Posts Tagged ‘career advice’

Fashion Jobs – Q&A With Owners of Wedding Boutique LoversLand

Thursday, September 7th, 2017

Style Nine to Five - Fashion Jobs in CanadaDanielle&Yvonne-132

There is no doubt that Danielle Gulic and Yvonne Reidy are merging the gap between fashion retail and bridal and changing the way women approach bridal shopping at LoversLand. Their fresh and inspirational concept store brings you a feeling of ease and comfort, as if you are catching up with good friends over an afternoon of shopping. Entering the world of LoversLand, you are celebrating all that is love whether finding a bridal dress in The Haven or finding pieces for your honeymoon. The best part is you don’t need to be a bride to walk right in; there is something for everyone and the girls got you covered.


Style Nine to Five had a chance to sit down with both Danielle and Yvonne and hear more about their journeys, inspirations, and their perspectives on bridal fashion.


SNTF: Can you tell us about the years before launching LoversLand and what lead you to be entrepreneurs?


Yvonne: Similar to Danielle, I had been in the fashion wholesale business for ten years representing fifteen Scandinavian brands, and at that time a lot of my friends were getting married and I found my experience going to these bridal boutiques very tired and dated. With Toronto having a really lively fashion scene and everything changing, I realized the bridal sector had been ignored. I was never truly happy working for someone else, dedicating so much of myself, and sometimes I felt resentful working for other people because I didn’t feel like I was being heard or appreciated. All those experiences led me to my path of doing something on my own.

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SNTF: How and when was LoversLand created and what was the concept behind the business?


Danielle: The experience I provided for a lot of bridesmaids was very open-hearted, down to earth, and private. Girls were saying their bridesmaid’s experience was better than their own bridal fitting so for us the biggest question we had to ask is why is bridal such a separate category to fashion? Why is it in its own category? So we knew it had to be an open and inclusive experience for all customers because we wanted to bridge the gap between fashion retail and bridal. It’s odd how the only time you entered a bridal shop was when someone had an engagement ring on and was planning a wedding. For us, love is beyond just the wedding day and we wanted to create a space around that concept. Bridal couples are changing and everything is more customized and personal, so we bring our own style to the bridal industry that has to catch up.


Yvonne: We wanted a place that people kept coming back to. We found it surprising that if a girl had the best experience in a bridal store and she is going to spend the most money on one certain thing I cant believe you just say goodbye to them and don’t build a relationship with them where you see them again on their anniversary, valentines day or honeymoon and nurture and grow with that customer.


SNTF: Did you encounter and obstacles while launching the business?


Yvonne: We worked on the business plan for two years before we had the funds to get a space. The first obstacles were coming up with a concept and brain storming our ideas. We knew it was going to be bridal driven but we really wanted to separate ourselves from what was happening. Next step was getting the finances and that was really all about networking which led us to an investor in New York.  We had to pitch the idea and that was a challenge as new entrepreneurs but we got through it, he invested in us, and we were able to move forward. But every day there are obstacles and we are learning as we go.


Danielle: I think a lot of people thought we were crazy when we explained our idea to them. They didn’t see our vision like we did, especially when trying to get suppliers. Yvonne always said “just wait, just wait until they see us open” and they see it now. Trying to verbalize your idea to people was a challenge, and knowing we wanted something different and big wasn’t a slow step process, we wanted it to be strong and impactful.

haven appointment

SNTF: How did you choose Toronto as the city to introduce LoversLand?


Danielle: We both live in the Ossington and Dundas area and are part of the community. When I opened Two Birds Bridesmaids it was down the corner from us now on Ossington. We have both been here for fifteen years, so as Torontonians it made sense for us to stay here. This area is always evolving and it’s inspiring to watch and be a part of the community growth.


Yvonne: We had a lot of support in the city and we ultimately wanted to do it here. We wanted to be Canadian and Toronto is the biggest city – it’s the hub, there is always so much going. We knew it would be a great test market for our concept.


SNTF: How do you decide what pieces are brought into the store? What are your influences?


Danielle: From day one, Yvonne and I had a very collective buying experience; there really wasn’t a procedure we followed. It really was what we liked, what we thought our customer would want, and now with the team, we have a few other opinions to hear. Yvonne’s experience in the wholesale industry has been huge because she is constantly seeing these new up and coming brands, and because she has helped launch so many brands here in Canada she has a knack for finding new trends that haven’t reached Toronto but knows they will work for our client. We have to expand the narrow focus on bridal styles. As for things that influence us, everything around us is influential; our team, our travels, art, and our customers who come into the shop.


Yvonne: Only now we feel we have the right assortment because everything is trial and error. There have been times when you think something is amazing and then you’re surprised it hasn’t received the reaction you thought it would get. But that’s the thing; you really have to listen to what your customer wants without selling just to sell. For us it’s having the right balance between something new and what the customer wants. We always want to make sure that what we are selling and what we are pushing is a representation of us.


SNTF: How would you describe your own personal styles?


Danielle: I would say my personal style reflects a comfortable mix of things; glam vintage pieces with a tomboy street style spin.


Yvonne: For me classic and comfortable is what I lean towards. I like to pair some modern pieces with vintage denim. I usually like to commit to a couple of great pieces a season and I work my closet around it. It usually works, at least people tell me it works to make me happy.

haven pic

SNTF: What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?


Danielle: If you’re going to do it, do it 100% and give it your all. Work hard, be persistent and put all your effort into it. I always say you do have to be a little crazy to be an entrepreneur because you do sacrifice a lot and quite often you have to listen to your gut instinct.


Yvonne: My mother used to always say, “Just take the risk.” When we started to build our business she always told me to do it because if I didn’t I would never know. And if by chance it didn’t work out, I would have my answer and I can move on.


SNTF: Are there any challenges sharing the business? What is the best part about having a partner?


Danielle: We have a shared vision, and from day one what attracted me to Yvonne was she had a strong work ethic and she carried herself very well. In a sense she is someone you have a lot of respect for and I have a lot of respect for her. I think having a partner is awesome because there are going to be stressful scary days we all go through and have, and days when you can’t be 100% but it’s nice to know there is someone who cares as much as you do.


Yvonne: If it wasn’t both of us collaborating daily, it would be a much more narrow vision. We share the workload and ideas, and it is a great feeling knowing there is someone who has your best interest. I wouldn’t say we have challenges amongst each other; we are very understanding and straightforward with each other. We understand if one of us needs a day to reenergize because we come back with a new sense of what we want and we move forward. What solidifies the relationship for me is that it (LoversLand) wouldn’t be as good as it is now if she wasn’t part of it.


SNTF: What would you say sets LoversLand apart from other bridal boutiques?


Danielle: Our goal was to always create a brand and environment that is both approachable and welcoming, not making bridal and weddings feel like a secret club that only a few are welcomed to and get to experience. It’s not just a bridal experience that you get here it’s very real; it’s inclusive and intimate. We have something for everyone and it doesn’t matter what stage in life you are at, we are celebrating love as a lifestyle.


Yvonne: The first thing that sets us apart is anyone can walk through the door at any time of the day. You don’t need to be a bride or make an appointment to enter the shop. I also think we are more concerned about women feeling the best they can feel on their big day whether it’s our dress or not. If we are getting the feeling of it not working in here, we offer suggestions of where our client can go because for us it’s making sure that women are feeling the best and are looking the best they can look.

shop wall

SNTF: What do you see as the next step for LoversLand? What can we expect?


Danielle: There are some very exciting things happening as we speak, but our lips are sealed. You will just have to be patient for what we have coming. We couldn’t be more thrilled!


To stay up to date and follow the journey at LoversLand make sure to check out their website and follow them on Instagram.


All Images Courtesy of LoversLand


By Ivana Pavkovic, Toronto, @iforeveronvacation

Fashion Jobs – How to Balance Your Side Hustle While Working 9 to 5

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Style Nine to Five - Fashion Jobs in CanadaScreen Shot 2017-09-05 at 8.05.29 PM

Let’s face it, working your 9 to 5 job is great for paying the bills and allowing you to live that somewhat aesthetically pleasing lifestyle you just can’t let go of. But the truth is, your day jobs typically aren’t very inspiring and they can tend to leave you feeling burnt out. This is why it’s important to have hobbies if you have a busy work life because as sappy as it sounds, your they are what truly keeps your heart beating.


So, let’s say you’re dabbling in your hobby on the side, whether it’s Instagram, painting or nail art and you absolutely love it. The only thing is, your hobby gives you passion but your 9 to 5 gives you dollars. Then one day the two cross paths and you have to choose. How do you balance your side hustle and still have a 9 to 5?


Well, we sat down with lifestyle and food blogger and lawyer, Krystle Ng-A-Mann, also known as Dine and Fash about how she balances her 9 to 5 and her blogger career. She gave us her three best tips on how to balance both and be successful.

Dine and Fash


1. Get Your Priorities Together
“Learn to prioritize and develop systems to keep you organized. Try to use your time as effectively as possible. But at the same time, make sure to take time for yourself and to have fun. It shouldn’t be all about work all the time,” says Krystle.


2. No, No, No!
“Learn how to say “no”. You can’t do everything, so it’s best to say no if there is something you truly can’t or shouldn’t be adding to your plate. Otherwise, if you try to take on too much, it can lead to burnout or spreading yourself too thin.” 


3. Risky Business
“Don’t be afraid to take risks and always remember to pursue what you’re passionate about. It’s your passion that will keep you motivated to keep going!”


You can follow Krystle on her Instagram or keep up with her posts on her website.


Inspirational Images
All images are courtesy of Dine and Fash


By Prescylla Veronique, Toronto @prescyllav

Fashion Jobs – Tips on Setting Career Goals for Fall

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

Style Nine to Five - Fashion Jobs in Canadadevilwears.

The end of summer is gradually upon us, which solely denotes back to reality for most. For undergraduate students, it’s a beginning of a new school year, meaning new courses, new professors, and a new time schedule. However, for those who have just received their degree or diploma, the beginning of fall could imply that it’s time to hustle, network, and apply.


While the summer season provided graduates to take a breather after a year of completing their last few courses, the end of summer also marks the beginning of “adulting” as Millennials would call it. The truth is, many who have just completed their undergrad are lost and have no idea how to start this adulthood phase. It’s a step-by-step process in which one must endure and be patient for.  Here are some tips on setting career goals for the upcoming season that I’ve acquired and implemented during my post-undergrad years of being out from school.


Polish Your Resume
One of the first steps of setting career goals is keeping your resume or CV organized. There are numerous formats that you can follow to achieve this. Ensure that you’re focusing on what’s imperative – the key experiences and skills that are relevant to whatever you’re applying for. Even if you’re open-ended, it is still important to keep every experience and skill classified so that you may filter them when you are sure of what field you want to reach. Keep your descriptions succinct but use formal language. Spend significant time on the cover letter as it provides your resume and yourself a good impression. Express your interest and passion as best as you can. This is how you sell yourself regardless of how insufficient you may think your experiences are. Remember that a good resume could be a decision from a life changing opportunity.


Network, Network, and Network
In this generation, networking is a tremendously essential ingredient to secure your success in the field you want to reach, particularly in the fashion industry. At this point, don’t fret on how much you’ll be earning, but concentrate on the experience you’ll be attaining. Think of it as installing a very sturdy, lifetime foundation for what you want to accomplish in life. Socialize and release your inner extrovert. In today’s competitive world, hiring managers don’t tolerate shy individuals. Your resume isn’t enough to describe your whole self; there has to be coordination between what’s on paper and how you present yourself. As most people would assert, to network is to be nice to everyone.


The Art of Applying
Once you’ve created leverage, it’s time to binge apply. Apply as much as you can because you know your options are endless. Use websites and the network you have built to do this. Determine if you’re going for a short-term job or a long-term job – some jobs may act as proper stepping-stones to reach higher areas in certain career fields. Prepare your references suitably– choose individuals who you’ve had or are still having good relationships with. Be very patient with your applications. The only way to find out if your resume is effective is through this phase. Further, if you’re someone who doesn’t have a proper career trajectory, this is the best way to determine which careers match your experiences and skills.


Follow-Up Hesitation
Don’t be afraid to do follow ups. It never hurts to write a letter to recruiting managers regarding the status of your application. Don’t let rejections get you down; use these as opportunities to reflect on what could’ve been done or what approach you should be going for. Following up applications is also a useful way to determine whether the right career path has been chosen or not.


Image inspiration:
Image courtesy of People Celebrity


By: Franz Tabora, Mississauga, @phranzzzz

Are you an employer? Post your fashion job here.

Are you a job seeker? Find fashion jobs here.

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for the latest fashion jobs, career advice and fashion trends!

Fashion Jobs – Wrapping Up Your Summer Internship… And Land Your Dream Job

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

Style Nine to Five - Fashion Jobs in CanadaFashion Internship

If you caught our previous post on maximizing your summer internship, then you probably took great advantage of your experiences. We talked about how to network, the importance of learning new skills and how to nail that 8-week interview… the internship itself. Well, now that summer is coming close to an end, you might be thinking of taking what you’ve learned during your internship to help land you that dream job. We’ve got our tips listed on how to wrap up your internship, and land that job you’ve been working for!


If You Don’t Apply…
Probably the most obvious, search through current positions at the organization and find ones that fit your skill set and interests. Aim for something entry level or within the department you’re currently interning in. Companies love to hire and promote from within, and if you’ve proven yourself over the summer you might just be the perfect candidate!


Meet With Hiring Managers
A great way to end off your internship is to try and get some small one on one time with hiring managers and team leads from your department or departments you collaborated with within the company. Use this time to pick their brains on their career journey, how they and their teams enjoyed working with you and any other professional advice they may have for you. You can also take this time to inquire about any current or future opportunities, but don’t let this be the focus of your meeting. Your goal here is to leave a positive and lasting impression with the management team and turn from intern to candidate in their minds.


Stay In Touch
Don’t let the relationships you’ve built with people end simply because summer has. Stay in touch with the people you’ve truly connected with whether it be on LinkedIn, Facebook or through texts. Continuing to nurture these relationships can result in friendships that can turn into recommendations or job offers when the time is right. Staying relevant after you’re gone is a great way to be considered for a new position with the company in the future.


Meet With HR
Depending on how big some organizations are, all new openings might not be known by your direct manager or teams you work with, especially in the vast world of fashion. Taking time to meet with Human Resources or the recruiting team is your best bet for learning about all new positions across areas of the head office, store front and even at sister divisions. Your chances of finding a position that fits you is greater when working with HR as these professionals are trained to spot potential and fit people into the right roles for them.


Inspirational Image
Image courtesy of Design Pinn


By: M.J. Elle, Toronto, @TheMJElle

Are you an employer? Post your fashion job here.

Are you a job seeker? Find fashion jobs here.

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for the latest fashion jobs, career advice and fashion trends!

Fashion Jobs – Appreciate the Retail Experience

Friday, August 4th, 2017

Style Nine to Five - Fashion Jobs in Canada

It seems that having a job in the retail industry is a hit or miss. Working as a sales associate has often been defined as exhausting and repetitive. Some have also described the working environment of a retail store as “shady” or lacking transparency amongst employees, especially if a race for commission is present. Despite the negatives, however, there are still a significant number who cherish their jobs simply because they have a passion for fashion and enjoy providing customer service.


As one of these people, I was fortunate to be employed at a notorious retail store that I can truly say further augmented my love for clothes. This store happens to be Club Monaco, a New York based high-end brand owned by Ralph Lauren. For many years, I have always appreciated the clothes that the company sells because of the timeless style and great quality. Although many will agree that the merchandise is costly, true fashion goers will recognize the correlation between the price frame and the clothes’ characteristics. In addition, the visual properties of a Club Monaco store remarkably exhibit aesthetic, which hints the modern and high fashion style of the company’s line.


As a fashion fanatic, I’ve always thought that having the opportunity to work at a high-end store is beneficial and can act as a stepping-stone to reach other areas in the fashion industry. Initially, I had low hopes of acquiring the position of a stylist because I lacked the experience in retail. However, when I was hired late last year, I couldn’t be more excited to work on the sales floor – to meet everyone who is as obsessed with clothes as I am and share personal styling tips to clients. The first meeting consisted of discussions regarding marketing strategies, seasonal trends, visual standards, and of course, styling. As months passed by, I have learned how to properly attend to clients’ needs, forming a relationship with them to ensure sales and profile acquisition. I have become adapted to interacting with clients, sharing knowledge on products and current fashion trends, and recommending pieces that would meet their particular needs. This type of work is gratifying and has given me the strong drive to pursue a career in fashion.


The above paragraph is merely a general description of my current retail journey. I can honestly claim that so far, it has been an adventurous roller coaster ride – from attaining special clients or encountering rude ones, to being sent to collection launch events and meeting corporate individuals. Even though this is my first retail job, I think that I was able to bring out the best in a sales associate position because of the experience that I know I can appreciate. With hopes of a smoother journey, I can utilize this experience to propel myself to higher levels of the fashion industry and eventually become a role model that could inspire others to a pursue a career in fashion.


Inspirational image:
Image courtesy of Square One


By: Franz Tabora, Mississauga, @phranzzzz

Are you an employer? Post your fashion job here.

Are you a job seeker? Find fashion jobs here.

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for the latest fashion jobs, career advice and fashion trends!

Fashion Jobs – 15 Things You Must Understand About Workplace Email Etiquette

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

Style Nine to Five - Fashion Jobs in CanadaEmail Etiquette

As a millennial, you are the grand master of short messaging. You text. You tweet. You rely on emojis to get your point across. And short is good, right? Sure it is, when you’re deciding where to meet up with your best bros. But now, as you enter the work world, you may discover that you’re missing an essential business skill — email etiquette.


Although this world is transforming quickly, the rules of email etiquette are well established, and they’ve remained unchanged for quite some time — and I’m talking about even in the most progressive of workplaces. So unless you are absolutely sure that your workplace encourages Internet acronyms and SMS abbreviations, or eliminating punctuation altogether (and guess what— I’ve checked around and none of them do), it’s safest to stick to the traditional rules of letter writing for now.


Here are 15 things you must know and do to avoid rookie email mistakes and gain the polished image that usually comes only with job experience.


1. Reply in 24 hours or less:
Do not allow email to accumulate in your inbox. Answer the easy ones immediately, and if you require more time, then acknowledge receipt of every email, even if you just say, “Thanks.” You may be busy, but do it — it’s simply good etiquette. Now let’s say that the email you received requires some research before you can fully respond. In this case, it’s important to say something like, “I’ve read your email and I’ll get back to you as soon as I finish my analysis.” That way, your co-workers (or, God forbid, your boss) won’t think you’re blowing them off — which would never be a good career move.


2. Begin with a salutation:
Unless you’re emailing a bud you talk to every day, or your favorite office mate who sits right next to you, don’t start out with a casual “Hey.” Use a salutation that reflects your relationship to the recipient — perhaps “Hello, Mario,” “Good Morning, Jennifer,” or “Dear Ms. Green.” Forget about “To Whom It May Concern” — too impersonal and way too old-fashioned. And “Dear Sirs” — ouch! (Luckily, I haven’t seen that one in years, and I doubt anyone plans to revive it.)


3. Introduce yourself:
Again, unless this is someone you email on a daily basis, don’t assume the recipient knows who you are. Always introduce yourself briefly. You can use something simple like, “Hi, it’s Ophelia at this end,” or you may need to take it a step further and remind the person where you met or what your connection is. Be sure to make it easy on the recipient — it’s the polite thing to do.


4. Show the topic in the subject line:
Business professionals can get hundreds of emails each day. If you don’t want yours to get lost in the shuffle, write a clear subject line. For example: Update on the contract negotiations. Materials for tomorrow’s meeting. New information regarding the budget.  Specific, and to the point — make that your rule. This also helps if you’re saving and filing your correspondence — it’ll be much easier to find it later.


5. Avoid joking and sarcasm:
Believe me, I hate to ruin anyone’s workplace fun, but jokes and sarcasm are just too dangerous in emails. It’s easy to misinterpret the tone of an email, and you may think you’re being funny, only to have your joke taken the wrong way.  Same thing with sarcasm. Always be polite, professional, and straightforward, and save the jokes for after-work meet-ups.


6. Make sure grammar, spelling, and everything else is perfect:
Your email is a reflection of you. It’s a statement of your professionalism. Misspelled words, sloppy grammar, and other mistakes may be okay if you’re dashing off a quick email to your best friend. But in the world of work, it sends the message that you don’t care about what you’re doing. Or you don’t know any better. Turn on your spell check before sending any email. And then, re-read the whole message carefully, looking for missing words or other errors spell check can’t find.


7. Don’t use text lingo:
I know. Even our grandmothers are saying “OMG” and “FYI” these days, but trendy abbreviations aren’t appropriate in business email — especially in a diverse, multi-generational office. Lest you think I’m being a killjoy here, let me explain why: simply put, there’s a chance they will be misunderstood. Sure, the recipient could look them up, but who has time for that? Spell out every word and make it easy on everyone.


8. Avoid all caps:
Writing anything in all caps will come across as unnecessarily strong — it’s like SHOUTING! RIGHT IN YOUR EAR! Not only that, a subject line in all caps can easily get re-routed to the SPAM file. If you must emphasize a word or phrase in order to clarify your point, use italics. (Much nicer, don’t you think?) And while we’re on the subject, ditto for bolding, underlining, or a gazillion exclamation points!!! Way too loud for general correspondence.


9. Be careful what you write:
Unlike your personal email, your professional email, much like your desk and your chair, actually belongs to the company you work for. Your email — for better or worse — may be used by the company to prove “who knew what, and when” in lawsuits, or simply to establish the trademark rights on a new product you’ve helped develop. So never say anything in an email you don’t want the world to read—or anything that could be damaging to you, your boss or co-workers, or your company.


10. Close with a sign-off:
An email is like a conversation. It has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Be sure to end yours with your name, title, and contact info — or whatever format is preferred in your workplace. And a quick “Best regards” or “Best wishes” makes your email more friendly. Nothing wrong with being friendly.


11. Take 5 to review your message before hitting “send”:
I’ve already talked about proofreading your email for mistakes. Next, if at all possible, let your email message “rest and relax” a few minutes before you send it. Review it closely to make sure it’s what you really want to say, and that it’s completely clear and understandable. Sometimes you can hit an “Unsend” feature, but it’s not always available (or reliable). To be safe, fill in the recipient’s name in the “To” line only after you’ve deemed your email ready to go.


12. Don’t overuse “Reply All”:
In fact, just plain don’t use it unless you absolutely have to. No one wants to receive hundreds of emails on topics they long ago lost interest in — or weren’t involved in to begin with. This is the fastest way to clutter up people’s mailboxes. If a co-worker doesn’t need to hear or know your reply, don’t include them. Also, while we’re on the subject of cluttered mailboxes, don’t forward silly jokes, cartoons, or anecdotes. And yes, I love puppies as much as you do, but sorry, no cute puppy photos, either. It’s bad professional form.


13. Keep it short:
Since I’ve already crowned you the grand masters of short messaging, you’d think that millennials wouldn’t have a problem with this. But unless you’re very disciplined, you could have the start of the Great American Novel and not even notice it. So no blabbing, digressing, or running on and on (and on). Short words, short sentences, short paragraphs—and you’re done. And, as additional motivation, remember that many people are reading your emails on their mobile devices. Think brevity.


14. Don’t send negative messages via email:
Don’t trash anyone’s idea or project, fire anybody, reprimand anybody, complain about your job, or badmouth the company or (are you crazy?) your boss. Emails live forever and you don’t want to go on record saying something that could haunt you later. Plus, remember that your emails belong to the company, so keep your content completely professional.


15. Keep a thread:
When you receive an email that you need to respond to, don’t reply in a brand new email with a new subject line. Instead, hit the “reply” button and continue the thread. That’ll make it easier for everyone to track the progress of a project or assignment. And when that conversation is complete, don’t use the old thread for a new subject. Start a new thread.


So, as you transition from school, short-term summer employment, and temporary internships into your career, exercise caution and observe what your co-workers are already doing before you launch into abbrevo-speak, or decide that punctuation is just way too yesterday. This is not the time or place to be a trailblazer. Like it or not, you will probably need to wait for things to change before asking your boss for an “F2F,” or signing off emails with “L8R.”


As with so many things, these guidelines are all about the simple concepts of politeness and courtesy—old-school, but always in style. HAG1, muh babes.


Inspirational Image:
Image courtesy of TrendiMe


By Denise Dudley, Career Guru and author of Work It! Get In, Get Noticed, Get Promoted

Are you an employer? Post your fashion job here.

Are you a job seeker? Find fashion jobs here.

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for the latest fashion jobs, career advice and fashion trends!

Fashion Jobs – Building a Career in Retail

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

Style Nine to Five - Fashion Jobs in Canada2630367-copyWorking in retail to some is nothing more than a part-time job during high school or college to gain professional experience before moving onto their careers. But the truth is, what many don’t realize is that there are endless opportunities for careers in the retail world, from finance to human resources to buying. If you’ve caught the retail bug and want to stay in the industry full-time, we’ve got some tips on how to build your career in retail!

Retai CareerGet Floor Experience

The best way to understand the world of retail and see which areas interest you is to gain firsthand experience. Do your research on what companies and type of retail you’re most interested in and apply to store level jobs even if while part-time in school. Working directly with both the products and customers will give you a feel for both the area of retail and the industry itself.

Retail stylist
Learn the Ropes

Once you’ve found your entry ticket into the retail industry, make sure your supervisors know that you’re interested in building a career within it. Without overstepping, ask your manager if you can gain exposure into the business side of things so you can begin to explore your options and understand how the retail business works. Some companies have development programs or even scholarships that allow you to grow within the organization, eventually landing head-office experience. 

Networking in fashion
Networking is Key

Now that you’ve identified that the retail industry is where you want to be, you need to begin to build your network of mentors, resources and key industry players to get your name out there and explore your regions retail industry. Although most jobs are advertised online in places like LinkedIn or on yours truly, some of the best jobs and opportunities come from recommendations or having contacts within the organization. Attend industry events, start your LinkedIn profile and get talking with fellow retail professionals.


Inspirational Images

1. Image courtesy of Vogue Australia

2. Image courtesy of CosStores

3. Image courtesy of Business Insider

4. Image courtesy of Style Nine to Five


By M.J. Elle (@TheMJElle)

Fashion Jobs – Bored at work? 3 Ways to stand Out On Your Downtime

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

Style Nine to Five - Fashion Jobs in Canadablogger sitting at desk

We’ve all been there. It’s almost two in the afternoon, you already had your lunch, finished all of your work and you’re sitting at your desk with nothing to do. You’ve probably counted all the ceiling tiles, had never-ending staring contests with inanimate objects, and every time you look at the clock, only one minute seems to have passed.

You’re officially bored at work. This is definitely something you don’t want to make a routine of, but don’t worry you can break the cycle before it starts to set in. Finding things to do when you’re bored at work can be hard but it only takes a few simple steps to eliminate the boredom and start being productive again.

Cleaning SuppliesClean Your Boredom Away

Cleaning is a task that most people often try to bypass, but it’s perfect for when you’re bored at work. When you clean the space around you, it can help get your creative juices flowing. Try organizing all your emails, your paperwork, even your pens. Use trusty Lysol wipes to disinfect anything and everything. Cleaning will allow you to have an appealing workspace and will easily distract you from your boredom. Not to mention your manager will love seeing that you are organized and take care of the space around you.

Bando PlannerPlan Your Boredom Away

When you’ve reached ultimate boredom this is the perfect time to turn your boredom into an opportunity and plan the future. Planning could easily consist of making lists of things to do for the next week at work, things to do for future job projects, planning your outfits for the next week, or even a list of groceries to pick up after work. Once you planned out certain things that you need to do, it’s an easy way to give yourself new tasks to take on – but at your own pace. So open up that word document, grab your fave agenda or take out that pen and paper and plan, plan, plan!

Facial SprayGet Up, Go, and Leave Your Boredom Behind!

Tackle your boredom by making some moves! Do something that requires action so you can get some circulation in your body. The first step is to spray yourself with some facial spray, so you’re wide awake for the “work-workout” you’re about to do. But how do you just get up and go? It often starts by helping others. Maybe grabbing coffee orders for everyone, helping your co-worker with a large load of paperwork they have yet to complete, coordinating the menu for the next company meeting or beginning to execute the plans you wrote down. Whatever you decide to do, just make sure to get up from your desk!


Ultimately you have to remember that there is a difference between being bored and being lazy. Finding ways to up your productivity level and boost your skills are the best way to get ahead at work. Follow these steps and you’ll never have to send that dreaded “I’m bored” text to your group chat ever again.


Inspirational Image
Image courtesy of Stylishly Me


Product Info

1. Lysol wipes, $2.88, available at Walmart

2. planner, $32, available at Indigo

3. Mario Badescu Facial Spray, $9.00, available at Urban Outfitters


By Prescylla Veronique, Toronto, @prescyllav

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Fashion Jobs – How to Have a Successful Fashion Career Today

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

Style Nine to Five - Fashion Jobs in CanadaIMG-5284

When I started Style Nine to Five, there were no categories like ‘E-Commerce’ and ‘Social Media’ on my job board to select when posting. I had to add those categories two years ago after seeing such a shift and growing demand. About 50% (or more) of jobs posted these days are now in the E-Commerce industry. Some roles include Coordinators for Influencer agencies, E-commerce Specialists or Buyers for online retailers.


While we still have a number of Editorial roles regularly posted, it’s usually for digital media. Skill requirements for these roles typically include blogging, social media, and graphic design knowledge. I would suggest learning graphic design so you can stand out in today’s competitive world.


You need to be able to adapt to change while still keeping your voice, and to realize that you always need to work hard and prove yourself. I hear this a lot from employers. They find it challenging to find someone who is both driven and hardworking. Everyone wants their dream job NOW, but in reality, it doesn’t work that way. When you see the success of your peers on social media, it’s easy to forget that a lot of crucial steps went into how they got there. These steps aren’t posted on social, just the final product is.


Retail is still here, doing great and can be a very rewarding and lucrative career. Lots of internationally known companies have come to Canada (UK’s Ted Baker, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue) in the last three years, offering great opportunities for Canadian retail hopefuls. A high volume store manager’s salary can start at $75K and a Visual Merchandise Manager for Canada can be up to $100K. I’ve seen both and helped in the hiring process for these roles.


I’ve also noticed there’s has been a bigger push for ‘shopping local’. Therefore many local labels are really booming right now, Vancouver’s Gentle Fawn, Native shoes, Oak and Fort, to name a few, which has helped create even more job opportunities.


While the days of flipping through a magazine and smelling the fragrance ads or having a stack of Cosmos on your coffee table might, unfortunately, be coming to an end, there are so many new exciting things happening in this tech savvy world which we can look forward to.  And your knowledge and love of fashion as a career is still 100% achievable and relevant. 

Photo: Brooklyn D Photography

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Fashion Jobs – Q&A with Vegan Leather Handbag Designer Silvia Gallo of jeane & jax

Monday, July 17th, 2017

Silvia Gallo Inspo Image

It’s always refreshing when you learn about an individual that’s disrupting the fashion industry for a good reason. Silvia Gallo is the owner of jeane & jax, a Montreal-based vegan handbag line that encompasses the importance of cruelty-free fashion and is a PETA approved vegan brand and a partner in the movement of shifting the focus from leather to vegan leather. Her stunning collection offers consumers a higher end alternative to animal leather and is quickly becoming popular with both Canadian and American consumers. We had the opportunity to meet with Silvia and see her collection firsthand, and also learn about the ins and outs of launching a business and why she is so passionate about cruelty-free fashion. 

SNTF: Silvia, you’ve worked in the retail industry for over 15 years. Can you first tell us about those early years of your career?

SG: With a B.Com in Marketing and a DEC in Fashion Design, I knew I wanted to work in the Fashion Industry and combine both fields of study.  My first position after graduating was as a Brand Manager for Baby Phat Canada. At the time, Baby Phat and Phat Farm were very popular brands and I was honoured to have the opportunity of working for such a successful company. It was the first step in my career that allowed me to learn about buying, importing, selling, advertising, trade shows, distribution, and more. As a brand manager, you are involved with everything to do with the brand, which in turn gives you a good understanding of the business as a whole.

SNTF: When did you realize that you were ready to venture on your own and start your own handbag line?

SG: After many years in the industry working for reputable brands, building networks, travelling, gaining knowledge and experience, I felt that my career had reached a plateau. I felt there was no longer any personal or career growth left working for other companies. I not only felt ready to start my own business but felt more determined and empowered than ever before! 

SNTF: Your collection, jeane & jax, is a vegan handbag line that encompasses the importance of cruelty-free fashion at an attainable price point. How did you know this was the right project for you, and how did you set about starting your own business? 

SG: There are many professions that allow you to make a difference in this world, save lives, or help people. Throughout my career in the fashion industry, which can sometimes be materialistic, it wasn’t always easy for me to measure what my contribution to society was. When I decided to start my own business, it was important for me to do something that could make a positive impact.

1.Jeane & Jax

Cruelty-free fashion will continue to be important and I am happy to offer consumers a higher end alternative to animal leather. Traditionally branded handbags have always been made out of real leather and are very expensive. I wanted to show consumers that you can have a high- quality handbag at a reasonable price, without causing harm to animals.

SNTF: Can you tell us about the materials you use and the importance of being PETA approved?

SG: We only use the highest quality polyurethane on the market and never use PVC. Our PU is the closest fabric to real leather, matching it in terms of durability, water resistance and aesthetics. It also has microfiber pores making it breathable and supple. Technology in fabric has come a long way and it is becoming harder for consumers to tell the difference between real and vegan leather.  In addition, all our hardware is custom made to ensure that there is no lead or toxic materials in our metals.

It’s important for us to be PETA-approved as it shows our customers credibility and gives consumers reassurance about our product. We are proud to align ourselves with organizations that support our movement to shift consumers to vegan products rather than animal based ones.

2. Jeane & Jax

SNTF: We know that no two days are the same for an entrepreneur. But can you give our readers an idea of what your day looks running your own brand.

SG: As an entrepreneur, I am involved in everything to do with the brand and business, which means no two days are the same, as you mentioned. One day could be spent designing a new collection or planning a photo shoot and the next could be arranging the shipment of a container or preparing sales tax returns. It pretty much depends on what needs to be prioritized on each given day. Some days are creative and others are analytical. I love that I get to use both sides of my brain!

SNTF: Did you have any obstacles while launching your business? Anything you would never do again?

SG: The biggest challenge in launching a new brand is to create awareness and visibility without having the big marketing budget that existing brands have. It takes time to become recognized yet it is human nature to want immediate results. There is a lesson to be learned in everything you do and unless you live through it, you cannot learn from it. That is the same in business and for that reason; there is nothing I wouldn’t do again.

3. Jeane & Jax

SNTF: How do you see jeane & jax evolving over time? What’s the next thing you’d like to accomplish with the brand?

SG: There are many exciting developments in the works for jeane & jax and look forward to sharing them with you in the future.

SNTF: Given that you have a background in marketing and brand management, how have these experiences helped you run and grow your brand?

SG: My background in marketing and brand management was definitely crucial in my ability to start and run my own business. Having the opportunity to manage other brands in the past, allowed me to work in all facets of the industry, giving me a solid foundation to build upon. No matter which company I worked for, I always made decisions as though it was my own, and every brand I represented became a part of my lifestyle. This was all in preparation for what I feel I was meant to do!

4. jeane & Jax

SNTF: When you were growing up, were there any people who influenced your approach to work? What was the best advice you got early in your career?

SG: My father is the person who has influenced and inspired me the most. As an entrepreneur, he taught me resilience, strength to persevere, and especially how to “hustle.” No matter how hard it was, or how tired he was, he never skipped a beat!

The best advice I received is don’t wait for the right opportunities to come to you. You need to create your own opportunities in life. Nothing will just fall into your lap…go out there and make it happen! 

SNTF: And finally, what do you wake up looking forward to? What’s next for your career? 

SG: I wake up looking forward to every new day and all the possibilities it can bring. I am inspired by opportunities and always ready for a new challenge! I recently partnered with Valerie Munger, a colleague from my past; to launch a new brand called MATLETIK, which focuses on active wear for moms-to-be. It has already been gaining great reviews and is distributed in active wear and maternity stores across Canada. We recently won 1st prize for the province of Quebec in an entrepreneurship contest. Excited to see what the future brings for both jeane & jax and MATLETIK!

To stay up-to-date with Silvia’s journey and to learn more about jeane & jax make sure to follow her on Instagram or check out her website.

By Ainsley Smith, Toronto, @ainsleysmithy

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