Today I’m celebrating one year of StephiLaReine.com, doesn’t it seem like so much longer!? Is it a birthday or anniversary? Am I celebrating the birth or the unity of me and my blog? Either way this year has taught me so much about who I am, who I want to be, and gave me the best experiences and friendships someone could ask for.
If you wanna flick through my archives back to the beginning, it’s quite daunting, I highly recommend that you do, (and don’t) if you want to see stark contrasts. I was always happy with the content I put out to the world, but it’s amazing to see an insight into the things I was experiencing at the time.
April 2014 I had my first University arranged art exhibition, I was back to blonde hair (not something that will be returning for some time!) and overall I felt a little lost as to where to go and what to do, I knew the fashion portraiture and illustration was always my biggest fall back, whilst studying Photography and Graphic Design in uni and finishing up my first year I pondered on whether to make a blog, someone know I look back on I haven’t actually explained nor shown my readers. Actually if we’re all about sharing secrets today, the blog was originally intended to put up my artwork, photo exhibitions and share a little about myself, but life always finds a way of throwing a curveball and here I am talking about fashion, lifestyle, beauty and travel, odd eh?!
Who would of thought that one year on that this site would change my life for the better? I’ve been to two Fashion Weeks, and not only worked with some of the most amazing brands in the world, but the most amazing people and all in under 12 months. I’ve always wanted to be surrounded by creative types with drive, determination and passion, essentially someone who shares the same ideals of having fire in their heart when they talk about something. This is what I adore about blogging is that I get to talk about the things I want to, not what people tell me. I have control for the first time, because lets face it, you wouldn’t catch me in the four walls of an office, I’m a free spirit and wish to continue running wild and free, and who knows maybe this will be full time (I’m striving to make this happen, this is the new dream!)
Not only has this blog furthered my career goals, but made me a wonderful person. I’ve never been entirely loud or boastful about anything I do, but knowing I started this blog up on my own, and faced so many obstacles and challenges and come out on the other end with better self esteem and something to show the world, means everything to me and makes me want to scream it from the mountain tops.
If I could exchange everything I’ve done this year just to have a little more confidence and faith in my myself like I’ve achieved so far I’d be happy with that. But my personal journey has been as much a success as the physical things I have achieved, and for anyone with struggling anxiety and confident issues even the little steps can feel like giant leaps!
I’m so thankful of everyone who’s supported me in everything I believed in, and gave me a chance, you all could have easily shrugged off my dreams and told me to fall back to earth and get on with something achievable. But if this year has taught me anything is that you should always give someone a chance, and dreams are incredibly reachable things, whatever they are I’m sure with drive and passion you will reach that goal like I have mine!
My boyfriend has been one of the biggest believers, he was there the day I started up the site, he took my outfit posts at London Fashion Week and helped me spell check little grammatical errors, he saw the spark of passion in my eyes when I knew I had to do something, and helped me power through the bad when I had no money and was coming home every night at 10pm from a long gruelling day at uni.
My family are as much responsible for my outcomes as my boyfriend, giving all the love and support for artistic expression as they’ve backed everything I do, I’m just grateful they didn’t shun me into a paper round at an early age, but instead taught me how to use a DSLR and develop into the character I am today. They taught me most of all that being yourself is the best thing you can be.
I like to think that’s my legacy I’d like to leave to anyone who reads this, is that you are an individual and that being yourself and doing something differently is perfectly fine, and out of the box thinking should be praised. To look back years ago to when I was bullied for being different really shines a light on how far I have come and how this marks the end of the remarkable journey that was the first chapter of this website.
I also want to thank my readers, you guys put a smile on my face and make everyday seem like the sun shines all day and all night, all summer long. I cannot express how much it means to see peoples lives inspired and changed by my words and pictures, some of you now swear by the advice I give, and see me as a role model and the fact that more and more people are coming to see what the show is about every day makes everything worthwhile, and I solemnly swear I will keep writing if you all are willing to keep reading. You’re all friends and all welcome to share our experiences together and I can only hope we all grow and flourish in ourselves as this site gets older and wiser.
I know 12 months isn’t a long time to reflect on, and month by month no doubt you’ve seen little changes here and there but looking at the big picture I feel like I’ve set myself up for life with some pretty radical turnarounds. Here’s to another year of being unique and I hope to look back on this post in 365 days time and think how far I’ve come once again. The moral of this post is to stick it out and keep doing wonderful things, because you are capable, so please share with me your thoughts and dreams like I have mine!