Where do I begin to talk about kaleesi.rose.kollection? This was a brain child of mine after my daughter was born 7 years ago. I always wanted to design clothing. I even went to school for it BUT changed my major when I had to go through surgery again and the head of my program was not to kind to me. I had a professor who encouraged me to do Costume Design for the theatre. And so I did. I received a BFA and an MFA in Costume Design. So I became a costume designer and a professor.
Fast forward to 2013 when my daughter was born. And yes, for those who are wondering, she was named after Game of Thrones.
Though the picture is a little blurry. This was her first Halloween. We do matching costumes every year. Here was 2020's:
I attempted to open an Etsy account and begin selling some necklaces that I had made. But being a single mom proved to be harder than expected. I worked a lot at the University and designing and building costumes for theatre and dance. Adding another "job" was too much. I didn't want to give up any time with my daughter. So I packaged the dream away and moved on with my life.
Now it is 2018 and my daughter is about to be 5. I am sitting in a technical rehearsal for another show and realize that I am not happy with theatre anymore. I use to love it and it gave me this butterfly of excitement but now that excitement dwindled to frustration, stress, lack of sleep, and disappointment. Eventually, I felt lost. Art has always been part of my life. It was my voice, my therapist and now my voice was silent. How do I get my voice back? How do I get my joy back? This became a long journey for me. I finally officially created Kaleesi.Rose.Kollection. I named it after my daughter because she is my world. I want her to live her dream/s. BUT yet again, I halted myself. I made the business legit but life got in the way. I was getting prepper for a full hysterectomy and had to relearn my body. Like most moms do I thought I had to do everything on my own. I was ashamed of having to ask for help. I was tired of complaining about losing my voice and my unhappiness so I finally told everyone that I was "retiring" from theatre. My voice in theatre design was not being heard and that was frustrating. As a theatre designer, I was looked over, my ideas became others, you are forgotten because you are behind the scenes. I was done with those feelings and I know many were tired of hearing my feelings. Many people didn't believe me so I made it Facebook official! (Yes that is ridiculous but apparently that is where truth lies...BIG EYE ROLL)
And so now it is 2020 and I begin to work on my business! My daughter is excited and proud of me finally doing this. I take that leap and begin to believe in myself. Then. . . . . . .PANDEMIC happens!
So instead of clothing designs I begin with mask designs. . . . . .
They sold really well and then with the political climate, I designed some shirts. One sold really well around the country. I pulled images and then worked on a drawing to give it a Mount Rushmore feel in sepia tones.
I was creating one offs for people BUT yet again I wasn't designing. I had fallen into a trap. I call it the crafter trap. Please do not take offense, but this rabbit hole can make you a lot of money BUT for me I lost my design voice again. So I put on the brakes and said STOP!
I asked Kaleesi what I should design. She loves pockets and color and pattern like I do. Her style is constantly changing depending on what video game or new web thingy she is all about. She is my "unofficial" assistant.
Besides having Etsy, I created my own website. Then as the world began to open up a bit, I did my first Makers Market. I have met amazing people through these markets. I learned that doing these helps get my name out locally.
Now for this social media shenanigans, THANK GOD FOR MY DAUGHTER!! She has taught me a lot. I was not use to being on social media this much. I barely post on my personal Facebook. But it has been a steady climb. People seem to be genuinely interested in my designs. My daughter is happy that I am home more. She is my biggest cheerleader actually. I have found my peace and happiness in designing and making people feel special in my clothing. My daughter is my model, my muse, the deepest part of my soul. She has helped me realize my dream. She wants more for me and tells me this everyday about how she wants me to have a real-life store. She has even designed the inside of it. Who knows what the future holds. For now I am staying true to myself, my aesthetic, and my voice.
More to come from us! Who knew a blog could be so fun! We will share our stories of being a single mom, three jobs (Not including being a mom. Kaleesi said being a mom is not a job.), and raising a compassionate amazing little woman, 2 cats and a dog!
Have a great day! Remember to breathe and find your voice!
Felia K. Davenport