How many times in your life have you said, “what if?” Stop and think about some of those specific instances for a moment. Have you ever turned your what ifs into your reality?
I did. I turned my biggest What If of my life, into I Did It. At the age of 37. As a stay at home mom (SAHM) to a three year old and pregnant with our second child.
In one moment, sitting at my kitchen table, reading one Tweet from Teen Vogue about their new Fashion Industry Essentials Professional Certificate program in conjunction with Parsons School of Design literally changed the course of my life and gave me renewed clarity into my professional goals and my impending career change after having kids.
Why This One Tweet Was So Captivating
When I was a little girl, I was singularly motivated by fashion and my desire to design. Anything and everything high fashion was all I cared about. Literally from the time I was 5 or 6, I had a pencil and paper in hand.
- I made clothes for my Barbie dolls.
- I made my sisters’ homecoming dresses. I drew,
- I taught myself to sew, I read business books in high school!
- Back when MTV and VH1 aired New York Fashion Week shows (anyone else remember this??), you can bet I sat in front of the TV with my sketchbook and pencil, being inspired to draw my own designs from what I was seeing the big names in fashion doing.
By the time college came around, there was only one option for me – fashion design school. I was laser focused, and I desperately wanted to attend Parsons. It could easily be considered the best fashion school in the US, and I wanted the pedigree that came with that training.
But my parents had a different plan in mind, and ultimately, I succumbed to their reasoning. They wanted me to get a business degree so I would have something to fall back on “if fashion didn’t work out.”
And while I rolled my eyes and cried quite a few tears back then, I know now that there’s a reason for everything. I’ve come full circle, and their advice proved to be very wise.
I got that marketing degree. I worked in marketing for a few years, before enrolling in a design program in Chicago, which was closer to home.
I started my dream business – a clothing line – but about four years later, due to problems with manufacturers and too much excess inventory, along with the tanking economy of 2007 and 2008, I decided to shut down the business and return to marketing.
How ironic that my parents had been right. I had my marketing degree to fall back on, and I was so grateful for that.
For many years after that, I just faltered career-wise. I had shut down the business I’d thought would be my lifelong career. I didn’t really know how I was going to rebuild something I’d truly care about again.
I was going through the motions professionally when my husband and I decided to start a family, and I decided that since I wasn’t in the middle of a budding business venture or doing anything that I particularly loved, I would stop working to be at home with my new son. I’d pick my career back up at a later date. Luckily, my husband was on the same page with me and we were able to make it happen on just his income.
Why I Decided To Act Upon This Tweet
I’d taken the last three years off from having a professional life to be at home with my son – something I never thought I’d do, but which I didn’t regret at all. And while I never regretted this decision, I always knew I’d start up a new career again at some point.
I’d kept up with both the fashion and marketing industries over the last few years, always throwing some ideas around in my head for what I’d want to do when I was ready to jump back in, but never fully ready to pull the trigger.
Lately, though, I’d been feeling the itch to get back at it – to have a creative endeavor to call my own again. I’d been a professional marketer, a fashion designer, and a personal stylist before having my first son, and I knew that I wanted to do something in this realm again.
But whatever I was going to do was going to have to fit in with my family life. I wasn’t about to sacrifice time with my kids for a career, and luckily I had the luxury of this choice.
What This Program Did For Me, and How I Fit It Into Life As A Mom
As soon as I saw this Tweet, I submitted my application, my portfolio, and after being accepted and doing a huge happy dance, I paid my tuition and started in on the coursework, taking my time during my pregnancy and completing it almost a year later. It’s fully online, which made it doable for me.
This program allowed me to fulfill a lifelong goal; to let go of past failures; and move forward to set new goals, expand upon my own boundaries, and go after new dreams. All while successfully raising my babies.
Each assignment was geared toward creating something specific, working on branding, and even designing and sewing products. It was ripe for my design background, and it also perfectly fit with my marketing background. I was able to explore my creative side in a way that applied to a future business venture.
Early on in the coursework, I actually came up with the idea for LUXYMOM™. And I utilized the program to help me develop my brand and figure out what I wanted it to be.
I also worked on product related assignments that gave me an idea for a clothing line, something I’m interested in exploring again down the road, but not in the immediate.
How I Worked This Fashion Certificate Program Into Mom Life
I was able to get into a routine of doing my reading and my assignments during three specific times of day: before everyone else awoke in the morning; during my son’s naptime; and after we put him to bed.
It turns out, I’m still working on this schedule with LUXYMOM™, two years and one more son later.
It’s an exhausting schedule to live by, but I have goals that I want to achieve, and this is the way that I’m able to fit it all into my days. Some days work perfectly, and others kind of fall apart, but all in all, I move it forward.
It’s Never Too Late To Do What You Love
I wanted to share this story because it’s not often we get to rewrite our past and turn our what ifs into reality. I hope this may inspire another mom out there to go after her dreams – and I would love to hear from anyone who has a similar story, or who is inspired by this!
I use my age as motivation now, to really make every move count. I’m not in my 20s anymore, but I’ve learned so much in my years. I’m wiser after having kids. I’m wiser after all these experiences I’ve gathered. I know what I want and I’m not wasting any time going after it.
When life hands you a Tweet you can’t resist, answer with a resounding YES!