"The World Can Get Ugly, Why Not BE The Beauty In it?"
Often times we tend to forget what motivated us to start our businesses. Some people have an idea that they need to share with the world, while others find a problem in the world that needs fixing. We spoke with Cassandra Chery to find out what exactly inspired her to begin her drop-shipping company "Kica Boutique". This is what she said:
"I always wanted to be an entrepreneur of some sort, except I thought my first business was going to be a clinic. I was so passionate about bringing affordable healthcare to people who aren’t able to afford it, much like my own family. Instead, I started an online boutique. I know, far jump from owning a clinic, but circumstances changed and so did my passion at the time. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to own a clinic someday, but I found a problem that I felt needed a little more attention.
All my life, I’ve always had an ongoing battle with depression. My earliest memory of dealing with depression is when I was in first grade. I was always the “ black sheep” of my family. I was the quiet little girl that preferred to be alone sitting in the dark. My mom would force me to play with other children and everything. It was really bad. The main thing I hated was my looks. Which is crazy because well, let’s just say I WISH I could date me. In all seriousness though, I was this really dark-skinned child with what I thought at the time to be this ENORMOUS birthmark on my face. Did I forget to mention that I was the only extremely skinny girl in my family? My little sister had more body than me. My family was shaped like Meg Thee Stallion; everybody was just naturally thick and there I was, a walking stick. My mom’s complexion was really light and mine was really dark. Kids at school always thought I was lying when I would say she was my mom. My family was really big on cracking jokes, and of course, they would pick on my insecurities. My family was tough too, so crying just made it worse.
I also dealt with a lot of teasing in school. I dealt with many forms of abuse. You name it, I probably went through it. Eventually, I started to just hate myself altogether. I had no confidence, care, emotions or anything. I was just empty and violent. I had a few unsuccessful suicide attempts, thank God. It just was one big cycle of hating myself. No one really knew though, because I was the one that was always happy and cheering others up. Everyone always thought I was okay and had it all figured out. What can I say? I’m a good actress. That is up until I met my now fiance in high school. He could always tell something was wrong with me, even before I actually told him about my life. It always creeped me out. No one ever saw me before or cared.
I was still dealing with things in my own personal life, but once we became friends my suicidal thoughts stopped. I was happy around him and it was genuine happiness. He was sort of my escape from my life. I started to get better as years went by and then I ended up getting this rare blood disease called Immune Thrombocytopenia Purpura. Pretty much anything can make me bleed out. Something as simple as bumping a table. It was the worst experience ever! It’s such a rare disease that it was extremely difficult to find a doctor that could help me, let alone a surgeon that would take the risk of operating on me. I was only 19 when I was diagnosed.
My oncologist told me I would have this extremely rare blood disease for the rest of my life. I was on about 70mg-80mg of Steroids that I had to take daily. I ended up going from like 140 lbs to 200 lbs in like two months. I was always in pain and the high dose of Steroids gave me other health issues that I still deal with today. When the doctor realized that my platelets were not stabilizing without the Steroids, she gave me two options. Get my spleen removed with a 60% chance of living through the surgery or be on chemo like medicine 5 days a week 8 hours a day, sitting in a chair. I chose the surgery, which turned out to stabilize my platelets. Of course, there is always a chance of relapse, in which case I would have no other choice but to take the chemo like medicine. I choose to think I will not relapse.
Once again, I was disgusted with myself. My fiancé tried telling me over and over, “It’s not your fault, it’s the medicine, not you.” To be honest it went over my head. I mean the surgery was successful, but then here I was 20 years old with joint problems, about 200 lbs, can barely see because my eyes sunk further in and my cheeks pretty much took over my face. I was in constant pain and I still deal with the constant pain today. I just wasn’t happy with my body overall.
Over time, I started losing weight by going to the gym and exercising portion control. I started working again and was helping my sister with her security business. I was still big and unhappy with myself despite seeing my progress. It all just seemed so unfair to me. One day, while sitting in the car with my older sister and helping her with her security business, she showed me this drop-shipping page and asked me to start my own boutique. I looked at her crazy, saying things like “No”, “Have you seen me,” “How can I sell cute clothes, looking like a piece of turd.” I just did not have the confidence. Later that day, while I was crying to myself and wishing I had died in that surgery, for some odd reason I heard a saying that my mom always told me. I heard it clear as day, but she wasn't with me that day.
She said, “You don’t always have to look how you feel.” I have no clue why that weighed on me so heavily at that moment but it did and all I could think about was the times that my mom, my little sister, and I would just get dressed and start feeling ourselves. We were always happy when we did that, even if we didn’t really go anywhere or when our personal lives were shitty; dressing up and boosting each other up with compliments and photos made us feel content.
I knew that I was not the only woman to deal with the sense of losing yourself. The sense of not feeling like yourself, not feeling confident, and being dragged down by the weight of the ugliness in this world. I knew I was not the only woman that, at one point wanted to get a breast reduction and a Brazilian butt lift, not because I actually wanted to, but because I just felt like I had to meet the societal image in order to be seen or accepted by everyone, including myself.
My vision became clear to me, I’m determined to bring the beauty and confidence out of every individual that shops with me. I want to spread beauty and not beauty by society standards, for beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I want every individual that shops with me to not only see their beauty but to also value and nurture that beauty. To be comfortable in their own skin and be themselves un-apologetically. I want to see the beauty inside and out. It took my own struggles, depression, lack of self-confidence and self-worth to see that. I don’t want other women or people, in general, to feel as empty as I used to feel. The world can get ugly, why not BE the beauty in it."
- Cassandra Chery, Owner - Kica Boutique
We are very thankful to have Cassandra share her raw and honest experiences with us. What motivates us to change our lives and overcome mountains doesn't always have to be the standard story. Most often stories like hers are hidden causing people to think that they are alone. No matter how you get there and no matter what you go through, if you find something that inspires you to change your life for the better... cling to it! Don't be afraid to share your story and please don't ever let anything hold you back in life.
Go out there, share your story and inspire others!
To support Cassandra's business visit her website at: http://kicaboutique.yolasite.com/