I know why you’re here.
You’re a designer with ideas that can offset the way we see fashion and it’s so exciting. In fact, we all have the power to bring something into this world that wasn’t here before we got here which is why I wake up ready to execute for my brand, at the office, and yes, in the classroom.
What’s good everyone? My name is Nathan Ball, I’m a content writer at Indie Source, designer and owner of UNSHOOK Clothing, and, before all else, I am a student. Whether you’re learning at a university or digging for knowledge online, the value of education cannot be stressed enough and the potential payoff is amazing. We’re talking about you getting a job doing something you love or even growing your personal business to its full potential!
As exciting as it is for me and you as students, in the fashion industry there are many hurdles in our way, especially nowadays. There have been numerous specialty universities closing in recent years. In fact, almost all Art Institute campuses have closed, most recently shutting down its Hollywood campus earlier in 2019 and several other art schools are closing doors as well.
On top of this, the average amount of student debt is over $30,000 and it takes an average of 21 years for a student with a Bachelor’s degree to fully pay off their student loans.
So… How does this information make you feel? Be honest with yourself because these statistics are no joke. HOWEVER, I am here to say that whether you’re feeling angry, nervous, or worried about these stats there is no better time for you to make the most out of your education and chase your dreams than right now.
How do you make the most out of your time in college?
Should you search for internships? Get involved with special events like fashion shows? Or, launch your own brand and start running that business you’ve been itching to start?
Yes, Yes, and Yes.
Take it from me. In the year 2019 alone, I have launched my own clothing company, applied for my college’s annual fashion show, and landed a wonderful internship right here at Indie Source. Diversifying yourself in different areas of the fashion industry is the best way to learn from mentors and definitely learn from your own experiences. You should completely submerge yourself in an environment of fashion for the time you’re in college because simply showing up to class and turning in homework is not enough.
Landing an internship
Speak to your program’s advisors about your interests and ask if any companies are offering opportunities. Speak to your professors because most of them have years of experience in the industry and can offer personal advice on how to network and maybe even where to look. Even a simple Google search will find you several options for places to gain experience as an intern. Then, email all the companies that spark your interest, send them that killer resumé you’ve been building up, and show them your eagerness to learn. A perfect place for your internship is here at Indie Source, located in beautiful Downtown Los Angeles. Indie Source has given me mentors to learn from, interesting tasks to complete, and the opportunity to gain experience while helping the company reach its ultimate goal. We are here bringing the best of the industry together in order to turn any designer’s dreams into amazing products.
Special Events & Fashion Shows
As a student studying fashion, there are so many opportunities out there for you to showcase your amazing talents and learn from your peers through friendly competition and personal challenges. Special events like fashion shows can be a chance for you to get your designs in front of the right people: influencers, potential customers, and even powerful mentors who can guide you further along on your journey. Personally, going to trade shows and fashion shows have been the best way for me to get myself out there and meet those who are deeper in the industry than myself. In fact, it can be very intimidating for a designer or business owner when you don’t know where to start. However, once you meet that right person, they can introduce you to many others in the game and before you know it your schedule will be packed. Click this link to get access to Indie Source’s college ambassador program to jump start your activity as a student designer.
Launch Your Brand. TODAY.
Let’s just come out and say it. The perfect time doesn’t exist and there will always be something in your way. The great news is that you have the power to start your brand today and take the first steps on your journey to success. Trust me, I know there are countless excuses we can tell ourselves that will slow down our progression, I used to use them all:
- “I don’t have enough time right now” – Your brand will find it’s own time, you just have to start and if that means less time of leisure each day it’ll be more than worth it.
- “I don’t have the money right now” – Then start small. The key is that you start. Order the minimum quantity instead of producing a large collection. Cut spending in other areas of your life and look at your inventory as an investment that will not only bring revenue but also a greater sense of self-fulfillment than any other purchase you could make.
- “My designs aren’t perfect yet” – They never will be. Just create something you are proud of and get it into production. This could be simple tee shirts with your logo at first but as long as you have something in hand you are in the game. Over time, you will build that dream collection you’ve been envisioning but for now, let’s get the ball rolling
Once I realized how much I wanted to build my own brand I realized nothing could stop me and that any obstacle I come across will only mold me into a stronger designer and a better business person. I promise that things will start to fall into place for you if you just put yourself out there.
It’s a competitive world for us entrepreneurs. The cutthroat energy you might come across in the industry could leave you with the taste of intimidation or a burning hunger for success. In any case, if you truly love the process, all these experiences will breathe life into your day. So go out and make it happen. Today.
Hey there, check out my links above for some examples of a college student juggling academics and a personal brand. If I can do it I know you can too!