Today we’d like to introduce you to Ariel Mei.
Hi Ariel, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I always describe my journey as a blessing that just fell on my lap. As I grew up, I never imagined being where I am today. I’ve always wanted to be a wardrobe stylist but in my eyes, my chances were one in a million. I’ve always been into fashion and enjoyed expressing myself through what I wear. My journey as a stylist started with a close friend of mine who would always reach out to me for fashion advice. I would never think it was anything more than me helping a friend. That same friend of mine became a music Artist and continued to ask for my help with her looks forward photo shoots and videos and from there, my career started as a stylist. I noticed how easy it was to just do exactly what I wanted to do. I began to start styling my friends to build my portfolio which lead to me purchasing my very first camera. At the time, I was a receptionist and I would take my camera to work every day and practice on anything outside until I got the hang of it. I took advantage of social media and began to showcase my work and build my portfolio online. I would go to work and use my lunch breaks to get clothes for clients I’ve built on the side and once I was off of work, I would go to my styling or photography gig. Once my work go exposed, I started to network and collaborate with a lot of people. I never stopped putting in effort and opportunity kept coming.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
No, it has not been a smooth road. As an entrepreneur and single Black mother, there are so many bumps in the road. Some of the struggles I have faced are staying encouraged when no one believes in you or sees your vision, not comparing my success to others, not allowing my personal life struggles to knock me down and stop me from going after my dreams, not letting rejection discourage me, and the biggest of them all is keeping faith. Being able to keep faith at my lowest times in life. When I’m low emotionally, physically, financially, and spiritually the biggest struggle is to keep your vision and have faith to continue to walk towards it even when it’s hard to see it. Walking by faith and not by sight.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am a wardrobe stylist, photographer, designer, and author. I am known for all of the above but my wardrobe styling work has gotten me to where I am. I am most proud of my book, The stylist, that I have written and published because it talks a lot about my journey and it has encouraged a lot of people in my generation. I am most proud of my smallest accomplishments because they’ve created a huge accomplishment which is where I am today. I m most proud that when people see my work, they see more than just an outfit or a photo. People see my work and get inspired to chase their dreams. People get motivated to not give up on themselves and I think that’s what sets me apart from others. The service I provide is bigger than just me living out my dreams. It’s to be able to help others whether they are a creative or not. I want to give people hope and faith to just never give up on themselves.
We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
The biggest lesson I have learned from the covid 19 crisis is that life is going to always happen no matter where you are in it. So you have to be positive in every situation along with taking necessary precautions for your own safety. I believe that everything happens for a reason and although there was a lot of bad that came from this crisis, there was also a lot of good. Any situation is going to be exactly what you make it, even the tough ones like COVID 19. You can only do one if two things which is use the time to focus more on yourself and what you really want to do/be OR get down on yourself and let the crisis get the best of you and yourself life. It’s never easy but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
- Email: Contact@arielmei.com
- Website: Arielmei.com
- Instagram: @Ariel.meii