First of all, this post took me well over three hours to do and it was an experience on it's own. My journey with Solestruck began well over three months ago when I was required to do a short 5-week fashion related internship for school and everything happened so quickly that I only had a day to pack… I was nearly late for my flight and interrogated like a criminal as any regular traveller to the U.S would experience. And even after making my stop in Tokyo, I barely could grip the fact that I was about to be away from home for quite abit….and was going to be spending time with people I had never met in my life before, in a place I have absoulutely no clue about. My experience with the Solestruck team was such a personal one that you might think I'm being dramatic when I say it brings tears to my eyes when I think about it but it really really does. I've made friends that I genuinely love with all my heart and learnt so much from each of these individuals who so kindly opened up their lives to me. Also to add on that I actually lived with the e-commerce's creative director and now someone I count as a lifesaver/really good friend for quite abit in a little house along north portland, who pretty much made this entire trip possible for me by arranging accomodation and making sure I got around safe.
Everyone who knows me knows that as much as I love the U.S, I'm scared as hell being alone there. And coincidentally enough, Oregon experienced it's first live shooting in a mall while I was there. In addition to the firing at the school in Connecticut, I can't help but feel a little afraid to be on my own there. And I'm glad to say I hardly got to be alone because everyone made sure to bring me around and show me the coolest places to hang, dine and shop. I experienced my very first american thanksgiving where we went around giving thanks before eating and drinking our hearts out and dancing the night away. And of course, Black Friday. I learnt not just things I would be able to well keep in my fashion expertise but also life lessons from my times in the office, running around the warehouse during the black Friday madness, vietnamese and buffet lunches, and quick car trips to wholefoods. These people have so much going on in such a good way, and it's what Portland really is all about for me. I came with zero expectations and the city blew me away. To me, Portland is like the Brooklyn of New York City. Everyone has something to do and is so passionate, the drive people have made me feel embarrased while I was there. It's definitely not competitive like in the big apple, everything is much much more organic and the people support each other. I know Portlanders hate this but everyone really is kind of a hippie in their own way, there is so much love going on in the city, it's really more like a small community. Everyone's about embracing individuality and you hardly will see people going crazy over big names and material things. It was so much fun getting to know Portland through the people and our conversations in the car, hilarious shows like Portlandia, spending hours in Powell's, exploring cafes and foodtrucks and spending loads of time in a Photobooth. I can't tell you how much time I actually spent eating there, the food carts and crazy amoutn of independent owned eateries were such a joy exploring and not once was I ever disappointed.
As for my internship, I modelled, styled, assisted shoots, ran around the warehouse screaming shoe box numbers, pretended I was in customer service and answered imaginary phone calls in my american accent, shot many shoes, started In My Shoes which was so much fun to do and is now a proper installment in the Solestruck blog, shared ideas, watched how these amazing creative individuals worked and learnt from them, photographed different content for the site and blogged a lot. My time in Portland has opened me up to so much new perspective, it's nothing like anywhere else I've visited in America and if I had to choose a city I'd live in the U.S, Portland would be it. Portland is definitely in it's own league and that's all that matters. Stay weird forever, I love you! And to end this off, a big big THANK YOU to everyone who made my stay so special for me. And thank you for bearing with this super long post and reading. Hope you enjoyed my perspective of the city. Have a great Sunday.