I can still remember it like it was yesterday. Walking up to the crowd of people gathered around a paper with a list of names that had made the Fashion Board at my college Mississippi State. See a few months prior to this I quit the volleyball team at State after two years of playing at the collegiate level I knew that it wasn’t for me anymore. Not only was I counting down the minutes as soon as practice started but I also was starting to feel the need to pursue a new passion, that passion being fashion. So I forfeited my full ride volleyball scholarship to start pursuing something that fueled me. So leaving athletics and starting this new journey I started to look into what my school had to offer and that was fashion board. You see Mississippi isn’t known for fashion, it’s not really known for anything. But for the fashion organizations they have it is extremely small and cliquey. So I found out about Fashion Board and thought easy. I knew I was creative and had edge and thought this would be a breeze. There were teams you could try out for like modeling, makeup/hair, and then behind the scenes (production). I decided to try out for the production side of things because that is where I felt the most passionate about. Well, I went to the tryout where we discussed questions like our favorite designers, what our best idea for a fashion show was, etc. etc. So the day comes for the Fashion Board leaders to post the list of the new members. I head over after choir practice, yes choir practice. You see after I let go of my scholarship my parents informed me that there was no way I could stay at State without something to help pay for my college. So I marched into my school’s choir tryouts at the beginning of spring and boom had an In-State tuition scholarship. So back to the point, I head over to the main campus after choir rehearsal and confidently head to the front of the crowd to find that my name was not on the list. I can’t lie this hurt. For one, this was the first time in a very, very long time I had been told no and hadn’t made something. Wanted to be on varsity volleyball, wanted to be on the top team at my club volleyball program, wanted a scholarship? Check, check, and check. And while I had to work extremely hard for these things I was shocked I didn’t make fashion board. In all honesty I had the best style on campus but my style was different. I was different. I had half of my head shaved I wore more street wear than the average Mississippi girl. Fashion Board was run by Sorority heads (sorostitutes- what my friends and most of the athlete world revered to them as) and I didn’t belong with these girls, and they knew it. But as soon as I read that list I was infuriated. Went on a twitter rampage discussing the biasness of the organization and how they let in their friends over talent and who knows what else. But in better words, I did not handle my failure with poise. But what I did do is let this failure full my fire to succeed. The following summer I got an internship with a showroom in Los Angeles and the following fall semester I took off from school during New York Fashion Week to work production for Diesel Black & Gold and VFiles. I didn’t try out for Fashion Board again even though girls approached me to try out for the modeling side. I knew that I wanted to work behind the scenes and have more control with the creative aspect of things. Along with the fact that I didn’t want to be a part of an organization that in my opinion discriminated against girls who were not like them. So by this point in this blog post you’re probably wondering where the fuck is she going with this? Well, the whole point of this is I allowed this failure to fuel me to the point I am at now. Of course when it first happened I was devastated but now I look at it as a blessing. And I hope my readers can take away from this blog what I took away from that experience. I now have a clothing brand obviously (ManEater). But ManEater is now available in Dollskill an online retail store that also has two locations, one on Melrose in Los Angeles and the other in San Francisco. And it is a big accomplishment for me. And so for my readers or people out their struggling in their passions and careers, I hope you never allow a no to discourage you to keep going. Or to let your appearance or differences for the norms of society, or the state, town, city you live in. Hold you back from going after your dreams and goals. If I had quit after that day in Mississippi I wouldn’t be where I am now, and while I have barely scratched the surface of my dreams I know I am on the path that I chose because I knew it was meant for me and I never allowed someone else to dictate that despite our differences.