I figured I would open up this first blog post on By Samii Ryan by introducing myself to all of you. My name is Samii, I am 27 years old at the moment, I am an Aries Sun, Sagittarius Rising, and a Capricorn moon. If that says anything about me at all...
So here is a little history lesson about the brand I started...
I started my brand, By Samii Ryan when I was in High School. I started out by creating an Etsy website selling handmade feather headbands, earrings, hair clips, etc. I spent countless hours hand making every piece and had hot glue blisters for days from putting together the items. Shout out to the real ones who remember me in those days. During the time I was creating these feather accessories I was vending on music festivals selling my designs. We attended Warped Tour, Bamboozle, Bonnaroo and a couple other festivals. Going on "Tour" was really fun for me because I was able to create custom designs for the day as well as bring one off pieces such as studded hand dyed shorts that I would sell. Doing those musical festivals helped me so much. I was able to meet so many people, meet the girls who were wearing our designs and even gift items to women in music.
I gifted so many women in music our feather pieces. Some of the most popular women at that time who were wearing our pieces were Kesha, Victoria Justice and many more. I would say that we were on the feather trend right on time.
Since all these young trendsetters were wearing our items and giving us shout outs, we actually got an email from Nordstrom and they asked us if they could carry our pieces in 40 stores nationwide being featured in their "Trend and Belt" department. At that time I was in school to become a dental hygienist (random right?) well after I got that Nordstrom email I dropped out of college to focus fully on my brand.
I had no idea what I was doing when I sent my first order to Nordstrom, I didn't even know what a UPC (aka barcode) was. I'm sure they had no idea that a 19 year old was running the company and hand packing and shipping out thousands of pieces for them. We worked with Nordstrom for around 2 1/2 years and sold them countless lines of feather accessories and soon ear cuffs. During that time we were featured in so many press outlets including; Nylon Japan, Nylon Mag, Marie Claire, Seventeen Magazine, J-14, Teen.com, Tigerbeat, Lucky Magazine, and online teen blogs. It really was a whirlwind that experience.
During that time my personal life was changing. I was running my company out of my Dad's basement and moved into my own apartment with my then boyfriend and ran my company out of that basement. Cut to me being dumped via text message and all things changed. I found myself in a stage in which I never experienced before. I never had heartbreak like that before, I never had someone just get up and leave and become a stranger. This time was a monumental moment in my life. It changed me for the better. Going through that breakup I found who I really was, or I found who I wanted to be.
There was a whole wide range of emotions that happened to me during that time. I was sad sometimes, angry sometimes, and then I would wipe my tears away and became someone who was like "you know what? I'm not going to put up with myself feeling self pity, I'm going to be bigger, better, and all around way more amazing from this experience." I took that pain from that heartbreak and turned it into an experience to find love within myself.
I continued my brand, and blogged for Buzznet creating tutorials on my Youtube channel. Then decided to move to Los Angeles around the age of 22. I decided to have my brand in a warehouse and pay people to ship out the orders. I was hands off with the brand for a while. I took a couple years to focus on my personal career. I have been modeling since I was 15 and got signed to an agency when I was 16 in NYC so I wanted to try acting and modeling in Los Angeles. I got booked for a lot of shoots, had features in Playboy, Maxim, my OWN cover of Inked Magazine, and was a featured write for Galore Magazine and even did some videos for Nylon TV. I was then booked for Wild n Out season 8 which appeared on MTV. (who knows if they even run that season still)
When I was working on my personal career and I put my brand on the back burner, I met someone. I met someone who changed my life forever. My soulmate. I met my boyfriend when I was modeling for a company he worked for, we never really talked when I was there working because he was in his own office working. I just knew of him through my friends and decided one day to text him. I texted him on his birthday, and he replied "whose this?" lol.. damn that was not smooth on my part haha. From there we talked and talked and talked. The first time we went out was after me and my girlfriend went to a New Found Glory show. THAT same night I saw my EX boyfriend who broke up with me 4 years prior. It is really weird how the universe does that. After the show I met up with my now boyfriend and it's all history from there. I called my Mom the day after I spent the night with my boyfriend and said "I think I found the one!!" (literally no joke after 1 date) I practically moved in with him 2 weeks later and we are pretty much inseparable.
He makes me a better person. He is loving, caring, compassionate, funny, giving, and is a hard worker. We decided to start a travel blog together called Him & Her travel where we would travel all across the world, take photos and blog about it. It was so much fun to experience those trips together. We've learned so much about each other during those trips and continue to learn more each day. Now my boyfriend helps me run my brand. He was a key asset to restarting the brand with apparel.
My brand was pretty much on hiatus for 3 years. I was still active selling boutique chokers to keep the website going, but we didn't have anything new that I designed to go up. I took my brand back into my hands. My boyfriend was the one that suggested I start a clothing side of the brand and here we are today. He has helped me scale my company from the ground up.
We launched our clothing almost 1 year ago now. After we launched we got picked up by Zumiez in December 17' and 6 months later we were in all 600 stores nationwide. It's pretty insane even typing that out. By Samii Ryan is in 600 stores SAY WHAT? That's such a huge accomplishment, but I still feel like this is just the beginning for the brand. We are finding our voice again, and realizing that this is what were meant to do.
Our brand is also carried online Dolls Kill and we are talking to boutiques in Toyko to expand the brand internationally. So many things are planned for 2019. It's a dream, but it's my reality and I am so grateful. I am so grateful for all of you who have supported me for YEARS and through all of my blogs; "What She Wore", "The Bleached Niche", "Sex and the Valley", "Him and Her Travel".
And now this blog, By Samii Ryan.
Remember when I was talking about that pivotal moment in my life? When I went through a break up and was trying to find who I was after that? That message right there; going through a breakup, finding yourself, loving yourself for who you are. Is the message that is seen in our clothing and the story that we tell. We are a brand for anyone who is going through exactly that. Flipping their pages of each chapter they experience and learning from that so they can be a better person. Truly finding love within yourself from heartbreak.
So I hope on that note who ever is reading this can relate to our brand a little bit more on a personal level. These aren't just tee shirts with graphics printed on them. They all have a story. I hope you can relate to the stories you see that we are creating.
I am so excited for the future and for everything that we have coming up. I am going to make it a personal mission for me to keep up on this blog.
Let's be bffs. Let's do this together. Let's get through what you are going through together. This is not another brand that means nothing. WE have a meaning behind us, and the meaning is you.
Don't give up on love. Love wants you to love you, before you love anyone else.