As of February 21, I am now a certified Bodyflow instructor—which means I get to teach mostly yoga with a bit of Pilates and Tai Chi in the mix! I guess if you can’t decide on one and don’t have enough time or money to go through everything but still have so much passion for each… you gotta do the ‘flow! ;-) It’s been a labor of tough love and lots of MIA in the fashion world, but I finally made it. And guess what? I now have a permanent class too!
Karen Noseff is the Texan founder and designer of Fortune Denim. Even without any background in fashion, her jeans have been worn by celebrities like Fergie, Jessica Alba, Drew Barrymore, Mischa Barton… and the list goes on. She is also a contemporary dancer who later pursued singing for a career. Despite being the daughter of a Caucasian father and a first generation Asian mother who threatened to disown her if she didn’t become either a lawyer or a doctor (how typical!), Karen is now pursuing the American dream of doing what she has always loved to do for a living and being really successful at it. What a lucky girl!
Fortune Denim sailor jeans worn by Pin Up Girl Clothing:
She wasn’t always this lucky, however. Not too long ago, Karen was struck with a rare and understudied illness that was caused or aggregated by toxic black mold. This hapa wasn’t a happy camper when her pretty face frequently transformed into what looked “like a monster,” as she’d say.
Her story is featured in length in a documentary called Black Mold Exposure. The movie is available both on their website and on Amazon and not really found anywhere else. It’s a film worth watching and buying for a friend, and I highly recommend it. It’s also in a way quite entertaining to watch, because it’s real but so bizarre. Below is the trailer:
As Bruce Banner (Hulk) is to anger, Karen Noseff is to mold.
The worst part about her situation is that not many believed that her sickness was real. You’d think, all she needed to do was to show up to a disbelieving friend or family member’s house in the middle of the night, or whenever she experienced the mold symptom, and show them her deformed face. Yet, she stayed strong. It was difficult enough to go through a sickness like this without a clue about the cause or cure. To be treated like you were crazy by those you trust and love was way too much to bear.
Watch Fortune Denim founder Karen’s interviews about her appearance in the movie below:
My Mold Story
I personally have been a victim of black mold. My mold symptom was developing a bad gluten sensitivity after moving into my husband’s house that had a problem with mold. I nor my family have ever had any allergies to speak of, so this was a real shocker. Something in our house caused it, and it wasn’t very obvious to me at first. The gluten allergy in itself was treated like it was non-existent years ago. Thankfully now, it is widely recognized, studied, provided for with options, and profited from. However as for mold symptoms or mold illness, it is not. My husband is in far worse shape than I am. I can just stay away from food containing gluten, and I am fine. He however is still recovering and figuring out how to heal himself, even after moving to a new residence.
How It Affects You
Just like gluten allergy symptoms, black mold symptoms are not the same from person to person. Once you are hit by a catalyst that lowers your immune system (in this case, black mold), the sky’s the limit on illnesses your body becomes prone to—from allergies to cancer. That is why someone with Lyme’s disease (ticks as catalyst) can have very similar symptoms or remedy for relief as someone with a gluten allergy, a mold allergy, acid reflux, etc. What doctors sell are drugs. What you probably need to do is to get rid of the catalyst first if you can and then strengthen your immune system with naturally available low mold, low toxin food from God’s green earth for starters.
If you have some spare time, please do watch Black Mold Exposure! Let me know what you think of it, and help spread the word about mold illness and what we can do to help others recognize it. What happened to Karen, me, and so many others can happen to you too.