As the oldest sibling, some people struggle to find their place in the world. When you’re the oldest of 12 children in a Romanian village, sometimes it seems impossible.

Despite her large family and remote home, Isabella Margianu was raised to remain hardworking, fair, and devoted to the tasks at hand. As a fashion designer, these childhood values enhance her original designs.

As the eldest sibling, you must leave the comfort and safety of home to discover yourself. However, when a communist regime rules your country, sometimes that means abandoning everything that you hold dear. Unfortunately, such a move is a not a simple one, and it required her to leave behind her family, her infant daughter, and strict rules preventing her from communicating with them.

And so she arrived, like so many others, in New York City where she learned all that she could about designing fashion from the best. Although her motives were pure, there was no denying the pain that resided from leaving everyone she loved behind back home. Thankfully, by 1990 Romania became independent, and she was allowed to return home.

It was a trying time for Isabella, as well as her estranged family. 11 long years had passed, and her little girl was no longer as young as she had envisioned each night. She returned on vacation when she could, finally maintaining their relationships as she had wanted to all along. However, each time she left Romania, she was filled with the same loneliness she was already accustomed to feeling.

She knew that she had to bring her family over to the United States from Romania, the same journey she had taken alone. Unfortunately, her father had already passed away; she was only able to see him twice, the second time being at his funeral.

With renewed focus, she brought her remaining family with her to live in the state of Georgia, in the U.S. south. However, this became the best decision the family had made; each weekend was large family get-togethers, bringing several generations together every week.

Isabella learned that home isn’t a location, but where your loved ones live, even if that means they dwell within your heart. Her dedication to her family is what continues to spur her unique designs and fashionable wedding gowns. She knows that, above all, to know your family is to experience love, and there is no greater love than the bond between two people choosing to marry.

One of my niece's wedding