How I Quit My Day Job
Posted: Jul 06 2015
Editor's Note: Handsome & Lace designer, Keira, wrote this original blog post which has been adapted for The Noteworthys.
I’ve always been a stubborn person. I never wanted to go to school, never wanted to take orders from anyone else and really just felt like I didn’t want to be like anyone else.
(I refused to sit in the photo below)
The best way (that I knew of) to be my own person was to make my own clothing out of thrifted fabrics. I was about 16 when I got my first sewing machine and I taught myself everything. When it was time to find a job to pay for my fabrics and bills like a real adult, I had a special strategy. I always chose one job that I thought I would like and only applied there, going back every week until they hired me. I got every single job I strived for this way. I also hated every job.
I was laid off my desk job in 2009. I decided that I was NOT going back to a ‘real job’. I had NO CLUE how hard it was going to be but with every challenge I looked at it as something that made me stronger and better. Never did I not believe in myself. I don’t know why.
I loved hairbands and at the time there weren’t many to choose from. Making hairbands was fun and girls were very enthusiastic about them but they didn’t sell as quickly as I’d hoped despite being mentioned in the National Post.
I stumbled across a Self Employment Program and applied for it. I took classes for 6 months and received funding to continue designing. My husband (boyfriend at the time) never questioned anything I did even though it made us poor. What a guy! As the funds began to run out, I became desperate.
I remember rummaging through my many bags of donated fabric (people can be the best sometimes!) and finding purple velour. I had been making hairbands from silk neckties at the time and had taken apart so many that I had actually inadvertently taught myself how a necktie was made. It was then that I made my very first necktie and it sold the very day I made it/listed it online!
Since then I have been working full time (and by full time, I mean 14 hour days) trying to get better with each stitch and get more creative and ballsy along the way.
I’ve been featured in British GQ, One Fab Day, Wedding Bells, and many others, as well as did the bowties for TIFF 2013, and even suited some celebs from Adrien Brody, to locals like the Property Brothers. I like to live on that edge of “this is brilliant” and “this is weird”.
I’m so grateful for everything I have. I live the life I always wanted, with full control over what I do and the freedom to choose my schedule. I don’t have much time to play, but I find creating is the only thing I enjoy anyways! It may seem like a pipe dream to want to do what I want, when I want, but it's my dream, so I have every right to fight for it. And so do you!