From Finance to Fashion Part 1 – Awakening Your Purpose

I truly believe we each have a purpose on this earth and we are all on our own journey to discover and fulfill it. It has taken me 34 years to discover what that is for myself.

As a Vietnamese American growing up in an Asian household, my step dad was very strict on all of us girls especially the oldest…me.  

My sisters and I were expected to study 24/7, never even allowed to go outside to play or even have birthday parties! My sisters and I jokingly call our childhood “jail.” 

I was taught at a very young age that getting straight A’s was the only way I was going to succeed, that and majoring in computer science was the way to go. If not computer science than med school. So, I did what any obedient, but reluctant Asian child would do… I studied computer science.

I was 1 of 2 women in a class of 50. I’m such a people person it’s an understatement to say that I was losing my mind. Coding to tell the computer what I want it to do and ripping my hair out every time I ran the code and a damn error message came up because I forgot a semi-colon somewhere in this maze of a script!

I was going cross eyed looking for semi-colons! 

When How Much You Make Doesn’t Matter Anymore

One day I finally worked up the courage to express to my step dad that I loved Business and I wanted to major in Marketing.

When I was a little girl, instead of playing with our dolls or playing tea party I would play “office” with my sisters, me as the CEO and them as my assistants, because all I dreamt about was being a CEO one day.

He said Marketing was not a job, so he dictated that I major in Accounting instead…yay…numbers.

I graduated from the University of Washington with an Accounting and Marketing degree and went through what I call initiation into the business world with my first job at a big four accounting firm. For the next 15 years I built up my career in the finance and compliance industry all while deep down inside I was crying. This was not my passion, but I knew that from day one.

Coming out of college, a position at a big four firm was a great paying job and that was good enough then, but once you hit your 30s I swear the drugs wear off and you start re-evaluating your life wondering what your purpose is.

I had a higher purpose and I believed there was so much more that I could do.  

You Know It’s Bad When…

Each year that would go by, I felt like I was losing a bit of my soul. I knew what I was good at, I knew what I liked and what I didn’t like, but I didn’t know what that translated to.

You know it’s bad when you are driving to work, and a teardrop falls down your cheek because you know what you are doing is NOT aligned with your soul’s purpose, and true self. It saddens your soul that you are going to do the same thing again.

You feel like you are part of the Matrix, wake up, traffic, work, traffic, home, eat, bed and repeat. You’ve been on autopilot for so long you don’t even know how you got to work!
I needed help!

I hired two different career coaches with two very different methods.  They both drew the same conclusion, being an entrepreneur is the best role for me.

Excellent! I can feel my inner self starting to wake up, that inner flame starting to flicker.

What Makes Your Eyes Light Up?

Questions I had to start asking myself: 

  • What makes me excited?  
  • What makes my heart sing?
  • What lights me up when I talk about it?What do I think is fun?
  • What am I passionate about???

Start paying attention to what it is you are talking about when your eyes light up, when you have so much passion behind it you can go on and on forever about it, basically what wakes you up.

Is it travel, space, philanthropy, finding a cure, technology?

And then go deeper, why do you love it?

My Discovery, My Passion

One thing I did know was that I loved giving back to the community, making an impact in people’s lives, whether through giving, mentoring or just being a friend and giving advice, being an inspiration.

I wake up every morning and pray that I can be a blessing to someone that day, that’s what makes my heart full and puts a smile on my face.

I also knew I admired badass women. I wanted to be the female version of James Bond. I wanted to create the female version of James Bond!

And then it hit me. It was the summer of 2016.  I was sitting in my office at Microsoft when it came to me, like it was dormant in me until the time was right. Women’s blazers and power suits!

I have always loved a good blazer and a power suit, but I could never find one that fit right with the right level of style and detail. I always admired a guy in a good fitted suit, very GQ! Who doesn’t love a man in a well fitted suit?  That’s what I want for women. But our options are so limited.

The Birth of Madison / Savile 

In the spirit of a true entrepreneur, I surveyed my network of strong, intelligent and fierce women.  And when I asked them why they aren’t wearing more blazers, each of them had the same answer:  they don’t fit right, and they look too boring and stuffy.

Viola!  The birth of Madison / Savile!

I chose the name Madison as it means warrior and gift of God. Savile is for Savile Row in London, known for its traditional bespoke tailoring for men. Madison / Savile will disrupt Savile Row with women’s blazers and suits, suiting up the warriors of the world.

Madison / Savile is so much more than just a fashion company. My purpose, my intention for Madison / Savile is to inspire women by armoring them from the outside and building them up from the inside. To help you realize your gifts and help your inner beauty flourish. To create and nurture an inspiring lifestyle by weaving inspiration throughout our products and services to lift you up every day.

We are not dressing James Bond’s girlfriend, we are dressing the female version of James Bond. Strong, confident, badasses of the world!

It was time to quit Microsoft!

But first…to be continued in Part II “Taking the Leap”