So I Felt Like
If you haven't a had moment to watch my latest weekly vlog over on YouTube yet and you do have a few minutes to spare, maybe head over to catch the chat that inspired this post. A very honest chat about failure, time wasted and putting plans on hold - you can catch it here.
I filmed the vlog with that chat and not only did I feel really quite heavy and sad but I also knew that I wanted to share a little of what's been going on behind the scenes. Life isn't perfect and as someone who tries very hard to find a balance of what I share about my personal life and my career, I like to ensure I share not only the things I'd like to celebrate (still not the best at that - I'm growing!) but the things I'd like to learn from too.
So, inspired by the phenomenally uplifting comments shared on the vlog (over 1,100 in less than 24 hours) here's a little update about how the incredibly kind, empowering, thoughtful and positive messages changed my mind about feeling like a failure.
I should have known with this community just how right I was to share and just how supportive you would be too - I hope sharing more about it here will uplift someone else who might be searching for some comfort!
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So if you've watched the vlog I mentioned above you'll know that I've had to put my dream fashion brand on hold. For over a year now as I've spoken about on my social channels, I've been working on trying to bring my own brand to life. From the first sparks of an idea to an innovative ready to wear brand. From sourcing sustainable fabrics to finding talented manufacturers, from ensuring transparency throughout the process to building the right team for the project, from committing to paying everyone involved fair wages to creating a beautifully usable website - the list is quite simply endless let me tell you! There were and still are a whole host of things I simply refuse to compromise on and when you add that very long list to the impact that Covid has had on the fashion industry, from manufacturing all the way down to the consumer, it means we're indefinitely not meant to be right now. It's been a hard decision and that's why I've been feeling this way.
In the interests of honesty, I'm really sad about it and you probably knew that from the chat. Not only do I feel sad that the brand came so close to being realised and we couldn't quite make it happen, but I feel really sad that I personally couldn't carry it on. I've been so excited, so committed and so eager to make this dream a reality that it feels like I've failed, however severe that sounds to say out loud. The time, the expense, the planning - it makes me feel like I've failed because I never got to the final stage which when you're working towards a goal, feels like the only way to succeed. I don't share this or any other topics here, to make myself feel better but in the hope that someone else with a shared experience relates and we all feel a little less alone. There are so many topics we find hard to discuss and so many that feel almost taboo to share but life isn't perfect - sometimes things simply don't go to plan.
So things didn't go to plan and I'm trying my very best not to dwell on that fact. As I've gotten older I've learned that not everything will be a success, not everything will come easy and now through sharing this I've learned not everything that feels like a failure, is actually a failure. It seems cliché in some ways and refreshing in others to say that you can learn from your mistakes but in both instances there's a real truth to that. You live you learn right? How do I know what the right path is without seeing the wrong one in the distance? How do I know that the right time is now without thinking about what the wrong one will look like? How do I have the gumption to know it's time to step back without trusting those gut feelings? There's honestly so much to digest but sharing this week on the vlog and seeing the outpouring of wise words and lived experiences gave me the chance to stop holding my breath and if we're being honest again because I feel that's the key here and not done enough on social media, shed a tear or two. It doesn't mean the dream won't ever come to fruition and it certainly doesn't mean I'm giving up, but until the time is right from an out of this world manufacturer all the way through to an excited conscious consumer, things are very much on hold.
So what made me realise that what I immediately labelled a failure was in fact not a complete failure at all? Stepping up and sharing. I know that's not always the easiest, no matter if the audience is 1 person or 1 million but I should have known how empowered sharing would make me feel. We're a community of like minded people, who share the same passions and also some of the same dreams, so even just one hour after setting my vlog live I felt a whole lot lighter. I'm only human and I was focusing solely on my own perspective, experience and feelings which were all valid but being valid doesn't make them the best thing to hold onto. Not if I want to learn, develop and try again down the line. Stepping outside of that for a while and listening to others share their own takes, their own journeys and simply a few lemons (If you know you know haha!) really filled my cup up again. Perhaps failure was too strong a word after all, perhaps learning curve is a far kinder take for all of us feeling this way.
And finally if you feel like you need a little comfort, empowerment, kindness or a different perspective on an opportunity missed/switched up/altered, I wanted to share just a couple of the amazing comments from the vlog that really touched me and uplifted me. They're such wise words/sayings/thoughts so I hope that you can also use them and come back to them when you need them most - I know I'll be bookmarking this post and doing just that x
"I truly believe everything happens for a reason! It may not have been the time for it now but it just means something bigger and better is right around the corner!"
"You have not failed at anything, you have only learned new things. A dream that you have deferred is not a dream that you have lost completely, only for now."
"I also believe everything happens for a reason, if it's meant to be you'll do it one day or another, it just wasn't the right time, people, tools, or opportunities. LOVE!"
"Success isn't always about completing the goal, sometimes it's about knowing what's right for you and when. Now was not the right time for this dream but as you said, everything happens for a reason and I'm looking forward to seeing what is next for you."
"I’m happy you are keeping positive through this experience and life has a funny way of working itself out, trust the process."
"I am also a great believer in things happening for a reason, it just means that your next big adventure is just around the corner and you were meant to have learnt everything you now know to achieve it!"
"I totally agree that everything happens for a reason, something good will come from this experience I’m sure! You will find the path you are destined for and look back and feel happier with the outcome. Be proud of all that you have achieved so far in life!"
A huge thank you to the team at Louis Vuitton for this gorgeous look I got to style on the occasion of their AW21 fashion show. As a huge fan of the brand being able to celebrate fashion month even virtually, was such a highlight for me! I've completely fallen head over heels for the LV Coussin with this beautifully contrasting stitched strap too - perhaps my next purchase I think!