Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My Road To Recovery

Birthday Cake in the dark after SANDY
Last year, my birthday was a catalyst for my Perfect Storm.  On October 31, I turned forty-five - a blessing, to be sure.  My family survived Hurricane Sandy with only a loss of power that lasted five days.  Compared to so many families who lost their homes, it was just a minor inconvenience.  For the most part, I came through the storm unscathed.  It, however, became a moment of introspection and re-evaluation.  I began to question my commitment to my fashion design career.  I'd eaten my way through frustration and disappointment reaching an all-time high of 245 lbs.  I was not being supported for my hard work and dedication by the full-figured women who claimed to love my aesthetic.  And, worse, joy was missing from my life.  After fifteen years of hard work and little monetary reward, I was burnt out.  It was crucial for me to make some changes in my life.   Angry with God, I made the difficult decision to turn my back on apparel.

The Large Cambodia Camouflage Clutch
There is that overused cliche, "It is always darkest before the dawn."  But it seemed to apply to my life as I was about to move in another brighter direction.  Around my birthday, my sister sent me an email about a day-long Handbag Workshop that was being offered at LIM College.  "I'll send you for your birthday, if you are interested, " she wrote.  "Of course," was my response.  My shapeless future took shape in that room filled with dozens of other handbag designer wannabes.

Earlier last year, two women who I work with had already confided in me that they thought I needed to focus on handbags.  They thought my designs were fun and would find a supportive audience.  I am oftentimes open about people's suggestions and this moment was no different.  But I did take a wait and see attitude.  Could they have seen something that I was not able to see myself?  There was a confluence of other episodes that led me to believe that, perhaps, the universe was moving me forward to the next chapter in my life.  Many times I've said that having the ability to design is a gift and I need to honor my gift at all times because it is not one that is given freely.  So I have fully embraced handbag design.

On Monday, February 25, www.skwilbur.com will be updated with the handbag designs that my business partners and I are selling.  Starting off small, we are offering two clutch styles in four different colorways.  We are also giving women an opportunity to special order other colors of their choosing.  We're hoping to finally secure retail orders, as well.  Making progress is a process and I am always in a learning curve.  Yet, I am feeling  positive about what the future holds.  Sometimes you've got to take a step back to move forward.  And when those orders start to come in, I will feel validated and fully recovered.

Peace & Fashion!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Beyonce & Beyond

I am not much of a football fan.  Yet there I was face-to-face with my mother's Samsung flat screen watching the Giants win last year's SuperBowl.  GO NEW YORK!  I will admit, too, that I was initially more excited to see Madonna during the halftime spectacle.  And Ms. Strike A Pose did not disappoint.  This year, without New York in the finals, I was more than a little crestfallen.  But then I learned that Beyonce (first name will do, thank you very much.) would be performing.  I can't say anything that has not been said about the sistah.  Her accomplishments really speak for themselves.  She is Bad To The BONE!
Beyonce in GQ magazine

And that is why I was so baffled by the Inauguration lipsync flap.  What Gives???  When I first noticed the headlines, all I could think was, "What The H*ll?!"  Anybody who can hear, knows Beyonce can SANG.  I thought the clamor would die down and I was completely satisfied when she wouldn't even address the tidal wave of negativity.  I even admitted to my sister, "I'm so happy she's ignoring all the BS."  But then, at the SuperBowl press conference, Beyonce asked the assembled reporters to stand as she flawlessly sang an acapella rendition of the national anthem.  I was really annoyed.  How dare anybody question Bey's talents?  After the last note was uttered, the songstress asked, "Any questions?"  With grace and humility, the goddess quieted the noise of the naysayers.  I think the lesson is that no matter how large you get, sometimes you must do things that require you to swallow your pride.

Now I am so pumped to see a lot of BOOTYLICIOUS, GET ME BODIED sounds and Sasha Fierce dance moves.  Let 'er rip, Beyonce!  I'll be cheering you on.

Peace & Fashion!