Forget Winter (for now), Fall is coming. I already feel the change in the air: it’s crisper on my morning walks. I can already feel that old familiar sense of gratitude, optimism and opportunity seeping in that seems to come around for me every September. But before I can throw the windows open wide and fall into my new bliss, I have to let go. This past summer made me realize that.
I took my sad self and went on a life-changing trip to L.A. with my sister for a pick-me-up down memory lane. We went beach-hopping in our dusters and had the best food on the best coast. This is my sister Kiki in Malibu, wearing the Kiki Kimono. Yes, they are named after her for being the person who inspired me to make them in the first place!
— I’m going to interrupt our regularly scheduled blog post here for a little PSA: Art of Marina’s silk dusters have been dubbed the “kimono” as a nod to the elegance of their inspiration: the traditional Japanese Kimono. The Art of Marina Kiki Kimonos are dusters, they are shawls, they are wearable art. They are designed to make you feel like a goddess. —
L.A. inspired me again. I was motivated. And I felt blessed from all the compliments that I got on my scarves and dusters from passersby, that it really made me reflect on my job and my purpose.
So, I wrote a list. What would I want to do with my life if money wasn’t an object?
Make art every day
Inspire and teach others
Share my journey
Find a way to heal
Grow and learn in a community
Even when I’m going through hell—keep going
Do better, be better, and make better things!
So I pretended money wasn’t an object. I realize how lucky I am that I even get to pretend that, but let me tell you straight up—it’s scary as hell. Taking a chance on yourself, on your own business, it’s way more frightening than holding someone else’s brand in your hands and directing its success. But that’s what I took a deep breath, and did.
I quit my job because it was no longer serving me. I stopped spending so much time in my car, a trigger since my accident that wasn’t allowing me to heal and only causing more pressure and depression. I traveled to BC to be with my Mom during her cancer treatments. I made art almost every day. I started facilitating workshops at Embiria to share my painting therapy methods with others, something that helped me heal in the process.
I got real. I shared my fertility struggles with you and surprisingly, it empowered me more than I thought possible as everyone’s kind words made me feel a little less alone.
I learned to focus on the positive, thanks to Healing to Begin with Natalie Kehren. She’s amazing, people. I also partnered with my beautiful friend Jennifer Rabanillo on an Intention Deck AND we created the female empowerment maker’s market FemPOP Collective! Talk about diving in head first, but I wouldn’t want to be doing it with any other person.
I did the things that brought me JOY, with people who brought me JOY!
And WE made magic happen.
MAGIC Fashion Tradeshow
I launched my line of ethical, sustainable and organic silk dusters featuring my own signature drippy watercolour prints—and I took them to Vegas, Baby! Art of Marina had its very own booth at POOLTRADESHOW, as part of MAGIC. One of the US’s biggest fashion trade shows. Armed with my dusters, belief in myself, and a small but awesome band of women, we did it. Soon, you’ll be seeing my dusters and scarves in the sunny states of California, Florida, Georgia and Hawaii! It’s both a dream come true, and the beginning of an even bigger one.
And I wasn’t even going to go. I decided in June.
The point is, life happens, and change is GOOD. Constantly evolving who you are and what makes you happy will manifest your purpose is the most surprising ways. Or sometimes, not-so-surprising when what you wanted all along becomes even bigger and more important than you first imagined! You are your own light; only YOU can make your dreams come true.
…And just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, she turned into a beautiful butterfly.
Thank you for being part of my journey, can’t wait to tell you what’s next (Pssst…I see the NYC skyline in my future…)