My first high couture photoshoot with MAV
I have been wanting to hire a high fashion couture photographer for some time, and between hiring more expensive models, a better equipped studio and a high fashion couture photographer...it was proving to be almost impossible with my budget. But, my goal is to launch my lifestyle brand as a Modern Day Shaman...and I am not made of money, so what am I going to do? We support our healing center and our family-but to launch an entire Lifestyle Brand, that is just out of reach unless you are loaded, right? Wrong. There is one thing I believe in, is being resourceful. I have created many wonderful things in my life being resourceful, and I will tell you-I am not going to stop now. Now days, if you want to attract the big sponsors, equity investors and advertisers to your Lifestyle Brand, you have to have a large following on all social media, a large platform and all the fixings; a blog, a book (s), tons of glorious photo's of your clothing brand and or designs and your lifestyle and a highly subscribed to Vlog. You need tons of engagement and need tons of time putting it all together. Almost impossible without a team. But, to find a quality team you need to be able to pay them, and then you need to keep delivering every week. Once you reached critical mass, then you are attractive to investors. That seems to be the formula, you basically have to make it first before you can get to the next level.
So, I either give up now or I say to hell with it and dive in head first. That's just what I did. I realized the best part of what I am creating is that I actually am living the lifestyle I want to promote. I am a Modern Day Shaman. That includes grass roots pretty much everything lifestyle, but always expanding and growing. I am human, I am not perfect, I have beautiful ideas, designs and creative ways to help a person heal but I am not trying to fit in a niche. I am living the life of a real Modern Day Shaman. I make jackets, staffs, wands, dresses, and environments. I have a wonderful marriage partnership and 5 grown children. I have messy bathrooms and a small kitchen in a 100 year old house on top of a cliff in Malibu, CA. We travel the world taking clients on healing retreats but we only have one car...and everything we do is to expand our reach to the world, and help everyone who descends upon our doorstep to the best of our ability.
We provide highly trained, and high quality wisdom teachings, ceremonies and group gatherings for ten strait years 6 days a week, and the demand is big, my husband Riz is booked months in advance with his sessions. We are true Shamans. So in order to launch a lifestyle brand with no investors, and no help financially, I had to create so many wonderful exchanges and special deals with every talented person I hired-they had to believe in my work, and my message. This shoot was the beginning. Up until now I have been taking care of all my photoshoots myself, taking the photo's and editing and hiring aspiring inexperienced models, but I was ready to go to the next level. So I hired the wonderful photographer MAV and John and Julia, perfectly chiseled matching models. And the journey began. MAV helped me get an exception deal on a very equipment-packed studio and we shot for four hours. I was running around like a sweaty PA, but it was worth it. I had my assistant Niko, helping me dress the models and pack and unpack. I brought amazing props from home and we began the shoot. It was thrilling to see it come to fruition. I snuck a couple shots in the background.
I was so happy with the final images, I can't even stress how beautiful they were. John and Julia were hard working professional and beautiful models, it was wonderful to see them work. I was so excited. I got my first high fashion photoshoot in the can 7 months after opening my door as a self taught fashion designer. I was thrilled. I can't wait to share the final edit.
In the middle of planning this, I have a runway show coming up Aug 14th, 2019. So rehearsals are this Wednesday. I have been gathering the entire ensemble for each model, making sure all the designs are complete and finished and picked up from the seamstresses and photo's and cataloging of everything is underway. I am always fitting in more and more things into my 20' by 20' studio I rent downtown LA, but I am officially launched working on presenting my Fall 2019 collection on the runway which is my second collection. But, I have to document all of this with a vlog, don't I? So off I go again and I become resourceful placing an ad for a Vlog Filmmaker and I went though so many submissions-seeing who wants to take a leap and believe in me at a lower pay up front.
I talk so much about the money situation because it is half of the journey. To make it all happen, I have to invest in myself and not invest in other things. I have to take this leap and have my team leap with me. So I also hired a make up artist Zaina who is gong to be apart of my Sacred Medicine Team for all of our make up needs, I love her energy and her style. She will do her first job with me on my shoot on Friday that I am doing of just myself modeling some of my Winter 2019 Collection with Mark Corbin, a very beautifully gifted photographer. She will also be responsible for 9 models on our runway show in Hollywood.
But, that's not enough, I need to have this on my new vlog on You Tube. I interviewed a handful of potential filmmakers and looked at their video submissions. I picked a gentle hearted and very professional Russian filmmaker with an open attitude and willing to jump in with me and begin a wild journey capturing everything I am doing for my Vlog. So far we have filmed two days and have a full schedule of filming this week. I can't believe I am doing it, but I am. But, that wasn't enough-I have to have a Life Style design book. I spent hours negotiating terms with a large publishing house who was willing to take a leap with me too, and my first interview already happened. Now, I just have to approve the outline and the first chapter will begin. I am now looking for a lifestyle photographer who wants to shoot for my book. I will help curate all the scenes and moments. We have almost 200 pages to fill.
This is just the highlights of some of the things I am doing right now besides designing and creating my exciting Winter 2019 collection which I barely can contain myself. This is it. My team is coming together and is almost complete. I am interviewing social media assistants and interns and preparing for a trip to Ireland. I have zero budget for any of this, but if I am going to be a contender and be taken seriously, I have to throw my hat in the ring and give it everything I have.
I am so looking forward to the next chapter. See you in the next blog!