Sometimes life’s journey leads you down an interesting and unexpected path. Yassin Sirri Hall created her online boutique Let’s Journey into Fashion to motivate other women to follow their dream. Yassin is a former Mrs. World Beauty OLM winner (2004), model and now a fashion designer, but life wasn’t always easy for her. Born in St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands in 1970, Yassin’s mother was a teacher and her father was known as “The Bush Tea Man” of St. John Virgin Islands. Yet from the age of 12 Yassin was raised by her maternal grandmother, after her mother suffered a mental breakdown. Luckily both of her grandmothers and an uncle were very active in her life.
Growing up on a small island meant everyone knew your business and Yassin was subjected to teasing about her mom’s mental illness. To help her overcome the loss of her mom mentally, Yassin was taught to sew by her grandmother and shifted her focus to designing and sewing. Yassin began making uniform school skirts for many of her classmates and the teasing stopped.
Three years later, Yassin became a pregnant teenager and was told not to return to the high school she was attending, and that she was destined to be a statistic. Yet, Yassin’s determination proved everyone wrong and she walked into her high school the 1st day of her senior year wearing a maternity school uniform dress. Yassin designed the dress well within the guidelines of the school’s strict uniform policy. Not only did Yassin graduate, she graduated with honors and walked with her class on graduation day with her son in attendance who was just months old.
In 1994, Yassin moved to the United States to attend college in Fashion Merchandising and Design as well as Travel Tourism Management. She earned a bachelor’s degree in computer sciences, married and began a family. In 2001, Yassin and her husband along with her boys decided to complete their family and adopt a little girl from Cambodia. Shortly after her daughter’s adoption the United States made the decision to stop all adoptions from Cambodia. Yassin is the only Virgin Islands Citizen to adopt a child from this country.
During the five-month wait, Yassin began designing and sewing clothes for her daughter. “That’s what kept me sane,” she said. In 2001, she started Yammi Wear, which was named after her daughter. In 2009, Yassin and her husband divorced and she moved to Orlando, Florida with her children. Throughout this entire rebuilding process Yassin was not inspired to sew any longer.
Many years after the divorce and a milestone of struggles and challenges her passion returned. Now that she was re-energized she realized what she was destined to do. Yassin declared that if she was going to start a clothing business she wanted it to be more than just about fashion. Yassin wanted it to be the corner stone that uplifted women who are on the life journey that we all individually travel. Thus Let’s Journey into Fashion was born.
Yassin hopes the women’s apparel that she promotes, designs and sells captures the attention of a young girl or woman and inspires her to realize that our true message is about the journey that we are on, each and every day in life, and that the one thing that changes and energizes us is fashion. If she can motivate, empower and uplift just one woman a day, then Yassin’s goal will have been met. That is what keeps her going.
Visit Let’s Journey Into Fashion and shop for everything from swimwear, cocktail dresses, leggings and cover ups to special occasion dresses for graduates.
– Lauren Dimet Waters
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