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Fashion Cents Owner and Blogger Kimberly Turner Shares her Entrepreneurial Experiences
Do YOU have Fashion Cents? Kimberly Turner (owner of Fashion Cents) does.
Kimberly is a personal stylist turned blogger turned style show owner/host—and that's just what she has been up to recently. In 2003, after combining her brand management experience and consumer marketing skills to her MBA, Fashion Merchandising degree and FIT Image Consulting certificate, she created Chicago clothing retailer FLAUNT. Since then she has been a busy lady because she now also operates Fashion Cents, a style show and blog.
By leveraging the business skills she learned at her 'corporate training ground' Kimberly was able to successfully get both her businesses off the ground. In addition to running FLAUNT and Fashion Cents Kimberly also contributes to leading internet fashion blog The Stiletto Jungle.
Kimberly, who is always well-spoken and thought-provoking was a no-brainer target for our Interview Series. So, pay attention aspiring fashionistas because we were able to pick her brain about how other aspiring fashion professionals can learn from her education and entrepreneurial experiences:
How did you get your foot into the door of the fashion industry?
First job was technically in college where I majored in Fashion Merchandising for the first year. I did a stint as a management intern for a women's clothing store.
For any of our readers not familiar with you could you explain your blog's vision and what inspired you to start it?
My blog, fashioncents.tv, is meant to give women easy and inexpensive ways to develop great style. I am a professional image consultant and I learned from the clients that I work with that not all women are fashion savvy. Not only do they not know the big designer brands but they would have no idea how to put it together. So they just need simple tips on looking good every day.
Do you hold any other fashion-related positions in the industry?
I used to own a women's clothing store in the South Loop of Chicago named Flaunt.
What type of education did it take to get you where you are today? And how has your career path progressed over the years (or how do you hope it will progress and how do you plan to get it there)?
My career path has not been a straight line at all. After college I worked for a retailer then went back to graduate school for my MBA. I then worked in consumer goods for years which was a great training ground for running my own business. While working in New York I took classes at FIT for certification in Image Consulting. I headed back to Chicago and opened by own store focusing on image consulting and women's business apparel with an edge.
If you had it to do all over again what would you do differently, change or improve?
Not a thing. I think all of these experiences have been great and led me to where I am now.
Which designers and/or artists influenced you the most as a creative professional?
I think from a retail perspective, I most admire BCBG. I really like their clothing designs for the modern woman but reasonably priced and their store concept.
What is the most important skill or hard lesson you have learned while working on your fashion blog?
Blogging is work. People seem to think it is easy, but it takes time.
Do you accept interns looking to get a career in fashion writing, blogging, PR or in reviewing?
Which role(s) in the fashion industry do you think will offer the best career opportunities moving forward? eg. designer, PR, entrepreneur, etc.?
PR professionals have so many opportunities now especially if they are involved in the social area. They can help designers directly, work with online sellers and brick and mortar retailers. All of them are looking to generate more influence on in the social area.
Which skills do you consider to be most critical for a career in fashion?
Tenacity. You can NOT give up. It gets hard but you have to keep going.
What would you recommend for aspiring fashion professionals looking to break into today's fashion industry?
Start now and anywhere you can. Building a network is crucial for success whether you are blogging, designing or selling.
Check out more interviews at The Fashion-Schools.org Interview Series.