The Fashion Show Hustle + GIVEAWAY

Each year, opportunities arise that will scare me. There is this saying by DW Winnicott – “artists are people driven by the tension between the desire to communicate and the desire to hide”. This one sentence makes so much sense to me. As a designer, I strive to communicate my ideas and the creations I create, but can often find myself doubting my abilities and skills. Whenever a fashion show opportunity arises, I find myself doubting whether or not I should participate. A million questions flood my brain telling me it is too much trouble. Will I finish my collection in time? Will people like it? Will it be good enough? All of these questions are my ego telling me to not push myself. Yet, in reality I will not see growth unless I push myself. The holiday season is here, life has gotten hectic and I’m working on a fashion show! The madness really is beauty in disguise.

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I think this fear of pushing oneself beyond the limits is an issue that many women, entrepreneurs, and creatives alike face on their journey. Pushing ourselves beyond our limitations is scary, but it is necessary. How will we ever know if we can or cannot do something if we don’t try? I find myself telling my oldest daughter this all the time. She’s going to be seven and is going through an “I can’t do that” phase. In my family we aren’t quitters and we most definitely are “tryers”. We have to try something before we make judgment. So, when the opportunity to participate in the Fashion and Arts Humanity Fete in Chicago came up, I said yes. How would I know if I didn’t try? Mama decided to take her own advice.

The Arts of Humanity is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that encourages youth to become creative humanitarians. The Arts of Humanity is the only non-profit that offers youth (11-17) centered workshops that teaches youth how to become local to global, practicing humanitarians using the arts as the driving force. This is a wonderful organization, doing great things for the Chicago creative community and each year they hold an event and fashion show to showcase creative professionals. I will be showcasing my A/W 2014 collection on December 6th and have been working hard to finalize some newer pieces to round out the collection that I completed back in Sept/October.

I find it so important to connect with organizations that align well with my mission of giving back as a brand. Which is why it was a no brainer for me to work with The Arts of Humanity. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been finalizing and testing some new designs and I am so excited to share some sneaks of the latest products – a fresh take on casual leggings that meshes traditional techniques like quilting with modern cuts and a beautiful stretch knit dress updated with old world style bustles.

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People often wonder how designers make it work and create in a city like Chicago. Well, I’ve got some insider secrets for you all. Chicago has a bustling fashion community. The region is home to makers of some of the world’s best known brands, a rich and diverse network of suppliers and component manufacturers, a tremendously productive workforce, and a robust variety of public and private support. Manufacturing is a central part of the city and regional economy, from small family-owned manufacturers to global institutions to entrepreneurs who have chosen Chicago as the place to start manufacturing companies. We also have an amazing array of textile options through outlets like the one I’m visiting (Textile Discount Outlet in Pilsen – http://www.megafabrics.com/) in the picture below, to mom and pop shops to sales reps who connect us with both coasts.

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Opportunity exists wherever you make it. I live by this ideal. You can never fully be prepared to take on a journey and if you are constantly waiting for the perfect time to pursue a dream, you will be waiting forever. I think there is this misconception that everything has to be perfect to start a business, but the fact of the matter is that it never ever is. Small businesses are always in flux. Things change, people change. Change is constant and as a creative entrepreneur it is important to learn to go with the ebb and flow in order to see success. One has to be open to innovation and change in order to maintain relevancy.

I designed a shirt this summer with the quote “Creativity takes courage” to act as a reminder to myself and my children to boldly create with unabashed fervor. I hope it acts as a reminder of encouragement to all of you reading this week. It takes a hell of a lot of bravery to create, to imagine and to launch. Yes, it is important to have a plan, but it is also just as important to do. With that being said – in the holiday spirit I will be giving away 2 of our popular t-shirt designs “Creativity Takes Courage” and “you have to dream for your dreams to come true”. All you have to do to enter is like “Bella + Sophia Clothing” and TooScoopKids on Facebook and twitter! Then tweet the following for your chance to win: @Tooscoopkids and @BellaSophiaHQ enter me into the holiday giveaway #kidstyle #fashionwithaheart #dreambig

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One winner will be selected at random on Dec. 22, 2014 and contacted via twitter – so check your PMs in order to send us your shipping info! Giveaway is valued at 75USD and sorry this is only open to US Residents. Goodluck!

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