Into the land of the creatives…
It took me two and a half years of blogging to finally take the plunge and head down to the big smoke. But it wasn’t blogging alone that gave me the London bug. Ever since I was in my third year of University, and the time to find a career was ever looming, it was set in my mind that I may need to head down South and start a fresh.
I studied Fashion from the age of 11, taking up textiles at the Deanery High School in Wigan and continuing my passions through College with Art and further Textiles modules. It was the highlight of my week, and designing and creating fashion became my biggest love. So much so that I started developing my future brand name and logo at the age of 14 probably. I had this dream, that I would have my own individual place in the industry and I would strive to make it, somehow. I remember sitting with my stepdad and brainstorming ideas for the name of my future store, and nothing was ever quite right.
I chose to go to Manchester University, rather than LCF for a number of reasons. I loved Manchester. It was 40 miles away from my home town, only required a 40 minute train journey home, and mainly, some of my closest friends were heading to the Northern Capital. LCF was an interest, but they required foundation level degrees, and were not specific in fashion business and marketing. They were the designers, whereas Manchester created the business fashion brains. And I realised that it was working with the garments, rather than designing them personally, that was my interest.
I had three amazing years at Manchester. I made even better friends with current college buddies, and developed friendships with a number of other likeminded people. And Manchester was where I created my biggest bonds with two of my closest, dearest, and ‘grow old together’ besties – Rebecca and Steph. No doubt you have seen them on my instagram or blog from time to time. But they are my rocks and one of the best things about my University years.
But then it came to, ‘What the Hell am I actually going to do’ after University, and the PhD opportunity became a reality. It was never something I had thought of, until it landed in front of me and I realised that continuing with education and gaining a doctorate was a pretty amazing idea, especially as I was in the position to delve into that. How many people get that opportunity?! So I did it, and again, those three years were some of the best. It opened my mind to new ideas within mobile and fashion consumer behaviour and I really started to see fashion from outside of the box. It was during my second year that I stumbled across Sammi’s channel, I’ve told her this a few times, but it totally inspired me. I started my blog about 5 months later and never looked back.
I continued writing the blog whilst I finished up my PhD and moved into Fashion Lecturing. At that point, full-time blogging was an unrealistic pipe dream and something I never took seriously. I am a realist, or a pragmatist actually. I see things for what they are and never get ahead of myself. I have a goal and I strive for it, if I know I can reach it. But my blog was my hobby and the thing I loved, but I never dreamed it could ever turn into my career. So I continued to teach fashion marketing and retailing for 18 months until it came to the breaking point. I had no social life, my relationship was suffering and therefore my mental stability was pretty shot at. But by that point, I had been signed to the best Social Media Management team in the country, possibly the world (I’m biased), and things were starting to get ridiculously exciting. I had to resign from the University and throw myself into the blogging industry head first. But I am one of the most career-minded and determined people when it comes to work, and I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t believe I could do it.
So, after resigning from work in January 2015, the next step was to move to where the grass was greener and the opportunities were created, and that was the capital. Although, there isn’t all that much grass. Alex moved South with me, which was a huge gamble for him and I am eternally grateful for his support in the move. We are creating our own lives together now and jumping over the hurdles that life is throwing towards us. And we are thriving in the process.
London is an exciting and vibrant city, filled with bloggers, creatives, companies and brands that all have a big part to play in this industry. And finally, I feel a part of that movement. Manchester was a great platform to work from, but it didn’t have the opportunities that London can offer. Ill be totally honest about that. 85% of the opportunities I was given, came from the South, and travelling to and fro became a huge mental killer for me. So it was a move I had to make, and one I am absolutely not looking back from. I love my new career. I love my partner and our new lives together. I love my little flat in Zone 2 and being able to get a bus straight to the doors of Selfridges. And mostly, I love that 13 educational years of extremely hard work has really paid off, to bring me to this point right now.
I’m so glad to have you all with me and I can’t wait to see what London is going to deliver. Here’s to an amazing 2015 and many years to come! To infinity, and beyond.