I have been working with fashion for 13 years, one way or another. I've been a sales person, visual merchandiser, store manager, stylist, clothing designer and company owner. What I tend to sometimes forget is that there are a lot of young people trying to get in to fashion industry, but as I've received few inquiries around this subject in a short period of time I thought maybe I could offer some advice!
I started my journey as a sales person and have worked my way up, and though it's been around 13 years since my first day working in a clothing store, I can still promise you that even though times have changed, the mentality of a good employee is pretty much the same and the key to your success lies in your OWN HANDS. So if you are interested to catch a job in fashion industry, read what I have to say.
WHEN YOU APPLY FOR A JOB OR GET AN INTERVIEW
1. Do your home work and know the company / brand. Not just the part that is visible to the customers but also the company philosophy, working culture and the important parts of the companys history. If you are or/and have been interested in the brand for a longer time you should learn these things naturally, partionally. You'll gain knowledge by exploring the brand image, sales persons, stores, collections and the fits. Be curious and take mental notes.
2. Know WHY YOU are valuable to the company and let them know. Don't try to fit everything into the job application but instead leave something to the actual interview - amaze them, and make them feel the made a right desicion by calling YOU. Tell them what they would benefit from hiring you and try to think of something you are really great at that will raise the sales in the company.
3. We all like clothes and mostly think customer service is an easy job. STAND OUT from the crowd by understanding the different challenges and routines of the job, and make sure they know you're not there only to be around clothes all day. That does not bring any cash in to the company or seperate you from a standard job seeker.
4. Know numbers. Sales, purchase prices, the impact of visitor amounts, budgets etc. If you have no idea how the industry works in numbers you will have no idea how to increase the sales in action.
ONCE YOU GET IN
5. WORK BEYOND EXPECTATION. Overdeliver. Be flexible, work hard, don't be late, help your co-workers, be part of creating a great atmosphere. Whatever your task at time may be, do something else simultaneously. If you stack and fold clothes in the store keep your head up and eyes on the customers and offer service. Any tidy stack of shirts is never more important than a customer in your store. Find the best way to keep up with the routines and still offer extra something by knowing how to prioritize tasks and time. If you have any free time: clean and organize stuff, and clean again. Treat the store like it's your own, because that is how important it should be, - if you wish to progress in your career in fast pace.
6. Be humble but don't hide. If you have ideas that would benefit your employer you should speak up. There aren't that many employees that would go that extra mile and if your employer is smart they will appreciate your input whether they use your idea at the time or not.
7. Do not demand any extra. Earn the trust, earn more freedom and earn more responsibility. With every action you can either step forward or backwards. Work everyday as you would know exactly where you want to end up in the long run.
8. Finally, NO EXCUSES. Whatever you are asked to do or how high the goals are set, do not waste your time trying to come up with the reasons why it's not possible to achieve them but think of ways to get there like no one else has done before. Also, if your co-workers are not as motivated as you are do not let them influence your motivation and spirit too much. It's always better to achieve goals together with the team but if it's not possible always make sure the failure does not rest on your shoulders.
We are what we think. What we think we do. What we do we become.
Feed the fire! / Eeva
PHOTOS: Eeva Roots
SHOES: Miss Pap
BRALETTE TOP: Thrift Store