Channel Bay was birthed from a point of frustration in my life.
I had just recently got let go from a job with no warning or a heads up that completely blindsided me. I had no plan B or nothing to fall back on. I was frustrated. Being someone that works hard at every job even if it is in a field different than mine as long as I am challenged at the job really got me thinking I needed to find something that really made me come alive. I knew I was perfectly qualified to do this job of a Project Manager and Executive Business Assistant. So when I was told that I had to pack my stuff and leave the same day I was let go, I found myself feeling relieved and heaving a sigh of relief, after the initial bout of shock and disappointment of course. You see my work ethic of not leaving a job until I feel like I’ve done everything I possibly could do kept me there but my desire to do more and be more left me feeling dissatisfied. I am going to have to take you back a few years to explain more of my story.
Most of you don’t know this about me but I am a fully qualified Biomedical Scientist.
Yes that’s right, I went to university for three gruelling years, worked my little touche off and came out with an Honours in Biomedical Science and with flying colours might I add despite being seriously sick in my last year of uni. My plan after university was to either pursue a PhD in Cancer Biology or go the typical Asian route and put myself through medical school and become a doctor possibly an oncologist. I’d always been fascinated by the Sciences and I was really good at it too. I was that overachieving straight A student from day 1. My first job was at the age of 15/16 working for a local pharmacy, then at university I worked as a Student Ambassador for my university whilst studying. I hail from a family of overachievers and really darn good ones at that so going into the academic field wasn’t too much of a surprise for anyone. I mean my dad is a scientist with a PhD in chemistry, my brother is currently getting his Masters in chemical engineering and my mum works as the head manager at the Information technology department at the local university hospital back home in England. My cousins are all doctors or engineers and have some fancy degree or job roles. You get the point. So when I decided to abandon the perfectly carved out career path and instead decided to work any job I could get, to put myself through a Christian ministry school all the way in Redding, California, you better believe I stirred a great deal of havoc and stress with my family. Looking back now I can kind of see their point of view and I understand them thinking that I had completely and utterly lost my mind. Side note, my parents came around and supported me through ministry school which was a huge win. What began as a gap year after university turned into me working administrative temp jobs just to save up enough money to be able to head out to America. Also finding a job in my field had proven to be difficult and I needed to save up money fast. I worked for about a year and a half, saved up a ton of money to pay my tuition fees for ministry school. To fast forward a little bit, I went to ministry school, met my now husband here, we got married and I officially moved to the US.
While at university I delved deep into the world of fashion and beauty mostly to mask my laundry list of insecurities but towards the end of my degree this became an undeniable passion, I just didn’t know if I could do anything with it.
Then while studying in America I began to realise that one of my biggest dreams was and has always been with fashion, styling and putting outfits and looks together, starting my own brand and clothing line someday and empowering women to seek a wholehearted life. It was what I was good at and what made me come alive. I just wasn’t quite sure how to do it. After moving to America, I worked in retail for almost a year before working at the last job. It was during my first visit to San Francisco to celebrate my husband and I’s anniversary that I began to fully open my heart to the possibility of a career in fashion. I remember walking into Saks Fifth Avenue and dreaming of a day where I could help style women and speak to them about loving themselves well. I left SF that day feeling like I could do absolutely anything if I set my mind to it. Although I knew that being responsible as a newly married couple also meant working hard to make ends meet no matter what job I was at. Nevertheless I guess we all have a breaking point where we realise that we have to go after our dream against all odds. I sure did.
Now I wish I could tell you that I came to this decision of being an entrepreneur and starting something from the ground up on my own. It was a friend who kindly confronted me and asked me if my current pursuit of administrative roles was what I really wanted to do. Life tip: surround yourselves with friends who don’t mind offending you every now and then and lift you up higher and celebrate you every step of the way. This conversation sparked something in me that led me down a path of dreaming big wild dreams or rather giving myself permission to dream without limits or a budget. After a failed job interview where deep down I knew I didn’t want it, I decided to have a serious conversation with my husband. Interestingly enough he was on the same page and suggested I start something on my own before I could even verbalise it myself. Immediately after I met with a brand developer and graphic designer whose list of talents and expertise have no end and who I’d like to call my Yoda of this entrepreneurial and business malarkey. She asked me what I really wanted to do and right there we began laying down a plan to make Channel Bay a reality.
I truly believe that every single person on this planet has their own unique style, whether they recognize it or not.
All we need to do is find it and therein lies our struggle. I had no clue what my style really was so I would wear whatever I saw those around me wear. In university that meant I wore clothes for attention and popularity to gain approval. I became a studious scholar by day and a raging partier by night and my choice of clothing changed depending on the group of people I was with. Towards the end of my degree, I got really sick and I told myself that if I made out of this alive and well, I’d change my lifestyle. It wasn’t until I finished my degree and moved back home that my relationship with clothes changed. I felt like the sickness brought about this epiphany, that I needed to focus on being true to myself. I felt compelled to go shopping by myself and recreate a wardrobe that truly represented me well. I remember going through my closet and pulling out almost all my clothes, tieing them up in black bags and throwing them away because it just wasn’t me. It sounds crazy but I noticed a transformation in myself through this process. If you really lean in to my story, you will see that this was much more than superficial clothing and an expensive taste. It was about digging deeper into the lies I was believing, ( in my case it was that I wasn’t enough) and disempowering those lies with the truth that I am enough, I have a purpose that is bigger than myself and my story is so unique and it matters, I matter. I started Channel Bay because I am passionate about empowering women to become their most confident self, to discover their unique style and voice. Channel Bay exists to champion the uniqueness, story, and beauty in every woman with authenticity and vulnerability so you can make a difference in the world and still stay true to yourself.