In this new phase of my life, I realized that culturally I was taught to step out of the spotlight. To be humble and to not brag or boast about life wins or accomplishments. I understand the reasoning and value behind "being humble" by my culture's standards - but I think it caused a mental block in myself to not celebrate milestones. So this "Alliversary" (aka the brand's anniversary) is more than the fun stuff like releasing a new collection and partying with you. It's an opportunity to teach ourselves how to give credit to how far we've have come and how much we've evolved.
When I think of the beginning steps of this brand, I have so much gratitude for that innocent, brave 20-something year old girl who decided to write a business plan, get a loan and start a business. She was the one who took the biggest step of all - admitting to herself that this was what she wanted to do. Then I flash forward a few years later, when it got really tough for a naive 30 year old. When mistake after mistake kept happening and it seemed like the Universe was throwing curve balls at her everyday.
I have so much appreciation that she didn't give up. Through all the tears, debt and failure - she kept going . . . she persevered. Then the turning point in my early/mid 30's happened and I felt like I had a good handle on my business and life. I got into Nordstrom, I started my family, and this is where Year 1 starts. And here we are 14 years later...
My 40's is where I found my footing, where I started to trust my intuition, and where I started to step into the light a bit more. This is where the true, authentic nature of the Allison Izu brand began. It was in my 40's that I was inspired to create "Live Your Letter" and #IZUBodyTypes. It's where this clothing brand found its deeper purpose and mission. And as we move into our 14th Alliversary, I'm embarking on the second half of my 40's. I feel like my brand and my life are at a turning point. . . It's like a FULL MOON moment for me, an opportunity to 'harvest the opportunities and intentions of the previous moon cycles.'
I realized these cycles that keep showing up in my life are similar to the moon and it's phases. Waning and waxing, just like the moon, no phase is more important than the other, each phase is needed and necessary. But this year, this Alliversary, this "moon phase" of my life is a little more special to me. It's the phase where I've finally given myself permission to take up space, to stand in my light fully, and to live authentic to my purpose and truth.
And with this FULL MOON moment, it's also a NEW MOON moment. Where I can start fresh and begin again. In this new phase, I was able to solidify a foundation for my brand and built 4 pillars - EMPOWERMENT, CONNECTION, SELF-ACCEPTANCE, and VIBRANCY. These 4 pillars represent our intention as a brand and my intention as a human. We're striving to live these pillars each and everyday. To infuse them into everything we do. And once I got clear on what they mean to the business and myself, I've been living them and can start to feel the shifts happening.
Recently, there have been moments and interactions in my day-to-day life where I'm reminded by you, our friends, supporters and customers of our 4 pillars - because you're living them too. When you come in and try a new style or a new color. When you meet a new friend in the Showroom and start up a conversation because you come out of the dressing room loving what each other is wearing. Or when you share your vulnerable stories with me about the scary things you're facing in your life. These moments are when I have the deepest of gratitudes for what I get to do everyday.
I'm literally getting chicken skin and tearing up as I write this - because you have been the inspiration and example of how to live these 4 pillars. You've shown me how to live brave, how to step into the light and how to be our most vulnerable authentic selves. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to learn by your example. You have given this brand purpose. You have given my team and myself purpose. Thank you for joining us on this next moon phase of our lives, and this brand's journey . . .
with love + light,
PS: We'll be celebrating our 14th Alliversary all week long so stay tuned! And hopefully I get to see you in The Showroom this Saturday, 9/17.