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One of the best things about Fashion Palette was being inspired and rediscovering the motivation to go after the job you want. Nearly all the speakers got to where they are by unconventional means, and all offered great gems of advice. Regardless of what your dream job may be, there is something to be gained from these insights. Are you working where you really want to be? Are you excited everyday to go to work? If not, or if you're not there yet, then check out some of these pointers from the Fashion Palette speakers...
1. Do what you want - find a way to do what you love in some way everyday. You want to be a stylist? Help your friends pick an outfit for a date, offer advice on peoples outfits through social networking sites or a blog, join fashion networking sites and collaborate with photographers, models and makeup artists on weekends. Whatever it is you want to do, get out there and have a go! Get some experience, experiment and make connections with people.
2. Get experience - volunteer, intern, work experience. You can have all the degrees in the world, but more often than not people will hire you for you experience as well. Get your foot in the door by volunteering at industry events, apply for an internship or ask for work experience. It's who you know as much what you know.
3. Get educated - get the technical know-how to go further. Experience and connections are important, but if you want to be a fashion designer for instance, you have to know pattern making and sewing. If you don't know how a simple garment is designed, cut and made then it will be very difficult to communicate with factories about production of your garments. Understand how the entire process works behind your chosen field. When you know the rules, it's easier to break them!
4. Keep in the loop - know what happening. Know what is happening in your industry. Who are the important people to know? The new faces? What are the latest trends? There is a wealth of providers with this information, magazines, books, websites, tv programs... Join online communities, borrow books and magazines from the library if you can't afford a subscription. Read blogs. Go to Open Days and Graduate Exhibitions. You don't have to spend a lot of money!
5. Have a digital strategy - You don't have to pour a lot of money into a website. There are loads of free online sites you can set up shop profiles (RedBubble.com, etsy.com, zazzle.com, cafepress.com); get a blog (Blogger is popular); sign up to Facebook, MySpace, Twitter; create a Mailing List...there is huge power in an online presence - learn about it.
Some advice from Mimco designer Cathryn Wills: 6. Creativity - Never forget to trust your intuition - be daring, different, difficult. 7. Go the extra mile - Go over and above expectations, because if you don't then guaranteed, there is someone else who will. 8. Skills - Learn to draw properly and to type. A clear, concise drawing will communicate you message. Typing will come in handy when times are tough and you have to resort to temping. 9. Be proactive - Write to people, volunteer - get out there!
Finally... 10. Have a little faith - It's all in your mind. If you believe 100% in what you do then others will believe it too. You're shooting yourself in the foot if you don't truly believe you can do it and that you'll make it. The 500 most successful people in the world almost gave up, but it took that one extra step for them to get their break. Hang in there.
Getting your product into magazines: - Send samples to magazines. The same designers and labels are featured every issue so editors are always on the lookout for new designers and talent to freshen up their content.
Finding photographers, stylists, makeup artists when you're starting out: - Put up a notice at art and design colleges and institutions, contact the heads of departments. Students are keen to get some experience and there will always be someone who is interested in collaborating with you.
Public Relations: PR Agencies are usually very expensive to employ. Search the internet for young up and coming PR consultants who are building up their talent base. They can help you write press releases and gain exposure for your product/service.