Self-taught Fashion Designer Ty Kent Interview

What would be your advice to a self-taught fashion designer who struggles to make it in the industry?

Don’t focus on others’ ideas of what it means to “make it into the industry.” I think we have been programmed to fit into something to feel like we have “made” it. That is why so many seek labels and ways to define themselves based on some mold. Start establishing your definition of success, set your own goals, and set your own pace by staying focused on what inspired you to choose this artistry. A designer is an artist, and artists have a unique vision and purpose behind the artistry. Always stay focused on YOUR vision and purpose. So when you come across a rocky road on your journey, the turbulence won’t cause you to get off the path or turn around and give up.

How do you cope with this pandemic as an entrepreneur?

I adjust. Never get too comfortable in life because life always brings the unexpected. I don’t care who you are, how much money you make, how long you have been working in your career, or how successful you think you are. Never get too comfortable, and always be ready to adjust. No one is exempted from life’s curveballs. Please don’t feel like you are the only one going through it. Life isn’t picking on you, so don’t ever feel bullied because then that victim mindset will set in and create anxiety. Anxiety will throw you off your game. Don’t panic, access the situation, and adjust.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Do you have any fears looking into the future? If yes, what would they be?

In five years, I see God using me to pour into others like never before. I have a vision for the platform he has given me through my YouTube channel and my passion as a homeschooling mom. I also see myself having an established, recognizable brand representing my work as a designer and artist. Good things take time, and I have been working and building for years now, and I am finally in the stage of reintroducing my brand and sharing my heart in many forms. I even desire to publish a children’s book series. Could this all happen in 5 years? I don’t know. My focus is to work on the now and let God worry about them then.

What has been your most significant achievement since you’re in this industry?

I think gaining confidence and finding freedom in expressing who I am in an industry that (I feel) tries to push a mold. I taught myself, and it can be not very comforting when you see the many others who went to school, interned for some of the top designers, and of course, see so many other talented people in the industry. You can quickly get discouraged and see yourself as not good enough. If you can achieve confidence in yourself and your abilities, no one else’s light will ever be able to dim yours no matter what they have done and where they have been. Everyone has their unique light, and finding my light is the greatest thing I can ever accomplish because my light will forever guide me and keep me focused on my path.

How do you handle failure on a business point and in general?

The only form of failure is making a decision that redirects your path and purpose to the wrong destination. A journey is like a boxing match. You may win some rounds, and you may lose some rounds, but the knockout is all that matters. I believe you can get in the ring with the wrong opponent and find yourself fighting for something that was never meant for you to win. If it is intended for you to discontinue in that particular business, it is not a failure to let that business go. Sometimes we get excited about things and jump ahead of our instructions; it is ok to readjust and get back on the right path. Now, if it is meant for you to be where you are, the only form of failure will be giving up. You will feel that regret and resentment for the rest of your life because it is like losing a part of you. Everything you do in life should flow out of you naturally because it was meant for you. Don’t force yourself into things that you know you shouldn’t be doing. Now, if you are doing it for money reasons or to survive, that’s your decision. The great thing about life’s journey is that it takes you many places to learn many lessons. You only fail when you reject the lesson that was meant to be learned during that season.

How do you balance motherhood, business, and being an artist?

Setting my priorities straight and gracing myself in understanding my pace will be a little different from others in this season in my life. Being a mother is a part of who I am just as much as, if not more, than anything else I do in life. Different seasons will have various paces and priorities, and that’s ok. I adjust. As long as I am still going, that’s all that matters. Even if I am walking slowly and not running, I am always moving. Balancing those three things depends on the woman and what season they are in. Like I stated before, we can never get too comfortable because of the season change. It is easy to think everything will flow the way you want it to if you do x, y, and z. But life as a parent, business owner, or anything is so unpredictable. I think being open to adjusting is the key to always finding balance.

Who are your role model or influencers if you do have any?

I can’t pinpoint or name a role model in my life. I have had the honor to come across so many different people in my life, and hearing their stories or witnessing their seasons truly impacted my perception of life. Because I am so focused on knowing and understanding my journey, I try not to get tunnel vision on specific people’s journeys. It can become distracting and sometimes discouraging if I feel like I can’t measure up or not turn out like theirs. I believe we sometimes become blind to our journey’s beauty because we become so engulfed with others’ beauty. I get inspired and impacted by others all the time, but I don’t let their life become my model because I will never truly walk into the model I wasn’t created to be. We are all uniquely designed; no one model is alike.

Did anybody ever tell you that you inspired them?

The crazy thing about this question is that I’ve heard this so often, not realizing they were even paying attention in that way. It can be my little sister, just randomly expressing it while watching me nurture my children. It can be my father who thanks me and expresses how I inspired him by just encouraging him through some of the most challenging seasons in his life. It could be a girlfriend who expresses it at a brunch after having girl talk. It could be a subscriber expressing it after watching a tutorial on my channel. I have always lived my life, allowing God to use me to pour into others whatever way he sees fit. So, what many don’t realize is, the inspiration wasn’t coming from me. It was coming from Him. I was just a vessel who didn’t know God was using me at that moment to pour into them.

Would you say that your career is your actual purpose?

I believe your purpose is in who you are, not what you do. So, I think you can fulfill your purpose while operating in your career and still be operating in your purpose outside of your job. I believe many times we confuse our gifts and talents with being our purpose. God can use your skills and talents to fulfill your purpose, but they aren’t your purpose. When you limit your goal to being a title of something that you do, you limit the impact of your purpose.

You are now homeschooling two beautiful children; how are they impacting your journey as a fashion designer?

I am now officially a mom of 3, and it is funny you asked this question because I was telling my hubby how each of my kids unlocked a superpower in me with each pregnancy that trauma, others, and just life tried to keep hidden in me. My firstborn unlocked confidence in me that I didn’t know I had. My second-born took that confidence to the next level and unlocked a story of courage in me that I didn’t know was possible. My third opened a level of clarity that took both my confidence and courage to a whole new level. They have impacted me as a woman who pours over into everything else that I do. My journey would not be the same without them.

Written By: Shendor Menvarayzz

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