And then I began to wonder why I had to choose... with the whole wide world open to us in the form of the internet and a laptop, why couldn't I do both...
And so - The Sequin Cinderella was born.
My first blog post was sketchy, dramatic and short, I was teaching drama at the time and I'm quite sure a little of that leaked into my words. (You can read it HERE) but whether it was the perfect start or otherwise, it felt like a crazy leap into my future and finally I knew I was on the right path.
I spent hours and hours writing, editing, taking pictures, posing (awkwardly) and promoting the blog and before I knew it, it had spiralled and people were starting to sit up and take notice.
I will always remember the first time a company contacted me to work with my blog, it wasn't a designer brand or a high end cosmetic company but I felt that I had been offered a million dollars.
A fake tattoo company in Sweden wanted to send me some samples and I treated those tattoos as if they were fine diamonds because you know what? They weren't worth a lot in money terms, but people were taking heed of "The Sequin Cinderella" and that to me was worth more than anything.
(read the post HERE if you don't mind seeing my horrendously awkward pouts and poses)
I had a lot to learn, I didn't know the best angles to show an outfit, I didn't know how best to pose to not make myself look like I had a trout pout and I sure as hell didn't know how to edit a photo or design a website, but I learned and googled and studied and practiced until I could do the basics and it only grew from there.
Now I know I may not necessarily be sitting front row at New York fashion week with the top bloggers like I dreamt of when I first began blogging but looking back on the past five years at what I have achieved, I couldn't be happier or more proud. I went back to college to study fashion, released my own collection, have shown at fashion shows across Ireland and in April of this year I opened Sequin Cinderella Boutique. A life long dream of mine and something that I wanted to do since I was a little girl. My blog gave me the confidence to pursue it and I honestly don't think I would have done it if I had never taken the first step on this day in 2011.
Sitting here in my boutique today, writing this post with my own collection, a 5 year old blog and a severe amount of experiences under my belt, I feel like it has all been a dream... and I realise, it has. The girl, sitting at her computer, 5 years ago could never have dreamt of the path that putting those first words to paper (or screen) would lead her on and whilst I am still that girl and still dreaming of more, I am proud of the journey so far.
I have had the chance to work with some top international companies including Louis Vuitton, River Island, Boohoo.com, Oasis to name but a few, been featured in numerous national publications, been chosen as a brand ambassador for Dubin Airport, won the Irish Blogger of the year award in 2013 and 2014 with RSVP magazine and been invited as the special guest to many events across the country.
Writing this post, I actually feel very emotional. When I think back over the past five years... there has definitely been many ups and downs... when I lost my beloved Grandmother I almost gave it all up, but something inside of me said "keep going". I'm so glad that I did and I am sure she would be very proud.
There were so many obstacles that could have stood in my way, fear of being ridiculed, actually being ridiculed, being trolled online... its all part of the game I guess, but when it happens to you, it hurts and you need to grow a thick skin very fast. Each part of it made me stronger and taught me a lesson along the way and I can only be thankful to have had those experiences.
So guys, If you have a hidden dream and you are reading this post, then I hope it inspires you to follow it. You can achieve anything you set your mind to and whilst it may not always work out in the way you thought, everything happens as it should and thats ok. You will have some crappy times and when they happen, its ok to lie down and say its crap. You don't have to be eternally positive but what you do have to do is see a future. Look beyond the clouds and see the potential of the sun in the distance. Life is what you make it and you are the leaders of your own destiny. Nomatter where you are in the world, where you want to be or where you have to be, never give up on the life you dream of. Some day you could find your "Sequin Cinderella" and your life could change forever!
So Happy Birthday to my blog... you have certainly changed my life, you have made that little girl with the big dream a very happy lady and for that I am eternally grateful!
|My "Fake Tattoo" collaboration (Cringe)|
|Hosting a charity Fashion Show|
|The first Fashion event that I organised as "The Sequin Cinderella"|
|Feature in Xpose magazine|
|Winning RSVP Blogger of the year 2013|
|Guest at Belfast Fashion Week|
|Winning RSVP Blogger of the year 2014 and appearing at Cork Fashion Week|
|Debuting my own printed fashion collection|
|Showing my collection at FashionFest Derry 2015|
|Runner up as Young Designer of the year at Kerry Fashion Week & Irish Fashion Industry awards|
|Grand opening of Sequin Cinderella Boutique|