Latest posts by J Jackson (see all)
- Paul Ryan Posts Selfie With All Of The Capitol Interns and It Exposes A Very Real Issue
Paul Ryan posts picture of Capitol Hill interns with almost NO ethnic diversity- July 19, 2016
- 10 Things We As African Americans Can Do To Move Our Community Forward
It is time for us to stop addressing the symptoms and begin addressing the root of the problem- July 8, 2016
- Jason Jones – Team RYSE Tuesday Spotlight
Every Tuesday is Team RYSE Tuesday & we celebrate one of the valued members of our team- February 3, 2016
By Makeda Ray
Why Ms. Luckey is more than just “Lucky”
Imagine what’s it’s like to have the opportunity of attending a 4 year university, gaining the knowledge and experience needed to succeed in your future career. PLOT-TWIST: You’re not exactly sure what you want that career to be! The fact that it’s expected of us, at such a young age, to come up with an idea of what we want to do for a living has always seemed sort of absurd to me. There’s so many different fields and careers that aren’t as praised or common as fields pertaining to medicine and education, not to knock those career choices because they’re clearly appreciated, but there are other career choices just as rewarding and important but don’t receive as much recognition.. Thus, a lot of people lean toward, what I like to call, their “safety choice” when choosing a major in college. This isn’t technically a bad thing; it’s secure, we (people) look for security in almost everything we do. However, it can be devastating to those who aren’t really passionate about that career, because what you’re passionate about is what you should do for a living. Sometimes you have to go against the grain and follow your passion, and that’s exactly what Ms. Luckey did.
In 2012, Marquan Luckey was only two weeks away from reaching junior year status at Eastern Illinois University when she realized that she had a knack for fashion & styling. This realization came about while being head of PR services for Chicago’s original clothing brand Cooley University. Although it became clear to her that she’d found her niche, fashion was not her initial career choice (maybe because you won’t typically see a fashion stylist at career day.) If you would have known Marquan when she first entered EIU and presented her with the question “what are your career goals?” she would have told you that she was an aspiring RN. Yes, nursing was her original field of choice. However, ask her that same exact question today and she will respond, “I am an aspiring celebrity fashion stylist, with a vision to take over the fashion industry, both locally and internationally!” Those career choices couldn’t get any farther from each other on the career spectrum. The scariest thing about making any drastic change in life is the uncertainty of knowing whether or not you’ll have the necessary support. Fortunately for Marquan, this fear succeeded to no avail. She stated, “Once I told my dad that I was switching my major from nursing to fashion merchandising, he let me know that he had my back 100%, and that’s when I knew that I was ok; nothing could stop me”. Making the switch from nursing to fashion was a huge career change, but her passion and dedication for styling made it more than worth it, and she’s been working toward her dream career ever since.
Since she made the transition into the fashion industry, it has been non-stop work. Just between the years 2013-2014 she’s been presented with a list of rewarding opportunities. She was in charge of having creative style over different fashion shows and events at EIU, including actually designing a sketch and being able to watch her creation modeled in the ASA fashion show. She’s gained first hand experience with an intern position, made it official to conduct business as a stylist, graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising, and was creative director of her own photo shoot. One of her biggest highlights to mention is in March 2014 when she had the opportunity to style at LA Fashion Week under the amazing fashion icon Betsy Johnson. “I remember growing up begging my mom to get me something Betsy Johnson”, she stated, “and now I’m working with her.” Phenomenal. She explained how she had no prior contact with the event or even knew about it, but once she saw the opportunity she jumped on it, and it became one of the best decisions she’s made so far. When asked what was gained from the experience, she replied, “I worked for 16 hours straight, only taking a break for food or water, and I was not getting paid, but when I left I remember having sooo much energy; I felt good, alive! You wouldn’t even have known the previous predicament I was in if you would have saw me when I left, and that’s when I knew that this was for me. Work shouldn’t feel like work if you enjoy it, right?” Words to live by.
The recently turned 23 year old is not only here for styling, she plans to make a name for herself and for her brand as well. She mentioned that she was always into business as well, and so she aims to make Sardonyx Styles a well-known company. Did I fail to mention that she’s also created her own website for her brand? On January 29th 2015, sardonyxstyles.com was launched. The website serves as a portfolio to showcase her body of work. When asked what she wants people to get from her brand and business, she says “a unique look and experience.” “Uniqueness is really important to me; it helps solidify you in this industry. When they think of SardonyxStyles, I want the words Unique, Quality, and Luxury to come to mind, because that’s exactly what should be expected and what they will get.” “Sardonyx” comes from her sorority line name, Ms. Sardonyx “The Rock”, which makes it even more original. She shares a little advice for individuals who are pursuing the same career path as her: Maintain originality. A lot of people confuse imitation with flattery, and there’s really no room for imitators if you want to stay relevant in this industry. I don’t try to be the next “June Ambrose” (famous celebrity stylist) because there will only be one, but instead, I thrive to be the best Marquan.
So what else does this nursing major turned fashion stylist have in store for us this year? Outside of launching her website, she’s recently attended the highly anticipated annual BET Awards with the opportunity to style her first high status client for the red carpet! She also expanded SardonyxStyles by bringing her business to LA, so we can be on the lookout for it on the west coast as well!
Marquan’s story is an inspiration to many, because it encourages others to take a leap of faith and go for making that change, no matter what it is. She was halfway through her college career when she stepped away from her safety net and decided to go after a career choice that would allow her to use her gifts. It’s never too late to follow your passion. You just may find yourself on the RYSE.