Last year I attended the Fort Wayne Makeover conference and I can't even voice enough the impact it had on my life.   It was there that I met Jil Jordan Green and Denita Washington and it was a meeting that would help take my life in a new direction.  I  was 42 at the time a single mother of 2 kids and working full time and I was blogging as my creative outlet but I was comfortable I was not walking in my purpose.  I knew that I wanted more out of life I wanted to make a difference in my community but most importantly I wanted to love the person I was inside .  I didn't want my past to define me or determine where I was going in my future.    It was after that conference that my life started to change it awakened something inside of me that had been there all along.   

So when Jil and Denita asked me to organize a fashion show for the "Fort Wayne Makeover Conference " I was flattered and humbled.  We agreed that this was not going to be a just about fashion it would much deeper.  The theme of this conference was " The Butterfly Effect " all about the transformation of the caterpillar to the butterfly.   We not only wanted to highlight just the outer beauty of these women but we wanted to talk about the obstacles they have overcome or are currently working through.  There were 5 women that included myself and we told our stories in hopes of inspiring another woman and letting know they are not alone. These are women who had overcome physical and emotion abuse  , who have overcome racial identity issues , abandonment issues stemming from missing love from their father.  Our story was told in own own voice while we walked down the runway so that everyone could hear the emotion and authenticity of our  story and it was life changing not just for the audience but for ourselves. 

I was honored to be a part of such a wonderful event.  The fashion show was just a part of this conference . There were so many areas that were touched such as mental health a subject that is often not talked about but one needs to be.  I laughed , I cried but most of all I learned.  There was such a sense of sisterhood in that room.  So often in life we don't celebrate each other enough we put on an act like everything is just perfect in life when your transparency could help another women see that her situation is not hopeless. 


   What a day it was and I will continue to take it all in.  I am so thankful to Jil , Denita and all the other fabulous women  that were there making this an event to remember . I am so grateful to all the models for being  brave and transparent . I was so proud to walk the runway with such lovely women I can't wait to see that this year has in store! 
                                                  XOXO - Mary aka Curlybyrdie