“On a normal day, I'd be at home answering e-mails, packing shipments, hitting the gym, running errands and planning my trips! On some days of the week, I have photo shoots and I attend events,” enthused designer Patricia Henson when we asked her about what a day in her life is like.
While many of her peers are still figuring out what they want to do in life, Patricia, at 22, has already made a name for herself through her involvement in various projects and establishing her own business. And while most of us have dreamed of becoming something as little kids, Patricia, on the hand, had none of that. “I know it seems like a sad thing to say but I never really dreamed of becoming anything as a kid. I wanted to stay a kid. Seeing where I am now, I am beyond grateful because I didn't plan it. It just happened and it's exactly where I'm meant to be!”
As we all already know, though, not everything is not as rosy as they seem to be. Let Pat inspire you with her resilience, no matter your age.
The injury that changed her life. Growing up, she has always been very sporty, but an injury that gave her a broken collarbone, left her with no choice but to let go of sports, which she loved. “I was so young, and I had to go through surgery, a titanium plate (which I still have by the way) was attached to hold my bones together," recalls the Physiogel #EverydayStrong ambassador.
The mere thought of having to give up the one thing that you feel very passionate about, can be really depressing and one can only imagine the pain that Patricia went through both physically and emotionally. But despite all that, Patricia, being the strong woman that she is, remained positive with the help of her loved ones. “I had a hard time staying positive. I managed because I had my family and friends there with me. There are times that the best way of pulling through is being pulled, you don't have to get through everything on your own. I just feel very lucky that I had their support.”
Her foray into swimwear design. Pat's family and friends were behind her when she first gave modeling a try, but she was told from the get-go that projects would be scarce because she’s more on the chubbier side, and she can only be viable for a specific genre. And true enough, Pat received a series of no’s before a single, definite yes came in. But that time, she was ready to move on with her life, “I told myself, this isn’t really for me. I need to move on.”
And she did move on to designing swimwear. “I started my own business with Costa Swimwear in which I design everything—from the items to the packaging, printed materials, and even designed several triathlon logos along the way. Pretty cool experience, I must say.” Through the years, Patricia has carved a niche in the fashion industry and her designs have gotten a lot of attention and praises from local celebrities. “What I love most about designing swimwear is that it's all me. I feel 100% at home with myself.”
Uplifting. Getting to where she is now hasn’t been an easy journey. Talking about the challenges that she had to face along the way, Patricia shares, “I can't point out one thing, actually, but there are some days when my mind's just gone. It's really frustrating to not have any ideas when it comes to designing or creating superb content for clients. I think that's the most challenging in my line of work. But then again, challenges later on turn into accomplishments!”
Beautiful inside and out, Pat's innate ability to inspire other people is another reason why people look up to her, as she uplifts them when they don’t see themselves as beautiful, for example. “Well what I can say is, if you're down in the dumps and feeling so low about yourself—be it physically or within—you're not alone. Your insecurity isn't the fault of others, you always have a choice. I know how hard it is to not compare yourself with others (especially with social media) but I'd just like to remind all the women out there, like I do so myself, is that we all have a different story to tell and that what is meant for others is not meant for you and vice versa. We all have something to offer that others cannot. Once we accept and embrace our uniqueness there should be no room for comparison and that's when we can all truly work together to uplift each other. There isn't a more beautiful woman than a kind and happy one.”
All throughout her life, Pat has been showing the importance of having the inner strength that help us get through the obstacles that comes our way. "Being #everydaystrong is important for women because we need to believe that we are much more than we think we are. We need to have the courage to accept the things we can and cannot do and be positive about it. That's when you're able to pull through."
Cop her mantra and see more opportunities come your way: "I'm going to have to quote Nike on this: Just do it."
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Banner and inside photographs courtesy of Physiogel. Addtional photographs from Instagram.com/patriciahenson