At age 13, I fell in love with the world of fashion. My first glimpse of fashion was through television, then magazines and ultimately the World Wide Web. Through the internet, I could remove myself from my small town and see the world and what it had to offer. I knew then that if I wanted to be a part of the fashion industry, I needed to move to New York City.

Being a southern girl from North Carolina, I was raised by a Registered Nurse (Mom) and a robbery Detective (Father). Entering my high school freshman year with a passion for the more creative things in life, did not go well with my traditional parents. The school system offered wonderful programs for students desiring medical, engineering, and careers in drama but nothing for an aspiring fashion guru. Instead of just taking any type of courses; I took electives that would count toward receiving my cosmetology license. I learned a lot through the Cosmetology Program, but I knew that was not where I was supposed to be. Encouragement came from knowing that in the fashion industry, this certification would benefit me one day.

Though I tried, I never swayed from my true passion. I was only drawn in closer. At age 14, I became emerged in YouTube. After months of watching others, I was able to transform a soft spoken country girl into GlamAholic54. No one knew about my secret place not my friends or my family. It wasn’t until a year later, my Mom found my YouTube fashion videos on the computer. She then realized that I had found my passion, and she was willing to help me succeed. 

The summer of my junior year, she allowed me to attend a summer program through the LIM Fashion Education Department in Manhattan, NY. My parents felt that this would allow me the opportunity to see if fashion was something I really wanted to pursue.

About Jayla

That opportunity confirmed to me what I already knew. There, I was able to explore fashion forecasting, visual merchandising, public relations, fashion design and many more related paths. At the end of my time in New York, I was sure I wanted to be a fashion buyer.

Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) has always been my top college I wanted to attend. My senior year, I started the application process but stopped in fear of not being accepted. Instead I chose to attend a more traditional college with a major in fashion merchandising. I have been determined to maintain an above average gpa and to be as involved in campus activities as much as possible. I had one more shot at going to the school of my dreams and I wasn’t going to mess it up this time.

Since then, I have maintained a 3.5 GPA at my college for my freshman and sophomore year, been elected twice as Miss Human Ecology to represent the Fashion Department Club (2013-2015),
became a sister within the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and expanded my YouTube channel GlamAholic54. In this forum I focus on fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. At this time, I have over 300,000 followers with 20 million views.

Having a fashion sense is only a stepping stone in the industry. I believe I am currently building my foundation for success in the fashion industry. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree focused in Fashion Merchandising and an Associate’s degree in Advertising and Marketing Communications from FIT will give me a phenomenal foundation to be competitive. This is my story and the pages are still being written.