I always feel a bit confused when I hear people sigh: "O to be 18 again..." Say what? Call me crazy, but I'm actually kind of relieved to have left behind those days when my hair was an unfortunate shade of yellow, my career path 100% unsure, and my denim way too low-waisted. One of the main, eh, challenges of having an online business is that everything you've ever put out there is there to stay. Not to say that I spend my days crying in front of my computer while scrolling through fashion faux-pas from the past, but I do occasionally cringe when I come across pictures from the past (that yellow hair again!). Yet here's the upside: having a permanent visual overview of your past makes it pretty easy to learn from your mistakes, and grow both as a person and a business woman. Now that I'm 30+ (and a new mama!) it's so much easier to navigate through life with a clear perspective and without worrying about the little things. So if you're struggling with life right now - no matter your age: may these 5 things I wish I could've told my 18-year old self provide a little comfort and help you find your way. 'Cause as it turns out: there's nothing that a good hair colourist can't fix!
Sure, it sounds a bit cliché, but allowing myself to fail is one of the most valuable things I learned over the years. As a profound perfectionist, letting go and focusing on the bigger picture instead of meaningless details has proven to be super challenging. I clearly remember the days when I spent hours and hours to try to fix things that no one would've ever noticed in the first place. I think that my boyfriend's full-time involvement in the business has been a turning point in that sense; as a Brazilian, he's way more relaxed than I am, which has also allowed me to share the responsibilities and loosen up a little. We definitely balance each other out like that, and it's one of the things I love about working together.
When it comes to fashion, the greatest thing I've learned over the years is to stop buying things that I love but just aren't for my body type. I have a pretty long narrow face, fair skin, and no Kardashian curves, so I really have to choose my sunnies wisely (oversized ones can look super granny!), avoid black (it's too harsh for my skin tone), and low-waisted skinny jeans (the high-waisted version is much better at creating the illusion of feminine curves). Sure, my body has changed over the years, but the biggest change has been the realisation that you can use fashion in your advantage, as long as you picture it on your own body!
Exploring the world has always been on my priority list and was one of the main things I knew my future boyfriend would have to have on his too. But as much as I love traveling with Marcio, I still try to sneak in some private trips by myself every now and then. Most recently, I went on this amazing trip to Greece by myself, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. The hotel and scenery were breathtaking, but it was honestly also because it was just me, alone with my thoughts, able to do everything at my pace, and not think about anyone else. It was as if my senses were highlighted, letting fresh ideas pour in - a classic effect of some good old-fashioned me-time. No matter what happens, I like to squeeze in these solitary travels in my life, because I now understand how valuable they are.
One of the biggest challenges that I had to overcome when starting up my own business was to not take any fear-based advice. Being based in a small country has had the disadvantage of being surrounded by people who don't always reach for the stars. I love how down to earth people are over here, but as far as big dreams go, they were more often than not perceived as unrealistic and foolish - which can really bring you down. Even if it takes a long time, don't ever think twice about pursuing your goals and don't let your fear to fail stop you, because that's just an ill adviser.
People often ask me about my no. 1 advice for anyone looking to work in the fashion industry, and I'd have to say it's all about bending the rules and thinking for yourself. There are so much creativity and competition that if you don't do your own thing, people will be bored and dismiss you in 2 seconds. Sounds hard? That's because it is. But once you learn how to channel your own creativity and go to that place where your purest ideas have time to spring and develop, it's the best feeling in the world. So do wear sneakers under a billowy dress, and a hot pink suit in an all-black crowd; creating your own rules is always a good idea!
What are your most valuable life lessons? Anything you wish you could've told your 18-year old self? I'd love to hear! :)