When you move out to LA to pursue your dreams, whether that's to be a hip-hop dancer, film director, a fashion designer or a song writer. It's so important to find someone that already works in that field and thriving in it. I was lucky to land an internship with Jennifer Hutton. At the time, she was 57 years old, but don't let that fool you. She can run circles around all of us. Jen, was known to be tough. Especially with all the young dreamers that go through the school ( Fashion Careers International). If they haven't face hard work before then Jen will certainly show it to them.
It's not that Jen was mean. She's a real sweetheart actually. But Jen, believes in hard work and perseverance. Especially, when she sees potential in you. She is going to push you to be the best that you can be. And if you don't give it your all then she will say something. Besides fashion is always changing and she expects hard work to be consistent.
Jen has her own women's fashion showroom, she works closely with manufactures for product development, she travels constantly and she does not let ANYONE walk over her. Everyday that I was with her, she always had an exuberant amount of energy. No matter how little of sleep or how long and hard the day before was. Jen was always giving it a 100% each day. She was always so attentive with her buyers, she was creative with her sales strategies and she always took time to form personal relationships with them. That's why I was so eager to be her assistant when I found out that the position was available.
Jen had 34 years in the fashion industry. Our travels,trade shows and all the work we put into her business meant a lot to me. Because I gained so much from all the experience and had to grow a thick skin. That's why it's so important to develop deep meaningful relationships with someone that you look up to in the field, whether it's your boss or someone that inspires you. Not only can you learn from their trials and tribulations. But you also gain wisdom from their experiences;personal and business.
If the person you want to be a mentor isn't your boss, you can just ask if they have time for coffee and sit down with you for 15 minutes. Let them know how passionate and interested you are about learning and offer what ever useful skills that you have to make their lives easier.
You are there to learn from them. Because what you will gain is so much more valuable in the long run. Besides, you never know who you will meet through their connections, who can potentially offer you a lead or a job in the future. So yes, be patient, put in the work, watch and listen.
Studies have shown that it takes 7 years to become an expert in a field. However, you can cut that in half if you have a good mentor that can guide you. So yes, if you move out to LA or anywhere, really, don't be shy to look up and extend your hand. Because you'd be surprise that they may be waiting to share their knowledge and pass on their legacy.
Thank you Jen, for being you.