My mother was larger than life,
my best friend and everyone’s “rock”, so she had very little energy left to nurture herself. After her memorial, when I was cleaning out her stuff, I came across a metal box I had never seen before that was stored underneath the staircase. When I opened it, I found a treasure! There were 32 separate drawings of dress designs that were beautifully hand painted in watercolor.
I was stunned to find my mother’s signature on each of them, along with grades and comments from her college professors.
I was mesmerized by her talent.
I learned that she had stopped painting and drawing shortly before becoming a mother. My father said she was practically ruined by overly critical professors that took her confidence away.
Three of my mom’s designs that I rescued and had framed:
The paradox of my mom was that she seemed happy on the outside, but she had a persistent feeling that she hadn’t lived up to her own expectations. I find this to be true with most women, including myself. I believe it is because when we abandon our gifts, the larger part of us calls out to us waiting for us to show up and commit.
My mother’s private discussions with her best friend, Sally, that Sally shared with me after my mom passed, drove me to contemplate my dreams and goals for my future. And you know what, I discovered that I didn’t really have a clue about what I wanted. I was living my life in the moment. Just like most of my friends and peers – and their mothers. It was painful bumping along with seemingly no purpose.
My pain led to an insight: the greatest tribute to my mother was also the perfect gift to myself; I would make my dreams and goals come true for both of us.
So, I combined my passion for running, my love of fashion, my childhood dream of being a fashion designer and the big voice that saw me through cheer leading and being one of five women (amongst 600 men) in the S&P500 Futures Pit on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
At the end of 2012, with a lot of help and support from my amazing husband and running partner, Mike, I made a big dream of mine come true: I started a women’s active wear line called Actio926.
Actio is the Latin word for ACTION.
And the 926? Well… you’re going to have to read my book because there’s a crazy number of reasons and “coincidences” as to why I included it as part of the name. But, I will tell you the most important reason: the 926 is connected to my mom and it’s a tribute to her, too.
I’m a real runner. I also do yoga, spin and dance whenever I get the chance. Every piece in the Actio926 line has been worn, tested and tested again by me. Every piece of fabric, every cut, every thread, every band of elastic, every aspect of my line has been selected by me and dissected to perfection. Every choice I make is about quality and fit. That’s what moves me.
I believe it will move you, too. I believe that you’ll feel it when you wear it. I believe that you’ll feel it when you run in it, do yoga in it, spin in it, cross train, dance, do pilates, zumba or lift weights.
Plus, you can take it from the gym or the track, your bike or your mat, right out on to the street. It’s what I fondly call “tech street wear”. The thing about my clothes is that they are not typical active wear. Actio926 is made by me, an active woman who loves fashion, for you, a real woman with an active lifestyle who likes to look fashionable. We’re busy women and sometimes, we don’t have the time to change after a workout. I’ve got you covered for every one of those occasions.
In the past year, I ran the entire 2014 LA Marathon (after having walked the last 5 miles at my first and only one in 2010), brought a pro team together to support me to achieve my vision for Actio926 (on the tiniest shoestring budget), and I created over 50 pieces of clothing (never having previously designed anything but a skirt on a stick figure).
Check It Out!
I am sharing Actio926 with you and the world as a reminder of what we are capable of doing when we follow our hearts.
I am telling you my story and my mom’s because I want you and every woman to achieve whatever your heart desires. I want to reach as many women as I can and do my part to support and inspire us collectively and individually. I want us to share our gifts and talents, not abandon them, like my mom did.
I know my mom would be proud of me for what I’ve accomplished. Probably, she’d be inspired too. I believe my mom would be alive if she’d followed her heart. You and I, we don’t have to wait. Our time is now. Blaze your own trail. I’ve got you covered. Get Actio!