Meet Wilna Fleurs
“To me, Valiance means WOMANHOOD. Womanhood embodies everything Valiance means to you all as a magazine. I often feel that women have been so categorically underrated. Things are starting to change and move in the right direction but so often we have been pushed to the side by men and the rest of the world. Oftentimes we push ourselves or other women to the side without even realizing it. The lack of support women seem to get from the world and even other women at times is incredible and frustrating. By striving to embrace and empower womanhood we can show the world that being a woman is valiant. Without us there is no them. We are Mother Earth and there is so much valiance and empowerment in that.”
Wilna Fleurs is an upcoming Haitian-American fashion designer residing in Raleigh, North Carolina. She creates unique one of a kind pieces and styles that reflect who she is as a person to bolster the confidence of people that wear them. Her inspiration is drawn from her past life experiences, cultural influences, and independent views to create these unique designs by hand. Fleurs has always had a passion for designing and sewing. For as long as she can remember, she has always been able to know how to sew by hand. While in Middle School and High School, Fleurs began creating sketches of possible designs. About 7 years ago while working at Habitat for Humanity, she purchased one of the sewing machines that came through the store. She taught herself to use it with YouTube videos and lots of trial and error. She began by modifying clothes she already had or clothes she purchased from the thrift store to put her own spin on the garment to make it better suited for her creative style. She then began working with raw fabric and using cutout design patterns, altering them as well to create the original hand made pieces that she does today with her company Unfinished Stitch.
“Unfinished Stitch is more than just a brand, it's everything I stand for, it is my drive, my hopes and dreams.”
Fleurs shares that designing is not just something that she is passionate about, she believes it is her destiny, and she is determined to make it so. Every day she wakes up, she puts her blood, sweat, and tears in her company because being a creator and entrepreneur feeds is what fuels her soul. Fleurs has had opportunities to showcase her unique pieces in various fashion shows. She also has an online store that caters to her unique tastes to her customers through other designs and pieces that she has chosen along with her custom works. Fleurs further expresses that no matter what level of success she achieves, creating and designing is what empowers her.
“I do what I do as a way to express myself to the world. To allow my creativity to flow and prosper and feed my soul. I work as hard as I do because I believe there can be a future in this that will enrich not only my life but the lives of my family and others.”
Fleurs has always believed that sometimes the hardest obstacle to overcome is oneself and she believes this applies to almost everyone at some point in their lives. For a long time, she had difficulty truly believing in herself. The fear of believing that she could start an endeavor like this from scratch and have the patience, skill, confidence and resilience to give it her all and see it through. Fleurs explains that sometimes the overwhelming process of building something up from nothing can cloud your mind and make the negative internal thoughts so loud that it seems unreasonable to push on. Much of this has to do with mental health and struggles with depression and anxiety. She shares that starting something new leads to enormous anxiety levels akin to stage fright; Stage fright is something that she has had to overcome while curating fashion shows. Fleurs expresses that she has had plenty of other obstacles throughout her life to overcome, such as being a foreigner in a new country at a young age and not knowing the language.
Improving her own mental health awareness has been a key step in overcoming these obstacles. Fleurs shares that she had to learn to be nicer to herself and care less about the world around her. However this is not an obstacle that just goes away. It fades and gets easier to overcome with practice, experience, and confidence. This combined with an overwhelming desire to make a change and create has helped her to advance in her struggles.
Fleurs expresses that her family and most of all, her children keep her afloat when life gets a bit too much. Her determination to show the world what she is capable of, as well as her desire to create, keeps her focused on the future. Her passion and creativity keep her engaged in the process and open to learning and growing. Lastly, her desire to be the best version of herself that she can possibly be keeps her motivated, aware and conscious of what she is in fact capable of.
Fleurs’ hope is to inspire herself and others with designs from the soul. Beyond that, she prays to build Unfinished Stitch into a well known brand that can provide freedom and financial stability for herself and her family. She hopes to be able to use this to travel the globe with her family one day and find new inspiration and collaboration.
Check out Wilna Fleurs latest looks on @unfinished_stitch