15 years in the fashion industry
I want to provide some background and context for why I write what I write here. I grew up loving many things about life, and clothing was always at the centre of attention. Shopping at a big store and wandering through the isles to examine and touch all the new outfits on display was my way of understanding my surroundings. Learning how to knit, sew and crochet from my Nan allowed me to make new outfits for my barbies, and was my way of creating something unique for them to wear. Getting dressed for school and showing up on the bus and in the halls was my favourite part of the day, it was like showcasing my creations. These formative years precluded teenage angst and confusion.
It was at the age of 15, I have a distinct memory of walking through the hallway of my junior high school and knowing that I was going to study Fashion Design. At that point I wanted to be a designer, since that was all I knew about the industry. Somewhere in between those formative years and knowing that fashion was my calling, I have a distinct memory. I was in my room with some girlfriends, we were sifting through fashion magazines. My girlfriends were looking at the models saying things like 'I wish I looked like her' and 'I want what she has on'. At that age with my mind running 1000 miles a minute, I most certainly didn't know what to say. I just knew that something didn't quite feel right. That was the moment I knew that my purpose for being here was to transform the fashion industry. I started the only way I knew how, by studying fashion design.
I gladly moved away to Montreal, where I studied Fashion Design at LaSalle College. I quickly and easily fell in love with Montreal, it's such a beautiful diverse city just busting at the seams with things to do. I was a pretty typical college student, make of that what you will. I had a new lease on life, and I was never bored. Life was full of new and adventurous things.
Over the next 15 years I worked in a variety of industry positions. They started in design, moved into development, and ended in production. I worked with many different types of product, from many different angles. I worked with some great companies, and some not so great companies. I worked for a one man show, an international corporation and everything in between. I travelled for work and loved every minute of it, even when I got sick from strange food, had a disagreement with a co-worker, or inadvertently disappointed a client. I had some OK bosses, and some really terrible ones, I had ONE that I would quality as amazing. I learned how to be professional, it does not come naturally to me. At about the halfway point, probably even sooner, I recognized that I had a need for change. One could say I am a collector of experiences, and job roles fit well into a collection, it's called a resume. This is what fuelled my desire to move on, it helped me recognize when I had maximized my learning at my current position/company and it was time to find something that would spark my fire again. Partly because I got 'bored easily', which is due to the fact that I learn quickly. I have let go of the idea of 'perfect' yet I am always 'perfecting', and companies like that. The other part is that I've always known that I was destined for something greater, something more in tune with my purpose. I started listening to that little voice inside, the one called intuition.
I got lost over the years, lost in an industry full of ladders and obstacles. I was frequently rewarded early in my career and the more experience and expertise I had, the less that happened. I was oh so very tired of living in a world of comparisons and consumerism, it just felt so meaningless. It was through years of personal development that I got back in tune with my purpose, the whole 'transform the fashion industry' reason for being here in the first place. I had finally come full circle, but...what to do with it?
In all honesty, I'm still working on that part and I always will be. I welcome you as we journey together.