Yeah, I know. I’m a day late, but I still feel like recognizing what I have been given and also what not only I have gone through, but also for those closest around me and give due thanks to those who deserve it.
I never really write down for everyone to see what I am thankful for each year but seeing as how this year has been incomparably the most stressful and strangely bizarre year I have ever experienced, I thought I’d use this medium to remind myself when I’m feeling too big for my britches or down in the dumps, as of today I am grateful. I am thankful.
Professionally, this year has been one of the most prosperous and has wildly exceeded my expectations and this still is only the beginning of my ride with my brand. I am so thankful that visions and gut instincts about my business that I had which were discouraged by many in this industry who were working to “guide” me and Cela New York I would just like to say (I am allowed to say the following to those people this applies to. Trust me) glad you’re gone now, not like you helped me or my company in any shape or form and by the way, you don’t know what you’re talking about. I do. Point of the past two sentences is trusting your instincts is the only way to start on the road to reaching your full potential- personally and professionally. I’m not even there yet, I’m just starting down my path. My little bit of (not jaded, but well informed) advice is if it feels wrong- an idea, someone trying to change your vision to suit their own or just getting that feeling that the fashion equivalent of a grave robber is among you, they probably are. Get rid of them and do it yourself.
I won’t even for one second say that I didn’t have help with creating the campaign (best photographer and now friend Chris Knight, my lovely, creative and supremely intelligent model and also now friend Sarah V, and the brilliant makeup artist and of course also friend Kenecia Lashae) made my vision a collaborative vision which was spectacular for me. Everyone played a major part in creating the final product and to all of you I owe a debt of gratitude and the campaign is a testament to all of your talents combined. I am thankful to have met all of you and wouldn’t dream of working with anyone else as long as I can.
I am also thankful to have the greatest best friend’s and supportive family I could ever dream of. Marco, who keeps me laughing, has the best hat choices, always checks on me because I have a habit about forgetting to do that myself, can make me feel better under any circumstance with a simple well quipped text and is a kindred spirit of mine and one of the few people who will forever have a special space in my heart. We will be in our glittery retirement home together playing prune juice pong while spinning around in our motorized and bedazzled wheelchairs. See you there in 60 years my love. Te amo Marquito. To Dana, who I’ve been through practically every major milestone with since we met at age 10 (she’s the beautiful yogi modeling the Yoga Palms bag made for her studio) and has always been an Angel to me and my family since we’ve met. Spending nearly 20 years as friends, I can honestly say she is one of the best people I have ever known for so many reasons I’d sooner burn out my keyboard letters before I finished the superlatives that apply to her. I love you Dana, you have always been my second sister and will always be a part of my family and my life. And finally to Rachel. You can also see this beautiful woman and most definitely my muse in my campaign modeling the Ray clutch named after her. But for me she’s been the best person I’ve met in my life along with Dana. She’s the definition of beauty on the inside and out and has been one of the major reasons I am here today. She gave me confidence when I wavered, inspiration when I had none, guidance when I was lost, care when I needed it, support when I felt the rug ripped from under me on repeated occasions and laughter. Laughter, laughter, laughter. I don’t know where or who I’d be without you Ray and I’m glad I don’t know. You have been the best friend and confidant I could imagine, then exceeded it. You freaking over achiever, you. Love you NICOLE Brill, and you know that too. I am a lucky girl with those three. I am thankful for you all.
Even though Cela New York has been around for over two years, I thought this Fashion’s Night Out would be a perfect opportunity to get the brand out there during the most important time for fashion in the year- September Fashion Week in New York. Okay, a massive part of my reasoning behind that event was also to give all the people who have supported me through the years including my friends, family, colleagues and mentors a chance for me to say thank you for everything you have done for me. It was overwhelming to see the turnout of people I professionally and personally admire showing up to MY launch party. If that isn’t mind blowing insanity I don’t know what is. I could never have expected it and it all went off without a hitch thanks to the two men who saved the night and did the work and much more right beside me- Jason Jeffers and Derek Daniels. I would’ve fallen flat on my face (event wise speaking) without the quick thinking and event management perfection those two provided. You two both know how much you mean to me so if you want to hear it again just call me:)
The launch party also gave me the opportunity to begin charity work with the New York Organ Donor Network which the event set to benefit the organization and I am still collecting donations and giving a portion of sales of each Cela New York product sold through the end of the year to the organization so that hopefully it will be enough to help the wonderful people who work there continue to spread the word about the importance of organ donation and TO BE A DONOR. Thank you to those from the NYODN who came to the event, two previous organ recipients Kelley and Kristy as well as Angela Palmeri who coordinated the NYODN’s participation and most touchingly to me, speaker Julia Rivera who delivered a speech that had the room motivated and cheering for both the NYODN, Cela New York and my family stating “The Mayo Family is actually living the cause”. Words I’ll never forget. Thinking of that moment still brings me chills and I cannot believe it happened. It’s like a dream. You all are angels to me and I thank you all for being there, your support of Cela and your voice for promoting this ever important cause.
So, if any of you have been reading any of my previous posts you’ll know the reason I am such a supporter of organ donation is because as of this time last year, my father was put on the transplant list for a heart. After receiving an LVAD (Left Ventricular Assist Device) earlier this year as a bridge to hold him over until a transplant was found, we didn’t know if or when my father would ever get a heart.
Now get ready to have your hair stand on end. My launch party benefitting the NYODN was on September 6th, 2012 and 24 hours later on September 7th, 2012 at about 9PM my father received the call that they found a donor for him. You can’t make this up. Believe me, no one even believes the story when I tell it, but it’s the absolute truth. It was a miracle, a blessing and most importantly a gift. A gift of time and life.
One of the more obvious things I am thankful for this year is that I have all my friends alive and safe from Hurricane Sandy which devastated my island- Long Island- as well as the Rockaways, Staten Island, New Jersey and Manhattan. I never in my life thought I’d truly have to worry about whether or not my friends made it out alive but they did. Many without their belongings, having everything lost in a fire, swept away into the Atlantic or demolished by wind damage. But they have their spirt and fight which no storm will ever take away. They are resilient. And not to mention stubborn New Yorkers. No one is going to take away their homes without a fight. They will rebuild and we all must help them get there so please go to www.celanewyork.com and click on the Hurricane Sandy tab and donate what you can to help rebuild. We can all give something so please do what you can.
Lastly, this year I am most thankful to the family and the man who donated his heart to give my father a second chance at life; more time with his family and the opportunity to live life fully. I may never know who you all are, but please know that I am forever grateful for the gift of life you gave to him and our family and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t look up to the sky and say thank you to him- to you all. Your sacrifice will forever be in my heart and YOU and your choice are what I am thankful for this year.
Well, it’s nearing Christmas time and about to start fresh with a new year. What will come next? Stay tuned and see everyone and thank you for reading. :)
Until next time kiddies-