Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Belvele

Vintage Top, First Rite Pleated Skirt in Clay via Belvele, Slides made with Rachel See Snail Shoes

MY STORY: Life can get pretty stressful. But it will all resolve with time. This recently happened to me when I was assigned to complete an entire garment from start to finish in less than a week in addition to taking on more responsibilities at work. I'm still working through changes at work but I finished my final project yesterday and couldn't be happier with how the garment turned out. After going through the process of draping, making the first paper pattern, cutting and sewing a prototype, changing the fit on the garment and pattern, to cutting and sewing the final product, I am amazed by how much I learned and how much I was able to do in such a small timeframe. The final product ended up fitting me perfectly and it feels so rewarding!

Here's what I learned, am still learning, and constantly need to remind myself: Often times during hardships, I wonder why this is all happening. There are so many emotions, feelings, stressors, etc. In the long run when I look back at these situations, these periods of time that I hated in that moment was actually a blessing in disguise. I can see that these experiences have stretched me to grow and learn so much more than I would have if I stayed comfortable. Through all the struggles, I am impressed by how I can surpass even the most difficult of situations. Not to say I did this alone because I didn't. It was all within God's plan. He placed wonderful, amazing, and supportive friends in my life. After going through all of this, I feel a sense of peace and pure joy.

BELVELE'S STORY: Monica Rojas is the founder of Belvele, an online platform that offers clothing from small businesses that align with her motto of keeping design, craftsmanship, and sustainability in mind. Monica developed her passion for sustainable fashion when the Rana Plaza garment factory collapsed in 2013. Seeing that there weren't many offerings of sustainable, minimalist clothing, she decided to use her background in retail management, visual merchandising, and buying to start Belvele. Monica picks investment pieces that aren't about trends but instead wearable years after purchasing them. I love that each item listed on Belvele has a description of the fit, material, and what makes the garment sustainable. The photos of the garments are also taken on friends of Belvele in the streets of San Francisco so you can see what they'd look like on you rather than a model. As you know, I love learning the stories behind brands. Belvele has a page of the brands they offer with each of their stories. I was able to learn about brands I already knew and discover new brands and their stories!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Somi


MY STORY: Last week I took a break from social media. I had received information that was unexpected and I won't go into it because it isn't mine to share. What I learned from it though, is that being vulnerable to others can be extremely difficult. I've always struggled with opening up to people and trusting them. Over time, I met people that just accepted me for who I am, and that was what did it. I started opening up to them because I knew they would love me and be there for me regardless of what I shared with them. I am so grateful for these people in my life because I feel that I really bloomed because of them. I honestly never understood when people told me to surround myself with the right people, but having met them, I get it now. Go and surround yourself with people who encourage you, endure hardships with you, and most importantly love you unconditionally.

SOMI'S STORY: Alysia Vallas began Somi, an intimates line, to create easy basics while raising funds for women's empowerment groups. Somi was the name of her goldfish who was often next to her when she worked and that's where the name of her line came from, her business partner. Alysia's pieces are made with high quality fabrics and produced in small batches in the Bay Area. Somi donates an average of 10% of net sales to Harpswell Foundation, a group that provides housing, english tutors, and professional guidance to women in Cambodia. Additionally, because of the amount of colors and styles Somi offers, Alysia donates samples to local women's shelters in San Francisco and the current total is 335 bras and 514 bottoms. I love that Somi is not only made ethically, but they also support women empowerment!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Curator


MY STORY: As some of you may know, this year I transitioned from working in the medical field to the fashion industry. Having Asian parents, they have always wanted me to have a job that is stable and that can provide a good income. It's been a journey these past months for me to strive for what I truly want to do in life, which I came to realize was fashion. It's been around 4 months since I left working at a hospital and started interning at Father's Daughter. My parents kept wanting me to move home and find another job in the medical field until yesterday. I video chatted with my parents and something changed. I'm not exactly sure what, but I got the approval to go to a 2 year fashion design program in LA! I am still in disbelief but I'm also so excited for the path ahead of me!

CURATOR'S STORY: Stacy Rodgers and Deirdre Nagayama are two best friends who started Curator, a women's clothing line, in 2001. Noticing a gap in their closets, they decided to create clothing to fill that hole. Since they design and produce all their pieces in San Francisco, which requires climbing on cutting tables and carrying bolts over their shoulders, they created garments that work with their every day activities. Over the past decade, Stacy and Deirdre built strong relationships with vendors who help them produce quality garments and minimize waste. As for fabrics, they strive to use organic ones whenever possible, such as the organic cotton used in the pantsuit I'm wearing in the photos above. In 2009, they opened a retail store in San Francisco, where you can find one of them designing their next line, assisting customers, and enjoying the company of the dogs in the neighborhood.

Photography by Cat Han (2,3,4) & Cesar Moran (1)

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