Welcome to the blog!
I’m Dans, CEO and founder of Cool Girls Club. CGC was a brand that I started on a whim. I had minimal plans and no idea where it was going or where I wanted to take it. I was only truly sure of two things:
1. that I had a message I wanted to share,
2. and I had talent.
Even back then I was quite unsure of how to communicate my message, but I knew I wanted to discuss it in the most genuine way possible. I’m an introvert by nature (any fellow INFJs out there?) and I constantly found myself confounded by social media. I struggled with it the same way I do at parties: there were always way too many strangers with too many opinions and I was the wallflower. It made me want to crawl into myself. It was straining to have an online voice that was always superhappy even when that wasn’t my reality.
2017 brought unwelcome times. I had a crazy car accident that I somehow survived without a single scratch (my car literally flipped on its side with me in the driver’s seat?????). And I struggled through losing two great loves.
We sold our shares to the company my dad and his best friend started, the same company my mum took over when my dad passed away nearly 18 years ago. Losing it felt like losing a part of him that we never thought we’d have to say goodbye to. It was a messy ending that planted my family in foreign soil.
The second storm arrived in December. I lost my Lolo (grandfather) 5 days before Christmas, his favourite time of the year. It was a 2 year battle with lung cancer and I like to think that in some ways he won that one. In a (really) strange way I’d say his diagnosis was a gift – despite all the shitty things that came with it – because ultimately it gave us time and closure. I imagine he’s somewhere up there with The Greats (my dad included, of course), a whiskey in hand, casually singing through our favourite Sinatra album – with Sinatra himself. Maybe even with the entire Ratpack!
So I’m not gonna lie – January was really rough. I was totally unmotivated, I felt lost and confused about what I wanted to do, and alllllllll the issues I had dating back to high school came flooding in. I was deeply insecure and angry at everything. Fortunately I have a kickass support system and with their help I was able to knock some sense into myself. I realized I had a bad habit of going back to my insecurities whenever I was sad about something – anything – even things that were totally unrelated to what I was insecure about. It was a vicious cycle that held me back for years. Progress was always slower than I had wanted it to be. But have you ever been so low that you knew the only way to go was up? Yeah, it was that bad.
So anyway I did something about it. (Okay, maybe I did a lot of things.) First, I started reading a self-help book. Then I started a gratitude journal. I went back to the gym and my trainer happily accepted my return with even heavier weights and more challenging sessions. I travelled quite a bit; I attended an Indian wedding (it was both crazy and amazing), visited 2 new countries, and the same country on two different occassions. I colored my hair and bought 2 one-piece swimsuits because I realized I was tired of bikinis – they are pure torture and it’s nice to have the option of not sucking your gut in every second. I bought some face masks. I started listening to more classical music. I took meditation more seriously and found that it was a remarkable way of silencing the negative thoughts I had. I started wearing my hair up again and I stopped taking my birth control pills for my PCOS because I wanted to be in control of my body and relearn how to deal with my hormones on my own. I used aforementioned face masks and am now developing healthy and informed skin care routines. I learned that I actually do like the color green, but my new favourite color is orange.
Okay, now that you have some context, let’s get into the real reason I’m writing this: I was at a really low point but with a lot of self love, determination, support, and elbow grease, I was able to pull myself out of it. I’d like to think I loved myself out of that funk. I realize now that it is so, incredibly vital to begin with yourself. It starts with a thought, a word, a perspective, some silence, and some humility. Those small, seemingly insignificant things eventually turn themselves into wisdom, muscles, better skin, better relationships, and a certain newfound kindness (perhaps even fondness) when looking in the mirror.
So hopefully this long and winding
road story has somehow helped you, even if it just opened your eyes to a new thought or idea. The journey isn’t over and I feel I’m only halfway there because I’ve got a long way to go with my creative process, but in the meantime I’m using all of this as inspiration for Cool Girls Club. I’ll admit I have thought of giving it up, but I have big dreams and I wanna see them through. I’m working on some cool new stuff that I’m really proud of, all of which have helped me through these difficult months.
Thank you for sticking with me all these years (I know, I have years under my belt now and it seems insane – where did all the time go??), but if you’ve just discovered the brand, thank you too! And if you’ve read the whole post and have gotten this far, I feel like we’re now friends and can have conversations in real life. Haha.
Alright, that’s part of my story. Sunny days ahead!