10 ways to be a successful Self-taught Young Designer

The world of fashion is never ending and exciting.  Although designing can be fun, hard work and dedication is much needed to gain results.

1.) Always write down your ideas!
 Maybe you saw something that sparked your interest at some point during the day, or perhaps you were inspired by someone else’s project. Creative ideas can hit us anytime and it's Important to keep those ideas in place for future reference.

2.) Stay Confident
It's very important that you stay confident.  Some people may not understand your ideas and concepts  and that's okay.  Even though we are in an era where ''different'' is in style people still follow trends closely and as a designer it is up to you to show off your pieces as if they are THE best thing ever. Be mindful that the competitive side of fashion will show it's claws to you, when it does confidence could be your best advantage to help tame the monsters.  Simply being young makes others think you're an easy target and having little to no formal education will make them want to bug you even more. DON'T LET IT GET TO YOU! 

3.) Do your research.
Anticipating what step to take next does not always go smoothly.  It's okay to Ask questions and use your resources.  Ask a local designer, Google it, Refer to a fashion Blog catered to young fashion Designers ;) .....Just don't give up.

4.)  Practice

teach yourself new techniques. Building your skills leads to a better you.

5.) Enter your work in local gigs
Nobody will know your work unless you don't show it off, that's why it's important to enter into fashion shows, contests and gain clientele.  Craigslist was one way I would find local events to display my work and sometimes sell for free.  Another thing to do Is offer wardrobe help to local models and photographers that way, they are provided fashion for the moment and you receive free advertising. Being local gets old and boring but keep putting yourself out there, you never know whos watching.

6. Sell your work online
There are plenty of free ecommerce host sites that can get you started with an online shop. Don't let people slip away as potential customers!!! Etsy, Storenvy, amazon and more sites like them are here to help make you money!!

7. Blow up social media with your work

I'm personally not a big fan of constant posting because it's a load of work to keep up with, but it's a free way of marketing you and your talent.  Your work will be embedded into peoples brain each time they see your work. 

8. Watch out for people who want to ''pick your brain'' or misuse you

With your talent comes many people who will want to take advantage of you. For example, others will expect you to work for free, sell yourself short, steal your ideas and rob you for your creativity. Watch out for these parasites! One minute they compliment your skills and ability, next they will want to ''collaborate'' (a way to take-in everything they want without payment), and finally you will be left feeling frustrated and robbed of your time. Don't get me wrong, there is a time and place for charity work but you need a balance... DO NOT GIVE EVERYTHING AWAY or before you know it you'll be broke.

Here's a short video on how to say no to the parasites by Marie Forleo

9.)  Get a camera
It will save you time and money in the long run.  I can't tell you how many times I've wasted time waiting on freelance photographers to help take quick shots of my work for me.  Setting up time for shooting is not always the easiest, especially with school or work in the mix.  With me there was always hassle with model availability versus photographer availability versus MY availability. It's easier to just be ready with a camera at all times.

10.) Work on a fashion business plan.
I'm not going to lie, making a business plan isn't easy but  you don't have to rush it.  Having a solid plan can save you time and money in the long run.

11.) Join a fashion related social group.
 keep up with people who share the same interests as you.

Be you, Keep learning and love what you do!


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