One of my closest friends, Mazel, is pursuing her endeavors and passion - jewelry making by trekking to her native home Pelau - a small island east of the Phillipines. YES, she can make jewelry here however in Los Angeles, a city full of hustle and bustle - a city so obnoxious - it’s hard to focus on your pride-st joys. The past few months, I have also contemplated on moving to Vietnam, my native background, with many opportunities drawn across the table - a move that I WON’T make due to the lack of family and well FEAR. Mazel, fortunately does have family there so she won’t be alone. I’m glad because I tend to worry like a scolding mother I can be. I’m super excited for her even though I’ll miss her so much.
It all started with some photo shoots… shoots that Mazel STYLED me BEFORE I turned into a stylist… when I tried out a thing called modeling. She was the BEST stylist I’ve ever worked with… I learned all my essentials from her. Her eye for layering and matching unexpected colors and fabrics together were impeccable.
What amazed me most was that all the pieces she dressed me in were through vintage and thrifted shopping… which resparked my addiction to cheap thrills. Growing up in a small Texas town, there were no Nordstrom’s or Macy’s… Our biggest store was JcPenney’s (WAY before all the designer collaborations and Sephora saved the corporation). Sometimes you get lost in the glamorous, Hollywod inspired lifestyle and realize that the best pieces aren’t mass produced but had a prolong history and story. Mazel brought me back to my morals. She grounded my small town tastes and always preached about being humble and putting money towards things that matter.
Do you know that saying that your friends reflect your personality? I truly believe that, and if I can have any ounce of what Mazel has; I’m truly blessed and grateful. I love, LOVE, love thrifting together and it will be one of many fondest memories with her. We don’t own a single piece of designer brands (even though it’ll be nice to own a piece Chanel one day) unless it’s gifted or found at some random thrift store that didn’t know was a designer piece. At our ages, the “roaring” 20s, I believe that we shouldn’t let ourselves be submerged into luxury pieces. We’ll get over it the next day. PUH-LEEEEASE… don’t say that you’ll pass it down to your kin because by the time you realize how much you invested in the piece, it’ll be all wear and tear and you’ll be in your 70s. If you do buy something ridiculously expensive… take GREAT care of it.
Ironically, somehow I found my love of fashion and styling and Mazel left styling to focus on her passion: jewelry designing. Introduced by a mutual makeup artist friend, Mazel worked for another jewelry designer, Tebazile. There she learned the basic business principles of jewelry designing - from wholesale, mass production, negotiations, tradeshows, retailers etc. She also styled me for a few of their campaigns.
Mazel also gave me her rolling rack when she decided to stop styling; my first one. I still use it to this day on my shoots. I’m a sentimentalist… Mazel did stay within the styling circle by helping, assisting and ultimately becoming my partner in crime during the crucial beginning stages of my styling career:
And to our many journeys, excursions together that I’ll never forget:
We had watch the Valentino: The Last Emperor documentary together when it came out on limited release… a few weeks later, I was asked to style a shoot that allowed me to pull Valentino for the first time as a stylist. Mazel came with me to pull… and of course, we had to try the dresses on, haha.
I’m not the greatest with words, but I’m so happy and sad for Mazel to leave, and I can only wish her the bestest and a safe journey to Pelau. I know she will have to come back to visit… at least for my wedding one day. I love you Mazel!!!!! no homo. All I can say is, LMNOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;)