Despite the hustle and bustle around the television station, when I closed the door to my office, the room fell silent and my composure quickly started to crack. The brief reprieve from the buzz of the newsroom left me open to a wide range of emotions: I laughed, cried and then quickly buried my head into my hands and let out a silent scream. I was undeniably NUTS with excitement.
Like a boxer who had just won the most important title bout of his life, I balled both of my hands up into tight fists and punched the air with an enthusiasm reserved only for the movies…”Rocky,” “Rudy” and “Chariots Of Fire” had nothing on me. It wasn’t enough, though, so I jabbed the air again, this time like an athlete who had just won an Olympic gold medal.
One she had worked and sacrificed her entire life for. I had finally done it; won the match, earned the medal and the moment was all mine. I wanted to call someone and share it. I wanted to tell someone that the years of sacrifice, commitment and hard work had finally paid off. All the holidays I had worked through, birthday parties I had missed, family reunions I couldn’t attend and relationships I couldn’t sustain because all of my energy always went to work – I wanted to scream to anyone who would listen that it was ALL WORTH IT, but I couldn’t…
Just minutes before my air-punching moment, the Vice President of Sunbeam Television notified me that after a rigorous two month-long audition process to become co-host of Deco Drive, I had indeed landed the job: however, until we hammered out contract details, released a formal media statement and announced it to the inner fold of Channel 7, my promotion was to be kept a secret. I obeyed as if my very career depended on it and well, it did. A few weeks later…
I called my parents; the two people who knew all I had sacrificed, watched how hard I had worked through the years and who at often times questioned my relentless ambition. They were simply overjoyed with the news of my promotion. They were happy, purely because of my happiness and they were proud of me, as I was of myself. It was perhaps one of the most defining moments of my adult life.
Which makes it all the more powerful when I tell you, this blog isn’t about getting something you’ve always wanted. It’s about learning what it takes to keep it and realizing that sometimes struggling because of a well-deserved opportunity is not only normal, it can be difficult and life-altering, too. If you let it, it can also be completely and utterly transforming. What I mean is…
When my predecessor, Louis Aguirre, left Miami for Hollywood, he left a provocative opportunity in his wake. One that a lot of people wanted and competed for, including myself. Hosting Deco Drive was always a dream of mine, but how it unfolded wasn’t at all what I expected. When Louis left, he willingly and purposefully made a change. That change led to a series of events that changed my life, too, and to be honest, I’m not sure I was fully prepared for it.
Suddenly, I went from a well-traveled, confident entertainment reporter to a budding new entertainment host. I’d never been a host before. I mean – I knew what the job entailed, but how it would change my schedule, my writing demands, the direction of my career and the people I would see on a day-to-day was unexpected. Although it’s been exhilarating, it’s also been difficult.
My very first day on the job, Joan Rivers died. Coincidentally, the story exploded right before news time and to be honest, the demands of the job have NOT stopped since that moment. My new position is an incredible practice of old school journalism mixed with modern day infotainment. The writing, the on-air prowess and the practical experience of interviewing almost every star on the planet is in motion everyday, but sometimes my heart hurts…
I suspect it’s growing pains. I miss my friends; the people I used to travel the world with on the junket/entertainment circuit. For the better part of fifteen years, I traipsed around the world with other entertainment journalists, experiencing some of the most amazing sites and sounds any career could offer. My happy place was being wedged into the corner of an over-stuffed plane, landing in some strange city (some grew more familiar with time) and getting myself to where I needed to be (with no help) to get the story that was expected of me.
It wasn’t easy. Matter of fact, it was incredibly difficult, daunting and beyond exhausting at times, but it was my life and I grew to love, cherish and respect it. When Louis left (at basically a moment’s notice) it all (my old job) came to a screeching halt. At first, I was filling in for Louis, then I was trying out for his job, then I was promoted. During that process, there was absolutely NO time to do anything but focus on the task at hand, but now… I’m undeniably “Feeling Magenta.”
Let me explain…in the middle of this exciting change and new challenge in my career (which is basically my life,) I received a few emails from Michelle Fonticiella from SpinHouse Public Relations. She wanted to give me deets about a new clothing store in Boca Raton that was like nothing she’d ever seen before. Michelle and I had worked together in the past on a really cool project, so I trusted her.
Michelle and I arranged to meet in Boca at “Magenta Couture” to effort some looks for my blog. The meeting was different than most potential blogs/stories/encounters. I was immediately smitten with co-owners, Zlata and Sarunas. They were so kind and genuine, it was hard not to share their enthusiasm for their new-found fashion venture. What’s more, they were true fans of my career and Deco Drive and that affected me deeply.
In television, you tend to get a lot of false love. People don’t really know who you are or what you do, but if there’s a chance they can be on television or you can help their business in some way, well, they’re your best friend or they pretend to like you (believe me – they don’t or couldn’t actually care less.)
Zlata and Sarunas were the complete antithesis of the aforementioned. Right away, they were good people with good energy, who turned out to be good friends. They helped me on several occasions when other stylists and clothing providers fell through. They stepped up their fashion game, when others lost their footing. Each and every time I interacted with them, there was NO drama, NO negativity, NO ulterior motive.
In a time of change and uncertainty in my life, they (along with Michelle) became a positive constant; one that I desperately needed. In an effort to understand their kindness with no strings attached, I sought out the true definition of the color “Magenta” (after all, reporting is my thing) and this is what I found out…
Magenta is a color of change and transformation; it helps release old emotional patterns that prevent personal and spiritual development and aids us in moving forward. It also represents universal love at its highest level. The description of the color was, in fact, an exact reflection of my life at the moment and what I needed…that’s why as of late, I’ve been “Feeling Magenta.”
While I miss Louis (he was my biggest cheerleader,) my entertainment reporter friends, my old schedule and job, I’m transforming into something that I’ve always wanted to be. My new position is exciting, challenging and gives me the opportunity to explore a different facet of journalism. I’m growing, learning and adjusting to my new-found opportunity which, by the way, isn’t lost on the people I love around me.
The other day, my best friend sent me a quote that read: “It’s okay to be in a place of struggle. Struggle is just another word for growth. The only one that doesn’t struggle, is the one that doesn’t grow.” I’m just glad at this phase in my life, my transformation (if you will) can be shared with my new found fashionable friends.
Shireen Sandoval: What makes Magenta Couture so unique?
Magenta Couture: It’s all in the details for us. We hand select our pieces and only offer the best of the best straight from the runways at fashion shows in Europe. We offer styling from European professional stylists and provide personal attention to each of our clients.
SS: How did you come up with the concept of the store and how long did it take to bring your vision to life?
MC: That’s an easy question for us. We wanted to help fashionistas make a true statement with their outfits, helping them stand out. We wanted to offer something different – a fresh new look and perspective.
SS: What designers do you carry and why are they so different from what a fashionista would find in Miami?
MC: We really do offer the best of the best. Our items cannot be purchased anywhere else in the U.S. Additionally, we only carry a few pieces of each item to ensure fashionistas aren’t wearing the same outfit at the same event (we all know how embarrassing that is). To purchase pieces from our designers, one would have to travel throughout multiple destinations in all of Europe. We have a long list of high-fashion designers, which can be found on our website. Some of the brands we carry are Elisabetta Franchi, RoccoBarocco, Byblos, Genny, Roberto Cavalli, Gamba, Sebastian, N21, MSGM, by Malina, Hunkydory and many more.
SS: You’ve just returned from abroad, buying and finding beautiful clothes. What items can we look forward to seeing come Spring 2015?
MC: A LOT of denims, suede and fringes, red, pastels (lavenders,) silks and flowy dresses.
SS: What type of woman do you see Wearing Magenta Couture?
MC: The sophisticated, independent, open-minded woman, who is not afraid to wear new designers who aren’t recognized in the states – anyone who is truly ready to make a fashion statement.
SS: What is the one must-have item in your store?
MC: Smart heels shoes – 2.5” inches – every woman loves heels but does not want to kill her feet walking in between meetings or dancing the night away
http://magentacouture.com/detail/lucertola-36-stone (we have a lot more coming later) Another item would be our Kotur smart bag
Also, everything in nude colors – the color compliments every girl
SS: What type of experience do you want fashionistas to have when they shop at Magenta Couture?
MC: The ability to feel comfortable being unique. Fashionistas will receive 100% percent of our styling crew’s attention. For an extra special occasion, we can also arrange a make-up artist and a photo session (on demand), if requested. We are here to pamper every woman’s ego and even allow a little diva behavior while shopping at Magenta.
SS: I adore your clothing. If I had to work all day and quickly go to a party after the show (Deco Drive) what outfit would you style me in?
MC: Probably an Elisabetta Franchi jumpsuit with a Hunkydory blazer or a Franchi red (or black) dress
SS: Who is the most provocative designer you carry and why?
MC: Elisabetta Franchi. She offers very feminine, modern and classy, yet provocative styles of modern Italy
SS: What’s the best way for a fashion-lover to express herself, besides through her wardrobe?
MC: Accessories and most importantly, fashionistas should ALWAYS wear a smile as their main accessory.
I always say, there are no coincidences in life and getting to know the faces and people behind “Magenta Couture” has not only been a blessing, it’s given me hope. Finding people that believe in you and you in them, is a gift. It breathes new life into the world around you.
Since my promotion, my friends that I used to travel with continue calling, texting, sending emails, writing little quips on my IG and sending love in all sorts of engaging and creative ways. I want them to know (Patrick, Rachel, Kim, Shawn…the list goes on…) I miss and love you guys.
The gift of transformation isn’t just about getting a new-found opportunity. It’s also about maintaining what you’ve worked so hard for. Sometimes, getting what you want is the easy part, but having the strength, tenacity and perseverance to keep it is the real challenge. If you can do that, you’ll keep growing, moving and evolving and that’s why “Feeling Magenta” will always be one of my favorite things.
shop the blog looks at www.MagentaCouture.com
FB: Magenta Couture
Photographer: James Woodley
Hair & Make-up: Odette Hernandez
Assist: Jackie Kay
Blog ideas: Jackiekay211@yahoo.com
Editor: Matthew Auerbach