I have been receiving questions on Twitter about my life in the fashion industry and how to get into the field. While there’s no special equation, I figured I would share my journey and let you guys know what each experience taught me. This will be helpful for anyone looking to enter the industry!
My experiences in order (minus a couple part time sales positions at retailers):
My Online Boutique
www.jennaleeann.com was not always a blog ya know. It started out as an online clothing store. I sold tops, bottoms, and outerwear. I started my business when I was 19. Read all about my business HERE . If you’re interested in a separate post on the step by step process to opening an online store, share this post and let me know in the comments! My top lesson learned from this experience was to not bite off more than you can chew. I was in college when I started my business, so I wasn’t able to put all of my time into it. So I sold it and turned the domain into a blog. This is a great job for someone with an entrepreneur mindset who has a passion for fashion. You are able to work for yourself, and do things your own way. It really is your own creative space. You are able to become your own buyer and work with wholesale companies or manufacturers. Being a retail buyer is always something I have been interested in. Being able to be your own buyer is an amazing job! I was able to go to trade shows and meet talented designers from all over! You own this job if you are business savy, have an eye for trends, good with technology, and are motivated. You HAVE to be motivated to work for yourself.
Michael Kors HQ Internship
Oh how I love internships. They are the BEST way to gain access into the industry and build your resume. I was a design intern at the Michael Kors HQ in Manhattan in 2013. I was the only business major on the team, so I was able to spread my wings more than most. I learned about production as well as how the company keeps track of their finances and expense reports! Corporate is such a different world than working in the stores themselves. Everyone comes in, has a job to do, and then leaves. My top lesson learned from this experience was to pay attention to what others are doing and network your butt off. It’s really important to learn from others when doing an internship. Your co-workers are your teachers. And you want to stay connected with them. It’s really important to leave a good impression after your internship for future opportunity. You own this job if you are good at multitasking, are a quick learner, and if you’re task oriented.
This one is dear to my heart because of course it’s my hobby, and my dream career. I love blogging more than anything. Though I don’t get to do it often…when I do, it calms me. Fashion blogging is an AWESOME way to build your own brand in the fashion industry. I do everything from OOTDs, to maintaining social media, to working with online clothing stores or other bloggers, going to fashion shows, conferences, campaigns, and so on! You don’t need to be a big time blogger to do it. I love my blog, and I love my followers. My top lesson learned so far from this experience is to be consistent with posting and be true to yourself. I am the WORST with being consistent (hey, at least I’m honest?). With building my career at Nordstrom, and trying to maintain a social life…it’s not easy to post a lot! To be honest, the cold weather has kept me inside as well (yay for Spring!). But you need to be consistent in order to really build your brand. Also, be yourself and stick to it. Do not work with companies that don’t reflect you. It will confused your readers and it’s not sincere. If you’re looking to just blog for a quick dollar, you won’t get far. You own this job if you are self-motivated, tech-savy, creative, punctual, and personable. Interested in starting a blog? Check out my post on how to become a ‘successful’ blogger HERE .
Nordstrom- Retail Management
Welcome to my current job (along with blogging). I started at Nordstrom in 2015 as a retail management intern. The internship teaches you all about becoming a manager and how to grow a team and run a successful business. After two months of being an intern, I was promoted to Assistant Department Manager of Studio in their Nashville location. It taught me a lot about moving away on my own. Read all about my Nashville story HERE . After almost 6 months of that role, I was then transferred back to CT to take on two departments! I’m now Assistant Department Manager of the Handbags and Accessories departments! It’s a lot of work (as is all retail), but it’s such a good feeling. My top lesson learned from this career so far is to be open to new opportunity and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Also, your team is your most important asset, so treat them with the same respect you expect from them. I went to school and graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration concentration in Management. I learned all about how to run a business and how to grow. However, real life experience is what everyone needs. You own this job if you are a dedicated worker, personable and customer service oriented, are a quick learner and can adapt to many different situations quickly, knowledgeable about business, and love fashion. Fashion is constantly evolving, and you need to be able to keep up. It’s a fun game. 🙂
Whether is a store, a corporate office, or your own business you’re interested in, please follow your dreams.
I would love to hear your fashion experiences and tips in the comments! If you have any questions about anything please always feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @JennaLeeAnnLLC !
As always, please follow me on social media to keep up with my daily challenges in the industry! I hope this helped some of you!