A few weeks ago, we asked our Instagram community what they wanted to know from the SOS team. We received a lot of questions in career, style, and productivity. In this special post, the team shares their personal stories and experiences.
How to enter the fashion/beauty industry? Do I have to go to school for it?
Brea: Having a formal education in fashion definitely helps but is not necessary. I went to SDSU and received a BA in Journalism and Media Studies with an emphasis in Marketing and Art. From day one, I was always looking to get my foot in the door. My first year at school while I was living in the dorms, I went to the employment offices where they posted jobs on campus and landed an assistant role to a female entrepreneur and professor. It was a great first job and led me to other opportunities. I also worked as a waitress while interning at a magazine. I was hungry to learn and grow which I know played a huge role in where I am today.
Make sure to do your research, write down the companies and brands that inspire you and you would love to be a part of. Follow their social channels for any info they might post about job opportunities as well as checking the “Careers” section on their website.
It won’t happen overnight but I promise if you do your due diligence, it will take you far. Make sure to always arrive early and write a handwritten thank you note after an interview. These things still very much matter in the digital world we live in today.
How to find your own style?
Patricia: Start by being open-minded to try different styles, silhouettes, prints, colors and see what works for you and what makes you feel good. I personally went through different phases. I used to be into only wearing black and white then I had an eclectic phase with mixing prints and vibrant colors. Now, I lean towards muted tones and neutrals. It’s not an overnight process, enjoy and do not overthink it!
Another way to visualize it is to make a mood board or a saved folder on Instagram. Save the outfits, colors, and pieces that catch your eye. Study your mood board and take note of these things when you go out shopping.
Do you have any tips for elevating your content and personal branding?
Maggie: It’s important to find your own voice, whether it’s through visual storytelling, style, etc. Studying your inspiration might be a good way to start. If you have someone in mind, figure out what exactly they do that makes you love their content. If they take photos on film, you can start by getting a film camera. The more content you create, the better you will become and along the way you’ll build your own online presence. If you think of content as storytelling, what do you want your audience to see?
How did your team members land on the career they have right now?
Maggie: I actually have a B.S. degree in Animal Science at the University of California, Davis with the intention to go to vet school. However, I was always interested in Fashion and was constantly creating content for myself. During my last year in school pursuing my second degree in Design, I found out Aimee, whom I have been admiring for a long time, was looking for an intern. So after graduating, I moved to LA and attended Aimee’s book signing event where I introduced myself and applied for the internship immediately. If you don’t have a background in fashion or a strong portfolio yet, it is important to just put in as much work as possible, whether it is interning, enriching yourself with knowledge in fashion and beyond, so when the opportunity comes, you’ll be ready!
Patricia: I completed my degree in the Philippines and graduated with a BS in Business Management. I have always loved fashion but I was also interested in how businesses run. I wanted to find a good balance between both. A few weeks after my graduation, I moved to LA as an immigrant and with my limited internship experience, looking for a job was a struggle. Not to mention I was also trying to adjust to my new environment. After countless rejections, I found myself at a mall and casually asked the manager of a retail store if they’re hiring. I really needed the income so I was lucky to get the job that same day. Little did I know this job lead me to a lot of learnings: from merchandising to operations and customer service. Then in November 2018, a close friend of mine invited me to Aimee’s book signing event. I got to introduce myself and I immediately applied for the internship. I took a strong leap of faith and the rest was history.
I didn’t have a strong background in fashion but I was constantly reading about the industry and creating content for myself. That prepared me for the SOS internship!
What are the different types of careers in fashion?
Patricia: Fashion is a huge industry with a range of diverse roles. A single fashion company would have several departments that keep the business moving. There are a lot of routes you can take – art direction, buying, designing, styling, marketing, research, merchandising, writing, etc. Do your research and you’ll eventually understand how these roles interact. The industry is constantly evolving and new roles are created. It’s important to not stop learning and to adapt to the fast-paced environment. Again, interning is a great way to learn about the roles and find what you love most before fully committing.
Where do you get inspiration? What do your mood boards look like? Love your styling, work, and spirit!
Maggie: Everywhere! We love to take inspiration from art, nature, interiors, movies, the women in our lives as well all of YOU. Our Pinterest boards and saved folders on IG are our mood boards. I find old magazines and archives very inspiring. Almost no design is brand new but an adapted revision of an old design.
How do you maintain balance in all areas in life?
Brea: Everyone is different but having a routine has helped me organize and prioritize my daily agenda. I am a morning person so I like to workout, make coffee, read the news and then when I sit down at my desk, I’m ready to go. I first make a to-do list for the day and review yesterday’s tasks to help guide me in my time management. I’m an analog gal so I use a paper notebook but the ‘Notes’ section on a Mac is great as well for shared thoughts with co-workers or friends.
Taking proper breaks to have lunch, sit outside or go for a little walk is vital to my routine because it helps provide a midday refresh and reboot my productivity. Know that you don’t have to be glued to your computer every minute.
As you come to find the routine that works for you, it will also help you find what is most important and what deserves your time and attention – family, friends, cooking, travel, etc. This took me a while to figure out but looking back, it is so important to a healthy work-life balance.
How to find the motivation to get out of my bed and actually do something productive.
Patricia: I personally love writing lists so I usually write the things that I want to accomplish and rank them based on urgency and importance. Then I break it down and allocate it in days of the week. Knowing that I have these tasks every day keeps me productive. Besides, crossing things out from my to-do list gives me so much satisfaction! Most of the time we underestimate the amount of time a simple task takes so make sure to space out your important tasks.
Also, remember that it can be small or big tasks, it doesn’t have to be the most difficult accomplishment to be a successful day.
How to manage stress and career aspirations in your early twenties?
Brea: I would tell my younger 20-year-old self to slow down, be more present and know that you are just in the beginning of a blossoming career. These things take time, success doesn’t happen overnight, and you’ll have to put in the work.
There is a saying that I learned at one of my first jobs which said – It’s fashion PR, not the ER – I always think back to it because it applies to a lot of stressful situations in this industry. When you are feeling overwhelmed, remember to take a break, a few deep breaths and know that you’ll get through it. You might have made a mistake but we all do and that will only make you stronger in the long run.
Lastly, find something that helps relieve stress whether it be hiking, yoga, meditation, journaling, cooking – anything that can be a nice break from the day’s work. It is sometimes difficult to not take your work home with you but this can help to free your mind from the daily stresses. I love the HeadSpace meditation app for a quick breathwork exercise during stressful moments.
I have small boobs and find it hard to find any bra that fits my body. I need suggestions!
Patricia: Welcome to the club! I love wearing bralettes. They are really comfortable and flattering for us smaller chested ladies. We do not really need underwires for the most part so we can get away with lighter bras. If you want a little extra padding, opt for triangle-shaped cups! Here are a few brands that carry petite friendly bra: CUUP, Free People, Other Stories, and Madewell.
You guys always seem to match your outfits, is that a coincidence?
We have similar tastes in our wardrobe and love wearing the latest pieces from the #songofstyle collection