Today we’d like to introduce you to Cindy Chou.
Cindy, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I committed myself to chasing a fashion career in middle school when I had to do a research project on a career of choice. From that point on, I decided my chosen destiny was to graduate from high school, move to New York, go to NYU and work for Teen Vogue for the rest of my life. I worked towards that goal for the next six years- making alterations to it as necessary. Today, I am a full-time student at CSU Long Beach living in LA, working a part-time retail job and dedicating every minute I can to my blog, work as a freelance stylist, photographer, and content creator. Although I’m not where I want to be yet, I’ve overcome a lot of obstacles so far and I’m proud of where I am now, and even more eager to accomplish what is yet to come.
Has it been a smooth road?
I was a rebellious teen. I did my fair share of staying out late, partying, and running away. As a teen, I did not fully understand the extent of financial hardship; I was frustrated when my parents weren’t able to provide what I needed to accomplish my goals. Foolish, I know. I now know that they both did everything they could to get to where I am now, even if I didn’t realize it at the time. I went into college understanding that if I wanted to achieve my dream career, I needed to rely on myself- I moved out and applied to where I could to pay for college and start saving up to move to New York. In my freshman year, I worked two jobs, paid rent, and maintained a 4.0 GPA in hopes of transferring. I also had a small internship under Analyssa Benedict, an agency stylist and photo shoot producer, for which I desperately clung onto hours for in order to gain experience in fashion merchandising, styling, and such. It was a hard time because I was extremely frustrated that I couldn’t do more- that I couldn’t afford to get an unpaid fashion internship in LA, that I didn’t have a car to get to where I needed to be, that I couldn’t socialize like most college freshmen did because I was so busy, but most of all, because I knew it would be a long time before I could start making my dream a reality. I would go to school on no sleep sometimes and at times felt like giving up. My boyfriend, Kevin, was there for me through everything and drove me everywhere. Without him, I wouldn’t have been able to hold everything together. Today I still work with Analyssa, do freelance styling and photography, hold onto a part-time job, go to school full-time, and very recently just purchased my first car.
Have there been people or an institution that has played a pivotal role in your career?
I have to credit a lot of my styling education and inspiration to Analyssa Benedict. She taught me the ropes as soon as I graduated high school, and continues to inspire me even today with all that she achieves as a stylist, a small business owner, and manager of her own firm (REVOLT SOCIETY MGMT).
Both my family and my boyfriend, Kevin, have been active supporters for my goals and dreams. Kevin is usually the man behind the lens for many of my photos. Photography doesn’t come naturally for him, but he tries his best and has even enrolled in a photography class to better himself! I owe a lot to both him and my family.
What kind of work do you look forward to most?
My favorite type of project is test shoots with a small group of creatives. As a stylist, I love meeting others chasing the same dream, or just witnessing a creative vision come to life not just for payment, but solely for the creative outcome. I am always open to collaborating with fresh faces and can be reached easily through my e-mail or social media.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were just starting out?
Nothing. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and if we were allowed the chance to change anything in the past, it would definitely change who we are now. Like many, I’ve had major regrets, drama, whatever you’d like to call it. All of it- the bad and the good, has shaped me into who I am now. Although I am still growing, I don’t think I’d want to unlearn my mistakes. Sure it would’ve been nice for a smooth, easy road. But it doesn’t happen like that for anyone. Pain is nurturing. It grows and tears you down but gives you the chance to build on it. Sometimes the only thing people see is how strong of a wall you’ve built, and that comes to define you. I believe it’s all the pain and trouble underneath that should receive credit.
- Website: http://styleologie.blogspot.com
- Instagram: @styleologie