June 14, 2013 is the day that the spark of Fishionista was ignited . It was by chance really and started with the above picture. Living in Baltimore, Maryland I found myself without work and without a man. It was not the most ideal time of my life, but what was I to do..sit around feeling sorry for myself? Anyone that knows me knows that just sitting around was not an option, so I went fishing..a lot.
My home river was The Gunpowder. A beautiful piece of water that is fishable all year long and one that can be tricky. By going nearly daily, I really became proficient at learning the water and catching fish..it was awesome! Of course, I took pictures here and there and couldn't help but share on Facebook. My fishing friends were sure to voice their displeasure of me spending so much time on the water and my other friends always made mention of how awesome my nails always looked. Ladies, just because your on the river doesn't mean you can't have nice looking nails!
On this particular day, June 14, 2013, I posted the above picture on Facebook. It was met with comments about the fish and the fly I was using, but one particular comment changed everything. It came from my best friend Diane. It said 'Your nails match the fish. You're such a Fashionista! Or should I say Fishionista!' *CLICK* That..is exactly what happened and we were off! In saying 'we' I mean myself and my brother Jesse. From the first interaction about this endeavor, he was on board fully and has not wavered. To say I'm excited that he is a partner in this venture is an understatement.
Sadly, getting Fishionista has been slow to get off the ground, but for a very good reason. Shortly after the *CLICK*, life changing decisions were made. It was time to make my dream of moving to Montana come true..and I did. The house went on the market, I got a job and moved my life to Missoula. It's been nearly a year since my move and my life has settled down a bit, so it is time.
What will Fishionista do? In a nutshell, Fishionista will engage women and girls in the outdoor sports of fishing while instilling the values of good sportsmanship and respect for our natural resources. In addition to teaching the basics of fly fishing, we will have information on products, gear and equipment specifically created for women. We'll also have special items made specifically for Fishionista and jewelry made by friends.
An important part of Fishionista is philanthropy. My brothers (Jesse and Matt) and I were taught from a very young age that we should be grateful for all we have and that not everyone is as fortunate and that we should give back as much as we possibly could. While it may not always be financial, doing for others is just the right thing to do. This has instilled, in the three of us, values that become fabric of our very beings . We each have given back in our own ways and whether together or separately, we carry the Philanthropic Torch handed to us by our mom. Fishionista will also carry that torch in giving to organizations that align with our values. We will offer specific products in which a portion of sales will go to specific non-profit organizations.
One of the organizations we have chosen to support is Casting for Recovery. CfR holds no cost retreats to women in any stage of breast cancer. I discovered the organization at the same time I was learning to fly fish. I didn't realize at the time how CfR, fly fishing and the combination would be life changing, but that is exactly what they have become. While I eluded to the impact our mom had on us regarding philanthropy, it's important to know that she had a bigger impact on us and those that loved her.... her death from breast cancer in 1991. Of course, this loss shook us to our collective cores. The nucleus of our family, a generous, loving woman who lived life to the fullest and with a wicked sense of humor was gone. However, she left to her children many wonderful lessons learned from a life well lived and it has not been lost on us, but yet another torch that we happily carry. My work with Casting for Recovery is part of my Torch Carrying.
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