Photographer: Omi Tanaka

Hey Buds!

I started Bloom because when I studied abroad someone whom I considered a friend sexually assaulted me and it was the most isolating and powerless feeling. When asked if I wanted to press charges, I worried that I would ruin his life—because I had been socialized to empathize and consider the feelings of others before my own. What I did not know at the time was that in one evening, this man had altered my life beyond my imagination.

Fast forward five years to when he sent me an apology that confirmed what I had already knew was true—the assault had happened in exactly the way I remembered it. This apology, while never enough, became somewhat of a catalyst to my healing journey and ability to accept my truth and reach into my new potential. During this blooming and reparations process, I lacked a community of people who could do their best to understand. I lacked the love and warmth of my university, my family, and even my closest friends because in trauma there is often fear and confusion. In a way, this hurt taught me that in me is a power to overcome absolutely anything, but also humbled me in that I learned to ask for friendship and support.

Today, this project that was meant to turn my hurt into healing, has grown into so much more. The goal of Bloom Journal is to highlight entrepreneurs who are the brink of something more. We focus on their stories of overcoming obstacles and blooming. We host community focused events and raise money to help their businesses grow. Because after all, flowers don’t grow alone, they thrive like madness in a garden.

Happy reading!