Before becoming a contributing blogger for Style Nine to Five, I used to come to this website every day. It was my one stop shop for job postings and interesting, fashion related blog posts. After landing a position representing Style Nine to Five at a fashion camp in Toronto, I got to know the mastermind behind the whole operation, Christie Lohr. Coming from the small town of Port Hardy, Christie always knew she was destined for something bigger. Working various positions in the fashion industry allowed Christie to come up with an idea to help connect fashion savvy people with Canadian employers in the industry, and thus Style Nine to Five was born. Since then, the brand has grown immensely, branching out to Beauty Nine to Five, creating a blog and becoming a household name for people in the fashion industry. I got the chance to sit down with Christie Lohr and have an intimate Q&A moment discussing everything from her humble beginnings to her entrepreneurial spirit.
1. When did you know you wanted to work in the fashion industry?
Growing up in Port Hardy with a population 5000, my childhood days were filled with catching frogs, building bonfires on the beach and climbing trees. There really weren’t a lot of girlie things to do. My creative side had me watching music videos and reading fashion magazines as my escape into the fashion world. That other “world” seemed so far away and just a fantasy that I hoped for one day to be a part of it. I remember my mom dropping me off at my babysitters in grade one before school and I would secretly change into wild outfits with crazy jewellery and baby blue eye shadow. I eventually got in trouble, but I never lost my desire to be in the fashion industry.
2. Did you complete any fashion related schooling or internships before diving into the Canadian fashion industry?
Yes, I undertook a Fashion Marketing Certificate at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, studied Broadcast Journalism at BCIT and was an intern at a showroom, MTV Canada and FASHION Magazine.
3. How did the idea for Style Nine to Five come about?
I’d worked many jobs within Le Chateau, including a menswear buyer and store manager, and after completing my internship at FASHION Magazine, I wanted to explore more options, so I became a Recruiter for Le Chateau. This was a job I loved because I got to represent the brand and find great talent to join the team. We posted on Monster, Workopolis and in newspapers. The candidates I received from these sites were usually not qualified. This is when I knew there had to be a better way to find fashion savvy job seekers! And like myself, after graduating from Kwantlen, I was searching for a career in fashion but didn’t know how to go about finding these jobs.
4. What were some challenges (if any) that you faced when creating STNF and how did you overcome them?
I think the biggest challenge was, and still is, getting the word out there and finding new ways to spread the word without resorting to standard ads. I launched without any advertising, just reaching out to my contacts in media and other recruiters who I met when I was a recruiter, networking is key.
5. Where do you hope to see the STNF brand five years from now?
In five years I’d like to see Style Nine to Five worldwide and for Beauty Nine to Five to be just as successful. Beauty Nine to Five is our sister site for beauty jobs.
6. You also do a segment on CTV Vancouver, what is the segment all about and how did you get your start with the CTV network?
The segment is about current trends or other fashion topics such what to wear to après ski or a summer music festival. It’s a lot of fun and further promotes the Style Nine to Five brand. I used to do fashion segments for a few other TV stations so when CTV launched their morning show, CTV Morning Live, I already had some connections and years of experience. I first got into TV while working at Le Chateau. As well as being a Recruiter, I was also their West Coast spokesperson as their head office is in Montreal, so I would do segments on local TV on their behalf.
7. What advice to do you have for readers looking to get into the fashion industry? Get yourself out there and work hard. Create your own job if it doesn’t exist, be nice, don’t be entitled – no one is going to discover you! I’m a strong believer in internships, I’ve done many myself and you really do learn a lot and get the chance to network and meet the right people in the industry that can connect you and steer you in the right direction.
By: Layan Barakat
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