It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together. –unknown
I have always been blessed to have a family that not has only loved me unconditionally but believed in me unconditionally. I spent my early years in the Philippines were I was born, until I moved here in the states at the age of 7. And at a young age, I was taught that I can do anything and I’m capable of it. Having the opportunity to move here when I was 7 only exaggerated that belief. I grew up with family members that were successful and accomplished in their fields. One side of my family were noted academics who had published works and the other were successful business owners. (This would later prove to be something that tore me inside since I was not only an academic but also an entrepreneur by heart (just like my mom).
My mom was an accountant by trade but pursued her passion and started her own business to help others. I recall countless times of going to work with and watched in awe on how she conducted business, how her employers admired and respected her, and how clients constantly thanked her. I wanted to have that kind of impact and significance as well. I wanted something that stirred passion inside me but also changed people’s lives.
At a young age I searched for exactly that and looked at the things I liked. I liked architecture, but hated math. I liked riding horses but hated the breeches that I had to wear. I liked cars but only if I am allowed to drive them really reeaally fast. And then, I saw a movie that changed my life.
“A Time to Kill” came out when I was in 10th grade. Besides the fact that Jake Brigance (aka Matthew McConnaughey) was not only the most beautiful thing my 14 year old self ever laid eyes on, it introduced me to the law. I finally found it! I wanted to be a lawyer…a litigator and eventually a barrister specializing in International Law. Shortly after watching the movie, I joined the Chester County Bar Association, signed up for Introduction to Law, then Business Law, and Divorce and Family Law. I took classes at Villanova University and earned 20 college credits prior to graduating high school. While taking college courses while still in high school, a friend asked me to join Downingtown’s very first high school rugby club for girls. It was during my first rugby practice in West Chester University, that I found something else that I was good at.
As my love for both grew so did my passion and I equally accelerated in both. During senior year, I decided to continue to pursue a career in law but wanted to continue my plan to eventually be a barrister. To my parents dismay, I turned down my scholarships to both Brown and Vassar and applied to schools overseas. After only being in college for two months, I soon came to a realization that I was more excited getting up at 4am for practice everyday rather than studying cases. So, in turn, I pursued a professional rugby career while still maintaining to be in the top 2% of my class (per my scholarship condition). My professional career would have been easily secured if it were not for a severe concussion I suffered. Shortly after, I decided to go home and finish school in the states. With my professional rugby career officially out, I looked to find something else I was good at. Since I was no longer an “athlete”, I focused on academics and getting that prestigious “corporate job” and I did.
Burnt out and only 25 years old, I did not enjoy my job. I moved from one job to another in different industries to find out what I liked, but really I wanted to find something I was passion about. I knew that I wanted to have a purpose and live a life of significance. I went from being an auditor, to retail manager, to a high end jeweler, to an executive assistant, to a trainer, you name it. I took a job in the city when I realized that I was working for someone who did not practice the same core values or ethics as I did. I then made a promise to myself that I will never work for someone else ever again. I drew a line in the sand and said to “stop doing this I did not want to do” and take a leap of faith. That was the last time I worked a corporate job. I focused on what I knew and what I was good at. I knew 3 things: people, rugby, and dressing well. January I worked with a business/career and started pursuing a career I loved.
Flash back to about five years ago that a friend/colleague asked me to help her with shopping for an event she was attending. Then it soon became into will you help me with my wardrobe. Through the years, I have friends of friends asking for my help and some people that I didn’t even know. While I was looking for that perfect job (okay, that prestigious, and really impressive job), I didn’t realize that I had already stumbled into the diamond in a rough. There was a need out there, not just learning how to dress well with confidence, but people wanted the support to get that confidence to pursue who they wanted to be. In May I worked intensively with a career coach I trusted, and shortly after, I began justCURATED.
Many have asked me if “shopping for people was really a job?” “Do you really style people?” First and foremost, I do not give anyone their style. Each one of my clients already have a sense of style. And style should not limit you, it should express who you are: for that day, for that moment, or for that season in your life. If I feel like dressing like a bohemian princess going to a Coachella event, I can. If I feel like dressing like a CEO with the J-Lo edge, I can. And if I feel like dressing like Joan Jett with black ripped denim jeans and white tee (like I’m doing right now), I certainly can. STYLE isn’t about fashion, it’s about the PERSON.
Style cannot be defined, it is limitless. I will never define or limit my clients and they should not limit themselves either. I am an IMAGE CURATOR. My clients are not just their clothes; they have different aspects and dimensions to them. And as an image curator, I am there to provide the knowledge and support to get them to the best versions of themselves in every aspect. My clients are the diamonds and I’m here to polish them.
It’s an amazing process to see someone see themselves in an even BETTER and BRIGHTER light. To be there for that, in that moment, is something I could have never imagine I could be part of. Call me a stylist, a wardrobe consultant, personal shopper, college mentor, but the most important I can be called by anyone is “friend”.
Your number one supporter, your cheerleader in the sidelines, your curator and your friend,