I realized something while speaking with a group of peers at Podcamp Pittsburgh this past Saturday.
I am part of a movement.
*Writer's note...I am clearing saying "fashion" in the above still frame, not a different "f" word.*
There is a line in The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom which was immediately scribbled on a hankie next to my bed upon reading it. "Everyone joins a band in this life." Nerve struck. Good ol' Albom with his simple, yet powerful sayings. My mind went into a deep tailspin naming, remembering them all: There is my curated little family, my extended family, work crews (past and present), sports teams (only past), graduating classes, friends near and far (and past and present), lovers of vintage, writers, the list continues. Just think of all the the bands, the teams and families, you have joined throughout your current definition of "a lifetime." All brought forth for a reason, to play a part.
As a busy summer winds down, my latest band seems to be making a statement. This open letter is for them.
Dear Pittsburgh Fashion/Style Bloggers,
Thank you. It seems trivial, but that thank you carries a lot of admiration, emotion, and gratefulness. Maybe I should have written it in all caps. THANK YOU. Better? How about... T H A N K Y O U. Feeling the sincerity yet?
You openly embraced a girl from Philly with a background in sports and a love for style. My lack of experience in the blogging realm or the missing fashion buzz words on my resume did not lead to prejudgments. Instead, it led to intrigue and page views. It led to invitations which led to conversations. It led to acceptance. You did not take the easy road and write me off. You took the road less traveled; you graciously gave me your effort and time. You listened and learned about what drives me and the true reason why I started anew. Listening such as this is rare these days. I have not and will not take that for granted.
You are a group of strong, intelligent, original people. I find it hard to name a day I did not learn something from one of you. Through discussions of ideas and "what's next," a single line in a post, or dynamic image captioned with the link to the perfect LBD, you keep my mind churning. We have different styles when it comes to clothes and posts and life, but our drive and love affair with style and fashion and this city... it bonds us. This bond is not only present, but happily accepted. Building one another up is commonplace here. In an industry and medium where competitiveness easily leads to negativity and jealously, we view an individual success as a band success. These triumphs are met with a raised glass and not a raised nose. United is a qualifier we do not run away from. Fashion seekers, experts and enthusiasts may easily overlook us due to our geographical location and the old stereotype it holds. But we know, a united voice is a heard voice.
To those of you I've met, shared drinks among ideas and good shoes, and to those I will meet, T H A N K. Y O U for allowing me to join this band. I am a proud member.
The above Pittsburgh Podcamp 2016 panel discussion was truly an honor.
Speaking alongside these creative, talented ladies about Fashion Blogging in the Worst Dress City of America was not only fun, but extremely insightful. Give them all the love!