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Massaly Mashburn // Spotlight Interview // Circle Of Inspiration

Fashion stylist and sustainable fashion advocate, Massaly Mashburn is the owner of an online vintage clothing boutique who is following her heart and pursuing her passion with confidence.

The shop name Sahara Sun is inspired by the West African Sub-Saharan countries of Massaly's birth (Sierra Leone) and upbringing (Senegal).

Massaly (emphasis on the first syllable: Ma-Suh-Lee) has an intense love of all things sun and warm-weather-related. This warm style is vibrantly reflected in her branding and on her shop's instagram page, where she shares thrifted style and tips, sustainable fashion guides, and weekly "live" sales.  Read on to hear more about her creative journey..

 Massaly Masburn owner of Sahara Sun interviews with Karl Schmitz for HOMS Heart On My Sleeve Spotlight Interview. Circle of Inspiration.

What drew you to your particular creative outlet? I am a girl who has always loved fashion and playing dress up; who always loved expressing myself through what I wear and creating and styling pieces that really speak to who I am! So in order to create the outfits that I loved, I started thrifting and buying clothes secondhand when I was in middle school...and that idea of buy unique and sustainable pieces stayed with me and quickly grew to be a huge factor in how I bought my clothes!

Massaly Masburn owner of Sahara Sun interviews with Karl Schmitz for HOMS Heart On My Sleeve Spotlight Interview. Circle of Inspiration.

Fashion and styling has always been my creative outlet, something that comes easily to me. It early on transformed into something that I grew passionate about and as I’ve gotten older, I really understand and know what I love and want to wear! I am a firm believer that if something speaks to you, don’t be afraid to own it and wear it with confidence because that type of energy draws people in! 

I just know that we can create the narrative for ourselves of who we are before other people tell you who you are and style can be a big avenue for that!

Massaly Masburn owner of Sahara Sun interviews with Karl Schmitz for HOMS Heart On My Sleeve Spotlight Interview. Circle of Inspiration.Massaly Masburn owner of Sahara Sun interviews with Karl Schmitz for HOMS Heart On My Sleeve Spotlight Interview. Circle of Inspiration.

When did you decide to pursue your passion?  For several years I had had the idea of doing something creative when it came to clothing and styling but I didn’t quite know what that looked like. I have had friends that had said oh you should go into personal styling or ask me where did you find this cute outfit and the answer was pretty much always oh I thrift this, I got it from Goodwill, or got it secondhand somewhere. So, like many people when the pandemic happened and we had to quarantine, I had a lot of extra time… I knew that I really wanted to use the extra time to try and learn something new, or pursue something that I always had put off… thus the creation of Sahara Sun, my vintage shop!

Massaly Masburn owner of Sahara Sun interviews with Karl Schmitz for HOMS Heart On My Sleeve Spotlight Interview. Circle of Inspiration.

I knew that I could always come up with excuses of not feeling ready, of not having all the right resources, or not feeling equipped… but I knew I was passionate about fashion and styling and finding and curating unique pieces and being sustainable when it came to clothing! I also felt and feel very strongly about creating a community where people could find inspiration and encouragement to really have fun with what they wear and express themselves through it!

Where do you draw inspiration from? I think I draw my biggest inspiration from nature! I love anything dealing with plants and the beauty and peace that comes from the outdoors and how there’s so much life in that!

Massaly Masburn owner of Sahara Sun interviews with Karl Schmitz for HOMS Heart On My Sleeve Spotlight Interview. Circle of Inspiration.

I know that there can be so much life and beauty in the things that we wear and that we can truly be unique and express who we are on a very personal level through what we wear and you see that anytime you see a beautiful flower, or a beautiful sunset or sunrise...each one is so unique! I also believe that fashion doesn’t have to be expensive, and it can also be sustainable and those aspects really influence how I dress personally and wanted to structure my shop.


What is the biggest lesson that you have learned on your creative journey? I think one of the biggest lessons that I have learned on this journey is that there is room for me too; my personal voice is what will help me stand out! I’ve also learned that being true to your vision and true to who you are personally is what people will relate to and want to be a part of!

Having passion, vision, and being genuine to who you really are is what’s going to make the experience better for everyone and hopefully create longevity!

Massaly Masburn owner of Sahara Sun interviews with Karl Schmitz for HOMS Heart On My Sleeve Spotlight Interview. Circle of Inspiration.

What are you currently working on? One of my current projects would be to mainly get into more local pop-up events and continue to connect with the vintage community through more face-to-face encounters as much as Covid will allow!

Any words of advice for someone getting started in your field? Probably my biggest advice would be to just start… It really is a simple as that! I know for me the getting started process is the hardest just because there’s so many things I wanted to have prepared, in line and ready and it won’t always happen that way!

Have a vision yes, but get your product out there, get the word going, build your content as you go and the pieces will fall into place and your community will find you! 

Be inspired and find sustainable clothing pieces that speak to who you are at Massaly's Shop: @_saharasun

 

Love the journey of following your heart and pursuing your passion. HOMS Spotlight Interviews are part of the Circle of Inspiration Artist Community founded by Karl Schmitz.

Share YOUR story with #iwearmyHOMS to be featured on our Instagram.

Photos sourced from Massaly @ Sahara Sun

 

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