I believe people cross your path for a reason. To share an opportunity, a lesson, or a memory. There are no coincidences. Funnily enough, working with Katie Pruett and Ethical Style Journal was a combination of all three. An opportunity to be featured in a wonderful magazine, a lesson in healing myself, and an amazing experience that left a lasting memory. Sounds too good to be true, right? I had a lot of fun collaborating with them. Here is a peek at what it took to put this feature together, some exclusive photos, and where you can order your copy.
Earlier this year in April, Katie reached out to me on Instagram and via e-mail for an opportunity to be featured in the summer issues of her magazine Ethical Style Journal. Let me give you a tip on collaborating with fellow creatives and influencers because this is a prime example of how to do it right. Her e-mail was detailed and insightful. It was obvious that she had seen my work and photos, understood my message, and connected the dots that our brands would be perfect for each other. It was also apparent, in her first e-mail, that she had a substantial vision for what she wanted in this issue, the feature she wanted to produce, and how I could fit in all of that. The Instagram DM was just a heads up about the e-mail for a potential collaboration. After collaborating with a number of people and brands, I can say that regardless of what industry you’re in, how many followers you have, or what budget you’re working with, professionalism goes a long way and should never be cut short. I could tell Katie really believed in her magazine not only by what she told me but also from her previous work. That made me even more excited to contribute to the project.
The first part of this project was the personal essay I wrote, “Finding Comfort in Your Glow.” It is my reflections on the process I went through to embrace my beauty and advise on how others can do the same. Writing this piece was a fascinating experience because it made me re-live pain, healing, and triumphs in a way I did not realize I needed. Sometimes when we insist on moving on from things that hurt us or disappoint us, we tend to ignore it instead of heal it. I realized that growing into this space where I am comfortable in my own skin, I had avoided taking care of a few scars. That is what was so beautiful about writing this piece. I was actually practicing what I was preaching.
Here is an excerpt from the feature:
“This life pulls us through a unique journey. Most of us start out feeling pretty content with who we are and what we look like. Then, something changes. It might have started at home, or at a visit to the grocery store, or on your first day of school. Suddenly, you are bombarded with images, opinions, and expectations. Gradually, you find yourself criticizing every aspect of your existence. Next thing you know, you see the Grinch instead of your own reflection in the mirror. Ok, it possibly was more subtle than that, but at some point the downward spiral of self-hate makes you wonder, “How did I get here?”
Funny you ask that. Did you not bring yourself here? Or were you influenced by something else? Such as social media or mainstream standards? That is where I feel we start to examine the heart of this issue. How can we embrace our own beauty in an environment that thrives on making us feel inadequate? I want to share with you how I answered that question and how you can learn to embrace your own beauty.”
The second part of this project was the photoshoot. Katie and her friend Sharmon met me at Boheme. She brought a beautiful, bold dress by Reformation and a pair of really comfortable and chic sandals by Nicora. After shooting in different parts of the venue, we sat down and chatted about sustainable fashion, self publishing, lack of diverse representation in main and independent media, and so many other interesting topics. It was so nice to sit and chat with like-minded people sharing ideas and stories. We then went to the Menil Collection to take the remainder of the photos. Overall, it was a lovely photoshoot.
Now, I am sure you are anxious to know where you can find and how you can support this project. Not only does it feature my personal essay, but it also includes articles, fashion, and women that are all breaking boundaries and making a difference to protect the planet. The magazine is available in print and digital form. You can find out more about Ethical Style Journal and order you copy on their website.
Do you have any experience with sustainable fashion or opinion on the relationship between the fashion industry, consumerism, and the planet? Or would you just like to share what you think about this fabulous dress? Let me know in the comments!