An essential part of running a business is telling the story of your brand. We want to tell you the story of how we brought our creative ideas to life, and we want to give you behind-the-scenes of how Staying Young was created.
Some of my favorite memories growing up were spending the weekends with my grandmother, a home economics teacher, and taught cooking and sewing classes. When spending time together, she taught me how to cook or make clothes. Making clothes and the process of what went into it caught my interest from the very beginning. We would go to Wal-mart and get the pre-made patterns, and then I would get to pick out some fabric, and we would spend the afternoon making the clothing from the pattern. Not only was it so fun to spend time with my grandma, but I just thought it was the coolest thing to watch and help my grandma make some clothes.
From then on, I was hooked. When shopping or just browsing through stores, I always checked what the clothing was made out of instead of looking at the clothes themselves. After graduating from college with a major in advertising and marketing, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for a career. During college, I worked in the athletic department and loved every minute of it. I grew up playing sports and played throughout high school. Working in college athletics, I felt emotionally connected to it still. After graduating, I couldn’t find a job in collegiate athletics, so I took a turn and went back to school. This is the moment when pursuing a career in fashion came back to me. I never thought I could do it since I didn’t grow up in New York City or LA or because I didn’t have any connections in the business. I was just a girl from a small town in Kentucky with these dreams that I didn’t think I could pursue. You never know if you can do anything until you try, so that’s what I did.
I graduated with a master’s in professional studies in Fashion Merchandising from LIM College, a private fashion institution out of New York City. I took online courses and finished my master’s in 10 months. During this time, I knew I wanted to create a clothing brand. My dad grew up learning how to sew, and so he was definitely in and said, let’s do it. We went to a fabric store and bought an excellent sewing machine. We then went and tried to find all the fabric we needed to make our own sports bra. It wasn’t the best, but hey, it was wearable.
Shortly after this, I got a job offer… back in college athletics. So I went back to thinking, “ok, so maybe fashion isn’t what I am supposed to do…. College athletics is for me; this is my calling.” I didn’t have much money of my own and was still living in Nashville with no job, so I couldn’t resist giving up the offer.
I worked in college athletics for two and half years, and it was fun and all. The number of sporting games I got to watch for free was endless. I am grateful for my years working in college athletics as I accomplished some great things and won awards for the things I was doing. College athletics also gave me the most important person that’s in my life, my husband. Despite all of that, I still felt empty and wasn’t happy with who I was and what I was doing. Something was missing…
My husband and I lived in a small town in Texas back in November of 2019. He was still working in college athletics, and I was working in marketing at a hotel. Then COVID-19 hit. As many of you know, people lost their jobs, and there were pay cuts. Kevin and I decided it was best to move to live closer to family and get new jobs. We moved to Columbia, SC, in August 2020 (nothing like moving across the country during a pandemic). Kevin now works for a marketing agency here in Columbia, and I was fortunate enough to keep my job at the hotel in Texas and work remotely now.
In September 2020, the thought of fashion came ringing again in my head. That part of my life has been missing, and I knew this was my chance to run with it. I researched, and I researched, and I researched. All I could find was how much money all these designers and entrepreneurs had when they started their businesses or clothing lines. I thought there’s absolutely no way to do this; I don’t have this massive amount of money to start this. Although Kevin and I were comfortable with the money we had, we didn’t have millions of dollars (so that’s a slight exaggeration on the upfront cost), so I thought once again, I cannot do this.
I’d already developed a name and logo and just couldn’t come up with the funds needed. This was what… attempt number 3? Three times giving up on my dream, and I just knew that was the last of it, and I needed to accept that I would never be able to pursue a dream in fashion and have my clothing line.
It’s incredible what that special someone can do for you. Kevin has always been supportive of everything that I do or what I have wanted to do. When I brought this idea to him, his first words were-, well, why not do it? What’s stopping you from doing this? And I mentioned money…, and he said, let’s figure out away, and we did. Never EVER give up on your dreams or miss out on something you have wanted to do your whole life. Do I regret waiting this long to pursue my dream? Not at all. I believe everything happens for a reason, and I think all the steps I took growing up got me to where I am today. Timing is everything.
Stay tuned for more about how we begin the process of creating our brand, Staying Young!
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