I was just about to load my last box into the car when the lump in my throat had already formed. I had a feeling that things were about to get worse.
I had only been back for a short time. I had said goodbye to all my friends in London, moved into my old bedroom with the orange wallpaper I hated and completely had no idea what the next step should be. I had a degree in fashion and was finally starting to feel the sting of not being in my comfort zone. I had gone back to the US without a job, realizing all my old friends had moved away and it wasn’t what I thought it would be. I felt lonely with an aching to belong again. I could feel the pounding of the past in that town where I grew up, and I just wasn’t that girl anymore.
With a gut feeling and a short pro and con list, I decided I was going to move to Nashville. Looking back, it’s funny to me now as the choice was between moving there or LA. So, I found an apartment and was finally excited for my next chapter. I didn’t know a single soul but it seemed like a friendly city with tons of opportunities to start my brand.
After the 14 hour drive and stepping into the hotel lobby, I saw people scrambling to get a glance of the news screen of the first cases of Covid-19 that had come to the US. The scene instantly changed and you could see the worry and confusion. For the first time I thought, “what the actual fuck am I doing here?” As the days forward unfolded, I had small tastes of what Covid-19 was going to become. I remember feeling uneasy as I watched how the Covid-19 affect would unfold before my eyes. It was about day three when the world started to panic, and as I didn’t know a soul, my parents begged me to come back home for a week. “This will blow over!” they promised. As I threw my weekend bag into my childhood bedroom and looked up at those orange walls, I had a sinking feeling that this would not soon be over.
As I stepped back into my Nashville apartment a month later, new dog in tow, I was finally settling into my new home amid the pandemic. Jobs were few and far between but I got a job at a boutique down the street from my apartment. I was miserable! I barely could meet others and I felt the connections I made did not last long. But always in my mind was the thought of Back Bone, I didn’t want to give up on my dream. I found myself coming home from work and looking for fabric while designing. Creating had always saved me from my loneliness even before I thought it could. I created the Back Bone society with the hope of creating a new dialogue for women.
Fast forward a few months and I had lost myself, I quit my job and had just given up. I didn’t see the point in trying. I found myself needing to get out of Nashville. It was while I was out in Moab that I could finally start to heal from past trauma that I had never fully dealt with. I went back and things started to fall into place, I had friends, a decent job, and was getting to finally see my samples being made out in LA. When I arrived, things were not as they seemed and the product was not as expected. I wanted to feel disappointed but I was just overjoyed to be face to face with the people I had been communicating with for months.
It was a stroke of luck when I was sent on a meeting for embroidery that I finally fell into the right team to help me bring Back Bone to life. I went and got all my stuff from the old team with my rolls of fabric marched out of there onto the next step., knowing I would have to start over from scratch. The work was just starting, and I started coming out to LA for weeks at a time, working long hours to create Back Bone. Before I knew it, I was planning for my first fashion show. Now, as the CEO and creator of Back Bone!!
It is crazy for me to sit and reflect on where I was at the beginning of my journey. From getting on that airplane to leave London, where I had been for five years of my young adult life, to where my life has taken me now. It is amazing to have created a brand that emulates what I have been through and reflects for me how I could help other women. Which is what this brand is to me, It Is about perseverance in the face of struggle. This brand represents what I would want to have had access to during my struggles.
To be able to show some Back Bone!!!