When I was five years old, I developed an interest in gaudy gowns that sparkle in the same flamboyant manner that Madonna did in the 80s. This quickly morphed from an innocent attraction to anything bedazzled to a somewhat unhealthy obsession. The first time I went to a thrift store with my mother, I lost myself—not in the symbolic, figurative sense associated with the existential experience, but instead in the literal sense—I actually got lost in the thrift store.
Nevertheless, what I found in that store made up for any potential anger I could have harbored against my mother for momentarily preoccupying herself with an antique nut grinder: I found my ultimate Barbie gown. Not an inch of the soft chiffon could be seen through the green, blue and gold swirling sequins, and I was in love. The $6 price tag (this was 1993) sealed the deal, and after a frantic search through the home goods aisle, I finally found my mother who was white-knuckling her antiques in the same way I clutched my way-too-large woman’s gown. The apple clearly did not fall far from the tree.
What appeals to me about this art—yes, I think bargain hunting is an art—is the action of transforming trash to treasure. My mother’s assortment of pre-1950s kitchen gadgets gives even more personality to our New Mexican kitchen. And by adding my own flair onto my ever-growing collection of hideous closet discards, I took my dresses out of the past and made them relevant. With creativity, a wild imagination and an open mind, I took something simple and transformed it into something that represented me and the characteristics I wanted to communicate to the world through my clothing choices.
Sixteen years later, while my wardrobe has made a relatively mature shift with the inclusion of more neutral palates and a little less synthetic fabrics, my communications philosophy has not altered. I use clothes to communicate a degree of professionalism, and I use my words to communicate feelings and emotions. To me, marketing communications is fun. With words, one can dress up a seemingly boring product and make it desirable and needed. With colors, one can accent the pages of a magazine or website in a visually appealing manner like candy to one’s visual senses.
Beyond the “fun” aspect that sparks my initial attraction to this field, my love for marketing communications lies much deeper. I love people. I love talking to them, learning about them and relating to them. I love art. I love written art in the sense that we can paint with words to depict beautiful scenes or accomplish the same picture using watercolors and brushes. I love wit and humor, and furthermore, I love advertising. Like the little girl clutching her dress in the thrift store, I am in love with the concept of taking a simple idea and creatively manipulating it to ultimately produce something meaningful and beautiful. This is why I made the decision four years ago to receive an education in business management with concentrations in marketing and advertising, and I haven’t looked back since.