For those with big dreams, let no one say it can’t be done

My journey this year has been a tough adventure but always exciting.

This dress made from yarn was designed by Sally Sandusky and finished just two hours before a student-based commercial photo shoot. Part of the proceeds went to breast cancer and “it was made for my friends and people I knew who had suffered from cancer

My journey this year has been a tough adventure but always exciting.

I remember the first time I saw a fashion show. I could feel the excitement coursing through my veins as I watched the girls walk down the runway to the beat of the music. I was mesmerized by their hair, their makeup, the clothes they were wearing.

Most importantly I felt alive. I knew from a young age, I wanted to be a part of the fashion industry, but I wasn’t sure how.

Growing up in Sylvan Lake, it seemed like the world of fashion was worlds away. I felt like the girl who was looking at another world through the view of a snow globe. It looked beautiful, magical, but not easily accessible. There were invisible barriers that kept me out. How many nights I spent knitting something, envisioning it in a fashion show? I dreamed of the models who would be wearing it and the music that would accompany it, the hair, the music.

So in August I took the plunge and jumped, by blindly hopping on a plane to fashion school, not knowing a thing about Vancouver. I had two suitcases, a plane ticket, and a reservation for one night only. I admit I was terrified, I wasn’t sure I was ready to embark on this journey. A part of me had visions I was about to end up on the streets. All I knew was I had to find a place to live ASAP.

I found John Casablancas Institute (my new school) a few hours after I got into the city, and with the help of one of the advisors, I found a place to live on top of a Starbucks with two actors.

The journey this year has been exciting, but never easy. One of the most important life lessons I have learned was to ask yourself, “What are you willing to do to chase after the dream?”

There have been times when I couldn’t afford public transit and had to walk to school — the walk took me 2–2.5 hours one way. I have been up at 3 a.m. to go to work before school.

Life always has those challenges and I realized it is up to me to rise up every single time I get knocked down. I really have enjoyed my time at John Casablancas. I have learned lots this year.

I chose to go to this school because I liked the opportunity of being able to build your portfolio, while working with hair and makeup students on student-based photo shoots.

Every class puts on a fashion show at the end of their program. The students are responsible for putting it together from concept to completion.

Everyone is responsible for raising funds for the show. My responsibilities also include being a part of the model committee, helping with visuals the day of the show, and most importantly, I am the charity liaison.

The charity we are working hard at raising funds for is Covenant House Vancouver. It’s an organization that works with youth between the ages of 16-24 who are facing life on the streets.

The inspiration for our fashion show was taken from the movie ‘Into the Wild’. The name of our show is called Empyrean which means belonging or deriving from heaven, in particular the highest point of heaven.

This is what this year has been to me, embarking on a journey, learning to break through any glass barriers that I encounter, and to wear my scars proudly.

For anyone who dreams big, dreams of fashion; let no one say you can’t do it.

“Unless someone can look into the core of your heart and see the degree of your passion, or look into the depths of your soul and see the extent of your will, then they have no business telling you what you can or cannot achieve. Because, while they may know the odds, they do not know you. Nor do they know the power of your angels.” – Sandra King

On May 24 I had the most amazing opportunity to showcase my first knitwear collection.

I want to thank the people in the community who have sent me words of encouragement over the past year. To those of you who have shared pieces of the dream with me; this one’s for you guys.

I love Sylvan Lake and it will always be my home. I miss it like crazy! Most importantly I want to thank my Mom and Dad, Edith and Walter Sandusky. And of course my brother and sister-in-law Dave and Heather. They are the reason I made it through this year.

If anyone is interested in the program they may contact me at I would be interested in answering any questions.

Sally Sandusky – Special to Sylvan Lake News

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