Small Town Girl, Big City Dreams

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“When I grow up, I want to be a Scientist”!

This was me as an eight year old who was so excited to grow up that she said she wanted to be the first major character she saw in the first American movie she saw. A Scientist. Well, we have come a long way since eight years old. From Scientist, to Doctor, to Track Star, to just a Star in general, to Lawyer, Model, and now, a Journalist/Marketing Mogul.

Growing up can be so scary and so confusing. Its like you blink your eyes, and you are staring at an entirely different person in the mirror, making decisions, and trying on the word “woman” to see whether it fits. One decision that I am incredibly proud of so far as a “woman” is that of moving to Liberia upon graduation from University. Never one to shy away from setting a goal and achieving it, I came to Liberia with the mindset to find myself, and achieve my dreams. I came to Liberia understanding that, no, there isn’t much for me here, but, how long will I stay away waiting for others to create something for me. I could have easily gone to a big city like Atlanta, New York, or even have stayed in Philadelphia to achieve these same goals. So why Liberia?…

Over the week, I and Photographer, Kerrion WIlliams, have both been posting shots from the featured photo shoot, and on one of the photos posted, there was a comment about how far Liberia has come from just 14 years ago when the same street we walk on today where covered in bullet shell casings and dead bodies. This comment struck me because of how true it is. Liberia and its leaders have many faults, so many that we tend to forget that just barely 14 years ago, the nation was in a total state of chaos with nothing but its land to call its own. We have come a long way since then, and we have an even longer way to go. This is the reason that I am here in Liberia. A small town girl, but with big city ambitions for her nation.

So what is my dream? It is my dream to see Liberia grow. It is my dream to participate and impact that growth. It is my dream to showcase this nation in all of its  positive glory. It is my dream to highlight the amazing talent this nation possesses. Talents like that of my Seamstress Hawa Fofana. At first, What I thought would serve as a challenge to my move here has actually served more as a benefit. Shopping, of course. What else did you think I was talking about? ;). The shopping scene in Liberia is one that I have grown to love so much, but its definitely not for everyone. I love it because half of my closet is thrifted, and the other half is custom made — the two major components to the shopping scene in Liberia. Because all of my favorite stores like Zara, Urban Outfitters, or even Buffalo Exchange are not in Liberia, I have been forced to push my fashion design creativity along with my Seamstress Hawa and bring to life what is turning out to be some of my favorite clothing items. In this featured photo shoot, you will see a jumpsuit I designed, sewn by Hawa which is currently my second favorite closet item. With my design skills and her sewing and design skills, I’m very excited to see how far she and I can take this relationship.

Monrovia City, though sometimes too seemingly small for comfort, is like any other big city,  with its  people hustling every day to find their daily bread and achieve their dreams. I have joined my people in this mission in true Monrovia style — a lappa suit.

With such an amazing Seamstress in my corner, I know that I can confidently, stylishly, and comfortably take on this big city of Monrovia and join in on its quest for development, while achieving all my dreams and ambitions.

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