I was born in Toxteth, Liverpool 8. First born to Sylvie 18 and Joey 19. Some would say born into a poor and disadvantaged background due to the area and circumstances in which I lived. But I say, born into love and into a background that made me appreciate everything I had and what really reaching for your dreams meant.
When I was 9 years old, my dad kissed my younger siblings and I goodnight before he left to go and have a drink with his friends in the pub. He never ever returned. I awoke to a house full of family crying and my mum in tears. We children were ushered into the living room by my mum and my nan and told dad had gone to heaven but would always look over us. I’ve carried those words through the whole of my life, that my dad was always looking down on me, my god, my guardian angel. It has helped me through the lowest of low times, domestic abuse, finding myself homeless and becoming a single mum with a 9 month old baby. It has also made me beam so bright at the happiest and highest times as I knew he was always with me. It’s given me the push to get back up again, rise above and grab every opportunity that has been presented to me.
In secondary school, I told my career adviser I wanted to be a famous fashion designer. She told me I would be a sewing machinist in a factory if I was lucky. I could have let that shatter my dreams, but I held them close and believed I could achieve. School did not spark my imagination, and I went less and less, leaving with no qualifications. Then my textile teacher, who spotted my potential whilst I was in school, sent me 2 tickets to see a fashion show in a local college, I was blown away. I enrolled instantly and went on a 7 year education journey to degree level in fashion design.
If it wasn’t for that teacher, or the belief that my dad was shining down on me, I wouldn’t be where I am now. After starting my own label I decided I wanted to make a difference to young people’s lives, like my teacher had made to my life. I am now the proud owner of Street Style Surgery, we have been delivering creative and educational workshops right across the globe for the past 17 years, so many young people have been inspired to reach their creative dreams. I haven’t given up on mine either, lockdown has pushed me back into being creative and I’ve just launched my first fashion brand in 20 years. I firmly believe everything happens for a reason and there is not a day that I don’t feel grateful for the journey I have been on, the lows as much as the highs.