the deals. What caused Amazon to see such a significant jump in sales? Possibly due to the fact that this wasn’t their first go round and the sale lasted for 30 hours instead of 24 hours and they allowed Prime Day to be accessible globally.

Lesson Learned

With this brief overview of what Amazon has been up to in the past 2 years, Amazon has taught me a lot. Will they become a conglomerate? I doubt it. I don’t think they are necessarily trying to take over the world; however, I feel like they have people on their team that understand how technology have put the purchasing power into the hands of the consumer and they want to help consumers shop smarter and shop cheaper. I do think they have contributed to people having a stigma of what the distribution cycle is and how it functions causing a ripple effect of store closures and bankruptcy in the retail industry as a whole. They found a way to let shoppers click 'buy now' from anywhere they can access the internet and their site and get it in 2 days sometimes less if the customer lives near a drone site.

In studying Amazon and analyzing what they have done from 1995 until now, I gathered that it is a smart idea to start with one product, but not just one product--start with an idea based off one product then figure out a way to make that experience the best experience for the customer. Listen to what the customers are saying they like while also taking into account what they don’t like and figure out how to make the experience better and easier so they can tell their friends. With Amazon it’s not just about the experience either. It’s about the convenience, the fast pace of getting a product in the same amount of time it would take to get in the car, drive to the store, shop for the product, wait in line, then finally come back home with the same product and at a significantly cheaper price tag.

Kudos to you Amazon. I’m a millennial that’s not a Prime Member and only use your service every blue moon when I want cheaper items, but after doing some research on your business strategy I may pay that $99 annually in order to get firsthand experience on your business model. Thank you for reminding of my 2017 Mantra: Start Small to Win Big!

What are your thoughts on Amazon? Amazon Prime, if you're member? If you're not a member, do you plan on getting a membership? Why or why not? Do you think they will eventually become a conglomerate and take over the world? Leave me comments below and let me know what you want me to cover in the next segment of Fashion Business. 

-KUpshaw

Sources

": Amazon Go." Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 July 2017.

Hartmans, Avery. "15 fascinating facts you probably didn't know about Amazon." Business Insider. Business Insider, 09 Apr. 2017. Web. 14 July 2017.

Thomas, Lauren. "Amazon Prime Day breaks record; sales grew by more than 60 percent." CNBC. CNBC, 12 July 2017. Web. 14 July 2017. <http://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/12/amazon-prime-day-breaks-record-event-grew-by-more-than-60-percent.html>.

Wingfield, Nick. "Amazon Will Let Customers Try On Clothes Before Buying." The New York Times. The New York Times, 20 June 2017. Web. 14 July 2017. <https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/20/business/amazon-shopping-retail-fashion.html>.

Wingfield, Nick, and Michael J. De La Merced. "Amazon to Buy Whole Foods for $13.4 Billion." The New York Times. The New York Times, 16 June 2017. Web. 14 July 2017.

 

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KiYada Upshaw

24 year old millennial building an overnight success story 1 week at a time. Talking about building a fashion brand while being a young newly wed keeping God at the full font of the relationship and career.

July Garment of the Month : White & Blue Striped Shorts

KiYada Upshaw shorts

Sewing is just like riding a bike. If you don’t keep up with it you will forget how to do, but once you get back to it your skills will resume. So to continue sharpening my skills I decided to challenge myself to making a garment, or at least doing some type of sewing/patterning activity, each month.

Last month I was browsing in Jo-Ann’s after I received a coupon notification for 50% off one single cut of fabric and I fell in love with this striped fabric. I found it in the sportswear section of the store. It is a poly/viscose blend for those of you that are familiar with textile fibers. I prefer to work with heavier woven fabrics because it makes all my sewing projects go by really quickly and gives me less of a headache. Silky or silk look alike fabrics are a pain, but I do plan to challenge myself to work with lighter weight fabrics more so that I can be a well-rounded designer.

These shorts have an elastic waistband. They are easy to pull on and off and goes well with the summer season. The hem is pictured cuffed, but can be rolled down if I unbutton the hem placket at the side. These are very similar to the first pair shorts I ever made for myself back in 2014, the difference is the material I chose to use this time and also design differentiation of adding the longer hem so it can be cuffed or extended.

KiYada Upshaw shorts
KiYada Upshaw shorts

Hope you love my shorts just as much as I do. Leave me comments and let me know what you’d like to see me feature on the blog. Do you want to see these shorts available in the KiYada Upshaw shop?

-KUpshaw

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KiYada Upshaw

24 year old millennial building an overnight success story 1 week at a time. Talking about building a fashion brand while being a young newly wed keeping God at the full font of the relationship and career.