Finding a Passion to Create and Design for Women

Dress design from one of my first collections.

Dress design from one of my first collections.  Sculpted collar features hand sewn feathers.  Model: Paulina Kostorus

I’ve always dreamt of a career doing something that I love.  My family taught me to never settle and do something that I was passionate about.  So when the question comes up as to  “what do you do?” the answer isn’t always clear.  I write this blog for fun.  I run my own business, centered around a vintage shop called The Brass Giraffe and design clothing and accessories.  I wear all the hats when it comes to the business.  No, I’m not just talking about the pretty vintage ones.  I taught myself basic web design, I make the products, I develop my marketing – it’s a one woman show.  Previously, I’ve worked as a stylist, a buyer, and in a multitude of boutiques, but I’m starting to find I need to focus truly on one thing.  Today I want to talk about something important:  PASSION.

I’ve always wanted my own business; a successful business.  Both of my grandfathers started businesses from nothing.  My father followed in his father’s footsteps and continued to run their business based in the food industry.  The entrepreneur bug was implanted at an early age.  Even my Barbie dolls had their own boutiques.

When I was in college I had a passion and a drive like no other.  I was determined that I was going to launch a clothing line.  The plan was to get my foot in the door somewhere.  Work for another company, learning and absorbing the industry along the way.  Perhaps I would dabble on the side in design and then when I was truly ready I would launch a collection of my own.

After graduation, I moved to Charleston, SC and worked for a small boutique and design firm.  It was an amazing experience working with small business owners, as was life in Charleston.  The clothing people wore was exquisite.  There was a passion for supporting local businesses.  It was there that I started an accessory company, Gilly Lynn.  I dabbled in selling vintage and had my necklace designs carried in boutiques through the area.  Times were tough and I missed my family in Baltimore.  After 2 years, my fiancé and I made the decision to move to Baltimore and I got a job as a corporate menswear buyer.  It was a far cry from the beautiful ostrich feather skirts and magazine photo shoots that I worked on at my other job.  I was stuck in a cubicle contacting a slew of factories every day to make sure our shipments arrived.  Don’t get me wrong, I learned a lot, but my job was cut short when an old back injury roared it’s ugly head.  I went on medical leave and attended physical therapy several times a week.  The pain was debilitating and eventually I discovered I was unable to return to my position.

It was then that I realized I may never be able to work for someone else.  I wasn’t reliable.  How could I do that to an employer?  It’s been 3 years since I was a buyer and I’m still struggling with numerous health problems.  Going to doctors, physical therapy appointments, and procedure after procedure has become my full-time job.  I delved back into running my own business, mainly selling vintage fashion.  It’s been slow, as I’m not as dedicated as I need to be.  On so many days, I find myself in pain and struggling to work.  I joke that I’d fire myself, but it’s not entirely a joke.  Some days I feel like my health (or lack there of) has sucked the passion right out of everything.  I need to find it again.

For the last few months, I’ve thought long and hard about where I want to go with my career.  I want my passion back!  I miss being excited over projects and designs that I’ve created.  I miss problem solving.  I’m tired of trying to solve my health problems.  I guess I should’ve been a doctor, so I could’ve figured this mess out and then gotten back to designing!  I want to build something — a brand for women.  I want to make things that instill confidence and beauty in my customers.  I’ve discovered that what I am really passionate about is design and helping people feel their best.  I love all aspects of creating.  I love fashion history, but I think it’s because you can’t design a modern piece without at least taking a look at the past.  I asked myself this, “in 10 years do I want to be the girl who cleans and photographs amazing vintage dresses or the girl who designs and creates beautiful dresses?”  I want the latter.

I’m now on a mission to create something for women.  My old brand and I have grown apart.  I’m launching something new and I will have a plan.  There will be a path to follow.  It will be flirty and fun.  There will be pieces for your daily life and pieces worn for very special occasions.  I won’t say much more, because I don’t want to spoil the fun.  I’ll be providing sneak peeks in some upcoming blog posts so be sure to stay tuned.  The passion is finally coming back!

This post was inspired by the Feel Good Blogging Challenge by Alex Beadon. I’ve decided to participate in order to spark my passion and be more motivated to blog, create, and be successful!  


8 Comments on Finding a Passion to Create and Design for Women

  1. Eliza
    10/15/2014 at 7:43 pm (4 years ago)

    There’s nothing wrong with a healthy does of reinvention, especially if it helps match your passion with your current life situation. I’m excited to learn more about this brand your cooking up!

    However, I’m sorry to hear about your health problems 🙁 I have back issues too, but I doubt as severe as yours. I saw a physiotherapist for a while a few years ago following foot surgery. Now I kind of self-heal any back kinks with daily yoga practice. And don’t worry I’m not about to tell you to try yoga. It’s not a miracle cure for any serious health issues. I do hope you find something to sooth all the discomfort though! I know how awful it can be, especially emotionally…

    Sending you positive, healthy, inspired vibes!!


    • WiseBrunette
      10/15/2014 at 8:14 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you so much. I’m sorry to hear about your back problems. They stink! I have a lot of instability in my lower back. One part moves in a way it shouldn’t, another vertebrate is slightly twisted, and the muscles are just totally confused on how to hold it all in place. I always do better with regular exercise, but once I get knocked down it’s hard to exercise. Then as I start to get better, it seems like something else happens and it all gets worse again. I think if I could get the pain calmed down and back to walking a few miles and some light yoga, I might start to feel better! Thank you for the positive, healthy vibes. They are much needed!

  2. Kat Curling
    10/16/2014 at 1:20 pm (4 years ago)

    What an incredible story. I love to hear fellow entrepreneur’s stories. You are so driven and passionate. I love it! You are and will continue to be a success. I too have a passion for vintage and run a vintage boutique/design studio so we definitely birds of a feather. I’m so glad to have come across your blog for this blogger challenge and look forward to reading more and following your journey! I wish the best of luck to you!

    • WiseBrunette
      10/16/2014 at 9:21 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you so much. I’m heading over to your blog now!

  3. Kristie Hill
    10/16/2014 at 7:04 pm (4 years ago)

    I’m glad you’re finding your passion! Go out and reach your dreams, can’t wait to see those dresses!

    • WiseBrunette
      10/16/2014 at 9:21 pm (4 years ago)

      Thanks, Kristie!

  4. Jenn
    10/17/2014 at 11:10 am (4 years ago)

    I am so glad you are finding your way back to what you love! Go get it, girl!

    • WiseBrunette
      10/19/2014 at 5:57 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you so much!


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