I believe everything is fate and that nothing is really left to chance. When I look back and see how my life has unfolded, it amazes me because it was nothing I had ever planned yet exactly what I wanted and needed. Seven years ago I moved from Seattle, Washington to Southern California with a dream. A dream that many women dare to dream. To claim the coveted title of Miss USA and work in the fashion industry in some aspect. Little did I know, God had other plans for my life. In the midst of pursuing my dreams I met the love of my life and now husband, Christopher, and my goals changed. The girl that had graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in Individualized Studies and a personal stylist at Nordstrom for over 5 years, all of a sudden wanted to be a wife and mother instead of a business mogul. Funny how one person can bring other desires out of you that you never knew you wanted. Soon after we were married, our daughter Kennedy was born. Becoming a mother was the most precious time in my life, but at the same time the most scary. Being a mother in today’s society is like no other; if you are a parent with a young child or even a teenager, than you know what I mean. There are so many websites, books, and forums that say they know just what your child needs and how to raise them correctly. They tell you when they should walk, talk, eat, sleep, and be potty trained; the list is just endless and really can become quite overwhelming. Everyday, many women are mom-shamed for how they raise their children for a million different reasons. I went through this constant battle in the beginning on how much or little to share on social media; and if I was raising her right. I tried my best to navigate between all of it and somehow come out still living in happiness each day. Eventually, that became so tiring that I decided that I would take any and all advice given with a grain of salt and do what I felt in my gut was the best decision for our family. Many days after she was born, like any new parent in today’s age, I shared photos of her almost daily. As time went on, not only did I enjoy taking photos of her and sharing them with the world, but I loved dressing her up like a baby doll. I quickly discovered the world of handmade clothing. I fell in love with beautiful designs that were being created by other mothers, just like myself, who created these companies to provide for their families.
From birth, society tries to breed and shape boys and girls into what they expect men and women to grow up doing. They market kitchens and cleaning tools towards young girls; already trying to define her into a mother and housewife. As girls grow up many want to be different things, but I believe society makes it very difficult to have it all unless you become your own boss. So that is exactly what I did when I had Kennedy. I decided I would stay home with her full-time and figure out how to make a living by doing so. Seeing that our audience was growing quickly on social media, I decided to create the blog Keyes to Style. Over the years I have shared motherhood tips and tricks, but mostly focused on kids fashion and the latest products for moms and kids alike. We have worked with hundreds of brands to help them spread the awareness of their businesses and to help them market themselves by styling Kennedy in their designs. Today, Kennedy loves dressing up and doing what we call “daily shoots”. It is a time when the two of us can just have time together to be silly and have fun playing dress up.
However, to say that it is easy would be a lie. The older she has gotten, the harder it has become to keep up. Finding a balance has been my biggest challenge, yet most rewarding one as well. Time management as a mother is key. We as women are expected to be able to do it all; juggle a million tasks and look good doing it, all without a complaint. I will be the first one to admit that as much as I would like to say I am able to do it all 24/7, that would be false. Many days I decide that the laundry will have to wait or tonight we will order take out because I decided to stay at the park a few extra hours, we had a photo shoot or I just needed a break. As women we must remember that it is ok to not be perfect. We are still great mothers, even if some tasks do not get done that day. I think we are actually even better mothers when we live in the moment with our children and try not to be so perfect to the world. There are days where I live in my pajamas; the next day, Kennedy watches YouTube so I can write a blog, and I might even be on the 9th day of using dry shampoo because washing it is just unrealistic.
And of course, because I am a woman and think I can do it all, I decided to expand my love for fashion by creating my own brand ‘Brass Hearts’. With the slow rise of my company, in addition to everything else, some days feel like a whirlwind. However, being able to stay at home with Kennedy is worth every tear shed, all the late nights, and a million messes to clean up. My hope is that women realize that they do not have to be what society has destined for them. That they can create their own path and to just trust their gut because there is nothing more reliable than a woman’s intuition. Find balance how best you see fit and do not let anyone shame you for the choices you have made. If you are happy, then life is exactly as it should be. My blog has inspired me to support other woman, be true to who I am, and be a role model for Kennedy. To show her that she can create her own path and that nothing and no one can stop her if she is determined. I believe women are a force to be reckoned with and the power of two is always greater than one. It has been said that one woman can make a difference, but together we can change the course of history. Let us teach our children/daughters to bind together, to build up one another, and continue to conquer the face of our many adversities. I encourage us as females to stand and uplift together, as women and mothers, and define a new kind of sisterhood.