My ongoing hunt for my dream job…..
I am from a small town near Bath, South West England. During school I was a total tomboy, sports sports sports was all I cared about and all I took part in.
At school, everyone had to do design technology at one point or another and I remember distinctly the time where something else other than sport twigged inside me and that I felt enjoyment from. This was a sewing class!
I made a baby’s hat, it was pink and yellow and to this day I still have it, I feel this was the point in my life where design entered my brain.
Anyway, I wasn’t allowed to take on design as a subject when I was 18 because I had not other than this one design class chosen anything design related prior to this. Great! I guess it’s back to sport.
I left school with, what I would say aren’t really grades. If you want to be a PE teacher, a personal trainer, brilliant you’ve hit the nail on the head.
So, I thought after school I would go to university, this is what everyone else was doing, not that I knew what I wanted to do but again I had always done sport so hey why not become a personal trainer.
Off I go to university, don’t get me wrong at this time of my life I did love working out, I worked part time in a gym and trained religiously. University was killing my vibe though; the scientific side was mind boggling and I just could not concentrate on it.
I remember one class mate saying to me at one point
‘Michelle, you should get into fashion, look at what your wearing, you always wear such great outfits’
Me? Fashionable? I had never thought of this before. I mean yes, I loved clothes, and putting together outfits but I never thought anything of it.
Boom! I guess that kind of hit me and next thing I am working my first retail assistant job. It soon became apparent to me that I did not just want to be a standard retail assistant, that I wanted more. My new career idea was to become a visual merchandiser. I actually got a lot of experience in this field and got to travel to other new stores and merchandise them around England, I also did a lot of styling window and wall displays.
This led on to my next retail experience at Urban Outfitters. I started off in Bath, then worked my way up to 2 of the biggest London stores as deputy womenswear manager. The next thing I knew I was moving there in a week, never been before, never lived by myself, eeekkkkkk!
Onto my next career idea, styling!! Something I will always love and still always love doing. I guess this came from dressing the mannequins loads, shopping for my friends and family a lot. I also worked part time on the side of retail with a stylist, until I soon realised I had no social life, and why would you live in London if you have no social life? I tried getting the styling/ personal shopping business into Urban Outfitters but I guess there was a reason this never happened.
‘London opened my eyes to the world of fashion, I was immersed in this bubble of amazingness. I went to as many free fashion events as I could, exhibitions, I shopped and walked Oxford Street all the time, I knew when all the stores got their new styles in, I was hooked’
Then one day I was sat on the tube on the way to work and a band came on and were playing a great indie tune. Boy do I love an indie band! I looked around the tube and everyone had their newspapers in front of their faces, nobody was interested in this amazing band playing before their eyes. (I have told so many people this story of the tube as It affected my life a lot, it was the reason I left London and went on my next adventure).
I had to go home for a while after London because my mum was very ill and I wanted to spend time with her, so I did some waitressing at home to make some money on the side. My mum was a woman that regardless of how ill she was and she got, she wanted my sister and I to go and find ourselves, go and be ourselves and go and explore this wonderful world, doing what we loved. I know I got my independence and confidence from her and I will always be grateful for that.
This led me onto the wonderful world of being a yachtie! My boyfriend had already been doing this for 2 years before I joined and I remember always telling him that you would never see me cleaning toilets in a million years- I am a fashionista ;)
Little did I know that these toys that house the rich and famous have a glamorous team of personal shoppers that work on board to. The reason I went to work on boats was
‘To become a personal shopper to the rich and famous’
I did yachting for around 4 years in total on various boats. I got to do the personal shopping and styling I always dreamed of alongside being a stewardess, I got flown to Dubai and stay in the owners private apartment, I shopped all over the South of France, Dubai and Italy.
I really did love personal shopping, but still I knew this was not the career path I was meant to do in this world. I remember spending hours and hours days and nights thinking and contemplating what I was going to do with my life whilst working as a stewardess.
Then it came to me. It could have something to do with me finally realising who I was, finding myself through travelling the world, meeting people from various different countries and socialising with as many people as I could.
I actually cannot remember the exact time I thought of starting my own fashion line, like I said before I think it was just meant to be. I knew I wanted to work for myself, I loved clothes and styling and now I have just found out that I love business, setting up websites, learning about branding, finances, business plans etc.
I researched my butt off on my last boat for 2 years, teaching myself as much as I possibly could on how to design and run your own fashion line, as well as saving my salary every month (someone’s got to pay for it!).
I then took the entrepreneurial leap and am now running my own fashion line from my apartment in Barcelona, I cannot describe to you the feeling of working for myself, I am learning so much everyday which I love and I have so many future plans and ideas yet to come.
Remember don’t settle for a job you are not happy in, keep moving, keep hustling and you will get there!