Seemingly born into a life of style, I developed my appreciation the pretty things at an early age. My mother was a seamstress dragging us to JoAnne fabrics on a regular basis. I now love these trips with mom, but as a kid I was in utter anguish. My dad was plain old fashioned irresponsible when it came to buying clothing – Bachrach magazines and packages flooded the mailbox, I was always partial to the “Tough Guy accessories“ lol.
We didn’t have much growing up, but the need to express myself through style was undeniable – enter my love for thrifting. Once I got a taste for inexpensive, ‘one of a kind’ pieces I never looked back. Keep in mind this was in buffalo NY in the early 90’s before thrifting became a “thing”…. My peers did not understand me. In my early 20’s I worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant in the Dementia/Alzheimer unit and a rehabilitation aid for adults with developmental disabilities. Not only did wearing scrubs for 5 days a week fuel the self expression fire in my down time it also left a lasting impression on me. As rough as we had it growing up there was always going to be someone who has it harder than you. Giving back and truly connecting with human beings opened my heart was always going to be present in whatever I decided to do in my life.
With an undying curiosity for the world of fashion and a thick skin – thanks to growing up as the weird girl in a small town, I left Buffalo to pursue a career as a stylist. To be honest, I really didn’t know what a stylist was, I heard you could get paid to play dress up (not the case lol!) and I was in!
$300, a couch to sleep on and blind ambition was all I had to begin this part of my journey. 12 years later I am blessed to say I accomplished every goal I set. It was not an easy road; I was homeless for two weeks sleeping on trains while working a fulltime job, I was stiffed no jobs, worked like a dog as an assistant, I was sued, had items stolen from me while on the job, the list of adversity I faced to follow through on my dream could go on for days (maybe in another post) however, I was never defeated.
On my way up I tried my hand in Interior design, Fashion PR and Showroom Sales fortifying my skill set and business savvy. Ultimately none of those paths were for me and I was lead back to Fashion Styling. My work has been published in major publications, I styled a billboard in Time Square, music videos, celebrity clients, commercial and film work – yeah… I did it (Portfolio link). I did it and I got burned out – burned out, bored and physically ill.
About 7 years in, styling began to lose its luster. Dressing the pretty people in clothes they can even afford became empty. I realized I was a part of the vehicle that was teaching the masses they need to “keep up” and consume; that’s not who I am. It hurt to admit that the one thing I based my entire life on was empty and unfulfilling. I didn’t honor this new truth. It was time for me to move on and find something more fulfilling… I didn’t want to face that truth so I I drowned it all in the hustle, something that’s so easy to do in NYC. Mind, body and spirit, became weary, I was weak, miserable and I was diagnosed with Lupus. Hiding in the hustle was no longer an option – everything changed, my life was literally on the line! I had no choice but to be honest with myself.
Creating A Bitt Moore Creative (formerly Traveling Trousseau) was the answer - combining my history as a thrifter, my years of styling and making honest connections with people was my new mission. A Bitt Moore Creative (ABMC) started out as a project; putting a clothing drive together, hand delivering the collected items to an organization in need and hosting a style session with them was the bulk of the project. I did it and it was successful - more successful than I imagined. I began to see the need for this kind of programming in under-served communities was great and ABMC went from a simple project to a growing business – I found my purpose and it felt good!
The current phase of my life.
I am healthy and happy. A Bitt Moore Creative is growing and I get to create and produce incredible projects like the Health Empowered Beauty Fashion Show with Care for the Homeless and the Annual 100 Coats & Cocktails Brunch. I have been named NYer of the week by NY1, featured on CBS and the Huffington Post for the work that I get to do everyday. Living my truth allows me to connect with amazing people on a regular basis. Living as a creative and entrepreneur is not always easy, in fact most times it’s an emotional battleground, but I live with the understanding that every single moment in this life is a gift. It is literally a dream come true and I can’t keep it to myself.
As Dr. Maya Angelou (my birthday twin) said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you”, I have plenty of stories and experiences and I gotta get them out!! I’m excited to begin this journey with you!