Editor’s note: Think back to being a teenager for a moment. If someone told you at that age that you weren’t good enough, wouldn’t you be devastated? I know I would. It’s the kind of thing that can hold a woman back for life. Not Adelle Cousins, founder and writer of fashion blog, Where the Styled Things Are. A self proclaimed “clumsy doofus”, she’s taken her passion for fashion online to create this fantastic blog, which she juggles with all her other jobs and projects, from photographer to marketing coordinator. At Where the Styled Things Are, Adelle takes us on trips to the local op shops, shows us how to upcycle things we might otherwise throw out and models some of her very own creations. Here, she tells us how she didn’t let criticism hold her back, but used it as inspiration and drive to help catapult her to the best she could be.
“Take this pink ribbon off my eyes, I’m exposed and it’s no big surprise!” Sound familiar? Gwen Stefani sung words similar back in the 90’s, when the world as I knew it was a tiny town inside a bubble!
Fashion photographer, writer, blogger, marketing coordinator, graphic designer – as a child I wanted to be all these things. However, teachers made sure I knew that I had to make a choice. Funny that! They didn’t believe in me. A very influential teacher told my entire class one day that “I have seen Dumb and Dumber, but Adelle, YOU are the dumbest.” It was then, at 14 years old, that I became determined and independent. I had a brain but school wasn’t teaching me the things I needed. My academic side was flimsy and had a black cloud over it, whereas my creative side had a constant party going on – a confetti-throwing, champagne-bottles-popping party!
My goal was to study everything and fast forward to 2013 and, as a (young at heart) 30-year-old woman, I still don’t have a degree. I never even set foot in a university. I am a self-taught Photographer, Marketing Coordinator, Graphic Designer, Blogger/Writer and Upcycler for my own blog Where the Styled Things Are and I’m actually getting paid to do all of these things. It’s that drive, that passion and determination to prove one teacher wrong that has kept me going for all these years!
The negativity of being told I was dumb just pushed my driving force. I take the positive out of everything that happens in my life and, although it was a horrible thing for a teacher to say, to humiliate a young girl, if it hadn’t happened I might not have been so strong and determined to succeed as I am now. I have always stayed true to myself: a little left-field, crazy and eclectic girl who sometimes wears a dress back to front because it looks better. But if I wasn’t this way, my blog probably wouldn’t be so successful after only 6 months!
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