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I truly cannot remember a time when I didn’t absolutely love fashion with every inch of my being.  Some of my earliest memories are of playing dress up with the jewelry in my mom’s boutique, sitting on the floor paging through her fashion magazines, and cutting fabric from her window displays to make dresses for my dolls.  The summer before my senior year of college, I landed an internship with The Oprah Magazine.  While working there, I became fascinated with not only the woman herself, but also the amount of wisdom she had to offer.  One of my favorite quotes of Oprah’s is, ‘You have to find what sparks a light in you so that you in your own way can illuminate the world.’  I’ve always felt that fashion lights a fire inside me, but how could I find a way to illuminate the world with it?

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For nearly three years, I worked as the in-house stylist for one of my favorite brands; a job I felt was a strong foundation for what I knew would be a long career in fashion.  Then, unexpectedly, an opportunity to work for a non-profit organization that had greatly impacted my life as a high school student arose.  It was simply too good to pass up.  However, I knew upon accepting the new position I would have to somehow find a way to still be involved with fashion and styling - they’re such a big part of who I am!

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My 20's have led me on a never-ending search to answer one question: What can I learn from other successful women?

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After leaving my styling job, so many friends asked, ‘can you still style me?’  They were fearful that my own transition meant that I would neglect to help them put looks together from their closets.  I absolutely loved helping them to feel beautiful and confident, teaching them practical tips on how to dress for their body types, and showing them how to put it all together.  I wasn’t about to give that up!  I wished I could somehow offer more of this practical styling advice to more women so they, too, could feel confident in what they wore.  This thought is what first inspired me to start my style blog, Wear Bows & Smile.

My 20's have led me on a never-ending search to answer one question: What can I learn from other successful women?  I often felt that there must be a secret or something I'm missing.  It seems I’m always reading books and articles written by other women in positions of power, yet often I find that some of the best advice I receive comes from the amazing women around me.  Through my local sailing club, I’ve found myself surrounded by the most wonderful women, many who are older than me and offer the best life advice; they are always encouraging me to take chances and have no regrets.  After leaving a dinner with them, I without fail feel wiser, more thoughtful, and more aware of all that life has to offer.  I wanted to somehow give all women who visit Wear Bows & Smile that same exact feeling.  So, I decided to feature a Q&A with empowering women, and this has turned into a big part of what makes the blog so special.  It's my dream and hope that every visitor leaves the site feeling happier, more inspired, and more knowledgeable, armed with the wise advice from amazing women.

I was recently asked, ‘What have you learned since starting the blog?’  I've learned so much since launching Wear Bows & Smile, but I think the most important lesson that I've learned is to never give up on something if you really believe in it and believe it can serve others in some way.  I do believe that this blog is my way to ‘illuminate the world’ through the passion and talent that I've been given. 

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Never give up on something if you believe it can serve others in some way.

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Rhiana is the creator and founder of wearbowsandsmile.com, a style blog featuring Q&A with empowering women. After leaving her full-time job in fashion, she went on to become the Director of Communications and Development for a non-profit. 

 

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