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Asked by Kim on July 16, 2015

I'm looking to do something on the side that I LOVE & I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT FASHION!! My friends, family & strangers ask for advice. If I charged them, I could start a consulting business or become a hired shopper. How can I use what I love to make money. Where should I start? Continuing education, internships, retail jobs?? Please advise...Thank you much.

Answered by Cassandra, Hiring Expert at Verizon, on July 17, 2015

You've managed to crack the secret that most people don't learn or understand throughout the duration of an entire career which is pursuing your passion.  I LOVE that you want to pursue this on the side and you've started thinking about how to parlay the passion into actual cash.  Some of the suggestions you've provided are definitely a great start and you'll have to take stock and determine what your schedule can bear in terms of hours available to pursue the fashion track.  The first step in your plan is to create a plan and figure out your short and long term goals related to pursuing your passion since it will help as you think about the steps to take.  There are numerous opportunities available in retail and you can start there for part-time jobs and quick income.  Note that I started my career in retail and had the opportunity to style walls, racks, people, etc. so this could be a great avenue for you, as well.  If you'd like to have a career in fashion then I definitely encourage you to pursue classes, internships and identify a mentor  that can assist you in navigating the fashion industry.  This is an exciting time for you and I wish you all of the best!

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Answered by Tanya, Hiring Expert at Merck & Co., Inc., on July 20, 2015

So glad you have found your passion, many of the actions you mentioned are great steps other recomendations would be to create relationships with some local clothing stores and see if you are able to style for fashions shows, or even try to connect with hair salons who often times partner with reltailers to have fashion shows, I would also reccomend creating a portfolio.

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Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at Asurion, on July 20, 2015

It's wonderful that you've identified a job field that excites you! The next step is to channel your excitement to an area or two within fashion in which you can bring in a sustainable income. Allow me to explain: I once worked with someone that that loved to knit. She was really good at knitting and able to create high-quality products. Because of her passion and practice, she was  able to knit just about anything, from hats to mittens to blankets. Around Christmas last year, she wanted to bring in extra income, so she began taking orders to knit scarves. She chose to market scarves because she knew they required a small amount of time (in comparison to the time if takes to knit a hat or blanket) and finances (it takes about 1.5 packages of yarn to knit one scarf) and also because there was a demand for knit scarves (afterall, it was winter). This was a smart decision and she quickly had many orders and accomplished her goal of earning a sustainable income over the holiday season.

The lesson here is to take time to figure out how your passion can fulfill a need in the fashion world. While considering this, be sure to calculate which area in fashion produces the largest return-on-investment (ROI) for you. Take into account the cost of supplies, time, etc. as well as your interest and make sure they are things you can keep up with. Once you've identified an area or two in which you can contribute, I recommend looking up professionals in similar fields to get an idea of their education and experience that lead them to their current position. Perhaps reach out to a few people you find in your research to ask them for more detail about their career path and to offer advice as your begin your journey into fashion. These steps are vital to creating a business model that can sustain itself and fuel your passion rather than drain it. I suggest you start with these preliminary steps and then take action, so that when you do begin in fashion, you're focused and headed in the right direction to accomplish your dreams! 

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Answered by Charlene, Hiring Expert at Gap Inc., on July 29, 2015

You are definitely on the right track, with following a passion, and something you love to do!  Getting a job in retail will definitely put you into an environment where you are surrounded by the things you love and you will build a network of clients that will identify with you as their style expert.  This will allow you unlimited opportunities to work directly with customers and build relationships with and at the same time continue your learnings around product information, style trends, and how to run a profitable business.  If you have just a few minutes a day, you might also consider starting a fashion blog, get on instagram and build a social network of people, this may be your first step in building your own brand.  You may also get retailers, buyers and vendors as well as individuals who will take note and this may lead to additional opportunities to create revenue. Keep following your passion and best of luck to you!   

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