FOUNDER, LARK Skin Co.
what does confidence mean to you?
Confidence is showing up as you are. Being ok with where you are right here, right now.
I was born and raised in St. Louis, MO. I grew up in a pretty normal family and had a pretty normal life. I worked as a hairstylist and freelance photographer for years until I felt like something was missing. The idea for LARK came to me in a meditation and I started to roll with it. It was a distraction from life at that time and gave me something to throw myself into. About that same time, my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer. This was the 4th type of cancer she had, and had been battling it for years beforehand.
She was the bravest person that I have ever known. She went through countless rounds of chemo and radiation. Had multiple surgeries including a double mastectomy. She fought each day for every breath of life that she could get. She wanted every minute of it no matter how painful it was. She loved us and especially my son fiercely. I don't even think I understood how fierce it was until she got sick. She was the leader of our family. She took care of everyone and when she was gone, things started to unravel. My grandfather passed away 3 months later, and then we suffered another traumatic loss of a few months after that. I went from having this big close family to feeling like I had no one. I felt like a failure at everything and I was completely overwhelmed being a caretaker for my toddler and my grandmother. As hard and as terrible as it was, I'm proud of myself for pushing through it. To do what needed to be done even when I felt like I couldn't anymore.
When is your first memory of feeling confident?
In the third grade I performed "Wind Beneath My Wings" by Bette Midler in front of an entire retirement community (our school used to volunteer there once a month). I had always loved to sing and this was my big shot! There were probably about 100 seniors watching and I felt like I was on top of the world! They gave me a standing ovation, haha!
When is your first memory of feeling insecure?
I was teased pretty badly in middle school. I was awkward and had braces, glasses AND crazy curly hair that couldn't be tamed (this was before the days of the flat iron, haha!). I remember just wanting to have straight blonde hair and contacts. There were two boys in particular that were pretty vicious and it got to the point that I just hated myself so much I wanted to die. I developed such a deep feeling of insecurity that ended up manifesting itself into an eating disorder. I remember eating only 600 calories a day for weeks on end. I kept thinking if I just lost 5 pounds I would be "pretty" and boys would like me. But what I remember most was the feeling of losing my voice. I wasn't the confident little girl that I once was. I didn't sing or perform. I was afraid to even speak in class for fear of humiliation. It's still a struggle for me to speak up and show up as myself each day, but it's something I'm always working at.
What makes you feel most confident now?
Being a mom has made me feel really confident. Liam loves me unconditionally and has no problem telling me. I also think that going through my grief journey has also in some ways made me more confident in who I am. I am able to see things as they are and don't get caught up in the small things as much as I used to. Life is short and it's pointless to waste it on things that don't really matter in the end.
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU’RE MOST PROUD OF?
Liam, definitely. He's the kindest and sweetest boy and I hope that he carries those values with him as he grows older. I'm also really proud of my business. It has taken a lot of blood, sweat and tears but we're doing it!
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF?
Don't listen to the haters. You are so much better than this and you're going to have a big life one day. Keep your head down and get to work!
How are you using your platform to make a difference?
My mom inspired confidence and determination in me and I'm hoping that to inspire that in other women too. We have this amazing platform where we can encourage women to show up as they are and to love themselves.
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