Angela SumA question that I have gotten a lot since my fashion debut on the national reality TV series, Project Runway, is how I made the jump from a tech career on Wall Street, to working in the fashion design industry? Well, why don't you see for yourself in the video here?

In my latest project—a collection of sculpted, draped bags, on Kickstarter—I share a glimpse of my past double life as an engineer/fashion-designer. It was funny because no one knew I snuck around the office to sew overnight (due to the lack of space in my tiny NYC apartment). There were so many times when my trader-manager called me in for a chat, I was afraid I was going to get in trouble. Mind you, I was a top ranked student, so I was out of my element sneaking around like that. But as you can see, it was nothing glamorous. Instead, it was many years of sleepless nights as I toiled away to pursue my passion.

Asum bagsMy collection will be displayed at the Toronto Designer's Market from April to May. If you visit this April 16th-17th weekend, please come say hi, as I will be there! ☺ (Note hours: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.)

I am very thankful for the support my fellow UWaterloo alumni have given me since my fifteen minutes of fame on TV was shared on the alumni newsletter. In particular, an alumnus—UWaterloo Mathie turned WWE broadcaster, Kyle Edwards (seriously cool, right?)—reached out kindly to offer me support and advice. Even though he knew little about the fashion business or my particular pursuits, it was helpful and encouraging to hear from someone who has been able to pave their own unusual path.

I recently discovered leadership expert, Simon Sinek. He is most known for his famous TED talk, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” and his book, “Start with Why.” He explains that to be a true leader, not a leader by power or authority, is to show compassion and empathy, and to care for those around you. He also shares that to inspire action, great leaders start with 'why'—reflecting on their passion and purpose. Kyle Edwards' actions reflect these truths. Through this journey so far, I hope to be more than a designer and a visual creative contributor, but I aspire to connect and to support other artists, entrepreneurs and designers in my community. Thank you for your support thus far.

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