In celebration of International Women’s Day, I reached out to a phenomenal group of badass female fashion professionals and founders to share their inner wisdom with us. They gave us the real on lessons they learned from 2020, the goals for the New Year (as well as taking the opportunity to reflect on these questions myself). From hosting digital events to starting a family, there’s a lot for us women to celebrate – ching ching.
Meet the professionals:
Dior Bediako: Founder of Pepper Your Talk & The Junior Network
Georgi Casey: Clothing Merchandiser, New Look
Heather Ibberson: (Hi, that’s me!) Fashion & Beauty Retail Analyst, EDITED
Jess Cheng: Senior Creative, ASOS
Lauren Rose Bell: Assistant Merchandiser, ASOS
Nana Agyemang: Social Editor at The Cut & CEO of EveryStylishGirl
What is the biggest lesson you learned in 2020?
Jess: For me, it’s the importance of maintaining balance between my work and personal work. I’m the type of person to go all out in everything I do and there have been times I’ve been close to a major burnout. Also, working on a social presence on the side of my 9-5, it’s easy to blur the lines between the two. I try to take a few evenings a week to myself to do nothing and restore my peace.
Nana: I have learned to always have two backup plans and be ready to pivot. Due to these unprecedented times, I can’t be married to any one plan or idea. I’ve learned to be flexible and open-minded to receiving ideas from my team and family.
Lauren: The main lesson I learned this year is that you cannot plan everything in life. I’m always looking forward to the next thing and planning how I want my life to go, but we really haven’t been able to do that at all this year. It has definitely made me more grateful and appreciative for what I do have and I’m hoping this is something I carry throughout this year too.
Georgi: Balance is key. Moving to a life of working from home helped me to reset my priorities, as working in fashion can be intense and fast-paced! I didn’t realise how much of my time revolved around working late and socialising with colleagues, so the best part of this year has been having the opportunity to take a step back and rebalance my life outside of work. Simple things such as finding time to go for a lunchtime walk with my partner has been a welcome addition to my working day.
Heather: The importance of setting boundaries in both my work and personal life. I’ve always been an advocate for a healthy work/life balance, but as my room became a one-stop shop for rest, socializing and work, this became even more important. Having more time to myself has also enabled me to get to know myself better – to love and be gentle with myself. It’s been a painful year in many ways, but I’m thankful for the chance to learn how to comfortably sit with myself and discover what’s important to me – something I’m continuously working on!
Dior: Be present! When you have the opportunity and ability to do something, don’t put it off. Act in the moment and enjoy it. By the summer of last year, I adopted this mentality and my year turned around dramatically. From enjoying the time I could spend with friends, to changing the way I approach my business and beyond. I’m still a big planner who loves a good calendar invite but I’m a lot more open to plans changing and being okay with that.
What are your main priorities for 2021?
Jess: As with every new year, I’ve taken the time to rest, reset and get ready to smash my goals. I’m very diligent when it comes to getting things done, so I want to continue on this trajectory. I would love to start waking up earlier and get into a routine of taking time in the morning to workout, eat breakfast, read and take a second to clear my head before jumping into the bustle of work.
Nana: Our priority at EveryStylishGirl for 2021 is to expand in reach at our Sip N’ Slay conferences. Since pivoting to digital conferences, our attendees have grown 500+. It is a career advancement event that I would love for more men and women interested in media, fashion and entrepreneurship to be aware of in 2021.
Lauren: I’d love to spend as much time with friends and family as possible (when we’re able to) since we have missed out on so much time together.
Georgi: I’ll be taking a break from work as I’m a new Mum, so family is my current priority. While I look forward to a year of new adventures into the unknown world of parenting, I want to look into opportunities to continue learning and use the extra time to explore online courses/qualifications that I can take on.
Heather: 2020 showed us the importance of doing what you love and giving gratitude to the small everyday wins. This year, I look forward to playing my first live DJ gig, networking with more creatives in the industry (both more online and off!) and further building my online personal brand to attract new opportunities. I’ve been loving speaking on Clubhouse weekly among a group of fashion professionals that I met on the app and want to keep seeking out new ways to connect with an audience.
Dior: To launch the Pepper Your Talk course! (So excited about this) and help 1000 young professionals ‘do their work’. I’m on a mission to support the next generation in realising what their personal super powers are because we all have them! For myself, I want to make time, daily and weekly, to pray, read and refocus. As the world begins to open back up I’m conscious that distractions can come from all directions, so my mind needs to be rooted in what matters and uncommit to lesser goals.
What are you seeking to manifest in 2021? Let me know in the comments!
Words by Heather Ibberson