Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last you create what you will.
-George Bernard Shaw
It’s been said that every good tale starts with a beginning, of a sorts. To you, my dear reader, I present my beginning. My end. My everything-in-between. My hopes with this blog is to have a common place to catalogue my experiences with my corset waist training, my ups and downs with creating my own business, and whatever may come to mind in the week that I publish a post. Eventually, I would like to be able to be a resource for other people interested in waist training, entrepreneurship, or what-have-you.
My waist training adventures will not be starting until tomorrow, when USPS delivers my new corsets to me, so I will start today with a little back-story – a biography, if you will.
The short of it is, I am currently a student at Mount Mary University, pursuing a degree in fashion design. What I hope to accomplish with this, is create my own business revolving around costuming (for theatre, cosplay, etc.), alternative bridal, and starting up my own Steampunk and Victorian inspired brand. How I’ve gotten to this point is quite interesting – I wasn’t always interested in fashion as a degree…but looking back, it makes sense that I’ve almost always liked fashion. It’s hard to explain simply, so I will expound.
When I was a young girl, my mother had her own home business of sewing bridal gowns professionally. Something I find really cool is that, by word of mouth, my mother had customers coming from as far south as Chicago, and all over. Why this is cool is back in the early 90s, there was no internet like we have today to broadcast or advertise your services.
Since my mother’s business was out of the home, she really didn’t need a babysitter for me, so when she had to go to the fabric store, I usually got to go with if I was home. Sometimes I even got to pick out fabrics for mom to make me one or two dresses with. With how often mother had to go to the store, a lot of the ladies at Jo-Anns got to know me quite well haha.
To be honest, while growing up, I never dreamed of doing anything with fashion. I wanted to be a teacher, from pretty much kindergarten all the way up until my freshman year of college. I think it was in 5th grade, however, when any seeds were planted. Fifth grade was when I had learned of wonderful things such as “Anime” and “Manga,” starting off with my first series called Sailor Moon. I was enthralled. I can remember wanting to hurry home from school in order to catch the episode on the old Toonami. After several years of collecting manga, and watching anime, I learned about things such as “Anime Conventions” in 2006. It was too late to try and ask mother if I could go because it was a month away and that wasn’t enough time to save up. I made plans with some of my friends for us to go the next year.
2007 not only marked my first anime convention (Anime Central in Rosemont, IL), but it also was my first cosplay. And like most people’s firsts, it was quite terrible. I did a crossplay (meaning cosplaying as the opposite gender) of Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII, specifically the Advent Children version. It wasn’t too terrible. I had a really cool sword that my grandfather made for me 😀 The costume was bought, though, because it had been some time, at this point, since my mother stopped her bridal business and she wasn’t able to help me.
After this first taste of cosplay and anime conventions, I wanted to keep doing them. It was fun – there were a lot of people who liked the same things I did and didn’t judge me too much for it.
Instead of buying cosplays, I wanted to make them. This was quite problematic. Most of the cosplays I wanted to do involved a lot of searching for patterns even remotely close to what I needed and then trying to modify them. I was able to settle for Road Kamelot in ’09 (I think?), and the following year Rip Van Winkle. Mom helped me modify the patterns and sew them when I couldn’t.
Also, complete side note here. I would like to let it be known that in first grade, my mother promised me two dresses in my life: prom and wedding. She *almost* got out of doing my prom dress. I pretty much forced her into it haha. This was the first time I ever designed something and had it come to life.
So, college life begins. I start at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, pursuing a degree in Humanistic Studies, Emphasis Teaching English as a Second Language. I wanted to teach in Japan. Unfortunately, a lot of my friends at the time did as well so it…sort of killed it for me. I was also becoming more serious with my boyfriend and didn’t want to really leave the country for an extended period of time. I then changed my major to Theatre, Technical Design (already starting to form my future business in mind. Also started dabbling with Business courses because I was thinking about a business minor). In my Japanese class, there was a fellow classmate of mine that had told me about Mount Mary College in Milwaukee then had a fashion design degree. Immediately I was interested because the only other college I knew had a fashion program was UW-Stout.
My journey is then directed at applying, and soon attending Mount Mary College. During my time here, I have met many wonderful friends and several memorable experiences. In October of 2013, I was able to go with the fashion department on a trip to New York. Not that I’d ever live there, but I would definitely like to go back. Such an inspiring and busy city! Five days was not nearly enough to explore everything. I could spend 5 days alone in just the area around Mood, scouring through the fabrics of all the stores!
It’s around this trip to New York that I asked mother if I could travel abroad to Italy. After the spring semester, I would only need 3 credits in my concentration to graduate and I thought that a trip to Italy would be amazing. We have family that lives in Costacciaro, Italy so if I could study abroad in Florence, I would be about 3 hours away and could visit them!
November 15th was a momentary stop in these plans. After work, at about 10PM, I was assaulted by my vehicle. The short version of this tale is I was hit 6 times in the head with something metal (either a pipe or crowbar). I started to fight back after hit 5, but he hit me a last time and fled. Luckily, no fractures, cracks, or scratches in my eye.
But, now that it’s January, things have settled down a bit. I got a book for Christmas titled “Victorian Secrets: What a Corset Taught Me about the Past, the Present, and Myself” by Sarah A. Chrisman. For the past couple of years (probably since 2009, maybe earlier?), I’ve been interested in the Steampunk Subculture. First it was Lolita, but it morphed to Steampunk when I figured out I felt more in tune with the freedom and awesomeness that was Steampunk. This book gave me the final push to just suck it up and buy some waist training corsets. So I did. And they’re coming tomorrow. I am incredibly excited for them. Tomorrow I will post again.
I think this is a good place to end this entry. Thank you for reading this far. I’ve most likely forgotten a lot of things to say, but I’m sure they’ll come up as other stories along this adventure.