Two Years & Counting
As I sit and reflect in my apartment while typing this post I hear the Jamican’s blasting Toast by Koffee across the street, all I can do is smile and slow wind lol. Today marks two years since I traveled 10 hours up the east coast and started my journey in the concrete jungle of New York City. To be honest, it still feels surreal and sometimes I can’t believe I actually live here. On one hand it seems like yesterday I was sitting at a desk applying for jobs at work while on the other it seems like I’ve been walking 10,000 + steps a day for years now.
The reality is, I’ve been living in Brooklyn for two entire years, which means it’s been two years that I’ve worked as a freelancer and full time entrepreneur. Whew Chile is right. Has it been easy? Hell no. Were there times when I wanted to give up? Of course! But, I’m here and I’m still standing and I wouldn’t change a thing!
These past two years have been filled with a lot of dope opportunities, blessings, growth and hustle. At the same time, it’s been filled with long nights, even earlier mornings, tears and some disappointment. All in all, I’ve learned a lot about myself personally, professionally and mentally. While I came up here to be the next fashion editor for Essence Magazine, my goals have shifted. The thing is, styling was more like a hobby for me rather than a passion. I did it because it was fun and when I worked on my own concepts back home, it was the storytelling that excited me most.
Since being in New York, I’ve assisted various stylists in bringing their ideas to life. My creativity wasn’t really being stretched and eventually I found myself doing more e-commerce projects because to be honest, that’s what pays. Yes, I definitely could’ve done my own projects to get back to my creativity side, but quite frankly, I wasn’t inspired to style. Instead, I wanted to create content that moved people. Whether it be for brands, bloggers, or entrepreneurs, I wanted to be the person behind the engaging content that got them their next client, secured them a new partnership or spread their story to the world.
For the longest I was scared to walk away from styling because I didn’t want to look like a failure. I was concerned about what others would think and if I would even be able to gain consistent clients that would sustain my lifestyle. Then, I had to realize if I moved all the way here without a job or a lot of connections and still made major moves in the fashion industry, I could do that same thing in the content creation world too! Also, I had to understand that it’s not about anyone else. It’s about me and my journey to finding my niche. I’m in the cultivating stages of my career. I’ve found my lane and now it’s all about growing in it and maximizing my results.
At the begin of 2019, I decided to make the switch and pursue content creation full time. For the first six months of the year, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to create content for some amazing brands. I landed a creative director role with a hair company and I’m just getting started! Things aren’t perfect, but I’m learning, growing and figuring out what works all while doing something I genuinely love and I couldn’t be happier.
People ask me all the time about advice on moving to the city, following your dreams and living the freelance life and I tell them that if you want to do it, you can. YOU just have to believe in YOU, take the necessary steps and just do it! It seems so simple and cliché, but its real. Now for those who need more of a list lol, here are:
10 things I’ve Learned While Living in New York as a Creative
Things will be hard, but everything is “figure-out-able”.
No one is gong to hand you anything, you have to work for it.
Even when you aren’t in the mood, create. You can’t expect to get work if you aren’t putting in the work.
Everyone has a motive, some good and some bad. Feel people out before doing business.
Collaboration is important but not all collaborations are for you!
Going to events is cool, but even better when you attend with a purpose.
Don’t get caught in the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” mentality. Rest is needed to perform at your best.
Every interaction is an opportunity to gain a new work, you just have to determine your goal.
Don’t sweat the small things because if you do, you’ll be drenched on a daily.
Mistakes are okay as long as you learn from them.
I want to thank ever single person who has been with me through this journey and those who I’ve met along the way. I appreciate the love and support you all pour into me on a daily. From the texts and FaceTime calls, to the DMs and positive comments on my posts, your positive energy helps me more than you know and I will be forever grateful. So here’s to two years in the concrete jungle, two years of being stretched, two years of life lessons and two years of betting on myself.