Rad advice for anyone who dreams of working in fashion and beauty

I recently read Diane Von Furstenberg’s newest book, The Woman I Wanted To Be. It’s a memoir of sorts delving into her personal life, her romantic relationships, her love of fashion and most importantly, her successes and mistakes in business. Her story really resonated with me.

See, DVF never planned to become the globally iconic fashion house her name now calls to mind. She simply wanted to support herself and create a great product that helped women. In fact, the title of her book is from a direct quote of hers that I often repeat, “I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I always knew the woman I wanted to be.” For her, the plan wasn’t necessarily about wealth or fame, though she has achieved all that. For her, it was simply about embodying the woman she wanted others to know her as and letting everything else fall in place with some hard work, passion and zeal. And through that, a legend was built.

For the entirety of my career, the one thing I can say I’ve done right is to look to women who have gone before me and try to learn from their stories. And in all the books I’ve read, mentors I’ve listened to and friends I’ve learned from, one constant has remained: The idea that your career is a journey and you should let yourself enjoy every step along the way.

This week, I wanted to not only share with you what I have learned through the journey I’ve been on. but what friends from beauty industry have learned, as well. And by friends, I mean kickass women who are leaders in their field and whom I’ve admired watching climb higher and higher through grace, humility, a lot of passion and a lot of hard work. Here are their stories and the biggest lessons they’ve learned along the way:

On Time Management:

“As a working artist, time and production are often extremely crucial. If you show up late or unorganized, even if you produce amazing work, you may not be invited to work with the same crew twice. This is critical to your networking as word can get around that you are not time efficient.” — Arianna Scott, Makeup Artist in Seattle, WA

“With success comes responsibility and ultimately a pretty full on workload, so time management will make or break your day. I struggle to say no, so listing what I need to do and then re-writing my list and prioritising the order of events really helps. Having balance and knowing your limits is crucial because none of us are robots! Finding your way while ticking boxes, you’ll create your own system.” —Ana McCormack, Technical Education Manager, Color.Me Kevin.Murphy UK

On Getting Along:

“Be kind, professional and polite to everyone. You never know when you’ll miss the chance to meet an angel. Humility and kindness will get you amazing opportunities in life and career.” — Kelli Chan, Salon Owner, Hairstylist & Educator in Vancouver, BC

“There is no competition in my opinion. If you set yourself apart and leave your potential clients with knowledge of your brand and what you guarantee, they can see the difference for themselves. This is why it is important to have a website where clients can quickly see your work, have a clean, professional appearance and are friendly. Show them about your business. Your work is what draws them in, after all.” — Arianna Scott

“As a professional with strong ethics, I refuse to compromise my integrity or compete with others, I’m only ever in competition with myself. If I get competitive, it’s for me to perhaps improve an outcome or something I know could have turned out better. Don’t be afraid to have a word with yourself daily, but don’t be too hard on yourself.” — Ana Mcormak

“Never follow the crowd, be genuine, innovative and create what you want to see happen.” — Fallene Wells, Salon Owner, Hairstylist & Educator in Denver, CO

On Motivation:

“You’re only as good as your last haircut. That phrase reminds me to bring my A-game every single day!” — Kelli Chan

“Staying on top of things and seeing results keeps me motivated. Knowing that you are making a difference in your field is the greatest reward and in turn, the feeling of accomplishment gives greater confidence. Ultimately, confidence in yourself radiates and attracts others who feel confident in you. Those with confidence in you listen to you and believe in you. The result? Further success!” — Ana Mcormak

On Making It Happen:

“Be patient, take it slow and research. Think outside the box and don’t follow the rules, make your own. Be original and stay on your toes.” — Arianna Scott

“Do everything in life with intention and purpose.” — Kelli Chan

“Growing up, I never quite felt like I fit into any box. But does anyone? When I began to worry less about what everyone around me was doing and just accepted that my goals weren’t always destined to be the same as my peers, I became happier in both my work and my personal life. When you’re passionate about what you do the two tend to be one anyways.” — Ana Mcormack

“If you work really hard, stay humble and remain optimistic through all of the challenges, you can achieve anything!” — Fallene Wells

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