Job Search and Network the Right Way7:00 PM
If you have ever looked for a job in fashion anywhere, doing anything then I am sure this logo is very familiar to you. Apparel Search is one of the top sites to find a job in fashion and learn more about the companies that are offering them. Type "Jobs in Fashion" into your search engine and this is surely one of the top results.
I had the great fortune to interview the creator of Apparel Search, Michael, who is also the creator of the mega networking site Fashion Industry Network (FIN) where industry professionals, or those who aspire to be, meet and connect. Groups are created to connect those in similar fields and allow a greater visibility for those just starting out.
These sites are the perfect place to start your Point A. But how does one just starting on their journey properly utilize these sites that they too might see themselves riding along the Fashion Freeway towards the desired Point B? Here is what Michael had to say to my standard Road Maps questions, plus a few more:
1.) What have been your Road Maps to get you to the point you have now reached in your career?
I originally found interest in the fashion industry because my father was in the industry. As far back as I could remember, he had been an outerwear designer. Because I am not clever enough to become a doctor, I have followed in my fathers foot steps and entered into the clothing industry. During Junior High School and High School, I had several jobs. One of which was working at a clothing store called Mandees. During college, I worked one summer at Macy's. After graduation from college, I begin my formal career in the fashion industry. I have been working in the apparel industry for approx. 16 years (yes, I am now feeling very old). Nearly a decade building Apparel Search.
2.) What's your advice to those who want to best utilize both FIN and Apparel Search?
When utilizing the Apparel Search website, I suggest you start at the second page of the site. That is the page you will arrive to after clicking the Apparel Search image or click the word "Enter" after arriving at www.ApparelSearch.com On that second page, you will find key categories along the left border of the page. Depending on what you are searching for, you will need to select an appropriate category. You can then drill down thru the directory and hopefully find the subject that you wish to further investigate. If you are having difficulty finding the information that you are searching for, you can also try the search box that is found on the site. That engine is currently set to only search the Apparel Search Owned websites. If you still can't find what you are searching for from the directory or by using the engine, use the contact us form at the bottom of the page to let us know what you are searching to locate. We will try to point you in the proper direction.
In regard to the Fashion Industry Network, the best way to utilize this site is to create a very detailed user profile. It is important to allow other members to understand your experience in the industry and your goals. If you take the time to create a good profile, it will help you as well as other members. For example, if you are a fashion designer specializing in women's fashion, it is best to be specific and not simply list that you are a fashion designer. List your specialty so that you are not contacted by people looking to collaborate with a menswear designer. The more details that you provide the better for everyone. After creating a profile, I suggest visiting the "groups" section. Although we all work in the fashion industry, this is the section where we can more easily locate the people that have the most similar interests. For example, a hair stylist is better off in the stylist group then being a member of the sewing group. If a member has a niche interest that is relevant to the fashion industry and finds that we do not already have a group set up that matches his or her interest, the member can notify me and I can create a new group for them.
3.) Any Traveling Music? Any songs or videos that helped push you along your journey?
I enjoy music, but it is not a major part of my life...
I also asked:
- What inspired you to create both these sites? They are amazingly helpful to those that are in the fashion industry or would like to be in the future, how did the idea come about?
- Were there any challenges?
- When did you know that your sites were truly successful?
- What is your advice for those who want to follow in your footsteps of creating a successful business/site?
The concept behind Apparel Search was my desire to better organize my own contacts. I personally had many business cards from factories, wholesalers, retailers etc. Creating web pages, was a great way to organize my contact list. After I started to create web pages to organize my own resources, I decided to add a method on the site for companies to submit their company details. As information was submitted, I added new pages and new categories. I never looked back... and now Apparel Search is a very large directory.
In regard to challenges, I would say that the most challenging issue is that there is not enough time in the day. I have a zillion ideas on how to make Apparel Search better for the viewers. Unfortunately, I do not have enough time in the day to implement the ideas. The second biggest challenge is that when companies change their phone numbers, website address, etc., they do not always inform Apparel Search of the changes. Therefore, the listing will become inaccurate. The goal is to keep everything up to date. However, it is a challenging goal.
Fashion Industry Network
The Fashion Industry Network was developed as a method to help members of the fashion industry meet one another. The site is as helpful to me as it is to the other members. I have already made several great business contacts. The challenge of this site is to keep people off that do not belong... People that do not have a true interest in fashion are NOT welcome. Hopefully other members will continue to report to me if they start receiving correspondence from other members that do not appear to be business relevant.
As far as I am concerned both Apparel Search and the Fashion Industry Network are successful. As long as we have at least "one" member that finds the sites to be helpful, I am happy. In all honesty, I would not care if the Fashion Industry Network had only ten members. As long as we all helped each other out and treating each other respectfully, ten members would be a success.
There you have it! Crank up your Traveling Music, or whatever inspires you and get started on your Fashion Freeway now!
"One Step Forward, Just Glance Back. No Fear, Just DIVA!"