Things I Maybe Could Have Been…But Wasn’t

Manchester city shot night blogger Samio

“Shoulda, woulda, coulda”…There are lots of things we could have done that likely would have lead us down a very different path to where we are now. Like many people, my life has taken many twists and turns over the years and each and every choice and decision I’ve made has lead me to where I am now.

I have no regrets. Sure in the past I’d maybe wished I’d worked harder, or realised certain things sooner, but right here, right now, I can honestly say I’m happy with where things have wound up thus far. Having said that, who knows what I could have been had I have continued to pursue a different path to the one I’m on today.

So in today’s post I want to take you on a bit of a journey. You know I love a good chat, so grab yourself a cuppa. I want to share a few different things I just could have potentially been, but in the end (so far anyway), wasn’t…

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An artist…or something or other.

But I am an artist darling!’. Just kidding *not kidding*…actually, on a serious note, when I first started out on my prospective career path (not that I had any actual clue where it was going), I did in fact enrol onto an art course at a local college. I know, I know, that sounds like the most typical post high school dosser option. However, I was in fact a keen artist back in the day, and I wasn’t too shabby at it either, if I do say so myself. Anyway, I can’t remember exactly what the course entailed but all I remember is that two days in, I was being asked to annotate a Lowry painting and it was there and then that I knew this course was not for me.

Now I don’t want to bad mouth old Laurence (that’s Mr L.S Lowry to you and I), but as much as I

love art, I wasn’t that enthusiastic about the idea of writing an entire essay about one of Lowry’s stick men paintings (excuse the uncultured Karl Pilkington moment). No, no, I wanted to create art, not write about it. And I get it, in order to learn we must asses, but I’m very much a, ‘get an idea and roll with it’ type of person and I quickly discovered that this course wasn’t about to bode well with my artistic attitude, (ironically). I mean, I don’t know what I was expecting really. Maybe creative filled days that looked like something from the set of Art Attack (Neil Buchanan always did have my dream job)…I don’t know. Anyway, I quickly ended that potential career path before it even began and after two whole days of thinking ‘what the heck am I doing?’, I left and went off to start anew. And that I did. It was time to pursue another passion of mine…performing!



An Actress

Lights, camera, action! I’m ready for my close up! Okay, so getting two buses across Manchester and back each day to study performing arts at collage wasn’t the most glamorous, but boy was it fun – like seriously the bus journeys themselves were actually fun, my classmates were hilarious and just as bonkers as I was! Anyway, the days were long and always full: Scripts to read, plays to rehearse, essays to write. I was actually in my element during my time at college. I had finally found my calling and I wanted to become an actress! Or any sort of performer really, (but not a mime, because I can’t keep quiet for more than five minutes). Jokes aside, I was truly in my element when I was performing and I didn’t want it to end.

This dream wasn’t a short lived one and I went on to study a degree in performing arts at university. Although a lot more intense than college, with even longer days, longer essays and even more plays and shows to rehearse and perform, I was still very much passionate about acting and when on staged I loved every minute of it.

Post university the reality quickly hit that I wasn’t about to just become a working actress. To be honest, I think that reality had hit a whole lot sooner, before I’d finished my studies. After a life of education, I was ready to start earning some proper money and I knew that meant getting a ‘real job’ as they call it.

Acting was not a cheap career path to pursue. Even a Spotlight membership was way beyond my means straight after uni, never mind travelling for castings. Also the biggest reality that struck me when I did look for casting calls were the lack of roles for women and the even fewer roles for women of colour.

I decided to put acting on the back burner. I went straight into applying for post-graduate jobs, with the goal of finally starting to earn some proper money. I’d been broke for so long and now that uni was over, I was over the broke uni student lifestyle. I didn’t really know what I’d be doing next but I spent about eight months post university applying for full time jobs (whilst going out a lot and acting like I was still a student) and not really getting anywhere.

After months of frustration and not knowing what I was really doing with my life, whilst getting by on doing odd promotional jobs, I was persuaded to apply to some modelling agencies. This was something that terrified me and in all honesty I didn’t see it as something that was feasible. But with no immediate career prospects, what did I have to lose? I finally plucked up the courage and after applying to an agency in Manchester, I found myself getting signed to the agency that would become my Mother agent for the next 6 and a half years. And so began my modelling career…but just as you think that may be the end of this story, I wasn’t done there…

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Manchester Fashion Blogger Pink Finery Skirt DVF bag and Converse Outfit

A Fashion Designer (sort of)

One important detail that I missed out about my time at university, is that I spent a lot of my time outside of studying/acting, sat on my sewing machine, making clothes. I used to have a real thing for vintage and 1950’s style fashion. I’d often make dresses to a similar style and I even made dresses for my friend’s birthdays. It’s funny to think about now because all of that feels like a lifetime ago, and I can’t remember the last time I got on my sewing machine to do anything other than stick a quick seam.

I’d say designing/making clothes was a strong passion of mine throughout my childhood and into early adulthood. As a child I would fill books with would be designs and I even went as far as to put on a fashion show for my Final Major Performance at university. And yes, I was doing a performing arts degree but my head of department was pretty cool in that he said I could do whatever as long as I was able to legitimately relate it back to performance. I was even assigned the head of textiles to report to, which was crazy because I was self taught and had nowhere near the level of skills as someone doing a fashion related degree…but, I guess I’ve always had that ‘if there’s a will, there’s a way’ mentality…aannnndd that’s how I ended up way out of my depth durning my final months of university (insert upside down smiling emoji face here).

After a rather stressful end to my degree, I packed up my sewing machine (along with the rest of my worldly possessions) and headed back to Manchester at the first possible opportunity. I could not wait to get home!

My years of being in full time education were finally done and back home in Manchester my sewing machine was left gathering dust for a little while…until, I eventually began a new project which was making clutch bags. I remember making my first ever bag (and you might do too if you’re an OG reader/follower on the gram).

It was a structured little box bag in lilac faux leather. I was SO pleased with myself at my first little handbag creation. I soon got hooked and figured out how to make clutch bags too. Then before I knew it I started selling a few.

I can easily let my ideas run away with me, and when I get into something, I really get into something. I did a craft fair, and I started selling my bows (oh I made bows as well) and bags online too. I’ll never forget the first ever sale from my website, when someone from France bought one of my bags. I couldn’t believe someone in France had ordered one of my handmade bags. It was initially exciting, however (yes there’s a however)…I quickly learnt that it was not for me. Whilst at first I’d loved making bags and bows, and spending hours on my sewing machine, when I started to get orders and custom requests, it actually began to fill me with dread. You see I’d enjoyed making the prototypes of each new design but then when I had to sit and sew multiple of the same design (over, and over, and over), I soon got very, very bored with it.

I was in no way in any financial position so get someone else to make the bags for me and if I’m honest, I didn’t feel that passionate about it to take it any further. It wasn’t like the bags were flying off their imaginary shelves, and I now definitely respect the graft of any small business trying market and sell their product because that shizz ain’t easy! This was the first realisation that not all hobbies should be made into a business and that little bag making stint put me off making things for a very good long while. After that, I was done.

You live and you learn as they say, and whilst I still love design, I now know that if I were to ever pursue something similar again, I’d be focusing purely on the design element and I’d definitely be handing over the production side to someone else.

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Samio Manchester Night Style Blogger

So what was next for Samio? Well, like I said, I continued to model over the next several years and throughout that time I had some amazing opportunities and experiences. I actually dipped my toes back into the acting world a few times. One very random ‘modelling job’ actually landed me on the set of a feature film for three days and I think uni Samio would have had a mini heart attack at the prospect. It was an insane experience for me and I got to see the pros at it first hand. I also found myself on set for lots of TV commercials over the years. And whilst they may not have been the most challenging of performances, I always felt my past experience with acting/performance always helped me get the job at those types of castings, and I always found those types of jobs great fun too.

Of course here I am today blogging, and as I sit and cathartically share what now feels like a part of my life story, I feel pleasantly nostalgic. This year, after six and a half years of modelling, I finally felt it was time to close the chapter on that period of my life and so I left all of my modelling agencies, in order to focus on blogging full time. I’d been blogging alongside modelling for the past five years as my creative outlet, and it’s only been in the past several months that it’s become a proper job. These past six months of working as a full time blogger and creative have been amazing and I honestly feel so, so grateful to be in this position, but it hasn’t been without its hard graft and lots of twists and turns along the way.

Looking back I can now see the little dominos all falling into place and I’ve eventually wound up here. Of course this isn’t the end of my story yet. I still have that ‘when I grow up I want to be…’ feeling, as with each goal accomplished, a new aspiration is formed and it’s interesting to see how those goals and dreams have changed and developed over the years. I’ve learnt from each failed attempt at something, or from each ‘wrong’ decision I’ve made along the way and I think a lot of the things I did pursue in the past have given me many of the skills that enable me to do what I do today. I get to make things, be creative and perform (in my own right), so I guess in the end I got to do a bit of everything I love. But like I said, I’m not done yet, so who knows what’s next…

Hmmm, I hear space travel is pretty cool.

Samio x

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