As entrepreneurs, often times the very things that we want is within our reach, but our thoughts keep us from being able to grab hold of them.
I recently learned about the true power of the law of attraction and manifesting the things I wanted into my life after my accessories line, Modern Day Hippie had it's official launch on NastyGal.com. Looking back I now realize that my journey of leaving a toxic corporate job and taking a huge leap of faith for my business helped to bring my dreams into reality, but at the time I didn't realize that my negative thinking was holding me back from seeing the full potential of my brand.
When I first started Modern Day Hippie, it was really just a passion project and creative outlet for me. For as long as I can remember, I have always sought to showcase my individuality through my clothes - specifically thrifted and vintage clothes. I love being able to take an item that was trendy 15 years ago and flip it to make it more modern. I have always considered myself the definition of a free spirit, and wanted my brand to reflect that. In 2014, I decided to pursue it as a side business and Modern Day Hippie was born.
Photo Credit: IG, Modern Day Hippie
What no one warned me about was how hard it would be trying to start a business while working full-time. Especially working full-time in a corporate environment for a large fashion company where people thrive on constantly crushing your light, personal dreams, and goals. I lost sight of why I really started Modern Day Hippie, instead, I unhappily focused on building someone else's dream. I suffered from depression and often times felt defeated. Right as I decided to make a change, I received an e-mail and the opportunity of a lifetime - an interview with the current CEO of Nasty Gal, Sheree Waterson. At the time, I just thought this would be another corporate interview since I had already went through three interviews for the Web Merchandiser position thatI applied for a few weeks prior. I had no idea that this day would change my life forever.
I didn't get the job, but I walked out with more fire and passion inside of me than ever before. Instead of talking about the job, we talked about the Law of Attraction and our favorite books. She mentioned that God plants success inside of us, but it is always up to the individual to tap into it. I had never had such a spiritual interview before and I knew that this was not a coincidence. The last words the CEO repeated to me as I walked out of her office were words that I was all too familiar with. They were words that have guided me my entire life: Failure is not an option.
Photo Credit: Modern Day Hippie
It was at this moment that I knew I had to stop making excuses and get to work.
Over the next six months, I experienced some of the hardest personal challenges I have ever had to endure. I left my job, a long-term romantic relationship, friendships, and the financial security I had grown so comfortable in. I didn't realize that God was removing everything out of my life that would not help me advance to the next level. It felt like my entire world was crashing down. Often times, I had no idea how I was going to pay my bills or where my next meal was going to come from. The only thing I knew was that I had a vision and that God was going to make it happen.
I won't lie, this was the scariest period of my entire life! I spent many nights up late worrying about my next move. Money was a major stress factor. Then one day I realized that by focusing on the negative, I was only going to attract negative energy into my life as the result of my own thoughts. In order for me to truly receive what I know I deserved, I had to completely change my entire mindset. I had to consciously choose to vibrate at a higher level. Everything I have ever received in life, it was because I believed in myself and manifested my biggest desires. I had to brainwash myself with so much positivity and light that there was no other choice but for me to succeed.
My vision board.
I even reached out to a Nasty Gal accessories buyer that I had met a couple of years prior through mutual friends and sent her an inspiration deck outlining my company, why I started it, and who I thought the Modern Day Hippie girl was. Initially I just wanted honest feedback from a buying perspective, but the last slide in my deck really hit her hard. It was a a breakdown of the meaning behind products I was currently working on, including the hats. I explained how I felt like there was a disconnect in my generation, specifically between spirituality and the urban community. I grew up in Atlanta and always felt like these were both two very important sides to me. However, I noticed that a lot of free spirited/spiritually based companies market to a very specific stereotype - it is a predominantly affluent, white, and older crowd (ex: Free People). I wanted to break the stereotype, cater to younger audience, and bridge the gap. You can be from a diverse ethnic background, love hip hop culture, be considered fashionable, and also choose to seek a higher meaning to life. You don't have to choose. I am all of these things and constantly seek to break out of any boxes society chooses to place me in. The buyer asked if we could have a meeting to discuss my brand in person and to bring samples. She reviewed my samples and I left the meeting feeling a sense of accomplishment.
In the meantime, I started to write out a weekly and monthly list of goals I wanted to achieve. I created a very specific and detailed vision board of everything I wanted to happen with Modern Day Hippie and my personal life. I practiced meditating more in times of fear and darkness. I only focused on the positive. I woke up every day thinking about Modern Day Hippie and went to bed thinking about how grateful I was to be present in this moment.
So when Nasty Gal reached out to me about hat designs that were intended to be a personal project, I knew that the power inside of me had reached a new level. I wanted to figure out a way to bring an element of spirituality and confidence to my brand, but still remain relevant to who I am as a person: fun, wild, and bold.
Fast forward to today, and my designs are live on the Nasty Gal site! This is exactly how I always knew it would happen.
I felt that I need to share this story because so many times I hear people doubt themselves and their God-given purpose. We have to know that greatness is inside all of us.
If you have an idea but don't know where to start, WRITE IT DOWN.
Write it down over and over until you begin to map out exactly how you're going to get there. I am not the richest person nor do I have all of the business knowledge, but I trusted my instincts and always bet on myself. You have to believe that you are going to be successful no matter what obstacles are put in your way. You have to embrace change and trust that there is always a bigger plan for you. God did not put a purpose on your life and intend for you to fail.
One of my favorite rappers of all time, Biggie Smalls, said it best:
"Stay far from timid, only make moves when your heart's in it, and live the phrase 'Sky's the Limit.'"
See you ladies on top.
Gabrielle Lopez is the Owner and Creative Director of the online e-commerce site, Modern Day Hippie.