It started with a pencil, twirling dresses and a little bit of magic...
I still remember being a 4th grader in the Philippines, twirling around the manufacturing company where my dad used to work at as a Vice President that exported children's dresses in Europe, telling myself that one day I will I will design as many dresses as I possibly can... That was the day that I knew what I wanted to become a fashion designer.
Little did I know that my dreams will eventually turn into a reality when I finally decided to pursue fashion design after high school. I was torn between becoming a fashion designer, a teacher or an actress. I loved all of these careers because they all consist of creating and expressing one's self. After taking my first drawing and sewing class in Ventura Community College, I've decided to transfer to FIDM and pursue Fashion Design.
Since then, I have interned for Mark Zunino Couture worked for 8 different companies, had my fair share ups and lots and lots of downs, 12 hour days + working on weekends to push out our latest line + trying to survive and thrive in the corporate world that I wasn't fully prepared for. I've had my fair share of working for Miranda Priestlys, learning to do 100 things at the same time, making things work for the name of fashion.
I also started my own brand with my best friend, Secretly A Mermaid, and unfortunately failed. It skyrocketed for a while and was in love with idea of creating our own brand without understanding the business of fashion or how to run our own clothing line. It wasn't all sketching, sewing, fashion shows & fabric shopping - let me tell you that! There was a lot of accounting & tedious, boring work that neither my partner and I wanted to do, which led to us eventually closing our brand.
Meanwhile, after being laid off 4x times in the industry, it didn't take long until I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression and suffering with impostor syndrome. Everyday I woke up not only hating my job but also forgetting my why, my desire to live and my reason for all of this. I felt like I was not growing as a designer and I have only managed to find jobs that were ultra toxic! Because of this, I chose to leave the fashion industry and go back to school to pursue education and become a teacher.
After swearing off the garment industry for good, I became a preschool teacher and found a sales managing gig in order to make ends meet. Coming from designer's salary to having two part time jobs, I struggled financially but I was happy and fulfilled in what I did. ~ No more working endless hours, running around for toxic bosses & not taking care of my mental health!
However, one day my roommate at that time told me that unfortunately she had to break her lease and go back to Japan in order to renew her visa. I felt distraught knowing full well that I cannot pay a 2 bedroom apartment in Los Angeles with my part time preschool teacher's salary and sales gig alone! It was then that I've decided to go back to fashion and give it a try one more time because if I couldn't find a roommate right away, I needed my designer salary to help make ends meet.
You can call it luck or God finally hearing my prayers and manifestations but I finally landed my dream job as a Social Dress Designer. I remember telling myself over and over again that I will only go back to fashion if I design social dresses, work in a healthy working environment and get paid well.
Today with 10+ of experience in the fashion industry and lessons I've learned from studying to be a teacher, I help aspiring designers (who don't know where to start) learn about the fashion industry and teach design classes because I know what it's like to be lost and having no idea where to begin... Or if this industry is even meant for you. With the fashion industry's high turn over rate, I'd like to teach what you how to stay competitive & take you back behind the scenes and show you the real deal of what fashion designers really do on the daily... before you are buried in thousands of student loan debt after attending Fashion school and a few years late, you are eating your regrets and sorrows after learning the truth about this "glamorous industry" is not exactly what you signed up for!