Melanoma Changed My Life Forever
As I re-entered the world of fashion and beauty I had a renewed sense-of-self. And more importantly, of others. It’s not that I was selfish or ambivalent before my ordeal with Cancer; I never was. But I returned to my vocation humbled in many ways; my eyes had been opened to some things they hadn’t seen before. And all of it made me realize that I wanted to do more for others who were engaged with the same affliction. Also I wanted to encourage avoidance techniques for those who hadn’t yet been afflicted. I knew that my experiences and work as an expert afforded me opportunities to which others might not have access. So I had to find a way to use them to the advantage of the Cause, without interfering with my work.
It was well known in the fashion and beauty community that I was sick. And while you don’t know how people will react to that, as it turned out many of my friends and colleagues were very supportive of me. They were also happy to help me with my new mission, and for that I’ll be forever grateful. And so once again the darkness that had surrounded me began to lift, and the light that was taking its place brightened my outlook in many ways. It took a village, my village, to help pull me out of that darkness. And I was lucky to be surrounded by so much compassion and support from my industry.
My first sun-safety company is Kspin Designs, a Children’s Couture Clothing Company. Kspin, if you’ll pardon the wordplay, was just what the doctor ordered for me. With it I’m able to combine two of my most important goals: offering remarkably tasteful children’s designs while promoting sun-safety with them. This is done partially through sponsors that are kind enough to donate products intended to keep kids both sun safe and confident in their own skin. With my background, it’s really a perfect marriage. Kids are very impressionable, and what they learn early has a good chance of staying with them. That’s the whole idea behind educating them quickly on the dangers of the sun. If they start taking sun-safety precautions now, it might become second nature for them to continue doing so throughout their lives.
Kspin Designs has extraordinarily talented seamstresses onboard that have worked for some of the biggest design houses in the world. Just imagine hand-sewing 25,000 Swarovski crystals onto a children’s gown. To produce the highest quality clothing possible, I knew I wasn’t going to-nor did I want to-take an assembly line approach. As such, everything from Kspin is hand-crafted with precision.
It didn’t take long for me to start dressing high-profile celebrity kids. From there my opportunities and exposures continued to grow, and we were doing lots of private events. We worked one-on-one with publicists, agents and stylists. Eventually our marketing shifted in order to respect the anonymity of our primary client base. It’s a highly competitive business in which your clients dictate your direction. Ours wanted a significant amount of our time and attention, and you can’t be everything to everyone.
I honestly don’t mind staying in the background while making someone else “look good”. I’ve been doing that for years with brides, red carpets, photo shoots, special events and the like. You accept “your place” for what it is. If it pays the bills the rest is just semantics. I’ve known many well-established make-up artists and hair stylists who gave up advertising their personal/business promotions to work exclusively for celebrities and musicians. It doesn’t make them any less successful at what they do, it just directs them and their services toward a specific clientele. In each of our cases, the financial reward is greater and the work is guaranteed. What’s not to like about that?
Looking back, Kspin Designs turned out to be the catalyst for many great things to come. Among them was PrettyPale.Org, which was founded in 2012 and Sundicators UV Wristbands which help educate and fundraise for Pretty Pale. I’m immensely proud of with everything we’ve been able to accomplish, and will continue to accomplish for our cause.
There is alot more to share as this is just the beginning….
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- A Guide to Skin Cancer and Melanoma - November 6, 2017
- Autumn’s Arrival: Sun Safety Reminder - October 11, 2017
- Students: Back to School Skin Protection - September 20, 2017
- An Explosion of Skin Cancer Diagnosis in the 21st Century - July 24, 2017
- Familial Malignant Melanoma: Family Tragedies - June 12, 2017
- Melanoma Monday – May 1, 2017 and every Monday Thereafter… - May 1, 2017
- Back to Basics About Melanoma - April 25, 2017