10 Steps To Your Building Your Girl Boss Empire

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Motivation, hard work, self belief and resilence are the four things that are the foundation for success for me. These are what get me up in the morning and give me the drive to succeed and make something amazing out of my life. I’ve always been so driven and want to live out my dreams, that I honestly believe that if you’re dedicated and are ultimately passionate about what you want to achieve, you can really do anything.

The wish to succeed and be that ultimate girl boss can come from so many places; whether it’s a true role model in your life, a life long dream or even social media and other people’s successes. However, for me having a personal link to wanting to achieve sends you miles more forward than anything else. For me my foundations lie in being a little girl and my mum telling me i can achieve anything if i work hard, as no one will bring it to me on a plate. This has stuck with me for life and she is one of my biggest moitvations, along with my dad. My parents devoted their lives to me, motivating me and i honestly think they are the reason I’m the woman I am today.

So, I thought i would share 10 things that have built my path to sucess and that you can also adopt to help you achieve your ultimate dreams in life…


 1. Create Your Aim

You need an aim to work towards, as that the goal you will have in your head when you`re struggling or have a set back, where you feel like you’ve gone 2 steps forward and 10 steps back. If you have a goal you can look forward to, whether it`s having that business or getting that dream job, you can think of it every minute of every day.


2. Have a Plan

I’m not talking about a full on step by step life plan, I just mean knowing what steps you need to take to get to your goal. Whether that’s smashing your a-levels, getting a good degree and landing that dream job or getting that business idea, setting up a business and going on the steps to making it big.


3. Motivation is Key

Being Motivated to achieve your dreams can be so hard when you fail or thing`s don’t go to plan. But channel that negative energy to continue and make it better next time. It’s like in blogging, there will be posts I’ll spend ages on and love but they don’t get the love back that I put into it. So I have to dust myself down, re think and try again.


4. Have a Good Circle Around You

I honestly couldn’t champion this point enough, because having an amazing circle around you is so key. They are there to support you, guide you, give you advice, are a shoulder to cry on and your ultimate cheerleaders. I couldn’t live without my family, friends and boyfriend cheering me on every step of the way, and achieving your dream is so much easier when you have a network of people, you love,  to share it with.


5. Work Hard

The biggest thing I remember my mum telling me, when I was a little girl, was that no one EVER hands you anything on a plate, so you have to work hard for everything you want in life. So, I carry this through everything I do and I believe if I work hard at every step I’ll achieve it eventually. Hard work has got me everywhere so far and so I’m going to carry on with it, to hopefully achieve those goals!


6. Set Small Goals

It’s not all about that ultimate goal, but also about all the small milestones on the way. If your big dream is miles away, then set smaller and more achievable goals for the short term. Whether it’s getting all A’s in your A-Levels, a first at uni or taking that step to set up your business.


7. Celebrate All Your Achievements

Celebrating achievements is so important to me. It’s like a thank you to yourself for all your hard work and determination. It gives you the motivation to carry on and who doesn’t love a good celebratory cocktail or dinner date.


8. Surround Yourself

When you’re going into an industry you love, setting up a new business or wanting that dream house, surround yourself with things to do with it. Read up on it, watch programmes to do with it, make it your life as well, if you really want to achieve it. It’s not forever but it helps you get more passionate and knowledgeable about the whole thing.


9. Have Faith and Believe 

Self belief is something that so many people struggle with, and one of the hardest things to keep. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will and how can you expect anyone else to. You need to know your abilities and that you can succeed and reach that goal, and it gets you so much further than you could ever believe.


10. Stay Grounded 

The one thing I never want to do is get big headed and think that I know it all. There is always something to be better at and achieve, than what you can do now, so never settle. Know that you can grow and get experience from people in the industry. Stay humble, love what you have and love to love how you can progress in the future.


*The message of this post is that hard work, motivation, self belief and resilience can get you everywhere in life, so go out and smash those dreams. 

 

A Guide To Prom On A Budget: The Jewellery

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Jewellery is a really key element to bringing an entire look together, as the small details finish the look off and make it look really polished. A delicate necklace fills the space around your neck, a pair of crystal studs adds a sparkle in your hair and a few sliver bracelets and rings bring the beauty down your whole body. However, it can be hard to find some really gorgeous pieces, when you’re on a budget and don’t want to splash out on expensive pieces. So, that’s why I’m sharing some of my favourite affordable, but yet still beautiful, jewellery brands which would be perfect to pair with your prom dress.

The Brands 

Working on a jewellery counter  exposes me to some of the little hidden gems of the jewellery world, and brands that I really love. There’s so many small boutique style brands out there today, and the key is really research them and spend time looking for the perfect pieces. Some of my favourite brands are Joma Jewellery, Estella Bartlett, Bloom Boutique, and Cluse, which are great for affordable yet beautiful watches and a bit of jewellery too.

Next Silver Tone Flower Effect Necklace

Bloom Boutique Personalised Initial Disk Bracelet

Joma Daisy Studs

Joma Aria Heart Bracelet

Cluse La Roche Rose Gold Watch

When you’re looking for some beautiful new jewellery discoveries, there’s a few key places to look to help speed the process up a little bit more:

  • Instagram is a great place to discover small brands and you can even search for jewellery and see all the beautiful pieces that have been featured in people’s pictures and the independent brands too.
  • Not On The High-street is another really great place to look for small, handmade jewellery pieces. I actually discovered bloom boutique through this website, and it’s honestly such a great place for undiscovered brands.
  • Local boutiques and gift shops often have locally handmade items or small brands, which you would never see on the high-street. So it’s always worth popping into your local ones and seeing what selection they have.

Key Pieces:

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When it comes to the key pieces, which every girl needs to complete her prom look, there would only be three key pieces I would advise very girl to wear; A pair of earrings, a necklace and a bracelet. These are obviously dependent on the style of your dress, but are generally the classic three pieces of jewellery and for me are the essential’s to complete a special occasion look.

The Necklace – This should always be worn when you either have a plain half of your dress or have any type of plunging neck line, such a low round or a v neckline. This is because the necklace will fill the chest space between your neck and where your dress starts and just tie it all together and ensure that you don’t look too bare.

The Earrings- I think these should be worn no matter what outfit your wear, as it takes the sparkle into your hair and then can feed down your body. Generally I love a good stud, as I have long hair and generally an type of drop earring gets caught in my hair. However, it all depends on the dress and sometimes a drop can look super elegant and classy. Really it’s all about balance.

The Bracelet- I think this is a real essential to wear to finish a look off, however it’s key that you choose wisely and with the correct dress. If you have one that is strapless, off the shoulder, or with cap sleeves, then a small bracelet would be perfect as it takes the beauty of the detail down your arms. However, if you have a long sleeve, you may want to rethink, especially if it is embellished. As this could look too over the top. So, that’s why I love the simple Joma bracelets, as they’re comfortable to wear but also still dainty and beautiful too.

What jewellery brands do you love and are wearing for your prom or special occasion?

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5 Books Every Fashion Lover Needs To Have On Their Reading List

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Delving into a really good book is one of my favourite ways to relax and enjoy an escape from the world for a while. When I can mix my love for reading with my passion for fashion and style, that’s when I find some of my favourite reads, which I’ll keep in my collection for years to come. So, as I know so many of you are just as obsessed with all things fashion, just like I am, I thought I would share five of my favourite books that you all need to add to your reading list.

Inside Vogue | Alexandra Shulman 

This is the ultimate books for fashion lovers and is an absolute must read. It’s written by the previous editor in chief of Vogue, Alexandra Shulman, who was the head of British Vogue for 25 years. The book is in diary form and documents Alexandra’s life, events, and preparation for the 100 years of British Vogue celebration. What I really love about the book is how real the accounts are and how much insight you get into the whole Vogue world. I honestly think its an amazing book for anyone who loves Vogue, Fashion or is even interested in fashion publication.

If you’re interested in knowing more about the book itself, I’ve done a review on it HERE which you can go and have a good read of.

Vogue On Giorgio Armani | Kathy Phillips

It’s not just this book that I would recommend that you add to your reading list, but the entire collection of “Vogue On” books. Each one is focused on a different influential designer, looks back on their life and really focuses on what made they become such a big name in the fashion industry. There’s one for every type of designer and I would recommend reading as many of them as you can as they’re so interesting and super helpful if you’re studying fashion or want to in the future.

British Fashion Designers | Hywel Davies

Talking about designers, this book is focused purely on the most well known British Ones. The book looks at 27 designers, at all walks of the industry, both large fashion houses and the smaller more individual brands, and does a short interview with each one. They ask questions about their position in the industry, their fashion background and also how British design has influenced their own work. It’s a quick snapshot of each designer, but brings a really fresh and unique angle where as the “Vogue On” books look back at key pivotal moments in history for each designer.

Where Stylists Shop | Booth Moore

This isn’t a book that you would sit down and read from cover to cover, but more of an coffee table read that’s really interesting to just pick up and have a look through. I’ve always been so interested in shopping, clothing and styling it all, which is why I love doing Visual Merchandising at work, and this book is the perfect guide as to the best places to shop. It looks at hundreds of cities across the world and then picks out the true gems which you need to visit. Whether it’s a boutique, market or a couture house, its the places that only the best in fashion go to shop, so of course we all need to visit too.

Revenge Wears Prada | Lauren Weisberger

You will all know of the famous Devil Wears Prada, and this book looks at what happens after. This is a great novel to pick up, read and get gripped by, as you follow what happens after Andrea leaves the office and follows a different path, starting her own magazine. It’s such a interesting twist after the film and is a great read after delving into the original, which I would really recommend too. The whole series are the ultimate read for fashion lovers and this book is the hidden gem of the entire story.

If you’re looking for another amazing series to read, then the Shopaholic series is a great one for fashion lovers, who like a good easy yet fashionable read.

Do you have any fashion favourites you can recommend to me?

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What I Did During My First Year of Fashion Buying

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Studying fashion has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember, and a career I’ve known I wanted to pursue since I was a little girl. Fashion has always been something I’ve been so interested in, and as I’ve got older and been able to get closer and closer to actually studying pure fashion, the more I’ve loved it and wanted to just surround myself around it. So, as I’m now only one step away from my dream career, I thought I would share what I’ve done throughout my first year studying a Fashion Buying degree.

What is it?

What actually is Fashion Buying? Well to be honest I don’t think that you will actually ever really understand what crucial job a fashion buyer does until you’ve worked in the industry yourself or you know someone who has. Basically, a fashion buyer is the main middle man between a design for an item and it coming to life. Even though there is so many other people involved, like suppliers and manufacturers, a fashion buyer works with the designer to take a design concept, sources the materials and organises it all to get made. Not only do you have to love fashion, you also need to be super organised, driven, keep on top of the latest colours and trends, and I think most of all you need to absolutely love your job.

The Modules: 

The degree I’m doing is not purely fashion buying, but it is also mixed with fashion marketing as well, so you get to work within both subjects alongside each other. The whole degree is then split up into five modules, in which four are related more towards fashion buying and one towards marketing. Even though it is a buying degree, it covers every aspect of the job and in first year really creates foundations for the whole job role.

Core Buying One:  This has to be one of my favourite modules because it looks at all the things you need to know purely to do with buying. So you look at sourcing, negotiation, the buying cycle, range building, visual merchandising and so many other skills. This module had two really creative assignments, one producing a sketch book and a mood board and another doing a comp shop. That’s for another day, as they’re so interesting. Then to finish the year we did a report on psychological buying habits, which was a bit stressful to end the year on.

Textiles Materials: This is another big module, which runs throughout the whole year. It’s all about learning the key elements to the fabrics you might source as a buyer. It was split up into four main area’s and a group project to review it all at the end of the year. Five weeks were dedicated to weave, learning about all the different structures and actually hand weaving on a machine. Five weeks were dedicated to knitting, where we learnt about different types of knit and the stitches and knitted various forms on industrial machines. Then there was another five weeks for fibres and yarns; learning about different types of fabrics and their characteristic’s and the final five to colouration. This was where we learnt about the dyeing process and the different types of fabric dyes appropriate for each fabric type.

The assessment for this module was a mini phase test at the end of each area and a big group presentation to finish.

Introduction To Fashion Business: This is my all time favourite module, as it takes all the business elements, some of which I learnt in a-level economics, and mixes them with tons of fashion examples. It’s like mixing two of my favourite things together and I found it so interesting. We focused on the role of the marketer and the merchandiser, as well as theories about business and lots of industry talks. They really made a 9.00am start on a Tuesday worthwhile.

The assignments for this module were quite varied, as we had an individual essay to write about the role of the merchandiser, in the fashion retail market, and then had to create a marketing infographic for a business, in a group project. They were both really interesting and I particularly enjoyed creating the infographic and being in a team with all my girlfriends.

Digital Communication: This was one of the harder modules on the course as there was so much new and technical information. This whole module was all about the digital aspect of buying, with practical sessions in Photoshop and Illustrator, as well as lectures about how we see colour and the different types. The assignments made the module quite hard as we had a big phase test at the end of the lectures to test all our knowledge, although it was open book, and we also had to build a five piece range on illustrator. Even though they were both hard assignments, all the information will be invaluable and I know I will always relate to it in the future.

Design Cultures: This is a module all about the history of clothing, retail and trends. It takes you all the way back to where clothing began, all the different styles, status symbols and also how retail itself evolved. Before I started the course I thought this was going to be so boring, however I actually really enjoyed it and cant wait for it to start again next year.

The assignment was really interesting and played to my strengths, as it was to create an educational blog. So I couldn’t use this one and had to write a lot more formally, but it used all my design skills on WordPress and just how to generally write a blog. You had to focus on your own fashion influences, a global fashion week, analyse a historical item and also analyse a portrait or advertisement.

My Experience: 

Overall, my experience of the whole course so far has been amazing. I searched for a long time to find a fashion degree that was right for me, and I’m honestly so happy I chose this one. Its just so varied, I’m learning new things every day and loving every second. It doesn’t feel like a chore because I love it and every assignment we have done. I’m already so proud of myself for how far I’ve come and I can’t wait for second year.

Do you have any questions about a fashion buying career or thinking of doing one yourself?

Rachel x

11 Things I’ve Learnt After My 1st Year Of Driving

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Driving was such a massive part of my life last year, and the freedom of finally being able to drive myself around and have my own independance has been a massive part of my life ever since. So, as I recently celebrated driving for a year, I thought I would share 10 things I’ve learnt over the last year of being on the roads.

1. Learn how to drive when you’re as young as possible as you have the time and the brain quickness to be able to pick driving up easily. Even though when I learnt to drive I had work, A-Levels and driving as well, i’m still so glad I did it then as I  would’nt have the time to do it now. It’s given me so much more freedom and has helped me transition into adult life.

2. There are so many crazy drivers on the road, and people that make stupid decisions it’s unbelievable. You really do have to have eyes in the back of your head and watch out for everyone, at all times and predict what they might do, and even then sometimes you can’t believe the decisions people make on the roads.

3. Having a car is at times like having a baby, as it constantly needs attention and love. Whether that’s keeping it clean, putting oil and water in it, paying for petrol and then any repairs that need doing along the way. However, if you buy a car that’s a bit newer you can avoid a lot of random big repair costs and save money in the long run.

4. Nine times out of 10 things that happen aren’t your fault, like someone scratches your car in a car park, or someone swerves into your lane. So, if you ever do have an accident don’t automatically take blame just because your a new driver. Remember your young and have quick reactions, and also you’ve had the newest training as older drivers have got into bad habits and don’t always do everything right.

5. Black boxes can be really annoying, especially when you’re running late or having someone right behind you as you’re doing the 30 speed limit. However, they are so worth it when after a safe, accident free year of good driving your premium can go down by 500.00.

6. Motorways really aren’t that scary as they seem, as long as your savvy about how you drive on them. Lets face most new drivers have to stick strictly to the speed limit so that means that we have no chance of competiting against the cars that have power and can do well over 70mph. So, stick to the left lane when you can and think about where you’re going and what lane you need to be in, and you should be all good.

7. Going on a road trip is one of the best things you can do in your first year of driving, as you can put your skills into practice once you feel confident on the roads. The best way to do it is to get one person or a group of friends you love to spend time with, make a really good playlist to listen to and some snacks and your complete. Oh and also a sat nav so you don’t get lost and stressed out too!

8. Be savvy about where you buy petrol from and which garages you get repairs done at, as not everywhere charges the same for the same thing. I always go to Sainsbury’s for petrol, if i can, as it’s cheap and lasts a long time, and with garages I always get at least two quotes for a repair before I choose which one to go for, as you can save so much money.

9. You will get prejudice as a woman when you have a car, as some men assume you know nothing. So expect looks when you go and fill your car up with fuel or your water washers at the petrol station. However, i would always recommend you take someone with you when you go to a garage for the first few times, as you may be charged more or taken advantage if you don’t know what you want. So make sure you’re clear and know what you want and you’ll be fine.

10. Having a stable, steady income every month makes it a lot easier to pay for your car and your bills to do with it. I have a part-time retail job, and I work set hours every week, so I know when i’m working. That helps me to budget for the month and know that all my bills are covered.

11. It’s the best thing you can do and it honestly has given me so much more freedom. It  makes life so much easier and even though it is expensive, its worth every penny to have a car and i feel so lucky everytime I drive it.

Are you learning to drive? What things have you learnt since driving?

Rachel x