When life gives you lemons, what do you make? -- LEMONADE ! But what they don’t tell you is you have to find your own sugar otherwise you’re left with bitter lemonade! So much for me posting about my journey once a week. As we discussed a month ago, I decided to take a break because Ryan & I moved and I need to prioritize my time accordingly. Fast forwarding, life still didn’t slow down for me. I was left with three weeks to sew my fashion fabric along with three weeks filled with getting ready for Ryan’s step show, getting prepared to do our photoshoot for JORD Watches, and let's not forget 3 weeks filled with so many unplanned thing that happened to either me or my fabric.
As you’re reading this I hope you’re reading it with so much bitterness, because for a while I was bitter. As you can tell, I did not win New Orleans Fashion Week Emerging Designers Competition. Okay now that i’ve gotten that off my chest, let us go through what exactly happened in the 3 weeks leading up to the competition. I ended up getting sick and sunburned! I’ve never had sunburn before and it couldn’t have came at the worst possible time. My body wanted so badly to lay down and not move but I kept pushing myself to work until because I knew where I wanted to be after these temporary problems passed. My dad knew something was wrong when I called him asking to make me soup--as a child i hated when he made homemade soup, so when he got the phone call he knew I was just trying to make myself better so i can keep pushing. Okay, so the sickness passed then I spent 2 days making pants out of fabric I didn’t even put in the show because it looked like a home economics high school project! I had to go out and buy new fabric, re-pin, re-cut, and sew them--I also took out the front zipper and pockets to make myself think I was giving myself back an extra hour of time I had lost from the previous pants. Then I thought my sewing machine broke. Disclaimer, something was really wrong it, i just didn’t know how to fix it. At this point I am now crying, like balling real tears huffing and puffing. I drove all the way to Jo-Ann’s fabrics which is like 15-20 min from my house to get the lady to literally take a screw out and put what popped out back in place. I ended taking an extra day off from work just so that I could catch up on sewing. Just when I thought I was finally getting everything back under control, the day of the competition my buttonhole machine breaks.
And if that doesn’t seem like the end of the world, the day of the actual show more and more things continued to go wrong. I bring all of my sewing machines and ask for Ryan’s aunt buttonhole machine thinking i’d just put them on at the venue right before the show started, but guess what! All the outlets supposedly don’t work except for this one in a tiny corner that was being used for steaming. *rolls eyes* So now I’m left with hand sewing all hems and hand sewing snaps on garments that absolutely needed some type of closure or my model would have been completely exposed. Yup, i’m still angry at this point--but i’m containing it and just like okay it’s fine we’re just going to have to roll with it. I really tried to be optimistic the whole time and have fun, but as soon as the winner was announced that’s when every feeling I had suppressed came back to the full front and I was done for the night. I didn’t take any pictures with anyone after the show, I barely even talked to anyone. I sat in the car and cried until I fell asleep. I wasn't crying because I lost, I knew that my collection wasn’t worthy of winning because it wasn’t done, but I was angry because all I put in so much hard work for the past 90 days and my collection still ended up looking the way that it did. Oh KiYada was pissed. *excuse the fact that I like to talk about myself in third person sometimes :)* But yes, I was all the way ticked off because in my head i’m like all those times I spent pushing through and thinking of a solution I should’ve just left it the way it was if it was going to end up not being completed. I felt like I wasted my time and I was angry at myself. I started thinking that I shouldn’t have gone to Mardi Gras, even though it’s a family tradition, & I said I shouldn’t have gone to xyz maybe that would have changed the outcome.
Remember we talked about how the mind tells us lies? Well that’s exactly what was happening here. Because I was so angry and I allowed my mind to drift away from the moment, all kind of thoughts just kept rushing through my mind and I could not stop crying. If you paid attention to everything I was saying, I sound like a complaining brat. Life is by no means fair, and bad things are always going to happen--failure is not inevitable.
I stayed angry up until Friday of last week. Then I got over it FINALLY, and I have already started thinking of what’s next for KiYada Upshaw. Some asked because I was so disappointed if I was going to give up on my dream, and if they would’ve asked me Wednesday night, I probably would’ve said yes! However, I told myself and others who asked, New Orleans Fashion Week does not define who I am as a designer. It was a competition and what I had walk down that runway was not what they were looking for whether it was finished or not. Even though this experience did not go the way I expected it to go. I learned a lot about myself as a designer--and that was the real prize here. I am an emerging designer who is gaining knowledge and experience mainly on my own and some help from the 3 people in my fashion circle --my mentor in NYC, and my two friends, Vic & Andria, who are all in the same boat with me. I always think I need to be at step 5 when I’m really at 1. a) --and that’s okay. As long as I keep learning from these experiences and not take them personally I will reach my main goal with confidence and have a great memoir to tell. My greatest strength and weakness is allowing myself to feel every emotion but after the emotion is fully felt, I bounce back real quick ready with a plan. With that being said, stay tuned for what KiYada Upshaw has coming up in 2017.
I just want to give a special thank you The Hubs, my dad and both my mothers for being so supportive. Thank you to everyone who came early to help me, those who sent text messages, and also a huge thank you to everyone who purchased a shirt. Because of your shirt purchase I was able to purchase a serger and business cards. I am forever grateful to everyone who supports my dream. No one's efforts goes unnoticed.
Hoping you took something away from my experience. Let me know in the comments below. :)