AT AGE 5 (PRIMARY SCHOOL, GRADE 2) I MOVED TO JAMAICA AND CONTINUED SCHOOLING UP TO AGE 14 (HIGH SCHOOL FORM 3)
I GREW UP IN CANADA AND JAMAICA TRANSFERRING BACK AND FORTH ON HOLIDAYS TO CANADA AND THEN BACK TO JAMAICA DURING SCHOOLING SESSIONS.
My first introduction into the arts was when my mother signed me up for after school ballet before moving to Jamaica. After moving to Jamaica my aunt owned a hair, photo and dry cleaning studio and my love switched quickly to photography. I became obsessed yet still intrigued by every clients transformation of hair as they came in and left out of the studios each day.
I was then introduced to step dancing moving into my 1st year of high school. Joining the step team and becoming 2nd to coaching, now creating steps for the team, MARS HOUSE was the house I was apart of my 3 years in high school at May Pen High.
Moving back to Canada, now in grade 10, with dramatic arts as my major, I joined the dance team with leader Joelle, nervous as ever but developed performance skills on the way. During high school in Canada I also joined the teen Talent competitions in my church and began creating routines for competitions locally and internationally.
I began finding a new love for performance and joined Carolyns agency alongside others, began acting classes and went out for multiple auditions, mainly for commercials, tv show hosting and theatre. With such a heavy accent coming from Jamaica I was turned down a lot and decided to explore something I had before and was a bit still shy on DANCE. My first real audition was for Kayann Ward's The Alter Ego show. I was 6 hours late but determined to land a spot in the show and didn't just that! I continued my dance journey by becoming a member of Nexx Level Dance and Theatre and continued taking classes throughout the city. When I was ready to take the button up to the max, I applied for NYC's Broadway Dance Centres program ISVP, Lane Napper became my mentor. Lane Napper was a master of theatre performance amongst others and learning how to own a stage, face, movement and all the above was the goal. Having Lane as a mentor really took a shift in my performance levels. While studying I deciding to find also a softer level approach to dance that would even me out as a performer so I could really own a room wit my presence... heels became my additions mastering the art of heels sensuality was now on the brain Aisha Francis become my source and fountain of water. I became the student that stayed back asking questions and came early asking questions leading to exchanging numbers and texting questions.
As time went on though, still living in NYC I realized my attention was going back to something I always did while performing with Nexx Level Dance and Theatre, my attention to clothing was becoming more of an importance to me while performing. I began developing a line, now getting into the fashion side, not knowing how to sew I had a seamstress. A few months later an agent in Atlanta Terrance Williams became interested in the brand and wanted to add my brand to the roster for on set television and movies in Atlanta. My seamstress had a death in her family and now had to head home,I became stuck and saw myself asking "what am I doing ?" That day I made the decision to head back to Canada go to fashion school, learn all about wigs and master all things wardrobe so hat I could come out and pick up where left off, now as a costume designer. I decided during fashion school to specialize in only coats and jackets, because the 1st day I sat in sewing class I saw all the coat photos on the all and was reminded of a vision I had as a kid and there was 1 particular photo that I had seen before in my vision that made me know at that moment this was what I was meant to o it had come back in full circle.
During my studying time I continued to be a student of the performance arts as I knew that my designs were all inspired by music and that when it was time for them to be released I would use the performance outlet in showcasing them.
Graduating from Fashion school I gave myself 2 years to work in the sewing field until officially registering and starting my own business; only doing sewing jobs it didn't matter what it was as long as I had an industrial machine and was getting paid, meanwhile working in the field I was coming home and learning / diving into "Youtube University" for hair colouring master techniques and wig making skills from other established hairstylists. As I was getting paid from these jobs I was using the money to start building my at home hair and fashion studio, more focusing on the fashion studio the first 2 years and and the hair studio the other 2. At the 2 year mark I was able to register my business, and started the process of building my portfolio to entire FINALLY the costume design world, specializing in coats and jackets. A year after the business was incorporated and a year after that the hair studio was established and my colouring and wig making skills had been mastered.
Moving forward to today 2021 I was able to begin putting my portfolio to a physical form slowly showcasing the work I had been doing, getting ready to pick back up where I left off with Terrance Williams in Atlanta and all the network of companies I had put to the side knowing I wouldn't be of any use for them until 2022. I was now in preparation mode ready to work and show what all these years had produced.
The Winter Collection 2021 was my method of execution. It had been everything I worked up to up to this point showcasing why I was was made for Costume design. Art has been my love getting into the arts, has been a life saver, it helped me find who I am. I couldn't imagine being anything other that what I am right now what I do. I smile everyday because of this story and my gradual introduction to different forms of art leading up to its finale, finding what i is I love and admire and completely obsessed with ! I have found it and every form of art has lead me right to it. I would never change my introduction to my art nor my journey through it !
The journey still continues.
My Aunt was a hair dresser, she had her own studio, My introduction to hair was through her, I wasn't too concerned about styles until having to sit in her shop everyday after school. Growing up in Jamaica, hair was a big deal, you can tell a grade level by the style of hair, so I became more interested in switching up my styles. Going into high school the girl Ih hated the most KELLY but admired the most for her intricate ways of styling her hair with so much detail I would go home and try to imitate what I saw. My actual hair was relaxed for my high school years and prior to that was only cornrowed put ill that point. After the relaxer I began loosing my edges around my ear due to the fact that my car grew so quickly we didn't have enough money to constantly buy relaxer so I reverted back to cornrows then back to relaxer essentially severely damaging the edges of my hair.
Now transitioning back to Canada with no means of going back my aunt and cousin Denise always took care of my hair so I had no idea what to do. I did a big chop and colour at the ending of high school and met friends who would party every weekend and also was an upgrade from KELLY as this was my introduction to weave. I had no idea what this was up until then because we weren't allowed to wear any of the in Jamaica as children but in Canada the rules were different and I began loving it. Jody my friend would call me over after school on Friday to cornrow and sew the bundles in she picked up for me on her way home from AAA and any on sale hair depot in Brampton. soon after I began going to the store with her, and there it was, a coloured bundle. I screamed not knowing it was possible and my eyes were now opened to another world ! Every style Jody did up to that day now had colour in it. Then going into college I moved in with Sanya. Sanya was another level of hot girl, she was a hot girl before Jody and would have been a hot girl after so she taught me how to not waste time on weaves and get into wigs brought me to the store at Jane and Finch, Sheridan Mall, and there it was the wig section. She said try them on as many as you'd like, I was in wonderland. It was official Sanya Grant bought me my fist wig! This too was the beginning of a new love and exciting chapter.
Sanya Grant was my first weave trial client, it was more of a forced action she needed to go out and she said do her hair ill be fine just do it. I was a nervous wreck and the only thing she said to me was do NOT SEW MY SCALP Yep thanks for that! Knowing I had never done this before she sat infant of me gave me the bundles and continued to eat her white rice and bully beef, but that was Sanya Grant, fearless and always pushed those around her. So I swallowed my saliva and 3 hrs later I completed a weave install it looked hella good too! She taught me something about myself from then on out that I hadn't known and I also had no idea how much that day would have drastically changed my life!
My mother was my first wig applicant client and lets just say I was cleaning, hugging and smiling good morning every day after that for 2 weeks. I had no mannequin head to practice on so I practiced on dear mammas head, yup I sewed her hair to the cap and yea she lost some strands that night lets just say I'm thankful I was her blood because if not this story would have had more blood in it.