Living By The Beat Of Your Own Drum

Many times in my life I’ve heard the beckoning of a faraway “ra pum pum pum pum.”

Sometimes, my confidence is not such that I bother doing anything about the noise. But, more often than not, I’ve sought it out, only to pick up that drum and carry it… and play it… with pride.

Living by your own law is not easy. But that first strike of your mallet, that first thunderous gong resonating around your being, each and every time creates a vibration so powerful that I can’t help but want to sing along.

At Free People, I am blessed to be surrounded by so many confident women who refuse to mute their true colors. A few of them shared anecdotes with me recently for staying true to themselves, perhaps some of their beauty will stick around and remind you that it’s better than ok to be yourself. And, it feels awesome.


Doub, Creative Director 

I guess I have always moved to the beat of a different drum, but never realized it… it was never intentional.  Just was different. I always had some wild ideas and growing up I often heard, “Doober, you are such a dreamer.” At that time in my life, art was somewhat frowned upon – only if you wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer were you on the right path. Creativity wasn’t exactly embraced, and it wasn’t considered a lucrative or safe route to take in life. I had visions but they were seen as funny dreams to the adults around me. My mother hoped I would grow up to be a weather girl on the news. It makes me laugh now. It wasn’t until I came to Free People that I met like-minded people, and I was like, “wow, you love clothes! I love clothes, too! You are obsessed with color? Oh, I love color too! You love photographs? So do I!”

So, with that, my advice would be to stay true to yourself. Stay focused and go with what excites you in life. Take the risk! Learn from your mistakes and get back on the horse! Life is short – live it and give it your best shot! And remember, there is someone else out there who grooves to your beat.


Ali, Vintage Manager and Buyer

Philadelphia teems with dreamers.  All artists dream, and I arrived in Philadelphia carrying those dreams. I am here because “art” brought me here. I am here because I was inspired by Free People – the fashion, the art, the creativity of the girls in the office. Like all artists — like all of us we listen — I experienced inspiration. I was “called” to buy vintage and I answered that call. I chose this path by listening to that creative spasm. I guess you would call this moving to the beat of my own drum… by listening to what inspires me.

In order to be confident about living by your own law you have to understand that creativity flourishes in a place of safety and acceptance. It grows among friends and withers among enemies. All creative success requires creative failure. Do what you love and it will show you happiness. To be beautiful and confident is to be yourself!

for carrie

Danielle, Associate Designer of New Romantics

I like to live by my own rules and be the happiest I can be at any given time. My words of wisdom for other FP girls would be:

  • Take each moment to the ‘maximus’
  • Always work to impress yourself and not others
  • If you’re going to do something, you might as well do it in the best/most fun/most clever way possible

I always try to impress myself – it makes life fun. Anyway, you have to deal with yourself more than you have to deal with anyone else, so it’s best to make yourself happy, and hopefully the ones you love will appreciate you for it. If you want to be weird, be weird… if you want to be quiet, be quiet… if you want to be a creep, creep on! Oh, and dream big!

Or you can quote Dr. Seuss instead:

Be who you are and say what you feel,
because those who mind don’t matter
and those who matter don’t mind.



  1. I met Ali and Doub at a fpme shoot and they both had this unique amazing energy I couldn’t help but be inspired by. I’ve felt like I’ve started losing that creative part of me. I’m stuck in a routine and it’s starting to weigh on me and make me realize this isn’t where I saw myself. This post really inspired me! Thank you!

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