My name is Marissa, and I am a member of the VenturaVie community and manager of V Boutique. My journey with VenturaVie began in December of 2019when I was in my sophomore year of college. By chance, I had received an email from Enterprise for Youth (a non-profit organization that advocates for youth and supports them with internships) with an opportunity to intern at a place called V Boutique for six weeks. At first, I was pretty reluctant because I’ve never had an interest in working with clothing or fashion. However, it wasn’t just any clothing store. It was a non-profit boutique that empowered women and young girls, and that believes in the power of community. Now, that is something I am passionate about. So, I accepted the internship, without knowing what to expect and not knowing what I was going to provide as an intern.
The first day on the job, Victoria and Cheryl Musacchia had me dress up a mannequin for display–just as I feared, I had to be creative. Even though I said I didn’t really think I had what it took to come up with a nice fit, they urged me on and believed in me. I hardly had any faith in myself, but I put an outfit together, and they loved it. Not only did that make me feel more confident, but it made me want to continue to be creative. I worked on arranging the jewelry, neatly folding the scarves, switching up the display window, and of course pricing items. I had a lot of fun in the shop, and I got to connect with other amazing VenturaVie members.
In the past, I never had faith in myself to be a creative person. I never cared about fashion or any other artistic form of self-expression. Working at V Boutique made me realize that being creative isn’t about having a special ability, but it’s about trial and error. And in reality, we all have to be creative in our daily lives, oftentimes, it may not necessarily be expressed in an artistic form. V Boutique taught me much more than the beauty of fashion and self-expression. It taught me how vital it is to support and inspire young people to feel confident in themselves. I was that young girl who had little to no faith in myself, but when I joined the VenturaVie community, that all changed. I grew the strength to realize that I can do anything, and that level of confidence in itself is very powerful. Inspiring young people is the foundation of building a better future, and it’s what I aspire to do. I truly would not be the person I am today without VenturaVie.