I have been fortunate to befriend someone who took the journey to make her fashion dream a career and she continues to inspire me with her journey.
Let's meet Jenna Lee.
I caught up with Jenna recently and she shared her story.
Jenna grew up in city called Daegu in South Korea where she went to college for fashion. At that time, it was expected and customary of her family to marry and stay in South Korea. But Jenna was inspired to learn of the world outside of Korea. Specifically, she had always wanted to visit Europe and see for herself a piece of the western world. She fell in love. But it was still expected that upon her return, she would make her life in Korea.
Jenna made efforts and received permission from her father to come to the US with a two month visa. And guess what? She never returned. Those two months turned into attending FIT and eventually getting a job in NY as a fashion illustrator. I can only imagine moving to a new world not knowing anyone and trying to create a life for yourself.
Jenna eventually began working as a fashion designer and worked in the corporate world all the way though the recession in 2008. It was then that she realized she was beginning to lose her passion for fashion. "It became too much like a job," she reflected. It was then that serendipitously she received a phone call from one of her current partners asking to take the leap of faith and take their expertise and make their own label.
Out of that leap of faith, not feeling victimized by the severe difficulty of the current economic outlook, Quieti Apparel was born. Since its launch in 2012, they have grown to be an extremely successful enteprise with revenue that would inspire anyone. Being her own boss allows Jenna the freedom to do what she loves as well as explore the world through travels to find new inspiration for her line.
Jenna's story reminds me of keeping the long term goal present as we struggle with the mundane and the challenges of our stressful lives. If you believe in yourself, work harder to perfect your skills, and stay positive, amazing things can happen.