Sorry the last post was so long, but after a long hiatus, I figured I’d give you something to think about. As promised, I have yet to blog about my last two BIG goals…
On my birthday (OMG - I’m a quarter of a century old!), I find myself in the same dilemma I was in two years ago: doing something I’m not entirely 100% passionate about. Two years ago, I woke up with $40 in my account. Two years ago, I didn’t have the ability to change professions because of a commitment I made. But yet, two years later, even though I have plenty of personal savings, I’m not happy because I’m not living out my dreams.
I’m not living the life that I envision; I’m merely existing with no purpose, and I’m irritated and frustrated. And that’s a good thing. Why? Because my discontentment will force me to do something new and different in order to get me out of the rut that I’m currently in. Two years later, which is now, I can do something.
On (Higher) Education and the Labor / Job Market —
I watched this radical YouTube video that my friend sent to me, and I found myself agreeing with a lot of its arguments. Now for all of you who support (a) college education, STOP NOW, and skip this paragraph. For those of you who want me to provide you a brief summary, here it is… Basically the hour-plus-long video touted that it’s not wise to get into excessive loan debt at the expense of foregoing making money and accumulating real world experience that comes from working immediately out of high school. Furthermore, the video asserted that college graduates, a dime a dozen, can’t find work related to their major of study and instead settle for jobs that are below their education level. (Before you conclude the video is super biased, which it is, Yahoo also published an article citing the same crushing job crisis results as well.)
My point: I can honestly say, I don’t think I learned that much useful information or knowledge in college. In my prior post, I mentioned I only learned for two of the four years I was at UT Austin. I had numerous jobs in college, and I don’t think any of my coursework taught me to succeed in any of those jobs or in any of the others right out of high school, college, or what I’m currently doing now (managing a local business, doing Teach For America, and private tutoring, respectively).
You ask, “Why would anyone go to college?” You won’t hear many people say, “To learn something.” Instead you’ll hear, “To get a job.” As we now know, graduating from college doesn’t assure you a job, or a very good one at that (I mean, Harvard grads working at Starbucks?!??! #fail). So what are schools teaching us: How to think or how to think their way? IMHO, learning only one method or a set of rules from school and mindlessly applying them without learning to interpret meaning, think critically, or synthesize, numbs / deadens our brains’ ability to think creatively when we graduate. How then are we equipped to survive?
In these tough economic times, I ask myself, “If there aren’t available jobs that suit me, what am I going to do? Accept it? No! It’s my job to create a job.” When your back is against a wall, you’re forced to get creative, and that’s where some of the best ideas can develop and grow, when you have no other choice but to do something differently.
“If you want something you’ve never had, then you must do something you’ve never done.”
My Dream (Company)
I’ve always wanted to start my own clothing company, not small local boutique, like a brick and mortar store, but a brand. So my “goal” is…
GOAL #2: Learn to Sew / Tailor (Well) (in a Year).
RESULT #2: Tailor my clothes (at the very least). Ideally, start my own business to fill an under-served niche market. (Later on, sew for my kids?)
REASON(S): My clothes are (almost) always too big. Women need stylish, good quality, timeless options. The life cycle of clothes also needs to be extended (not wasteful like Forever 21) so as to conserve our environment.
I took some sewing classes in Hawai’i from January - June 2011, but I didn’t learn nearly enough. I plan on learning on my own / learning from my mom and taking classes at HCCS (less risky option that going to FIDM right now), while I save up a lot of money from tutoring. I have a pretty clear vision of what I want my clothing company to be and what my clothes should embody in design and functionality. I know who my customer is; I know what they earn in terms of expendable income. I even have the name picked out.
Ideally, if / when I start my company, I don’t want to design and sew in a studio all day (although it is important to know some general specifications and garment construction terms when talking to tailors who will sew your clothing). Rather, I want to have the final say on textiles used and garment construction in terms of seams, fixtures, design elements etc. So many people - friends and strangers alike - have complimented me on my good eye. I want to say what will and won’t sell.
So what am I doing now? Tracking down every possible lead: talking to anyone I know who’s ever started a business (both in and out of the retail / fashion industry), speaking with friends’ friends, researching small business start-ups and their costs, figuring out how to create a business plan etc. Oh, and probably starting a fashion blog featuring my own personal style (btw, anyone know of any great photographers in Houston???).
I’m a bit scared, but I’m willing to take the risk than to settle or do something I know I don’t want to do. A clothing brand may just be my Personal Legend. I’ll keep you posted.