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.”


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.

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Love, Light, & Peace to You



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.