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3 in the 305: From PA to Paradise

Amongst the rolling hills of Pennsylvania in a quaint suburb just north of Pittsburgh, I grew up dreaming of my destiny, vivid visions propelling me to picture a future outside my small community. I wasn't on the outside looking in, I was on the outside creating my own space in rampant imagination. Why try to fit in when you already stand out has always been an inherent concept to me, enhancing my confidence in remaining true to oneself, despite being different.

I skipped the assimilation phase rebelliously, blocking out the daily stares from my classmates, learning the art of rebuttal early on whether it came to my race or my outfit. I always itched for a more "melanated" milieu, where self expression consisted of more than bargain bin Hollister and brassy blonde highlights. Between my paternal family in suburban Wisconsin, to maternal side in small town coal mining country, I stand out as the "pink" sheep ,gravitating towards big city lights like almost no other in my lineage.

I always knew it would be New York, LA, or Miami for me, ultimately ending up in the magic city after my stint in the mean streets of Philly. My time at Temple University was an adventurous foray into urban life, robust in history and hustle to explore during my 6 year Philadelphia experience. While many memories were made in the city of Brotherly love, I knew following my first trip to Miami for senior year spring break that I was meant to reside in the palm tree paradise. A place I knew I could truly spread my wings, I instantly connected with the exotic environment, full of culture and rhythm. Beating to its own drum unlike any other, Miami boasts a vibe attracting international echelon across the globe, making it a place for all.

3 years ago this month, I left the only state I knew as home, traveling over a thousand miles to Miami a milestone for the girl whose visions of a downtown balcony and slick skyline views became a reality. The thrill of reaching my dream city was tested, as a devastating deceit ensued within only two months of the move, a difficult position to be in when in a new city, new job, knowing no others close to you. Determined and clothed in grace and strength, I survived and thrived beyond betrayal trailblazing ahead.

Celebrating "3 in the 305" represents the journey of exploration and independence rooted in transcendence. Misfortune would not stand in the way of triumph, as I cultivated friendships across the region, delved into positions of volunteerism and leadership in my new community, and explored passions like painting and of course, Fashionista in Finance.

Fit for a Miami princess, my friends and I celebrated at the historic Biltmore in Coral Gables, a regal setting for Sunday brunch of caviar, ceviche, pastries, and of course a mimosa or two. Somewhere between a Spanish castle and grand Venetian palazzo, the Biltmore is the masterpiece of developer George Merrick’s vision of Coral Gables as an elegant, stately suburb, which he called “The City Beautiful.”

The rolling marble columns and intricate hand painted frescos complimented the drama of my white high to low lace Angel Brinks look as I explored the palatial estate. Flowing kimono sleeves draped along the long legged silhouette of the eye catching one piece, exquisite in design and easy-going in the breeze.

In contrast to my stark white monochrome, my friends brightened brunch in the form of a floral slip and pop of purple heels on Noelle and sleek stripes on Alexis.

Exploring the cavernous corners of the estate on a sunny day, taking in the beauty that lay with each unraveling corridor highlighted the blessings bestowed upon me in this journey.

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