From Fashionista to Businesswoman
Eventually, Thomas says, she'd designed for every celebrity she'd wanted to, and she grew tired of "living out of a suitcase." She adds, "You don't sleep for days oftentimes. I knew I wanted to have a family sometime, or at least have a healthy relationship, and I knew that wouldn't be able to happen if I continued."
She relocated to New York in 2006, fulfilling the next step of her master plan by starting a foundation. It "geo-targeted" inner-city high schoolers in Brooklyn and the Bronx, offering weekend workshops on the business, rather than the creative, side of fashion. "I know no one prepared me for that when I was going to school," Thomas says.
That was the point where Thomas began to leave design behind for the world of finance. She relocated to Ann Arbor in 2010 for a "personal relationship," and though it didn't pan out, she's still happy she made the move. "I knew that if I wanted to be financially stable, I could not live [in New York]," she explains. "Even though I lived and traveled all these different places, I knew that Michigan would be a place where I would end up eventually on a permanent basis."
Responding to recruiters who had contacted her previously, Thomas opened a Farmers agency on Zeeb Road, near her home in Scio Township. "Financial services is where it's at," she says. "I think if I had known what a good opportunity it was, I would have done it years ago."