It’s crazy how quickly life can completely change. If I were to picture my life as it is today, I would think that I was crazy for even dreaming of that. Even a year ago today, this was not where I thought my life would be at. At least not yet.
A quick summary of the past year:
Last December, my amazing partner launched his business, Weal and Breech. In February he began being contacted by stores about carrying his products. In June 7th, after about a month of discussion and trying to pick out a name, I launched my own business L’Amour-Propre. During the month of July, my products became available at Kink Toronto. Also in July, my health began to decrease and my fight to find out what was wrong began. In September I started vending at markets and fairs under my own name instead of keeping everything under Weal and Breech. In October, I got my answers to the health issues I was having. I have scoliosis. It became too unbearable to work retail, so in November, I made the terrifying decision to quit my job and work on my business full-time.
It is now the end of November, and my products are in 4 stores across Toronto and Ottawa, Ontario. I have shipped my products to 8 countries. I’ve had almost 300 sales on Etsy. I’ve had a ton of people posting their purchases and even more contacting me about wanting custom made pieces. I’ve sold pieces to people I have come to idolize over the past couple years and have them tell me how excited they are to wear what they have bought. I’ve been able to donate pieces to help support charities and the arts. I’ve helped give product demos in front of crowds in sex clubs and been asked to come do them again. I’ve made amazing sex and queer positive friends that I could only have dreamed of ever meeting.
I look back at my younger self, especially in my teens having no idea where I wanted my life to go. Honestly, I didn’t think I would even live as long as I have. I had expected my world to come crashing down and never even considered how fantastic the future could be. I let myself deal with abuse because I didn’t even consider myself worth standing up for. I now have so much more hope and respect for myself because I know what is possible and I have the strength to keep fighting for it. This past year has really solidified that for me.
I no longer live with the same shame I felt about what I did, who I loved, or who I wanted to be. I am not as thirsty for validation and the approval of my family and peers. I am doing all of this for myself. There is no longer this need for my family to accept who I am. It’s freeing. I am my own person.
A lot can really change in a year, and I couldn’t have done it alone. Thank you to everyone who has been there for me, stood with me during my struggles, and helped me become who I am today. Hard work does pay off, you just have to keep at it.