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Dear 2009 Gabrielle

Dear 2009 Me,

In 2009 you were in your second year of design school still questioning if you made the right decision for your career path. You were broke, lonely, and trying desperately to keep up with your peers. You were the smallest in your weight but was still being told how fat you were.

Rent was $700 a month in your Philadelphia studio apartment. You would binge eat pizza with your design school bestie while trying to figure out how you all would tackle your student loans. Your game plan was to work with Betsey Johnson and go on to design your own label filled with color, prints, and whimsical textures. You fantasized about being married with two kids and living in a house, stable AF. So what’s going to happen from then to now?

You graduate from design school in 2010 and Betsey Johnson is no longer hiring. You move back to New York and work retail at Ann Taylor Loft. You are unhappy and battle with depression quietly. You’re so used to being the rock in your family, so announcing your unhappiness is not allowed. You move into an apartment with your best friend in Harlem. This allows you to breathe a bit and regroup, refocus, and see New York City through a different lens.

Pulling yourself out of a slump, you decided to network. You help work a WEEN event and land an internship opportunity at Indique Hair. You would go on to have a successful beauty career at Indique Hair and help grow the brand into an international beauty brand.

While at Indique, you are relocated to Atlanta, Ga where you meet your future husband.

You’re smarter, wiser, happier, and more confident. You run a blog called Round the Way Girl, a digital marketing agency- The Digital Mavens, and offer freelance design services. You realize that your specialty is in print design and that you are an advocate for curvy fashion, thus embracing your weight. A difference 10 years make. Can’t wait to see what the next 10 years will bring!

Love,

Gabrielle

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