What Went Down in Our Slack Session: Fashion & E-comm Leaders Reflect on the Industry

The MISSBISH Slack Community aims to connect BISHES from all over the world to have meaningful conversations and dig a little deeper. In our monthly Slack Sessions, we dedicate about an hour to talking to women who are killing it in their industry and are willing to give us an insight into how they accomplish it all!

Last week’s Slack Session centered around fashion and e-commerce. The panel included Shawna Olsten, the Director of Creative Services at Aritzia, Michelle Gault, Head of Product at Herschel Supply Co., and Rachel Nguyen, the founder of That's Chic.

With a focus on branding, marketing, and their personal journeys, we wanted to hear from these women who are leaders in fashion and e-commerce. Here’s what we’re keeping in mind this month and moving forward:

How to pitch yourself when you’re just starting out:

“If you really want to work at a certain company take the receptionist job and prove yourself from there... that's what I did all the way to Marketing Director over 8.5 years.” - Shawna

“I know hard work will get you where you want to be no matter what industry. You have to want it more than anything and be willing to fight for it.” - Michelle

“My favorite trick is to not be afraid to pinpoint what people are doing wrong, I've done that a few times in interviews or when I'm pitching, because I think a really important skill is not only pointing out problems but backing it up with a solution. Isn't that why interviews exist anyway? People are looking for solutions to their flows.” - Rachel

How to use your inspiration to propel yourself forward:

“It's about being able to pull ideas into action… otherwise, we just have a bunch of great ideas.” -Shawna

“I've adapted bullet journal into my life to allow me the mental space to brain dump and clear out ideas that were stewing and give me room for others.” -Rachel

What they wish someone had told you when you were starting out:

“That people will pass you constantly and not be as hard of a worker as you and to not get pissed about it and just stay the course.” -Michelle

How to approach others for mentorship:

“This is a tough one, people reach me through all sorts of ways. If it seems personal, if they verbalize why they think I can help them, and if I just happen to have time that day I usually always respond. I believe in reverse mentorship as well. I once also received great advice from a prof when I was studying a short-lived passion for journalism... ‘Be nice, you never know who your next boss will be.’” - Shawna

How to deal with setbacks:

“Hunker down!! This is just life, I think if you stay true to what you want then you can accept the setbacks. They are learning opportunities and make you stronger. I've had some stingers!” -Shawna

“Yeah, life happens and it sucks. I would be lying and over-romanticizing work if I said it didn't demotivate me. Negativity seems to be a theme online sometimes, and that realllly drains me. I spiral from it, but I think that's why I talk about disconnecting so much to be so important for me and my mental space because that can be fragile in my line of work.” -Rachel

Their definition of success:

“Success to me as a leader is when no matter what everyone on your team will follow you into anything you are going to throw at them because they feel that you are the one that will get them out.” -Michelle

Podcast Recommendations:

“School of Greatness with Lewis Howes. Where Should We Begin with Esther Perel.” -Rachel

“The Daily, Global News BBC, Today Explained, The Joe Rogan Experience, How I built this, Freakonomics Radio” -Michelle

Be sure to sign up for our Slack Channel below for access to the next Session. Sessions go down every month, don't miss out!

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