As a little girl I was the furthest thing away from a fashionista. I went through a stage that I am sure almost put my mother in her grave. All I wanted to wear was baggy jeans, big sweatshirts and my hair slicked back! Now, to my defense I did have 10 boy cousins so that might have been what made me quite a little tom boy. Thankfully though when Junior high came around fashion and clothes became my favorite thing! I loved finding the newest trend and having outfits completely different than anyone else. Although my fashion sense has matured over the years, I never forgot how happy the right outfit would make me feel. Over time I learned that what you wear does not only make you feel good, but speaks volumes about who you are as an individual and what you believe in.
Growing up in a small town in the Midwest I was always taught that what you give is so much more important than what you receive. After three years in the fashion industry my husband got transferred and we made the move to Chicago. I searched for jobs for what seemed like forever and nothing was exciting me, nothing felt right. I always had a dream of starting something where I could give back, something that I could call my own so after months of unsuccessful searching, I knew that it was time to take a leap of faith and start Zella Mae Inspirations.
I am a huge believer in positive thinking and over the years I have tried to implement this in everything I do, especially my work. I truly believe that you should never settle for anything less than what makes you happy, live every day to the fullest and surround yourself with positive vibes. I knew very early on that I wanted to incorporate fashion and giving back into my company and it did not take long to realize that apparel was the perfect medium to spread positive messages.
I am sure you are wondering, why Zella Mae? Zella Mae was my great grandmother, and the stories passed down about her generosity have had a dramatic influence on me growing up. Zella Mae owned a grocery store but gave so much food away to those in need that my great grandfather worried they might not turn a profit. However, she simply could not bear to see those in her community go hungry. Her central belief was to run a successful business to support her family while giving back to her community and leaving everyone a little better off.