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Tonia Wells

What does a day in the life of a fashion designer consist of?

When in the middle of creating a collection, one day can be working with my sketch artist in cleaning up the designs I created on my design software. She helps me in determining length, cleaning up vectors and selecting collection colors. The next part of the day is meeting my models and seamstress at the fabric store getting their sizes and determining which model will wear each design. After gathering their sizes, my seamstress and I choose the color and fabric for the designs; based on the color of the designs, we choose that exact match in fabric or we find one that is the closet in color. The remainder of the day consists of meeting with my hair stylist and makeup artist determining hair styles and makeup for the models to wear with each design. Lastly, it’s answering emails and responding to events to appear in fashion shows.

What advice would you give someone considering this career?

Be ready for competition!! Fashion is a huge industry. You must be ready to fight for your place in this market. You must be determined, diligent, resilient and persistent. New designers and clothing lines are popping up every day. However, while remaining relevant, you must remain true to yourself and your dream. Don’t be persuaded into following the norm unless it works for your purpose. Those who stay true to their purpose are those that survive. The fashion industry changes all the time. Styles that are popular now are not months from now. Your survival depends on how well you can show your creativity and how it is unique and deserving of attention. Don’t design for the masses; focus on what drives you and the people will gravitate to you. Most importantly remember that building an empire takes time. You will have to work. day-in and day-out for months and years. You must trust the process because that is how you learn, grow and expand. Amazon started out in a garage and look where it is today!!

What is a book or movie that inspired you?

Who Moved My Cheese? Cheese is a metaphor for what you want in life. It could be a good job, loving relationship, money or health. The very core message of the book is that things constantly change, so we must adapt. The quicker we adapt to change the more satisfied we will be. You learn how to anticipate, plan for and adapt to change so that it doesn’t hold you back from moving forward in your business and your life.

Do you (or your company) offer internships or job shadow opportunities to high school students? If so, how would a student go about applying for one of those?

I typically work with interns from design schools because they have the experience and skill set I need to help with designing clothing.

Website: www.mochatonez.com