Hi, I’m Jennifer Reyes!
...the woman behind Cécile de Fleur.
My Latin heritage is Salvadorian and Dominican. Born in Harlem and raised in Washington Heights, I was a quiet and timid girl with an active mind.
Throughout my entire life, I subconsciously feared success. The thought of taking on a big project or opportunity gave me anxiety. I was afraid of failure and being judged. As a result, I lacked belief in myself, which left me hiding my unique gifts and talents. But my life’s timeline was still guiding me to my fate.
The universe always has a plan
My interest in fashion started in elementary school when I sketched Halloween costumes, and I had a keen eye for clothing. So I told myself that I would own my fashion business one day.
My other love affair as a young child came from nature.
Gardening brought me great joy. I always felt at home when I entered nature or gardens, which gave me an idea to have a treehouse in the backyard. Which never happened since I lived in a co-op building. The management sure hell wasn't going to allow it.
Things were slowly unfolding when I attended a high school in Environmental Studies. I always looked forward to field trips involving nature or even volunteering at the central park to pick up after litterbugs trash. I loved the idea of fixing a problem and making it better.
I interned at a sustainable fashion company and was always mindful of buying quality over quantity, feeling drawn to help save the environment.
Graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, everything was gradually coming full circle.
A beautiful mistake
After years of healing my past traumas, I stopped letting fear dictate my life. So, despite not knowing what I would design for my first collection, I decided to take a leap of faith.
A few weeks later, the pandemic shutdown hit worldwide. After losing my job and drowning in debt, I felt hopeless. I was living my worst fear- losing control and money. Despite being aware that we’ve always lived in the unknown, we were now living with none of the power we once had.
I began crying profusely; mascara scattered around my eyes like a raccoon. Then, finally, I passed by my window and saw my reflection (it was like a Mulan movie scene). At that moment, the lightbulb went off.
My robe was positioned as an off-shoulder, and it gave me the idea to design sexy negligees for special events. I wiped my tears and sketched away as Cécile de Fleur was born. I was a teardrop away from living my life’s true purpose.
Every cloud has a silver lining
The universe had other plans for me. It pulled me away from my old cycle and aligned me to my destiny’s path. It was as if I were Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz walking on the yellow brick road, minus the ruby red slippers. Sneakers, please! I was headed in a direction requiring me to walk a long walk ahead.
I was mentally and spiritually challenged along this journey, experiencing the ebb and flow of life. Not only did I build a clothing brand, but this whole journey was building me too. Each breakdown turned into a breakthrough, and here I am, reborn again and again, still thriving in the uncomfortable stages of life.
If it weren’t for my journey, I wouldn’t be here telling you this story. Trust that everything in life happens for your highest purpose.