Crop It Like It's Hot has saved me during these challenging times. Prior to starting my business in July 2020, I had been living and studying abroad in London for the past 3 years for my BA and MSc; I had made new friends, got a new apartment, and had a whole new life. When I came home in February for a short 2 month visit and the world shut down a month later, I was devastated that I couldn't go back. Like many of you, my plans had been completely derailed, my flight to UK was grounded, and my way of life was shattered. All of my belongings, my clothes, apartment, and day to day was in London and I couldn't go back. In addition to missing my friends and life overseas, I had no summer clothes for the upcoming months. I was so broke from a variety of reasons (not the least of which was continuing to pay for that city priced apartment) I couldn't afford replacement clothes to get me through the warmer months.
Knowing me, I refused to have a "croptopless summer," so I made my own. I turned lemons into lemonade and now, 18 months down the road, I have my little business and I couldn't have done it without all of the love and encouragement I have received along the way. I so appreciate everyone's support, whether it was suggestions, compliments, or purchases. This creative outlet combined with the social aspect and networking has made my heart so full during a time that I was at my lowest. I have had the best time connecting with ravers, circus performers, other small businesses, and making new friends during a time that I wasn't as social as usual. I have enjoyed watching my side hustle grow into a full blown business with a decent sized following and a website. I can't wait to see where it goes next!
Before I left for London in 2017, I was attending university in California, going to raves, and training with my circus that I joined in high school. I started raving when I was 17 and fell deeply in love with the EDM community. It wasn't just the music for me, it was the culture, people, fashion, and open-mindedness that really swept me off my feet! During my gap year before college, my circus family and I performed at Burning Man and that was such an eye opening experience! It was the first time two very integral parts of who I was, raver and circus performer, came together in the same environment; it was magical! As I began to go through college, that part of myself became more prominent. By the time I had graduated from my Master's program in January 2020 in London, I had been in the rave community for almost 10 years and had experienced it abroad as well. A huge goal of mine is traveling around the world to experience different cultures, foods, music festivals, and ways of life! In the past year, I have loved getting back in the U.S. rave community and wearing my art to shows and spreading my brand around.
I love braiding clothes and tiedying them; it's a very fulfilling processes to turn a blank canvas into a beautiful wash of colors and then cut and tie up an outfit! Creating unique designs and having someone feel sexy and comfortable in my clothes is the main reason I have grown my side hustle into a full time business. I decided to leave my amazing part time job so I could pour all of my time and energy into this, and now we will see how it goes! I am so grateful to everyone who has supported me along this journey, you mean the world to me and I'm excited to expand my brand into more areas in the world of fashion.
I want to say a special thank you of support to my mom Kate, God mom Judy, my first employer Marilyn, and my circus parents, Bones and Holly. You have all been life changing role models for euntrapenrialship, female leadership, and how work and play as an adult can coexsist. You all are truly inspiring and I feel so lucky to have you in my life ❤