It sounds so cliché, but growing up, I never wanted to do anything but work in fashion. Well, I did want to be a paleontologist for a while, but that was pretty short lived (I’m almost positive a pair of platform Skechers convinced me otherwise). I spent all my extra time devouring fashion magazines and books, learning everything I could about the industry and taking fashion design lessons. Of course, I had my fair share of naysayers who said I should not and/or could not pursue a career in fashion, but I was absolutely positive that I was going to be the next great designer.
After majoring in fashion design for a year at a school in Milwaukee, something felt off, so I made the decision to transfer to the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Before I started school there, I made a day trip to the city with friends to try to find a job; little did I know I was actually stumbling upon the beginnings of my career. A boutique I wanted to work at wasn’t hiring, but one of the employees there wrote for CollegeFashionista. She asked to take my friend’s photo for the site, and the rest is history. I became a Style Guru one month after the site was launched.
I threw myself into my internship with CollegeFashionista, excitedly accepting new positions and responsibilities as they came, promoting the site around campus, participating in everything the site had to offer and begging for more work. I never took a break from CollegeFashionista – I felt like I would have died if I did. I jumped at the chance to be Head Style Guru at UW-Madison, then a Social Media Intern and then Head Social Media Intern. After a year and a half with CollegeFashionista, I knew I belonged in a different part of the industry. I no longer wanted to be a designer (which was a major shock to me); I knew that blogging and social media are definitely my calling. With a quick switch of my major during my junior year, I put blinders on and made CollegeFashionista my number one focus.
I ignored a lot of traditional ideas and values and evaluated all kinds of advice from professors, professionals and friends. People told me I was putting too much emphasis on my work with CollegeFashionista; they suggested more internships to become well rounded, starting my own blog, etc. But I always did what felt right in my heart and gut. I couldn’t be happier that I did, because it landed me a position at my dream company: CollegeFashionista.
At the beginning of July 2013, I moved from my hometown in Wisconsin to New York City where I am the Social Media Director for CollegeFashionista. Everyday is busy and brings new challenges, but because I’m living my dream, none of that seems to faze me.
The truth of the matter is that it’s not as easy to chase your dreams as you think it will be while growing up. But when you work really hard, learn to accept challenges and changes, listen to your gut and stay focused, you’ll get there. I can’t wait to see how CollegeFashionista will grow and where it will take me! Stay tuned, readers.