"I've never been so honest!" - Kathy Banner

Veiled Beauty was founded in November of 2007 on a whim! I was prompted by my sister in law to create an Etsy shop. I took her advice and began juggling 5 jobs all while obsessing about the potential of Veiled Beauty. I would lay my head at night filled with fantasies yet overcome by self-doubt and defeat. I was a not-so-happy newlywed living in the Rampart District of Los Angeles--in other words the ghetto--and utterly depressed. My juggling consisted of an assistant design position for a Cuban bikini company, teaching aerobic classes, personal training, nannying a little girl and supervising a maternity shelter for pregnant homeless women.

When I was more or less "let go of" or "fired" from my assistant design bikini position I hit rock bottom! I'd NEVER been fired and, to be honest, this is the first time I am actually admitting that I was! Until now, I have always referred to it as "just not the right fit" with a string of rationalizations why. The truth is, I would have fired me too. I was clearly distracted and longed to be investing in my own designs. I longed to put my NAME in the credits. I longed for something more than fanning someone else's flames. Herein lies the theatrical plot twist where I could hunker down and pull the covers up past my shameful eyes, or I could set out on an adventure to prove to myself that getting fired was the best thing to ever happen to me!

Unfortunately, I chose to do the former. A lingering depression already had a hold of my thoughts, and here is where it really sunk its teeth into me: some call depression a "learned helplessness" and I would attest to this definition. Days grew shorter and nights longer. The confidence I had once needed to keep in check was squelched by hopeless thoughts and feelings of meaninglessness. The hours I had once filled with crafty DIY projects like reupholstering discarded furniture from the streets of Los Angeles, turning thrift store picture frames into chalkboards, and sewing my own clothes were replaced by hours and hours of checked out television. Shameful to admit because it's a shame to waste such precious time!

By the grace of God, I managed to keep Veiled Beauty afloat during these difficult years. In many ways, Veiled Beauty was my one passion and window to a world where I could hold onto the talents I had inherited! My creativity and entrepreneurship was in hibernation. Glimmers would shine through here and there during photoshoots and while designing new lines, but what I remember the most is the struggle. The struggle to feel motivated, to get up and use my day, to put one foot in front of the other. The struggle to smile.

There was no Hollywood moment where I was miraculously impassioned with life again. It was and still is a process! A choice to use the time I've been given! A daily decision to continue to make new habits not excuses! Even a goal as simple as vowing to make my bed every morning has helped! I have stopped comparing myself to my comrades and chosen to embrace my stylistic differences. I have chosen to enjoy the design process even if the end result winds up in the trash. I have found pleasure in a vast array of the "small business owner" responsibilities. One day I'm the head seamstress guiding silk through the eye of a needle and the next I'm a marketing student teaching myself how to use Illustrator, Photoshop and Lightroom through YouTube posts.

So to answer the question, "When did Veiled Beauty R E A L L Y take off?" I would say I'm not sure it has yet! I imagine it will be one of those goosebumps moments etched in my mind forever. I'm eager for this day whilst patiently waiting. I aim to be grateful in prosperity and want. I aim for contentment in-spite of the longing in my loins. I whole-heartedly believe it's near, yet know I won't actually believe it when it's here! - KB

Photo Credit: Kurt Boomer
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