DISCLAIMER: Even though I am a Drake fan, this post has nothing to do with his More Life album :(
Earlier this month, I enrolled at Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia in pursuit of a Fashion Merchandising certificate. Hence, Moore Life :)
The decision to go back to school wasn't easy, since I already have a full time job, and am still paying off students loans for my Bachelor's degree. However, when I sat down, and thought about my career goals and interests, the decision became a no brainer. Life is way too short to spend time not doing what you love or at least working towards it.
After months of being in denial for months and getting rejected from countless job applications, I had to accept that fact that I don’t have enough experience to become a buyer and that in order to be taken seriously in the industry, I needed to invest energy, time and a little bit of money work towards being qualified for the position that I wanted because it's never too late to make a change.
My current career goal is to be a fashion buyer. I was introduced to retail buying at my last job on a whelm and really enjoyed it. For those of you that have no idea what that entails, allow me to explain. Buyers, in any industry, source and procure merchandise for their company and ultimately determine what products get put on the store shelves, in catalogs, and on ecommerce websites. They do the legwork of researching trends for their business to help support the decision to create and execute the deals to buy large quantities of products. The goal of these purchases is to sell them to customers, or use them to create new materials (finished goods) that they will eventually sell to customers.
For me, this would entail "buying" products that range anywhere from jewelry, shoes, pants, tops, or maybe even jackets for a fashion retailer for men, woman, and/or children. I haven't decided what category / gender I prefer (don't want to limit myself) but let me be clear about something: buyers aren't buying for themselves. They are buying for their customers so it's imperative that they put their personal opinions / shopping preferences aside and make decisions that will best align with the needs of their customers, their lifestyle, and ultimately, the goals of the business they work for.
For those of you that are in a similar boat as me, did you know that there are PLENTY of opportunities out there for people that aspire to work in the fashion industry but don't have the credentials / experience at the moment? School isn't for everyone.
Companies like Burlington Coat Factory and TJX Companies, among many others, offer development programs for rising college seniors and even college graduates who are interested in developing their skills and starting their careers as buyers, planners, etc. I've looked into these programs and found that they are the great starting point. I plan on exploring these ops in the near future! Check out this link if you are interested in exploring these programs for other industries as well, as they aren't just limited to fashion.
I've only been taking my first class for about a month and have learned A TON about the fashion industry from the dark side of fast fashion to how the key players in the industry are working to shift production of garments to be more sustainable. Working on posts for those topics because it's information that I feel needs to be shared.
Even though I am only taking one class, being an adult learner is challenging to say the least. But the more time I spend studying, the more motivated am I to work hard to complete this program and get my certificate next year.
Until next time.