All my life, I had the desire to create. I have never wanted to be anything other than a Fashion
Designer. My parents knew that as well and always signed me up for art class. My parents were
very supportive in the arts as my mother was a sketch artist, as well as her mom, a seamstress.
When I attended college, I had to stay local in Chicago as I couldn’t afford to go away. Then
during the 2nd semester of Junior Year, I had to sit out for financial reasons. This was my first
real encounter with adulthood. It was very depressing but it taught me a lot. Very happy for
that experience as it made me who I am today. During that time, I worked for temp
agencies and got to meet a ton of great people and listen to other people’s stories. I was able to
gain life experience through listening and avoiding the mistakes others before me made. I took
that information and ran with.
When I returned to a different school, the one I graduated from, I was a totally different
person. I was excited to be back and this time, did not take it for granted as I previously did. I
took it so far as to make The Dean’s list at The International Academy of Design & Technology in
Chicago and graduated Cum Laude. Never thought this previous “Straight C” student would say
During college, the 2nd time around, I would use freelance design opportunities to learn
different design techniques. Not only would I receive a grade but I would receive commission
from the client. It was a “win-win” situation for me and my teachers loved to see me think
outside the box. Designing for clients actually earned me a name in Chicago with Prom clients.
Word of mouth and recommendations were the key to my new business done out of my
Though I stayed home for college and really wanted to go away like my friends, that did not
deter me from working full time while in school full time. I saved full checks while working and
living at home with my parents and saved up $4k to move to New York City. No one thought I
would leave but I packed up a giant suitcase of clothes and headed out to the rest of my life. I
had no idea what was in store for me but it was going to be epic is all I knew. When I made it
there, I slept on my brothers couch in his studio apartment in Manhattan. There, I was
able to walk to interviews and save money. I found my apartment and my job all in the same
The story of the first job, well technically the 2nd job but I, again, made my way to the temp
agency as always and told them what I wanted to do. They kept offering me Accounts Payable
jobs as I had a background in it. I kept turning them down as that would defeat the purpose of
me moving to NYC to be a big time fashion designer. One day, the recruiter called me very
excited, she said she had a one week assignment in HR in a Fashion House. I was then so excited
too! I befriended the 3 young ladies I was working with in the office and they got me my first
receptionist job with a division of the company. I loved that job and it made me feel like The Devil
Wears Prada. By no means was it glamorous and by all means it was a design job in NYC and boy
was it glamorous! During my time in NYC, I had other freelance positions with individuals and
companies until I left in 2010 for Dallas, TX.
In 2010 Dallas was ranked 3rd in The US for fashion. I worked for Tandy Brands and
continued to work with personal clients. I made my company official in Dallas and continue to
grow Njoi Designs.
Since growing the company, I have learned that your work is never done. I have learned, you
can’t wait until it is perfect and you have to just do it! Perfect it as it goes and just get started.
Your work is perfectly imperfect as someone will love something that you do. Fear of failure is
the beast. Failure is really the best teacher there ever was. Knowing what NOT to do AGAIN has
been the key to my success. I’ve also learned that when you start something, you will always
learn later there is a prerequisite you didn’t do, so stop what you are doing to get
the prerequisite done, to understand the end result you started working on.
My purpose is to create.