INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS 2016

A huge thank you to those who contributed their expertise to this series on fashion innovations.


WHAT IS YOUR VISION? 
FOR THE FASHION INDUSTRY

Finding authenticity for how you dress, finding your own most absolutely most purest sense of yourself and sharing it with the world through how you decorate your body is what I say for 2016. – Fashion Educator, Michael Cepress

In bringing fashion back to Seattle. I want to bring a sense of authenticity, women's light, and self expression through fashion. 
—A-DOT Advisor & Business Consultant, Andrea Keenan

I’d like to shift my work by bringing back the cache of local designers—to build something that will help designers stay here— they used to own the market in the 80’s and 90’s, now this industry is lost. –Bellevue Collection PR Agent, Cheryl Engstrom

It is time for me to get back to the fashion world, I am really dedicated to it and I think I have a lot to offer to the young fashion community and that is what is important to me in this stage of my life. We would really like to keep our designers and build a really tidy fashion community here in Seattle. – Nordstrom Executive, Michele Rutherford

I see what others do and I want to do it better. I do not want to copy, I want to be better because the sky is the limit bigger and better things. There is a lot of people copying in any industry—making something that already is because they know it is going to sell and unfortunately that’s not inspiring. –CEO of Vancouver Fashion Week, Jamal Abdourahman

I wish people would not give two fucks about not looking weird and start believing that they’re going to look fucking awesome. I want to inspire people to be awesome. –Designer, J. Von Stratton

Let’s see more androgynous clothing in fashion. In all of the arts, I would like to see more women, especially women of color represented and that is what I am focused on bringing to music. –Decibel Festival Director, Ceci Cor-Leo

I work for one the best design programs in Seattle and the students really learn how to be a designer but they don’t have the tools or expertise to get to the next level. There are very few currently that can work full time to create one of a kind pieces to a standard that is needed here so we’re working on that. – Luly Yang PR Manager, Rose Denis

If you are not part of the entertainment or the arts world, you’re just a regular Joe, it’s hard to know what’s going on even though there are 865 charitable events that go on ever year in Washington State alone. Of course it is easier with Social Media but if you not part of the community it can still be hard. That is why I am creating events pages to share these events —Socially Savvy CEO, LB Dutchess


WHAT IS FASHION?
HOW DOES IT PLAY A ROLE IN YOUR LIFE?

Fashion can educate people and open their minds to what they are not aware of. –SMG Agent, Andrew Burkhardt

It is creating an alternate universe; one that goes through your mind into reality and fed back through the camera. It’s that fantasy that has become a reality. –Vogue Fashion Photographer, Alex Alfaro

It is a way for even the person who  isn’t a great painter or designer or musical artist to show their inside on the outside. It is a mood. A trend. A decade. It is a poem. –AXIS Events Manager, Erin Saldezo

Fashion is an opportunity to collaborate. It’s all over the world. Even women in India picking rice are in green fields wearing bright pink and bright green saris—even here people are expressing themselves. – EVRNU CEO, Stacy

I have one rule of fashion which is that you don’t have to follow a rule. –Kahani Creative CEO, Joy Kahani

It is a way to make the world more beautiful because you are becoming yourself. It is another language, the language of beauty. If you want to say something you can do it through your clothes. –Supply Chain Consultant Lana Maytak It is a collection of wearable memories. –Salon Services CEO, Marci Brown

Fashion is everything. When we choose to put something on our bodies we are projecting our beliefs onto the world. Its an expression of oneself. — Dior PR Manager, Abel Rapp

For me fashion was what gave me the power to change my stars for that day; fashion for me isn’t just clothing and accessories it is a sense of empowerment and form of expressing who and what you relate to. Are you a Greta Garbo, a Twiggy are you a Chanel? – Socially Savvy CEO, LB Dutchess

Fashion in Seattle is a really sweet and natural blend between love a for the environment, a love for music, a love for theatre and a love for the arts at large. – Fashion Educator & Designer, Michael Cepress


WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE MORE OF IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY?

#1 QUALITY  #2 DIVERSITY #3 SUSTAINABILITY #4 COLLABORATION #5 EFFORT

Fashion to me is very joyous. It is caring about what you put out there in the world. I really love when I see people doing this and there is no right or wrong—I would rather see a horrible train wreck on the Red Carpet and be genuine rather than so over-styled now as most people here are. I love people who push the envelope and say I am going to wear what I want and this is who I am. If you really think it’s working for you, more power to you. —Film Stylist, Gerard Parr

I would like to see more people collaborating across art forms. In Seattle I see a lot of “here is the dance community,” “here is the theatre community” and “here is the film community;” I’d like to just see these artists from different genres in the same room together and see what happens. —Dance Choreographer, Event Director Erin Nichole Boyts

I would like to see more people be less casual and I’m talking about every sense of the matter not just fashion, people’s effort only goes to a certain level here. Seattlelites are “comfortable,” a lot of my friends have aspirations but when I talk to them 5 years later they are in the same place. I love being comfortable but I would like to see more people go for their aspirations. —Hair and Makeup Artist, Bek Harvey

I cannot tell you how many amazing events I’ve been to where someone is wearing an XBOX t-shirt. I don’t think that you should go to any red carpet event looking like you are going to the grocery store when there is so much access to glamour! You can literally go to Goodwill and walk away looking like a million bucks. –Designer J. Von Stratton

More style, culture and quality. I want to see more meaning in fashion. —Supply Chain Consultant, Lana Maytak

People are so scared to share their qualities and to share what they have learned over the years and I am like”why!? Who do you think is going to support you in the next ten years?” Support each other already.
—Eco Fashion Week Co-founder & Producer, Nancy Bouchard

What we need is synergy; when you get things working together in a way that it is a win for everybody. Currently everybody is looking for their win and they don’t look at it as “if you win I win” because they get desperate and within the creative realm this can cause turmoil. —Socially Savvy CEO, LB Dutchess

I would like to see a much higher level of discernment among consumers. I would like to see more people investing in pieces rather than spending a lot of money in disposable culture. In doing that, garments need to be made in higher quality and at fair pricing. I would also like to see more people represented in media better, more authentic and more diverse representations of humans. –Fashion Photographer, Michael Main

The industry may not be here yet but there is a very savvy consumer here and that’s what has been so exciting for me to have been able to join the community and cover it. I would love to see the national attention on the designers in this city because there is a consumer who appreciates a very refined aesthetic and has a very real understanding of trend and what’s happening in the industry which slowly but surely with the reputation of Seattle becoming such an increasing destination makes me excited for the industry to wake up and pay attention to what’s happening here. –Seattle Magazine Style Editor, Jennifer Mcullum

I would like to see people make an effort and dress up; this is an extension of your personality. When I go out it I think “really? You would look so much better if you just tried a little bit!” —CEO Kahani Creative, Joy Kahini


HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCESS? 

#1 HAPPINESS #2 GIVING BACK #3 MONEY

Success is following my integrity and my hard line when it comes to keeping true my self. Very early on I wrote a list of absolutes that are not going to change and everything that I do has to follow those absolutes. – “Fashion Executioner” Andrea Keenan

As artists, if we can cause people to do or feel or think something, to me that is successful. – SMG Agent Andrew Burkhardt

Success is not an age, money or any number but doing for others what you would for yourself. – Third&Loom CEO Brenna Lyden

If you continue to hold on to the mentality of success being money, you could have a million dollars in your bank account tomorrow and you would still see yourself as unsuccessful. You have to be successful first. If you want to have a happy life, you have to first be happy; if you want to be successful, you have to first recognize the success within you. – Designer & Life Coach Bree Seeley

The keyword of success is sustainability, which comes back to existence in social media—stay on top of your brand by being really responsive to what’s happening in media. –Bellevue Collection PR Agent Cheryl Engstrom

It is bringing something to the world that is meaningful. Giving people in our world something special, something that they can believe in and hold onto—something that brings them joy. – Nordstrom Executive Michele Rutherford

It is in learning. It is in self-development. Once you’ve realized that you are better today than you were yesterday you are successful. Also, each success only buys you admission to a more difficult problem. – Supply Chain Consultant Lana Mytack

Being authentic to the voice in your head, and utilizing your full potential. – Nordstrom Creative Projects Editor Laura Cassidy

To me success is helping other people to be more successful than you. I believe in cultivating leadership. In helping others succeed in what they do you essentially benefit. Success is never being complacent with the current state of your life: keep striving for another goal. –Genderless Model, Social Worker Victoria Victor

It is sustainability—being able to sustain myself and my own practice as a working artist. It is also about making a cultural contribution, really contributing something to the American or world culture at large. That is far above and beyond just marketing or selling a product. It is sharing a unique voice with a unique perspective of the world through clothing. –Fashion Educator, Michael Cepress

How you feel about yourself is how you measure success—you’ve got to be happy so even if your dream is making money being able to inspire other people and be happy is success. –Aika’s Closet Blogger Aika Yokoyama


WHAT ARE YOUR DAILY ROUTINES?

#1 EMAILS #2 EXCERSISE #3 FAMILY #4 NAUTURE #5 MEDITATION

I surround myself with crazy talented people who push me to create and innovate, and even to think, act and react more intelligently. Especially in the workplace it’s vital to have diversity of every single kind. It’s the variance of point of view that allows for the best solutions. Many heads are so much smarter. — Nordstrom Creative Projects Editor Laura Cassidy

Working out keeps the stress level down, it’s the one thing you have to do for yourself – Escala Manager Erik Mehr

A typical day is atypical – dE ROASAIRO CEO & Creative Director, Nishika de Rosairo

I follow five practices that stem from practices of Hinduism:
1) physical 2) emotional 3 ) spiritual 4) creative 5) mental

When I find myself doing the worst it is because I am lacking one of these practices.
– Mindfulness Entertainment CEO Clayton Michael

Traveling is important to one’s soul. You need to be inspired, to see that manufacturing is not so far away, to find YOU in the world. – Designer J. Von Stratton

Getting up, sometimes reading books or looking up Youtube motivation; finding uplifting things to get myself in line with what I want to do which is again, trying to go for the biggest thing in the world, keep changing and sharing the vision with my entire team. – CEO of Vancouver FW Jamal Abdourahman

I am a very organized person. I have a day plan, a week plan, a month plan and a year and five year plan to keep track of and keep on track of my goals.—CEO Kahani Creative, Joy Kahini

I do a lot of internet research, keeping up with everything that is going on in the fashion industry like through all the newsletters I get and then of course I have to discuss it with my friends who are into it. – Fashion First Founder, Joan Kelly


WHAT ARE THE NECESSARY TRAITS IN THE BUSINESS OF FASHION?

Have a unique style; we become vanilla if we don't hold on to our strength of unique style – Luly Yang PR Manager, Rose Denis

You have to be extremely motivated to do whatever it takes. I can remember sitting down with my boss and saying ‘this is not going to work unless I can speak French,’ so I went five days a week, three hours a day, every week from 7am to 10am before work for nine months. Do whatever it takes.  – Nordstrom Executive, Michele Rutherford

The biggest thing in fashion industry is being a hard worker; it is a lot of hard work and it is not glamorous. When someone goes into the fashion industry, they have to be willing to put in a lot a lot of backbreaking hard work. It is not for somebody who wants easy success. Also know your own level of skill and how long it takes to do something or else time can be really detrimental. If you’re flakey once, that is it. People in business do not have time for flakey bullshit. – Designer, J. Von Stratton

I follow my three d’s. Determined. Devotion. Dedication. Also be approachable. You can be someone who is innovative and keeping up with the current trends but if you cannot be calm, personable and approachable you may not have the cohesiveness of a project. —Genderless Model, Social Worker Victoria Victor

You have to be a hard worker, you have to be totally solution-oriented because you’ve got to know that there will be problems and issues to work out. You have to go into situations with your eyes wide open. There is not a lot of fucking around you’ve got to be willing to be like, you know what? Not for me. Which is really hard too because there’s not a lot of availability to begin with. – Fashion First Founder, Joan Kelly

A lifelong interest to communicate, share, explain and explore. I’ve never not been interested in writing down my ideas. — Nordstrom Creative Projects Editor, Laura Cassidy

You have to be happy. There are some people who do not know how to be happy. I have heard this over and over from many different sources, partially in long term relationships. “Well, if they are happy then that’s all that counts...” No. If you’re not happy you’re not going to have anything to give. - Socially Savvy CEO, LB Dutchess

Your heart has to be boiling for this for you to be able to exhaust yourself. Some people just want to be in it because it is glamourous. It is not. I came because I know that I cannot live without this. -SCHAI CEO & Designer, Suk Schai

Unless your soul will die if you don’t work in fashion, don’t. It isn’t easy but it’s rewarding. Seattle Magazine Style Editor, Jennifer Mcullum

You have to take criticism. Your appearance is just as important as the story you are giving which is frustrating. You hear a lot of comments like well what are you wearing?or that lipstick doesnt goand youre like well did you hear the story?You have to develop a thick skin. As a woman you definitely have to prepare yourself for the fact that typically men are going to get better and more assignments than you do. I can list off the assignments that my male colleges get over me when I thought that I could do better. Even socially at work, my boss would always offer golfing opportunities to the men and Id be the one left at work all of the time. So I went to a womens golf school to learn how to play golf too and I went up to my boss one day and said just so you know I am now a golfer and would like to be invited to these tournamentsand so he gave me first right on every tournament going forward just because I took the initiativeyou cant just be upset and say well the men or getting this and I am not as it isnt good enough to identify a problem without coming up with a solution. KOMO Reporter, Denise Whitaker


WHAT IS RESPONSIBLE FASHION OR ECO-FASHON?

It is a way of life. It is a lifestyle. People ask me “where do you go shopping?” well first of all, I am very picky and what I want to buy is very expensive so I wait until the price goes down and then I buy only one item as opposed to 2 or 3 and then I have that one item for years and that way I buy less, I buy quality and it lasts longer. –CEO of Vancouver FW Jamal Abdourahman

Don’t be wasteful and don't be adding more work for yourself. For instance, don’t be buying shit that you have to take to a cleaner every time you wear it, fuck taking it to a cleaner—take it easy on yourself. –Fashion First Founder Joan Kelly

By buying fifteen different T-shirts we are killing our planet. Cotton is extremely water consuming and it goes through so many chemicals, it is so bad for the environment in the volume that it is produced right now. Responsible fashion is when you buy something and it doesn’t wear out within two weeks, it is when you stick with it for 10 years and you treat it with respect. Responsible fashion doesn’t start with a brand, it starts with your own personal choice. –Supply Chain Consultant, Lana Mytack

There are two parts: when I worked with Nike, I had gone to the factories in Asia to do audits of their factories had in terms of what kind of health, hygiene, and environmental working conditions that they had for their workers. Fortunately when you work for a big company, they tend to be very particular on what kind of factories they work with but there are a lot of smaller brands that do not have very good conditions for the factory workers. For me, that is where the oppression of fashion comes. I wish that the workers, the customers and the clients would be more aware of what is happening. The other part of it is the peer pressure of fashion. I am thinking about it because I have a 13 year old daughter and she has her own identity in terms of what kind of clothes she wants to wear and what kind of look she wants to have but now she goes to this particular school where everyone dresses in a particular way. She is actually suppressing her originality to conform and fit in which is to me is very oppressive. In conforming to certain societal or peer pressures you are oppressing who you are. Privilege is getting to express your creativity, getting to interact with a lot of creative people and the fact that you have a choice of expressing yourself in the first place. In third world countries, even having any clothes to wear is a privilege. .—CEO Kahani Creative, Joy Kahini

It has come a very long way in a very short period of time. People have proved that just because it has the word eco or green in front of it doesn’t mean it isn’t stylish or that it isn’t very thought out. People have proved otherwise with design. Sometimes things shouldn’t have a label and it should just be part of what it is. I get really offended for example when I see people on television say “oh this is my gay friend…” No, it's just your friend. I mean come on it's 2016 we don’t need these kinds of labels. - Former Dior PR Manager, Abel Rrapp

Re-styling something to be able to wear it differently as a new thing buying more Aika’s Closet Blogger, Aika Yokoyama


WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT SEATTLE’S FASHION HISTORY AND INDUSTRY?

I love during the grunge era, my partner and I were in Milan and Versace had Seahawks coats in their windows! They were right there in the window! You can just imagine people saying “oh this is what people in Seattle wear.” Then there were pretzel ladies there. They wore these breaded pretzels and gold chains and whatever trinkets they could find and it was fabulous. I remember making a joke that high fashion was going to steal that....low and behold, five years later Chanel has giant pretzel necklaces on the runway. —Film Stylist Gerard Jarr

We are the fourth largest fashion capitol in the country after New York, LA, and San Fransisco. This study calculated how many businesses are focused on fashion per capita, how much money is generated through fashion and how many people who work in fashion in Seattle. We should be proud of that. –Art Institute Fashion Program Director Alison Basye

The late 50’s in America is that time when everything was really successful, the economy was booming after the war and art was really starting to flourish. America was starting to separate from Europe: Jazz was here, art was here, and new fashion was here. –SMG Agent, Andrew Burkhardt

“The fashion Industry in the Seattle area is fascinating to me because it is mirroring what else is happening in the arts scene in Seattle—the music and fashion industry merged...It blends urban and outdoors....we live in a beautiful place but we also live in a place that has its weather challenges; this is where our sense of style comes from. It’s very ethereal.” – Bellevue Collection PR Agent, Cheryl Engstrom

There has been an outright fear of fashion. People are afraid to make a mistake. People are afraid to make the mistake of wearing the wrong thing to the event so they don’t care and just want to fit in. Even for me I am a very strong woman but people have looked at me like who the does she think she is? I just don’t car. I am not fearful of that but I think so many women are just terrified of that and instead they go in a get something that doesn’t really tell a story because they are afraid to, they are petrified. —“Fashion Executioner,” Business Consultant Andrea Keenan

I actually ask every customer what their priority is when they are looking for clothing, you know, is it the feel? the price? the brand? For most people here in the PNW the comfort factor is pretty high on the radar. —CEO Kahani Creative Joy Kahini

Seattle was booming in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. It was a leader. It was a hub. It was where buyers all over the US and Europe came from big companies. We had a trade center where all the different companies would come and present their lines to buyers and fabric companies would come a show their fabrics. What happened is that the gates opened to China—the ROI is higher with using lower labor costs. The people are here but there are no jobs and the infrastructure here is gone. But Seattle is a hopeful place if we bring the infrastructure back and if everyone is willing to collaborate and work together. Now, believe it or not, the Chinese president is meeting here. —Luly Yang PR Manager Rose Denis

The philanthropic community in Washington is huge. That’s everybody’s heart beat. Washington is known for having the most per capita charitable events in the country. I think fashion events are tapping into that which is really great. There is also a lot of that whimsical, lackadaisical “oh it’s no big deal,” culture here. I remember when I was first going to the Nutcracker here and you know I was dressed to the nines...then I saw someone else dressed in sweats and an XBOX tee. To me it was such a disrespect to the performers. Whether or not you believe in church as a function, they always say dress your Sunday-always put your best foot first and I feel like that’s the same thing we need to do with performances. —Socially Savvy CEO LB Dutchess


HOW DOES OPPRESSION AND PRIVILEGE INFLUENCE THE INDUSTRY?

Oppression, recession and depression all affect the quality of life. Since about three years ago at the height of our recession, I have seen a fallout in quality of the fabric and style. There is a lack of creativity and I haven’t seen that come back again. —“Fashion Executioner,” Business Consultant Andrea Keenan

People are addicted to the starving artist...There was a woman I met last month at a conference who was from Africa, basically her entire family was killed, and she was on a list to be killed. She found someone who would house her in a closet where she lived with minimal food and water for 6 months and when she could escape, she escaped to the U.S. Now she has a book and does speaking tours to share her story and is very highly educated... I believe that whatever story you tell yourself is exactly what you’re going to get so if you believe that you are oppressed and don't have the opportunities to get ahead in life, you will continue to be oppressed and not have those opportunities to get ahead in life. There are so many stories of people who were oppressed and that have overcome it; it is possible to overcome oppression if you believe it is possible.” –Designer, Life Coach Bree Seeley

It doesn’t require anything necessarily but an idea, a sense of themselves, an inspiration—much more core human things that are really not about privilege or oppression. – Bellevue Art Museum “Counter Couture” Curator Michael Cepress

I like challenges, if you didn't have those challenges within oppression you cannot have motivation. If you have everything you cannot be motivated. I like to be denied things and then I can work on it more, that’s my nature. Some people do very well with privilege but for some people they don’t experience true life; you experience life better when you go through ups and downs and make it work. I like such challenges. –CEO of Vancouver FW Jamal Abdourahman

I can give you a million reasons why it’s all bad: oppression and privilege but there is another side of it. Being privileged is good in the sense that it means that you have been given confidence that you can do shit. People who are not privileged in that sense look at opportunities and walk away because they think that they are not worth it, they don’t have a habit of saying “yes, I can.” Privilege gives you the confidence that you can. I wouldn’t fight the privilege I would fight the lack of it; everyone is born with opportunities and “privilege.” –Supply Chain Consultant Lana Mytak

Our business is obviously very numbers-oriented. If you are a women or a minority who the hell cares if you can meet those numbers. –Fashion First Founder Joan Kelly

There is still racism, whether it is external or internal, whether people admit it or not. As a person who is gay, a boy who looks like a girl and Asian—these elements work against me but I use that to my advantage! My oppression has helped me build resiliency and it has become part of my branding; I use the oppression based on my racial and sexual identity as something that motivates me and that is why I am so determined. —Genderless Model, Social Worker Victoria Victor

The first thing I think about are the people make who make our fashion. The people who are growing the cotton that is sprayed with pesticides and having to bear the burden of the clothing we wear; the people who are mining the materials to make the synthetics; the people who are working in unfair working conditions to sew the clothing that we wear. I also think about the people who are oppressed tend to have to purchase really cheap clothing. There is this interesting relationship of people who are oppressed having to support the system of the other oppressed people having to create that clothing; there is this really vicious cycle. The privilege of being able to break out of that system and to be able to support local designers and purchase organic or sustainable cotton isn’t something that everyone has access to. Something that everyone does have access to is buying second hand clothing—there is less discrepancy in this form. That is where there is hope in the cycle. –Recycled Runway CEO Nancy Judd

Both go hand in hand and there is an increasing level of awareness of them. It is how things are produced, where things are sourced, what the colors people are wearing based one who has access to them, access to training and materials, how people are perceived in the work place and society at large, etc. –Fashion Photographer Michael Main


WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ADVICE?

TTreat everyone that you meet as if they are a god IN DRAG. Referenced by SMG Agent Andrew Burkhardt

There is never a good time to start a business, just do it. –Jewelry Designer Joanna Morgan

The future lies in answering the question: what would I do if I wasn’t afraid? Supply Chain Consultant Lana Mytalk

Slow down, take it all in and be yourself—don’t try to be something that other people want you to be. –Nordstrom Executive Michele Rutherford

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of driving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body. But rather to skid in broad side in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally work out, and loudly proclaiming wow! what a ride —EVRNU CEO Stacy Flan

We have the ability to command our own destiny and believe in the things we are doing; there’s no other option this is it. –Vogue Fashion Photographer Alex Alfaro

Expect the best but prepare for the worst. Its like the NORDSTROM quote “under promise and over deliver,” that is my mantra. —“Fashion Executioner,” Business Consultant Andrea Keenan

Just as you have to tend your garden as you get older, you have to “garden” your business. Also I am only as good as my product. –Fashion First Founder Joan Kelly

Its supposed to hard, because if it was easy there wouldn’t be an opportunity to be particularly great at it. Never quit— the best thing I see is a 70 year old wanting to learn a new craft –Artist, Film Producer Jim William Banderhorse

Always be thinking about what’s ahead, and what it would take to get there. Know when you’re okay with where you are, and when you’re not, and actively imagine the kinds of things that would and could provide a welcome shift. I think imagination is super powerful—much more of a valuable tool than its usually given credit for. —Nordstrom Creative Projects Editor Laura Cassidy

If you don't have a happy personal life how can you go to work with a happy attitude? Feel good about who you are as a person first. Also, opportunities present themselves and if your confident...why not grab that gold coin at the carousel and just try it? –PR Manager for Luly Yang


WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO YOURSELF 20 YEARS AGO?

Stick to your passion and start slow...not everything has to be done now “human beings created the concept of time...don’t feel pressed by time when you’re following your passion and you learn from your mistakes” –11 Degrees South CEO Carissa Destina

Don not be afraid of failure, it is not what happens to you its how much power you choose to give it. Besides, a failure is closing one door then yourself in a bigger room than the one behind you. –Vogue Fashion Photographer Alex Alfaro

Slow down, take it all in and be yourself—don’t try to be something that other people want you to be. –Nordstrom Executive Michele Rutherford

Have awareness that the struggle is actually creating the juicy part of life. –Mindfulness Entertainment CEO Clayton Learn to know yourself more. Slow down and work harder at who you are and what your true value and strengths are

about. Cut out the noise. Don’t let the bastards bring you down. —Nordstrom Creative Projects Editor Laura Cassidy Do what you want to do, don’t worry about what people think, be less anxious and just live for now. – Decibel Festival

Director Ceci Cor-Le

Everyone says they should have done what they loved sooner. Be peer-pressured on that one –Vogue Guest Photographer Sebastian Cvitaniccs

Learn when to say no, when to let go and when to say goodbye. —Genderless Model, Social Worker Victoria Victor

I would give advise about how to view the things that happen that look like they are bad; it’s reframing them and coming to the paradigm that life is about attaining happiness and money and wealth—of course we want happiness but there is richness that happens between moments of happiness too –Recycled Runway CEO Nancy Judd


WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM YOUR FAILURES & CHALLENGES?

“I suppose I’m my own biggest challenge. My insecurities and unrest get in the way of what I want to do and what I’m capable of doing, so it’s a constant negotiation of quieting those unhelpful voices and getting closer and closer to the real me and my true strength and power underneath it all.“ —Nordstrom Creative Projects Editor Laura Cassidy

I didn’t believe in myself. That was by biggest failure. And then I did. That was my biggest success- Supply Chain Consultant Lana Myclaf

I don’t think many people realizes how hard our business really is. No one really understands the supply channel, and let me know, if you screw that supply channel up that is one very expensive mistake. –Fashion First Founder Joan Kelly

Reaching out to all of the amazing women in my life. When I know I am not operating at my highest level, I will reach out to the women who are just phenomenal, powerful and exquisite because if I can surround myself with their energy than theoretically some their energy will transfer to me. Sometimes that means having coffee with one of them or reading stories about them on a blog. It’s really just surrounding myself with the energy of really powerful, inspirational women. –Designer, Life Coach Bree Seeley

In my strong opinion from business, people have to have a strong connection with a product that they are buying and in order to do that you have to get to know who they are. You need education on why the piece is important.— Anonymous

I have seen many designers go down with the fact that they cannot afford the orders they get; they can’t deliver or produce because they just do not have the money—they get big orders and they cannot afford the fabric for the big orders. They need to find a way to line up fast cash that is needed (from loans or investors) to do their job right...It can be just 3k or 4k if it is a designer just trying to kick start something.” —Bellevue Collection PR Agent Cheryl Engstrom

I like to approach unexpected things from the angle that they are magic...For example, about a month ago I completed totaled my car and I found out I didn’t have the correct insurance to get a dime toward the 8,000 car bill on my hand I count pay and I was freaking out. I called my business coach and she reminded me that there’s always a silver lining. So I stopped. And I spent that whole day repeating to myself ‘this is good, this is really good,’ and within 5 hours I had a brand new Lexus. I was completely supported that day. I was completely taken care of. I got more phone calls and outpouring of love—people sent me flowers...it was seriously the most magical and unexpected beautiful day ever. But had I believed ‘holy shit,’ I’ve got this and I’ve got that, etc, and that’s what I chose to focus on that is what I would have gotten. I choose to prepare for unexpected things by trusting that the Universe knows what its doing and that it is there to take care of you. Then all of the ‘unexpected things’ become miracles and magic. –Designer, Life Coach Bree Seeley

I went through a period where I was convinced that being successful meant that my work had to look like everyone else’s work that was successful so I started pulling from all of the trends that were happening and started creating work that was made out of those trends and I hated it; it wasn’t me. Forget about the trends. Being an artist is not about that. It’s just about being yourself and expressing yourself as who you are and for me that is not trendy which is fine! It opened up a lot of doors to be myself as an artist. –Axis Pioneer Space Manager Erin Saldezo

The challenge was me. If I am inspired, I can bring others to be inspired. If I am not inspired, I would want to do shows for the sake of shows and I have but that didn’t go anywhere until I was inspired myself. –CEO of VFW Jamal Abdourahman

My biggest challenge is myself. I have a lot of insecurities in my craft so day to day I have to sit there and tell myself that you are your own worst enemy and reminding myself of that it makes me push harder for what I really want and by pushing harder it makes me jump out on a ledge. When I am most inspired is seeing that really challenge that people have gone through to get to where they are. –Makeup and Hair Artist Bek Harvey