This launch has been crazy yo. I remember when this was all in my head and it's beautiful to have been able to start bringing my vision to life; this is truly only the beginning. I always knew I was going to be a fashion designer since a kid, I used to scrap a book with fashion icons thinking to myself one day I would be involved in the business of it all. In 2015 I began collecting denim and different fabrics that i knew I would eventually have fun making things with even though at the time I wasn't quite sure how I was going to make it happen yet. I started from the bottom, knowing only a few people and having minimal resources to work with.
I spent a lot of time around my creative friends with great energy, just absorbing inspiration as I watched them make their dreams their reality. All it took was for me to believe. Back in high school I met a good friend of mine who was a huge inspiration to my career. Since we met he told me to quit my job, that I was worth more then $10 an hour and should be getting paid $200 hour at least. He would tell me if I truly believed I would follow my dreams 100% and quit my job, that it didn't matter at that moment how I was going to do it just that I knew I would.
I traveled out of the country for the first time in June 2105 and told myself when I came back that everything would be different, because I would make it so. Surely I manifested exactly that, I fell in love and was heartbroken which led me to reanalyze what I was doing with my life spending so much time in everything but actualizing my vision. It was then that I decided. I set my mind on tunnel vision and told myself that I didn't need anybody but myself to make my dreams happen. Who cares if I didn't know how to sew yet or the process behind the fashion I aspired to create, I could learn as long as I'm willing and able.
Sure enough, I did just that. Locking myself in my room and families houses with my head always in a book, writing, or watching seminars/videos on youtube. In fact I stopped hanging out with my friends a lot, partying, socializing in general and did so until I was able to start piecing myself back together better then I was before. I didn't want to do anything because I felt like I had nothing to celebrate, I wasn't even living my life to my potential. I barely felt alive let alone living; I had to recreate myself.
*Book Suggestion* "Outwhitting the Devil- Napoleon Hill
So anyway, I bought a sewing machine off craigslist since thats all I could afford and started watching tons of videos on youtube, then practicing on my old ass singer. *lol* Little did I know it was so hard to learn because the machine was low-key in bad condition although I still did. I sewed a couple of my first garments with it and then focused my attention on acquiring a new and improved machine.
It was around that time I got a job at a weed dispensary in South Central, Los Angeles and worked my ass off standing for 16 1/2 hours a day to save up money for the things I would need to start my art for real. In the meantime I met the homie who also designs and he showed me how to properly sew a shirt from beginning to end. I took that little bit of knowledge and ran with it, starting to make more then just shirts. I taught myself how to make all kinds of things, having fun while doing it.
I still wasn't satisfied, I knew I wanted to make high end fashion.
July 20, 2016 was a major turning point in my life forever. I went to jail, arrested and trailed for the dispensary I worked at because that day I happened to be there working alone when the Narcs raided it. (Experience in Jail Vlog https://youtu.be/cEkQ3DdodPM ) I had told myself prior, the weed dispensary would be my last job and after almost catching a felony and losing all my money/income I started creating art full time. My real career began.
This past spring I registered for 12.5 credits of fashion & art classes so that I can further my knowledge the most time efficient way possible because being self taught prior, I had already knew it took a lot of self-discipline & wanted to try schooling. Im now finished with my first semester and proud to say that I enjoyed the new found knowledge and am applying everything to my art/brand.
Jeanz 2.0 was inspired from my struggle.
It represents the deconstruction of my mind/life and the reconstruction of myself & brand. I started this collection initially because my mom and I had been struggling to pay rent for a few months, and more then anything I really didn't want to be homeless again + I really love denim and creating with it.
Im happy to say that this journey has led me to my purpose.
ByMelianj Mission Statement:
To be the source, Enlightenment. Inspire and motivate individuals to create themselves, their realities, and the human experience through awareness. Influencing ownership of individuality, and reinventing a community through living in love, support, and acceptance.
Journal the day before I went to jail. Manifestation at its finest.
You can do anything if you believe.
Peace be with you.