While attending a brunch about marketing and networking your business in the fashion and beauty industries, I had the pleasure of meeting one of the panelists, Karin Lang, who spoke candidly about the importance of leveraging one’s business through various marketing channels to create a solid online presence.
I was personally moved and inspired by her speech as I had only recently embarked on my own endeavor with OhNikka.com. So, as the event concluded, both Karin and I exchanged business cards and contact information in the hopes that our paths would cross again in the future.
Not long after the event, Karin reached out to me for assistance in spreading the word about a campaign that she is spearheading called Adore Life. As Karin explains, “The Adore Life campaign aims to uplift and inspire women who’ve faced incredible odds by encouraging them to realize their purpose in life and to not let life’s circumstances drive their decisions negatively; but, to “adore life”. And, after speaking with her I could sense her passion for the Adore Life project, and I instantly wanted to do whatever I could to highlight this ambitious endeavor.
Fast forward one week later, and here we were, atop the City Club building in the heart of Buckhead, in a suite named after the 1949 Nobel Laureate in Literature, William Faulkner, with a breathtaking view overlooking the Buckhead financial and shopping district. This consummate setting provided the perfect backdrop for an interview with a woman whose story is unbound by the circumstances that propelled her life from one of wealth and prosperity to one of struggle and hardships. And, even with this amazing view surrounding us, there was still a sense of contrast in its reflection, as not so long into the past Karin felt disconnected from the only world she knew, and thrust into a world of uncertainty.
As the interview developed, Karin spoke candidly about the circumstances that surrounded her being forced to relocate with her family to America from Liberia due to the civil unrest in her native country. She vividly recalls newspaper articles from her country with photographs of senseless massacres of innocent lives during that time and how it adversely affected her life. Her inspirational story of survival and overcoming adversity would certainly serve to empower and inspire others, and her vision for the Adore Life project would be the ideal vessel to carry this transcending message.
“Growing up, I felt I had lost a sense of culture and family connection because we were separated from it, but in essence there were people who lost much more. The one thing I did not lose was my love for art, which has been in my family for as long as I can remember.”
Karin brought a few of her signature pieces with her to the interview, of which she gave me a brief history behind each pieces concept. And being that she is a graphic designer and former tattoo artist, I could see both the attention to detail and the complexity within the design.
After hearing a bit of the back-story behind her designs, I wanted to know how she developed her passion for art, what drives that passion, and where she draws the inspiration for her designs. She fondly recalled as a child spending time sketching on the porch with her grandmother, and how these moments facilitated her interest in art. Karin’s grandmother was also an interior designer, and according to her, “My grandmother would always surround herself with beautiful things”. After receiving a paper doll book from her mother at the age of 8, Karin’s passion for art and fashion came into fruition, and she began her transition into clothing design.
“Since then, I’ve been drawing my heart into everything I touch. I’ve grown from being a Tattoo Artist in Atlanta, now to a Graphic Designer. I truly enjoy what I do and I’m appreciative of all the inspirations I’ve had around me that influenced my art and vision.”
Now that my interest was peaked, I wanted to know more about the Adore Life concept, and how this incredible endeavor came to pass. Karin stated that the word “Adore” was derived from both her German and African descent, and symbolic of her middle name. She went on to explain the concept behind the name:
“Adore Life reflects how I currently feel about life with all the lessons I’ve had to learn, some of them more then once. To me, there is nothing so serious in life that should bring you to a point were you hate life itself. Everything is a lesson, including death, which makes you appreciate life even more. There are many of us that have been through so much in life, but still we choose to see the light and be the light to those around us, regardless of the obstacles we’ve faced. The purpose for designing “Adore Life” is to help people realize that life is about the choices we make and our attitude towards it. Regardless of the circumstances we’re dealt, we still can make a change; become a source of light to inspire others around us to realize they can do the same. This clothing line is for those people who have faced something so detrimental; whether cancer, death, failure, broken families, abuse or just something they never thought they would ever overcome, but they did.”
She recanted some of the greatest challenges she’s faced with the Adore Life project; one of which involved trying to make the clothing line all encompassing to all women’s shapes and sizes while offering styles that tastefully accentuate each women’s individual figures more beautifully. She also reflected on the challenges she faced with developing the perfect symbol to represent the clothing line, as well as securing the necessary funding to launch the project. But, as she adamantly states:
There is something about seeking, and you shall find that the answers will pop up right before you. So, eight years later, one name change, a complete graphic design makeover and here I am with my new clothing line “Adore Life”.
“One of the goals with Adore Life is to partner with various charities that provide aid and assistance to my native country of Liberia, as well as building relationships with organizations who are actively involved within the community”.
To facilitate this effort, she stated that “the Adore Life campaign is hosting a contest called Adore Life Star for the women of Atlanta who’ve chosen to “adore life” regardless of the obstacles they’ve faced”. Karin wants to encourage the local community and businesses within the community to become actively involved in this great endeavor.
In closing, she imparted these words of reflection and gratitude about her amazing journey:
Life is a choice. I could have chosen to stay bitter and cynical about life because of the things I had gone through; war stricken country, a different environment, no family connection, etc. Instead, I came to realize that life is about taking responsibility for my actions, my attitude, and my choices regardless of what life seems to have handed me. My life is the reflection of my attitude towards it…believing and knowing there is something greater than me, and understanding there is a purpose we all serve, together.
I wouldn’t trade any of my life’s circumstances, for they have transformed me into who I am. And if I can inspire at least one person with my story, I will be truly grateful.
Well Karin, consider my “Thank You” noted; for you have undoubtedly inspired me.
For more information about Adore Life and the Adore Life Star contest, visit AdoreLifeKL.com, or if you or your business would like to be a part of this endeavor, contact Karin Lang at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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