How I Fell Into My Dream Job Completely Accidentally
Like every girl who had been wearing their mom’s heels since birth and asked for a subscription to Lucky Magazine (RIP) at age six, I grew up wanting to work in fashion.
After learning how to sew from my grandmother, it seemed pretty clear to me that I wanted to become a fashion designer, duh! I sketched designs in my assignment notebook through classes, I scoured thrift shops for XL vintage tees that I could turn into mini-dresses which barely covered my teenage ass, I even made my own homecoming dress. I fought with my parents on and off, but eventually they agreed to let me pursue fashion design in college.
Unfortunately, after one year at university, I came to realize that I fucking hated fashion design. Making clothes for myself was fun and all, but did I want to spend the next four years using industrial sewing machines and spending thousands of dollars on fabric only to end up working for another designer? Nah, not really. There were too many other things I wanted to do. The problem was that I had no idea where to begin.
I transferred into my school’s Design and Merchandising program, which was still focused in fashion, but required little to no sewing and included many more business classes in the curriculum. Plus, because the majors were so similar, I wasn’t behind at all. I still loved drawing, so I got special permission from the Fashion Design program to take one more class, Fashion Illustration.
One day in class, we took a “field trip” (are they called field trips in college?) to a nearby coffee shop that carried tons of foreign and underground, artsy magazines.
When I came across Galore, I was obsessed.
The issue that I came across was all about women in fashion, and they featured all the designers that I was in love with, from Betsey Johnson to UNIF. I immediately went home and followed Galore on every single social media channel. I felt like if I had the chance to meet the creator behind the magazine, we would immediately be best friends. Unlike every other magazine trying to follow the latest trends while showcasing 30 pages of advertisements, Galore felt like art. Galore felt real.
When it came time for me to apply for internships my junior year (my school has a co-op program), I still had no clue what path I wanted to take in the industry.
I scored an internship in shoe design at Michael Kors. The brand wasn’t really my style, but I knew a big company like that would look great on my résumé, and I fucking loved shoes. The woman I interviewed with also assured me that the internship would be super hands-on and I’d never be doing anything mindless like getting coffee for people. Like most fashion industry internships, it was unpaid, so I agreed to work three days a week in order to save time for another job.
About a month later, I was scrolling my newsfeed when I saw that Galore was hiring interns. I originally was planning to save my two free weekdays for a paid job, but this seemed too good to pass up. There wasn’t a job description, but the flyer said to apply and choose one of three areas to intern out of writing, styling, and graphic design. I emailed my résúme and wrote that I’d love to work in the styling department, but would be happy to work anywhere they needed me. After all, I didn’t know what I wanted to do for real, and to have the opportunity to work with Galore would be amazing regardless.
I spoke to a woman named Frankie on the phone in a ridiculously chill interview, which I should’ve expected after stalking her on social media and seeing tons of club pics. I may have gushed a bit too much about how much I loved Galore, but that’s what they tell you to do when interviewing in the fashion industry, so whatevs. She hired me on the spot and we agreed on a start date for when I had officially moved up to New York.
When I walked into the Galore office on my first day of work, I didn’t even bring a laptop. I figured I’d be running samples, grabbing Starbucks, and organizing beauty closets. You know, The Devil Wears Prada shit.
I felt embarrassed af when my supervisor told me that if I didn’t have a laptop, I couldn’t really do anything. It was only then that I realized that they actually wanted me to write for them, which I was completely unprepared for.
But then again, I was prepared for it. I had always enjoyed writing. I’d always secretly loved my AP English classes in high school because I loved to read, and writing was something that I felt like I was actually good at. I’d never excelled at being outgoing or expressing myself aloud, but when I wrote shit down it made sense to me. This would be fine, right?
The more I got into writing, the more I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it even more when I could get a laugh out of my co-workers or got praise from my boss. But it wasn’t just the writing. As soon as I walked into the Galore office, I realized that it was unlike any other office I’d ever interned in. I could dress the way I wanted to dress rather than buying specific “work clothes.” I could candidly talk to my co-workers without worrying that anything I said was “inappropriate.” I had no qualms about being followed on social media by my bosses. In fact, my boss made a point to tell me how much he loved my Instagram posts.
I’d accepted the fact long ago that the version I present of myself to work would always have to be different from the version I present of myself to friends, but Galore shattered that horrible idea of a workplace from my mind within about a week.
It was funny because I never saw writing as a career choice, it always seemed like something too far-fetched, like becoming an actor or a model. But when I look back, becoming a fashion designer falls into the same category, so I’m not really sure why I viewed it differently. I think part of the reason I never considered going into writing was I never felt confident that people cared what I had to say. Yes, Carrie Bradshaw had the sickest job in the world, but I thought that if I wrote about my sexual experiences people would just call me a slut and move on. I also assumed that going into writing meant that I’d be writing bullshit pieces assigned by an editor for years until I finally made a name for myself (thank you Never Been Kissed and How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days).
At Galore, my editor pretty much okayed all of my ideas since it was easy for me to stay on brand with a magazine that I already loved. Plus, now that I had a legitimate platform to write on, I felt confident. Once I realized that people liked what I wrote, it felt pretty damn good.
Meanwhile, the shoe design internship was boring af. I loved shoes, but I didn’t love taking photos of samples all day, or photocopying hardware for hours. My interviewer was right, I never had to get coffee, but most of the time I didn’t feel like what I was doing held any more importance.
By the end of my sixth month stint in New York, I was happy to say goodbye to MK, but sad to say goodbye to Galore. Luckily, I didn’t have to say goodbye completely, as I was offered the opportunity to continue freelancing for them from home while I finished up school.
I currently work for Galore full time now having graduated in the spring, and it’s always funny looking back and realizing that if I never took that one class and walked into that one coffee shop, I may have never gotten into writing. The important thing is that I had the opportunity to intern at a variety of companies and realize what I did (and didn’t) want to do. I still don’t know my exact “career path” or even what I’ll be doing in the next ten years, but it’s better to not have that planned out anyway. Above all, my favorite thing about working at Galore is the ability to completely by myself.
In the meantime, have faith that if you stay involved in the industries that you are passionate about, your dream job might just fall into your lap.