In honor of my official 6 year anniversary designing for Alyssa Nicole – I thought I’d share some valuable lessons I’ve learned within my 6 years of working in the fashion industry!
1. Fashion Is 3% Glamour, 97% Blood, Sweat, & Tears
Working in a fashion design environment is not about wearing Chanel to work like in the Devil Wears Prada. Out of 365 days in a year maybe 5-6 are spent doing photo shoots and fashion shows. Designers fatigue is part of the job (especially when you are running your own business!). The most rewarding part of designing is seeing my customers happy to wear the collection. All the blood, sweat, and tears from designing for my Alyssa Nicole girls is totally worth it.
2. Fashion Never Sleeps
Expect to work very long hours! As a designer for my own brand, I work almost every single day, weekends and on Holidays. I’ve even spent Christmas and my birthday working on orders and collection. In my previous experience working for fashion companies, we were expected to work on Saturdays for upcoming market. If you decide to pursue a career in fashion, do it because you really love the fashion industry and the hustle that comes with it.
3. Be Nice!
This is not Mean Girls or an episode of Project Runway – you will not be taking seriously or respected by having a poor attitude in the fashion industry. It is critical to be nice to EVERYONE you meet. This is so important if you are starting out as an intern. To produce a collection you need an entire team of people working together, you must be able to communicate and work as a team player! You never know where the people you meet are going to end up in the fashion industry – this is an industry where you work long hours and often times people hire you or work with you because they want to be around you.
4. Unplug & Take Breaks
Fashion is my entire life. Having a day off without thinking about fashion is difficult in an era where you’re sold #outfits all over Instagram and Snapchat. I’ve personally had to say no to shopping with friends on days I want to unplug and relax. Hiking, spending time at the beach, or going for a run (without my Iphone!) are a few of my favorite ways to unplug from fashion.
5. Haters Are Gonna Hate
Oh man, Taylor Swift was so right about this one. I’ve started a fashion business in a city fueled by tech start ups. Managing to stay in business 6 years in a city where start ups go out of business on a daily basis is a huge accomplishment. I’ve had a lot of people who didn’t believe in me, take me seriously, even people who’ve tried to bring me down on my journey to success. At the end of the day, my brand is fueled by my clients and they are the most important factor in this business. Haters are gonna hate, so I focus my time on the people who matter, the people who support me and help make my business thrive.
6. Learn to Adapt
This is true on so many levels: trends, technology, work environments. Working in fashion you learn to adapt quickly to changes in fashion and trends. It’s also important to think fast when something may not work out as planned. Issues with production and sampling are totally normal in the fashion industry. When this happens – don’t panic. Just adapt to the situation – I truly believe everything happens for a reason!
A huge thanks to all that continue to read my Designer Diary & shop Alyssa Nicole Collection season after season! xo, Alyssa Nicole