Recently, I had the pleasure of being apart of T.J. Maxx's Road to Real Campaign. A couple months ago while sneaking off to to T.J. Maxx on my lunch break to get some shoes I had hidden in the store the previous day, I was approached by a young lady named Nicole to do a survey. I initially brushed her off, but after mentioning the $50 gift card for participating, I changed my mind. That meant that I would get the shoes I had snuck off to get, practically free. No thinking needed. Where do I sign up?
I followed Nicole to a table and filled out a quite lengthy survey and find out that they will also be taking my picture and interviewing me. My jaw drops seeing as though I decided to opt out of my daily makeup routine that day and was already going well beyond the time limit I had given myself to "get in and get out." But, all for the love of this beautiful and oh so comfortable black Vince Camuto strappy mid-heel sandal.
After finishing the survey I'm directed to sit on a stool in front of a white back drop and sitting across from me is, Katherine Schwarzenegger. Out of all of the random things that happens to me I could have never imagined what was to come. Katherine proceeded to ask me about my influences, career, style, and what drives me, while Andrea Chu, a very petite and polite photographer, captured every bit of the interview. I found myself comfortable with Katherine and Andrea not knowing that anyone was even interested in anything I had to say or share. I poured my heart to them. I shared stories of my mother working around the clock to make sure she could afford private sewing lessons, dance classes and anything else she wanted my sister and I to learn. I told them about my career as a wardrobe stylist, hairstylist and seamstress. I talked about how hard it is in New Orleans for emerging artists to catch their big break and how I want to help them build their futures, but before I could I had to finish building mine. I also shared my sentiments of never giving up or giving in.
I would be walking away with these shoes I wanted today but I would also be at ease. It was something very reassuring about Katherine. Andrea continued to snap photos of my teary eyed face. Something that I wish I would've been able to control. Nearing the end of the interview Andrea directed me to stand as she snapped candid pictures of me being me. I lost count of how many photos she took. And then it was over. This experience seemingly had neared its end.
A month later I received an email saying that I had been selected to be apart of there actual campaign. Me! I had been selected 1 of 5 out of 500 to share my experiences and stories with the world. Take that everyone that told me I should've been a doctor. In this email it also states that a guest and I will be going to New York, all expenses paid to attend a galley exhibit featuring some of the women that Katherine and Andrea had spoken with. Usually I would bring my PNC (Partner-In-Crime) my sister, but I thought this occasion would be better fitted for the woman I owed it all to. My mother.
Over the next few weeks the details were coordinated and before I knew it was time to go to New York. Stay posted for the second half of my T.J. Maxx #RoadtoReal Experience.
Below is a link to Katherine Schwarzenegger's Lifestyle On Your Terms Blog with more details and quotes from our interview. Check it out and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. TTYL