2016 was a year I will never forget. Rihanna had just come out with “Work”, I got my first car (a 2004 Lexus RX 330) and I was talking to a super cute senior boy. Most importantly, I had just begun my junior year of high school, and I was eager to earn a spot on the varsity soccer team. I thought I had a pretty good chance considering I was the captain of JV, and I always worked hard on the field to prove that I deserved a spot. When it was my turn to talk to my coach, I was fairly confident that I was going to walk out a varsity soccer player. I walked into the office, sat down, listened to my coach, and felt my whole body go numb. I immediately ran to the locker room and couldn’t hold back my tears. I got cut from the soccer team. Being a soccer player was my identity, and soccer consumed my whole life, and I had just lost it all a matter of minutes. As I sat in the locker room with tears in my eyes, I remember thinking, “well now that I don’t have to wear my workout clothes for soccer, I can dress the way I want to dress.” A month later I created my first fashion blog, ecsanchez.com.
My blog started off in high school by “borrowing” yearbook cameras and sneaking in photoshoots during lunch. For my first blog photoshoot, I walked into a boutique and confidently told them I was a blogger. After pitching myself, I somehow convinced them to give me a code to share with my followers. That day I thought, “man this blogger thing is easy.” Wow, was I really fucking wrong.
When I was applying for colleges, all I knew was that I wanted to get the hell out of Texas. I wanted to be in a big city and go to a liberal arts school to follow my dream of becoming a famous blogger. Once I discovered Emerson College in Boston, I realized I didn’t even know where Boston was on a map. I could count the number of times I had been on a plane on my fingers, and I was desperately seeking to find myself and my purpose. I started off college as a journalism major wanting to be a broadcaster for E! News. I finished college with a marketing major and entrepreneurship minor, and I still want to be on E! News, but I want a story to be about me. I will admit, I love the attention. As the oldest child of three girls, I think my parents are partially to blame for my love of being on the screen.
Once I got to Boston for school, I renamed my blog “From Austin to Boston” and started my mission of becoming a famous blogger. I met photographers, new brands, and got invited to cool events. At the time, I happily thought, “This is so awesome. I am going to take pictures for the rest of my life and make money”. Because I was so set on blogging for the rest of my life, I became obsessed with my analytics. I would set alarms to post my pictures because I knew I would get more likes at certain times of the day. I would constantly refresh my phone to make sure I was getting a ton of likes, and I would even work with any brand that contacted me, even if I didn’t like their products. I was very close to hiring a business manager. I begged my parents to pay thousands of dollars for this woman to help me get famous. My parents said no, as they should have, and inevitably, I became so pissed off at the world. At the time, I didn’t even have a business or a solidified brand, but I was just so eager to be a successful blogger. Although I never hired the business manager, she did give me some advice that really resonated with me. She said that I was too smart to just take pictures all day and that I should be a businesswoman.
The summer before my junior year of college, I became severely anxious and depressed from the obsession to get more Instagram followers. I decided to take a step back, and take a much-needed break from Instagram. I really just wanted to focus on what I wanted my brand to look like. I sat and thought, why do I even blog and what do I love? For starters, I knew I loved basketball boys, the Kardashians, shopping at Nordstrom Rack, and spending hours in the dining hall prancing around in my heels. Once I focused my ADD brain, I realized that my truest love was my clothes. I loved my clothes because they served as a form of self-expression, and I also loved the way I am able to connect with someone when I style them. This connection through fashion inspired me to make styling my new angle for my brand. In 2019, P.S. was born.
That year I worked my ass off and I was determined to make P.S. a fully functioning business. In my entrepreneurship class, we were given the opportunity to showcase our self-made businesses and potentially win money at a “shark-tank like” expo. After learning about the expo, I was determined to make the best business and win that money. My competitiveness I picked up from playing sports came out, and I worked my ass off. By the end of the year, I was the first person in the Emerson Entrepreneurship program to ever launch their business venture before the expo. I released P.S. to the public on February 14th, 2019. That week I slept probably 10 hours.. I had my first Swap, Shop, and Style event, and I was very proud of how P.S. was developing.
On the day of the expo, I was a nervous wreck. Thank god my mom flew from Texas to come see me, I would not have been able to do it without her. I was the very last person to present, so I had to sit anxiously for hours and try not to drink too much water. I didn’t want to go to the bathroom and have to fix my Spanx lines again. Anyways… it was finally my turn to go and I was ready to do the damn thing. I walked up there, presented, blacked out, and went back to my seat. I honestly have no recollection of the presentation, but I knew I killed it by the applause. I came back to my booth and started to bawl because I was so overwhelmed with relief and happiness.
We waited for the judges to announce the winners. They first announced the scholarship winners, then the third and second place winners, and I got nothing. My heart was racing faster and faster as the moment finally came to announce time the first-place winner. When my name wasn’t called, my heart sunk. It took every ounce of me to not cry, but I knew I had to hold it together. I packed up my things fast as I could, ran outside, and completely lost it. I didn’t understand. I worked so hard and I got nothing. People told me beforehand that they were sure that I was going to win some type of award. I cried in the streets, in an apartment, in a mall and I was even bawling in front of an entire restaurant. It was so bad my mom told the waitress it was my “time of the month” and to keep the cosmos coming.
It took me a while to bounce back from that day. But once I did, I turn that anger into motivation. I told myself that I was going to improve what P.S.had to offer in the summer and work to prove everyone wrong. Then I got home and life said, “Nope, just kidding!”. I took the summer off to deal with some family issues. I went off the grid and completely shut down physically, mentally, and emotionally for three months. I had no drive to do anything and I was just ready to get back to Boston. It was going to be my last semester in Boston, and I had to make it count.
Once I got back to Boston, I had so much fun and I finally felt like myself again. I even started to work on P.S. again. Just when I was starting to get back into the swing of things, I got a concussion. Everyone felt bad for me until I told them how I got my concussion. I was going down a slide at a bar in Austin (Aquarium on 6th for my Austin people) and I hit my head on a pole at the bottom. Strangely, the concussion was one of the best things that ever happened to me, and the memories I made during that time were unforgettable. I left Beantown with no regrets.
Fast forward to January 2020, here I am thinking I am finally going to catch my break. I was ready to make 2020 my bitch! I moved to LA, barely knew anyone, and I was ready to restart. It was ridiculously hard at first but with a little patience, a LOT of therapy, the most amazing friends, an awesome internship, and the coolest classes, I was able to feel like the person I once was. By the beginning of March, LA had finally become my new home. But by mid-March, I got sent home because of the pandemic. I was so angry at the universe because I was finally happy again. I made great friends, I actually developed romantic feelings for someone (which has not happened in like 7 years, y’all), and I solidified incredible connections. Not a day has gone by where I don’t say, “why now”. But, I finally got out of my funk and thought, “this is the perfect time to start P.S. again”.
I began to think about my brand and correlate it to what other people need in their lives. One night, my best friend and I were talking before we went to bed and she said something to me that I will never forget. She is a politics major and doesn’t really follow fashion, but she pointed out that the fashion industry is made by women, but degrades women at the same time. This is what inspired me to make P.S. a place where everyone’s personal style was celebrated. I wanted to make sure everyone can look at P.S. and find inspiring content that was tailored to their style.
I am so tired of the way the fashion industry defines beauty, and I felt that I never had a place where I truly felt represented. I would see a post of a blogger in an outfit I loved, but it wouldn’t be tailored to my body type. I would constantly compare myself to others, and I would be obsessed with how many likes I got on Instagram. When I would talk to other people about this, I realized I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. I also realized people didn’t think P.S. was a place for them because they felt they weren’t “stylish enough” or “didn’t know anything about fashion”. The term “fashion” can be such a daunting term and can bring out some negative feelings. But on P.S. we are here to remove all the B.S. and focus on STYLE. Who cares about what is “trendy” or “fashionable”, wear whatever you want & embrace your Personal Style. So, now P.S. will feature style, beauty, and lifestyle. Basically, everything that makes up your personal style from your shoes to your workout routine, to your favorite book. Soon, the P.S. boxes will include not just clothes, but beauty and lifestyle products too.
I know this post has been so long, but for me, it is so important to explain the evolution of not only P.S. but myself. In the past 4 years, my life has become everything I could have ever dreamed of. As I write this, I’m sitting in the backyard of my childhood home, drinking a tequila soda with a splash of orange juice, and reflect on my college experience while bawling my eyes out. I can’t even see what I am typing right now because my eyes are so foggy from crying. In college, I made the most amazing friends, got to explore the world, and learned a multitude of valuable skills and lessons. In my junior year of college, I distinctly remember calling my Dad saying, “I have already accomplished all my dreams”. Every time I type that sentence out, I immediately start crying. It is just so crazy to me how much people support me and believe in me.
I am so excited to share P.S. with you and this new, exciting chapter of my life. P.S. is going to be fun, edgy, spunky, funny, raunchy, and real. One thing I have learned over the years is that life is more fun when you don’t give a fuck and you are truly yourself. It’s safe to say that as a newly graduated college student, I have finally figured out who Elise Sanchez is. Thank you for your support over the years, and thank you for believing in me. I am beyond excited to finally share the new P.S. with you!
P.S. This is only the beginning.