As a kid it never mattered to me what I looked like, what clothes I wore or if I ever brushed my hair. I loved animals, playing in the creek and climbing trees. I either wanted to be a dolphin trainer at Sea World, or the sequined woman with the feather plumb crown that sat atop an elephant at the circus. I preferred stuffed animals over dolls but I had a real affection for the Valentine’s Day themed Barbie with the little velvet hearts all over her gown. I always felt a shade more tomboy than princess; always torn between puppies and paper dolls. Although, I still have day dreams of being the next turtle whisper, nail polish and high heels win every time.
After a few career and college detours, at the age of 25, I packed up my things and moved to New York City from Allentown, PA. My dream was to get a degree from the renowned Fashion Institute of Technology, work in those tents at Bryant Park (now at Lincoln Center) for Fashion Week and launch a glamorous fashion career as a buyer for a large department store.
Half of those goals are checked off the list. After five and an a half years of working full time as a legal secretary and going to college at night; I earned my degree in Fashion Merchandising Management, summa cum laude, from FIT. I also managed to get into those tents. I have had the privileged opportunity to be a backstage dresser for Fashion Week, working for designers such as Oscar de la Renta, Badgley Mischka, Carlos Miele, Pamela Roland, Tuleh, Zac Posen and more.
On my way to achieving my last goal of total fashion industry domination, I fell in love and married my amazing husband. With that came two surprises. One, my wifely duties also came with an added bonus title of “military wife,” as my husband was enlisted in the Marine Corp. And two, a beautiful stepdaughter. Pardon me one moment, I want to say thank you to all the men and women who serve and fight for our country and for all the spouses, partners and family members who support them at home. Without you I would not be telling this story, again, THANK YOU!
My husband’s honorable enlistment in the military has since ended, and two years later we welcomed our first child together, an adorable daughter.
Nine years, one economy crash, countless resumes and many fruitless job opportunities later an epiphany strikes. Why do I have to wait for the economy to rebound? Why do I have to face financial instability to change careers? Why do I have to sacrifice my family life to take a job where I will be overworked and underpaid? I am not special; I have to start at the bottom just like everyone else. How do I take the risk? Screw that! I will make the world of style come to me! I will make this happen on my own terms. I will dictate my own career. I will carve my own path and I did.
Since starting my style blog LadyBowTie.com in May of 2011 my readership has grown steadily and my confidence has soared. I have continued to grow my brand by launching two more businesses; a fashion show production company LadyBowTie Productions, and an online fashion boutique SHOPLadyBowTie. Today I can officially say that my list is done. My list of dreams has been completely checked off and accomplished. I’ve never been busier, more tired or HAPPIER. Now what’s next?
I hope you will continue take this trip with me and are inspired to make your own path. Fortune favors the brave.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story.
Cori a.k.a. LadyBowTie
PS. I would like to thank my parents, my husband, all my brothers and sisters, my daughter and my stepdaughter, my friends, my lawyers and a couple of really great industry ladies who have all supported, taught and encouraged LadyBowTie!