After I received my BFA and Master’s in Business of Art and Design from MICA, I dove headfirst into the custom clothing game at Oklahoma Fashion Week in its inaugural year. My collection, comprised of couture work for breast cancer survivors, received the attention of the Oklahoma media and independent film director, Bernadette Wegenstein.
Despite my rewarding work of helping women rebuild and reclaim their identities, working in the fashion industry made me feel like a dry spring. A few months later, I packed a suitcase and ran to the hills, or more precisely, to the middle of a rice field in countryside Japan. With one small taste of adventure, I decided nothing, including the lack of a travel partner, could keep me from exploring the world. I began to travel by myself.
And I began to feel great. My heart felt full as I embraced the lineage of incredible women who preceded me. I felt their arms balance me as I walked around volcano craters in Indonesia and saw their smiles in the kind faces of strangers. Totally absorbed by the empowering nature of solo travel, I eagerly shared my stories. But with each new story told to each new person, they began to redefine my identity for me: You are a brave girl.
A brave girl? Me?
It’s a disconcerting notion, that a woman must be brave in order to take advantage of what the world has to offer. Intended as compliments, I felt pressured to conform. It is from this plight that Brave Girl has been born. I hope she can inspire you to see what’s really out there for yourself. Go climb a volcano, move to a foreign country, and fall in love with as many people as you want. The world will never be safe enough, until there are enough of us out there to have each others’ back.