Once I was invited to run Boston, the theme of being unique began to really resonate with me. The unicorn, a one-of-a-kind creature. Kandi is also a one-of-a-kind being. When I began the process of creating my apparel company, I challenged my marketing guru to find a unique identity. We talked about the unicorn, discussed fingerprints, one’s DNA helix, she came up with a few other ideas. But the little guy who won the day was the pangolin.
Though many think of them as reptiles, pangolins are actually mammals. They are the only mammals wholly-covered in scales and they use those scales to protect themselves from predators in the wild. If under threat, a pangolin will immediately curl into a tight ball and will use their sharp-scaled tails to defend themselves.
“These animals are really beautiful and finding one brings a lot of good luck to the person who finds it and it’s a taboo to kill it.”Christopher Zimunya, a 72-year-old leader of the indigenous VaJindwi people in eastern Zimbabwe
Sold! And with that Pango Apparel moves forward (which I will share more about as we get things up and running). My little buddy is good luck and much like yours truly, you cannot kill it.
Why do I even bore you all with this? Because my sprawling business empire (okay, I am exaggerating a bit…) is built on being unique, one-of-a-kind, custom, high-end, quality. And ladies, that is us to a tee!
Kandi’s Land is like no other place. Pango Apparel will be the Kandi’s Land of apparel sites. Maybe the latter will actually turn a profit, but I digress.
Let me tie this all together. “This” is different for each and every one of us. Some live their lives as women. Some become women. Some have medical procedures or medication to make them female or feel female. Some get dressed to the nines, pour a glass of wine and watch a movie on the couch. Some simply dream. For many its an online existence, photos at home, posts and comments to get feedback and that sense of community. Some struggle under a DADT relationship or simply cannot open that closet door. Some walk out that front door and let life takes its course. Some of us walk that tightrope, straddling the line between our male lives and female desires.
We had a great friend, Pat, with whom I shared so much although we never met. Personal and intimate (NOT in that way) emails. Sharing with each other. She was prevalent on the first version of Kandi’s Land. She passed away a few years back, cancer. But she would share with me that her wife allowed Pat to be herself as the “second wife”. Pat got dressed and cooked up a fabulous meal for her wife on Sundays. She did occasionally go out, but this was her escape into herself. She had me by a few years, but we had so many common interests, particularly music. My beloved friend Cassidy and I share that same kind of relationship. Life has sucked up a lot of the free time I used to have, so my email activity and online presence has diminished, but I miss Pat and I cherish Cass.
This is dealt with so differently be each of us. Some love it. Some have accepted it. Some hate themselves because of it. Some get therapy. Some avoid therapy. Some are simply lost, adrift. Some embrace it. Some are repelled by it. Sadly, some die from it, either by their own hand or that of some despicable human being. Some just have to do it. Some find incredible joy in it. Some need to do it amongst others like themselves. Some like flying solo.
Manners of presentation differ greatly. Some wish simply to blend. Some want to be the center of attention. Some hyper-feminize. Some seek humiliation. Some wear that ball gown to the bowling alley. Some love a pair of leggings and a cute top. You all get the point.
This is so very, very different for each and every one of us. Circumstances dictate. Resources create opportunities. Relationships drive the bus.
But the common thread, it is pervasive and never, ever leaves us. Ever. You can deny it. You can manage it. You can embrace it. You can create hyper-masculine activities or professions to bury it. But is is always there, waiting, lurking, ready to pounce.
There is one thing I know and I know it to be certain. You have to find your way to deal with it and don’t allow it to be the wet blanket on your life.