Perfectly Imperfect: April Valencia

Our classic raw silk tees are designed to embody the OZMA ethos – they're what we talk about when we talk about adoring the perfectly imperfect. Our tees rely on the beautifully organic, nubby soft texture of raw silk, an incredibly special fabric that we love for its character and unique wear... resulting in every tee feeling slightly different and entirely special. The metaphor isn't lost on us: to continue the conversation, we spoke with five inspiring women in the OZMA world about what it means to lean into imperfection, to discover the path of self-acceptance, and to see the beauty in our ever-evolving perspectives.


April Valencia is... hard to nearly sum up in a concise bio, but we'll try: A photographer, textile artist, flora-obsessed advocate for the preservation of nature, and accomplished culinary wizard. Creativity and passion ooze out of her... we get the sense that she never approaches anything halfway, she is an all-in liver of life, and feeler of experience. April was also the woman behind the camera for the other four stories in this series, and to conclude the project we asked if she'd flip the lens to document herself and reflect on the notion of imperfection.



The Christy Bodysuit


Perfection is really the road to imperfection. What has been your relationship to imperfection; to the acceptance of it in everyday life?

My relationship with perfection is currently in flux. For so long, the idea of perfect equaled everything would be alright, everything was under control, safe, and "figured out." I'm learning to shift my ideas and attachment to the meaning behind words.

Perhaps Gertrude Stein said it best:

"There ain't no answer.
There ain't gonna be any answer.
There never has been an answer.
There's your answer."


There is no "right" way to be yourself; rarely, if ever is there permanence. But there is process. How have you come to know yourself differently in the past year? 

With the most willingness and reluctance that can coexist, I decided to try living in one place for the last eight months. I was determined to have a home. I gave myself over to a place, to routine, and a new way of living. Having this space helped me reach new truths about myself, the world, my family, friends... you name it. I knew going in that it wouldn't be forever. This was hard for me, becuase I always miss things before they have ended, and sometimes before they've started. Eventually we would leave, move and start again... I wouldn't always have a perfect plan and that terrified me. But as my mom lovingly reminded me, "Being terrified is fine, but don't let the terror hold you back."

It's an understatement to say I'm thankful for process and growth. Having this kind of home taught me that nothing is promised or permanent. It illuminated how I took so much for granted for too long, that things will fall apart but you can build it up again. That everything is "figureoutable." (Thank you Oprah and Marie Forleo!)

My biggest take away from this year might be: 

I do not have the time and space to be readily available to everyone and though it's hard at first, taking space and saying no is OKAY! I learned that saying no is a powerful YES to myself!


" Growing up, we had a lime tree that on occasions produced huge, yellow lemons that tasted like grapefruit. Nature just gets it and is always there to remind us perfection is an idea in our mind, not a way of life." 
























What in your life have you recently accepted as imperfect?

Cooking has taught me to accept that while you can control certain elements in food, it doesn't have to be perfect to be enjoyed... There is a romance to just jumping in. I'm terrible at following instructions, measurements, and recipes. I like to dive in and go by feeling. For me, this process feels so good.

Growing up, we had a lime tree that on occasions produced huge, yellow lemons that tasted like grapefruit. Nature just gets it and is always there to remind us perfection is an idea in our mind, not a way of life.


Our perspective is always relative to our ongoing, lived experience. What has recently shifted your (literal of figurative) view?

I always wanted to paint, but put it off by telling myself I didn't have the right kind of studio, I didn't go to art school, I didn't know the right techniques... and so many more excuses and doubts followed. I mean, it all sounds so silly now... It's just noise. That noise comes from a feeling of lack, not abundance.

This year, I finally started to paint! I hope anyone reading this who has self-doubt about whatever they want to do can know there is no perfect moment or place. You just start!    



New User

By creating an account with our store, you will be able to move through the checkout process faster, store multiple shipping addresses, view and track your orders in your account and more.