I met Reese through a mutual friend a while back who said: "you have got to meet this person, you guys have so much in common"... Although our encounter was more online, it was a pleasant one. Reese Evans is the founder, creative director and editor-in-chief of Yes supply.co: a community of creators, inspired to getting their 'yes' out of life.
What inspired your blog?
I used to work in fashion. I was heavily involved in the industry in Toronto, and I was working towards being a stylist. I remember trying to look for interviews, advice, tips from those who have achieved it, and it was impossible to find. When I did find interviews or this type of content, I found that the advice was usually 'I kind of just fell into this job' and ' I just got really lucky'. This sort of advice discouraged me, and I wanted to create a source of inspiration where people could find real advice, real tips, from people who my readers could relate to. Those that didn't have the world handed to them on a silver platter.
How did you first get into blogging?
Writing has always been a big part of my life. I was always really creative and if I wasn't reading tons of books (and Archie comics) then I was writing or drawing out my favorite characters that I found in the fashion magazines I was reading.
I've always had a bit of an imagination and loved fashion. I would read Vogue magazine from start to finish then start over and read it again. A lot of people say they just look at the pictures in magazines, but I would soak up every word. When I didn't know what a certain word meant I would pull out the dictionary (remember those? haha)
Being a teenager, and growing up in a single parent household, there were so many things in these magazines that I knew I wanted but couldn't attain. I would fill up sketchbook after sketchbook of the things that I wanted. If I couldn't have it, I could at least pretend.
I think that was the first of signs that building a collection of writings would be what I ended up doing. Drawing gave me a keen eye for design, and writing has always been something I have been drawn to. That's why we try to put such a high standard on the look of the blog, as well as the writing.
Through this process, what has been your greatest failure and what have you learned from it?
Ha! As if I only have one failure I can think of. There are so many. I think as an entrepreneur, or anyone who wants to set out to achieve his or her goals, you have to get really comfortable with the idea of 'failure'. It's easy to become paralyzed with the thought of failure, or rejection, and stop yourself from achieving what you want.
I think that the biggest failure anyone can have is actually "regret." Not going through with something that you really want to do. “Yes supply co.” is such a big part of me, but for a while, I wasn't telling anyone about it. When I was working on something that is so close to my soul, I became almost paralyzed at the thought of rejection. I would get caught up in thinking "What if there's no one else out there that understand what I am after?" " What if people think that I'm trying too hard or being cheesy, simply because I want to help people become empowered to be the best version of themselves?"
Even before, years ago, I was very interested in fashion and I was doing quite well in a career as a fashion stylist. At the age of 21 and the help of some amazing mentors, I was signed with the top artist agency in the city! I hadn't even finished school yet!
About a year later, with my passion for helping people, and after taking on a few personal shopping clients within my network, I began doing personal styling as well which I truly loved. I developed a website, social media accounts and action plans to help style people of different body types, skin tones, and lifestyles. I have a high attention to detail so I spent countless hours creating this. However, I never launched the product because of fear of failure. However, if I did, who knows how far it could have taken me?
I say this because sometimes we get caught up in the fear of failure, and the unknown that we don't take a leap. I think the biggest failure is sticking to a routine that doesn't bring you joy, instead of taking a risk and jumping at an opportunity to try something new.
I encourage people with “yes supply co” to change their idea of what ' failure' is. If you think about it as an opportunity to grow and learn something new, and not let it cripple you, you'll be able to learn from small mistakes, and become stronger and better at achieving your goals!
We recently started our "OneWord" campaign and would like you to share yours - at your current stage in life what is the one word that can further motivate you to be the best version of yourself or serve as a driving force?
EMPOWERMENT. This word means so much to me right now. I recently attended the viewing of a priest that I grew up with, Father Roger Formosi. Attending his parish really changed my life when I was in high school. He always had a smile on his face, he was always so welcoming, and his homilies (like a speech during church) were always so powerful and related to real life, not only scripture. He gave a homily on empowerment once that really changed my way of thinking, and it resonated with me so much that I had to go thank him afterward. My grandma still remembers that day. Through his speech on empowerment, he empowered me to bring on this way of thinking. And look at me now, I'm building a career that is supported by empowerment, and I have been able to influence so many people to stop being scared, to go after their goals, and to believe that anything is possible.
When we choose to empower others, we really cannot begin to understand the effect it can have.
What moment in your life has had the greatest impact on you?
I think that growing up, in less than perfect circumstances, and seeing certain amazing talented women that were in my life, settling for lifestyles that were less than they were capable of achieving set a fire inside of me. I never wanted to see another woman stay in an abusive (whether verbal or physical) relationship again. I don't want anyone to give up so much of themselves for someone else, that they don't know who they are. I want everyone to know, that happiness is something you create inside yourself, and you have to achieve personal fulfillment through the things and work that you enjoy doing. Relationships allow you to connect with someone else on an amazing level, but you cannot depend on someone to be the sole provider of your happiness because that is just not possible.
You also have to understand that if you are not going after your dreams, you're helping someone else build theirs. You're a pawn in someone else's game, and that if you know what your true 'yes' is, and it shouldn't come from just money and material goods, then you will enjoy the journey of working towards it.
I want you to talk a little bit about the concept of following your creative side/calling and finding a sustainable means of income
Right now, “yes supply co.” is very much a work in progress and is not yet my sustainable means of income. But I truly believe it has the potential to be that one-day. Sharing these stories is so inspirational for those who are down on their luck or even those who didn't think that they had any other options that the current situation they are in. I really want everyone who is willing to work hard to know that there are better options out there, and you can design your own life and be happy.
I currently offer coaching and accountability sessions to help those who are dreaming of entrepreneurship to start soul-searching to find their path and to set goals to reach their 'yes'. I've been consulting friends and family who are growing their online presence, and they've already seen results so I am planning on offering more coaching or building a course on how I built my blog so quickly, with all the important marketing areas covered.
What are the important lessons you have learned so far on your journey?
Never, ever, ever be afraid of 'no'. Ask for things that you might not think can happen because you'll be surprised! They can, and they will.
I also learned it's important to trust that people, even those that don't know you that well, generally have your back and want to see you be successful. Be open, to people suggestions and opportunities to get help along the way. It really takes a village.
You can stay up to date with Reese work through her website yes supply co.