2016 recap… the year of decisions

I call this year the year of decisions.

I hate making decisions 99% of the time, so this year was a total challenge for me.

I started off the year saying Hello from the other side  as I had just moved to London England and was taking on a whole new life with a new place to live, new city to explore, and new job to find, all the while, hoping to figure out what I was ‘supposed to do’.

 

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Photo: Sarah Kierstead

Figuring out what you’re ‘supposed to do’ is the hardest thing that recent grads face. Because it requires decisions, and hard ones. As many of you know, I went over there with the intention to start my MBA in the fall of 2016 and complete it a year later.

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That didn’t happen, because life kind of had its way with meI applied to a wide array of jobs in my first month in London, and although I left university thinking I could take on the world- I ended up facing a whole lot of rejection. I used this ‘down-time’ to create Nora Swimwear. Something that I thought would be a hobby slowly turned into something that was consuming me all the time.

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I ended up finding a job, through a series of events that I still find freaky to this day. I was walking through my neighbourhood (Shoreditch/Bethnal Green area) and I found a building I thought was pretty fancy. I got home, googled the address and came across Medicine Man, which ended up being a marketing/design agency. Without seeing any job posting, I emailed them my CV and pretty much begged them to bring me in for an interview. I ended up spending the next 7 months with Medicine Man, with the people that made my London experience the best one I could’ve had.

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Dylan and I had the opportunity to travel to Ibiza, Paris, Venice and Florence while living in London, and these trips make up some of the best moments of my life thus far.

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Although I loved my time in London, Nora Swimwear was taking over. I was working before work, then working when I got home from work, and then doing it all over again. It was a good thing- but I definitely was starting to realize I needed to figure it out.

At this point, I knew I needed to make a hard decision. I had ruled out doing the MBA due to bad timing, and it was becoming nearly impossible to keep managing operations abroad (since most operations need to occur within North America for it to make sense).

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After some pretty hard conversations, Dylan and I knew I needed to return to Canada to take on Nora Swimwear and freelance work full-time. Dylan needed to remain in the UK to finish his masters, and I would go HAM working until he returned.

So this is what I did. At the end of August, I returned to Canada, and took on my personal endeavours. I thought at the time, that my life would be less busy, less stressful, and I’d have more time to binge netflix. I was wrong. I found myself busier than before. I’ve made a ton of decisions. But I love it. And I really feel like I am living my dream.

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I’ve had the opportunity to go to Toronto, meet an amazing girl Kyal, and spend more time with Alex & Karly, who have helped along the way.

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I’ve had the opportunity to work with Katie Boyce, who is the biggest sweetheart and talented fashion queen.

Ultimately, I’ve used the last five/four months to create something I am really proud of. The Spring and Summer 17 collections are hours and hours of decisions, thoughts and creativity.

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Photo: Sarah Kierstead
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Photo: Sarah Kierstead

Despite the challenges I’ve faced along the way, I am so excited to show you all what I have worked so hard on.

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And as for now, Dylan and I have settled back in Canada for a little while.

Although the next year may bring on more challenges, and more exciting trips, and more decisions– I am ready for it.. I think(?)

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Photo: Sarah Kierstead

xx,

ash

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