Let's celebrate success and learn how to grow.
As a fashion consultant, I think it is extremely important to talk about your successes in both life and your career. It takes courage to do this, but practice makes perfect. If you learn to talk about and celebrate your successes, it will help you to grow as an individual and strengthen your position within the fashion industry.
I wish to share with you some of my career successes.
Success 1 - Courageous career progression.
I started my career as a textile designer, that progressed into fashion buying, covering jewellery, plus size and branded and then I sidestepped into wholesale account management!
Every career step was a choice I made, as I was never too certain of exactly what I wanted to do. Each step required courage, drive, and self-taught actions. I learnt and developed a lot during each role and I chose not to re-educate and go back to university.
The success here is clear, with sheer drive and determination you can shape your career and self-evolve, growing your skillset.
Success 2 - Setting up a department from scratch.
Let’s discuss wholesale. Wholesale was one of my career steps that has shaped my future.
Moving into wholesale when it was so new to the world of retail in the UK was an unknown. It hadn’t been done before and it was the blind leading the blind. New Look required my boss & I at the time to set up a new wholesale division, creating a new department to support the growth and new incentive of wholesale.
This was a huge challenge and required a new set of skills I didn’t have going into this. It really took me out of my comfort zone and challenging me to think outside of the box.
Part of setting up a new department is you need to educate the existing business and teach them about your department’s purpose, goals and value to the business. This at times was challenging, as we were mixing it the traditional buying structure that everyone knew and was comfortable with. We received a lot of push back and negativity that we had to overcome. However, we succeeded and grew to be a team of 30+ people within 2 years.
I learnt a lot from this success and took these successess to Forever New where I repeated history and set up their wholesale division.
Success 3 - Growing wholesale accounts from zero to millions. ($)
I have achieved many successes in wholesale, but the overriding success is in launching and growing wholesale accounts from $0 – $M+ revenue accounts.
The success required focused skills such as strong relationships, product knowledge, sales and drive.
"I have achieved many successes in wholesale, but the overriding success is in launching and growing wholesale accounts from $0 - $M+ revenue accounts."
Success 4 - Reporting into the senior team at both New Look and Forever New.
Moving into wholesale was the best career move I ever made. It catapulted my career and enabled me to develop my skills focusing on account management and sales.
I was in the right place at the right time for both New Look and Forever New, I joined both teams when eCommerce was booming, and the focus switched to 3rd party eCommerce (wholesale). During both roles, it was high pressure, with high sales targets and expectations. Both roles required me to report into the senior team weekly and update on all new business and existing business progress. This was great exposure in dealing with high pressured environments and accountability.
My success came from sheer determination, but also through using my initiative both with new business and with problem-solving. During my time at New Look I built some fantastic wholesale account relationships that I treasure dearly, and these relationships continue to aid my success.
Success 5 - Running my own business.
The final success I wish to share with you was the day I realised that I could do this for myself and I launched Carley Johnson Connections.
I had worked in corporate environments all my life and earned a lot of money for others. I very rarely felt appreciated or rewarded, so I decided it was time to stop and to continue what I was doing for myself.
Since starting Carley Johnson Connections in 2019, the rewards and appreciation have been worth it and I am privileged to work with the clients and students that I have.
This confidence to go-it-alone was built up throughout my career, and I hope this gives you the confidence that if I can do it, so can you!
Let's celebrate success!
Sharing our successes is something we should all do more frequently. It helps to build confidence, encourages self-development and through sharing your successes you could help others.
I hope through sharing my successes it proves to you that if you have the courage, the determination and the want, you will succeed. You need to learn fast, take all opportunities and just go for it!