I am getting ready to leave for Paris Tuesday. I am going to Paris Fashion Week to show my jewelry collection in the Tuilleries.....truly a dream come true. I was looking at my journal from last year, and I had noted in it"Paris Fashion Week" .It seemed like such a pipe dream at the time and now....here I am with my display materials on their way, my customs documents on their way, my ticket and hotel, assistant lined up ( and handsome, english speaking model/actor Frenchman) to also model my men's jewelry and a runway photographer lined up to shoot my show and me as a record of this incredible professional and personal milestone.
I began my business, Mahlia Collection, 5 years ago in a ratty, old co-op warehouse.My rent was 150 dollars a month for about 14 square feet. No windows, air conditioning, heating or bathroom for me and my helper...the only girls out of eight in the building.We ran down the street to the coffee shop restroom for the first year, until I made enough money to build my own bathroom.
That was January 2005.By September 2006, I was ready to move and by January 2007, opened my first small shop in the Historic Depot in downtown Tucson.
I began to get industry attention from the get go.I had no idea -having no connections or experience to the jewelry industry-but it seemed that I was doing something different...in a good way that the editors and industry leaders noticed. I won Rising Star in 2006, Luxury Designer of the Year 2008, Cool Store of the Year in 2008 and placement with the World Gold Council's Global Portfolio in 2007 and 2010. Mahlia Collection was also an evening wear finalist with the Women's Jewelry Association in 2010.
Saks 5th Avenue was my first account and QVC 'discovered' me in 2006 when I won Rising Star, and put me on air in the spring of 2008, twice with my own one hour show. It took me from July 2006 until January 2008 to negotiate the contact.
And now I'm going to Paris....to show with the best. Wow. One day I'm crazy with excitement, the next down on the ground because the clock is ticking and everything isn't perfect yet- and THE bar, and my bar are both very high. It soooo much work people have no idea. SLOG work...just packing and shipping things off. Getting everything ready -the paperwork, the logistics, the time tables, the people..etc.etc.etc.But I am going to Paris for Fashion Week..to show my jewelry collection !
It took me two weeks to get their attention, another week to get through to the right people and then I was accepted. Last week they asked for images of MY jewelry to promote the show...to the WORLD. At times it feels surreal, at times exhausting, at times like I can conquer the world and it also feels in the strangest way ....like it was just meant to be.
My two bits extracted from all of this would be.."Aim for the stars, follow your dream, believe in your passion, don't give up".....you just might get where your heart tells you you should be.