When my daughter Paola was a little girl, everything was about fashion and appearance. In school she would use her mirror and lipstick more than her pen and books. In grade two they almost failed her because of her lack of interest. We had a meeting with the principle, the English and French teacher. The French teacher was suggesting for Paola’s best interest would be to keep her back a year. However, the English teacher was against the idea to fail Paola because she knew Paola had an ambitious character and was capable to do anything she wanted to do. Since the two teachers could not come to an agreement the Principal called a meeting to discus Paola’s future. He explained to us the situation and it was up to us parents to make the crucial decision to either pass her to grade three or not. My husband explained to both teachers and principle that we felt if they would fail Paola it would damage her self-esteem and morale. We felt strongly that it was better to move her to the next grade. It was a decision that we never regretted. We knew Paola was extremely smart, but she simply had all her priorities mixed up. She was a go getter and nothing would stop her when she puts her mind to it. The principal also felt the same way and agreed with the English teacher and us to pass Paola to the next grade. We told them that we would talk to Paola regarding her academics and within a short time, they would surely see an improvement with Paola’s performance in class. When we got home, we had a long positive conversation with Paola and explained to her that one of the teachers wanted to fail her because of her lack of attention and performance towards her work in class. We also told her that we felt that she had more potential to show and she needed to apply herself in full force with her academic.

As the story goes, Paola passed to grade three and every year after that with great marks. Today, Paola is a well-educated and travelled young woman. She became an esthetician after High School and enjoyed her job, but she needed more. After working as an esthetician for a year, she came home and told us she wanted to travel the world. I asked her how she was going to do that. She had done some research and told us she was still going to be an esthetician, but she would be working on a Cruise ship. Within six months, she was assigned to work on the ship Europa from the Costa line and off she went to see the world. Once finished her contract, she disembarked at the port of Savonna Italy. She took the occasion to visit family in Calabria, Italy and she ended up living there for four years teaching English. However, teaching was not her passion and in 2010 she told us that she wanted to try to get in one of the fashion design schools in Italy, but before making any decision she took a fashion design summer course at Polli Moda in Florence Italy. This experience sealed her calling in the word of Fashion Design. She had found her calling. She searched high and low for a Fashion Design Schoolin Italy and France but the tuition to many of these prestigious schools were as much as 50,000 Euros a year. Okay! I know it’s all wonderful and glamorous, but she needed to look at her budget and the most logical decision was to enroll in the prestigious school of Richard Robinson Academy located here in Ottawa, Canada. Going to school in her home town permitted her to dedicate herself entirely to her passion. She worked  part-time as an esthetician and this gave her some money for her personal needs. She lived at home where she did not need to pay rent. At home she turned the basement into her mini studio and began work on her Spring Collection.

During these past two years, her dad and I saw her create many amazing designs. She worked long hours making patterns, cutting, sewing, crying and pulling herself back together. The world of Fashion is not easy and it’s a lesson she learned right away. This past Sunday, she and other talented students of the Academy of Design Richard Robinson presented their Fashion Collection creations on the cat walk. I took the picture above as she was finishing her last evening gown for her Collection. The picture below is the day she handed in her collection. She was relaxing and relieved that her Spring Collection was completed and yet she was still looking to get inspired for next Collection by viewing the In Style magazine. I cannot deny she is a go getter!!!

Below are pictures from her collection. Pictures are taken by a professional photographer, Tina Picard.

Paola’s next step is either Paris or Milan. She will be applying to several schools and hoping one of them will accept her. She would like to specialized in evening and bridal fashion. Knowing my daughter, when one door closes she will find a way to open it.


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