THE BEGINNING...

October 23, 2017

Hello! Welcome!

 

As we launch a new blog for .eloise. design co. I want to introduce myself and share with you

my unconventional career journey in hopes it will encourage students, professionals, and small business owners as they approach the next step in their career and business.

 

 

This blog connects the offerings of .eloise. design co. with the networking of AlumNetwork.

AlumNetwork is a free membership network open to college students & professionals for the purpose of connecting, sharing, & mentoring.  Which aligns perfectly with the mission of this blog!

 

This blog will provide you with actionable branding and career content while sharing encouragement and motivation along the way.

Something I wished I had when I was a student and a very green small business owner!

 

 

If you have followed along on social media or perused the website, you will see that I offer a range of services which serve a lot of different people. This often time confuses people,

so let me break it down for you.

 

I help individuals (students, professionals, or small business owners)

communicate their unique brands VISUALLY and through VOICE.

 

< VISUALLY >

  1. Students: A resume, cover letter, reference page, head shot, business card or portfolio

  2. Small Business: A logo, a business card, a website, social media, photography or printed items

< VOICE >

  1. Students: The written content of a resume, cover letter, emails, LinkedIn profile or how you communicate in an interview

  2. Small Business: The written content of your website, printed items, social media, and how you interact with your customers

 

 

 

I strive to be a mentor and teacher so that you learn HOW to communicate your unique brand. Because if you don’t know how to communicate and show who you are why would anyone want to hire you or purchase from you?

 

As I tell my story, I want you to absorb the thought that our education, careers, and small businesses are a PROCESS.

 

This should be a freeing thought and shouldn’t stress you. I will explain further…

 

< MY STORY >

 

 My name is Eloise and I started my business in 2015 and it has grown and evolved into areas I never expected. I would have never been able to start my business so young in my career without my education, varying experiences, successes, failures, and most importantly my relationships. (IT IS ALL ABOUT WHO YOU KNOW)

 

While pursuing an apparel design degree at Auburn University, I worked part-time jobs to help pay my bills and my countless expensive design projects. Also, I completed a couple of internships to gain experience in the apparel industry. Looking back, I wish I had interned

and volunteered more.

 

Students: You have SO many opportunities available to you because you are a student and your main job is to learn and gain experience. Don’t waste this amazing time in your life! People are willing to help young people, especially if they are in school because they remember when they needed help once in their life. You can approach a business or professional and ask to intern, shadow, or volunteer and they will consider you. If a professional tried to do that, they would be accused of snooping or be seen as desperate! Use your current status to your advantage!

 

Also, know that no one expects you to be a master yet. They know you are young and learning. All they want is someone with a great attitude, willingness to learn, and ability to work hard.

 

Small Businesses: Use eager and smart college students as you grow your business and work within a tight budget. They need experience and you need manpower!

During the summers in college, I would go home for the summer. I would apply to 10-15 different stores and companies, and I would never get the job.

 

The crazy thing is that the jobs I DID get, were ones that I knew someone and they already knew my work ethic. I was qualified for all of the jobs I applied for, but I was not interviewing and selling myself well. I hadn’t taken the time to reflect and know myself, my skills, and my experiences in order to communicate them well to a potential employer. 

 

If you don’t know those things about yourself, how will anyone else?

 

Take a moment to reflect… can you relate to this?

 

Students: you may need to use THE PROCESS OF GETTING HIRED: THE WORKBOOK

if you need help with this.

 

 

Small Businesses: you may need to consider using my THE BRANDING WORKBOOK to define your brand and mission. {click the link to contact me about the free PDF workbook}

 

 

At the end of my undergrad degree, I used my connections and reputation (hadn’t mastered marketing myself yet) to secure my internship to graduate. I went to NYC and learned EVERYTHING and met EVERYONE I could. 

 

Students: please aim to learn everything, experience everything, and meet everyone when you intern! It will help you later on, I PROMISE!

 

Small Businesses: start networking locally (chamber and events) and via social media (join some groups) to learn and find support!

After I graduated, I returned to Auburn University for my master’s degree in Consumer Behavior. I studied why consumers buy what they buy. I am able to design better, provide creative solutions, and meet consumer’s needs because I studied consumers and their behaviors.

 

Students: your degree is what you make it! College is about learning how to learn.

 

Transitioning from a design degree to a master’s program that was research and analytically focused was extremely difficult for me. I wanted to quit the first semester…. but I did not quit. Instead, I found my purpose.

 

What kept me going was not only my fear of being a quitter, but my love for teaching and helping others. I was given a teaching assistantship for a couple different courses. I started to realize I may not be great at research, but I love helping others learn. (I finally started to reflect!)

 

Halfway through my program, I met a company at a fashion event that needed someone to help them create a hunting clothing line. If you know me at all, you will think this is funny because I have never gone hunting and have never worn camo!

 

Though this was something outside my comfort zone (once again), I followed up with them (don’t wait on anyone to pursue you!) and ended up convincing them that the skills I already had could be applied to their needs. (I FINALLY learned how to communicate who I was and it worked!)

 

Though the experience should have been a 3-month internship, I convinced them to keep me on part-time. If I hadn’t asked them for this opportunity, it would not have happened.

 

Students & Small Businesses: 

Don’t be afraid to ask, even if it is unconventional.

If you tell them WHY it is the better choice, they may surprise you and agree!

 

Stop waiting for others to give you opportunities and

start asking for them and then pursue them!

 

I worked for this company 2.5 days a week. Taught at Auburn University 2 days a week. Went to classes 2 days a week. And completed my master’s thesis research on the nights and weekends.

 

It was one of the hardest times of my life.

It was stressful and I felt like I was being stretched too thin.

 

Question: Why did I push myself through this time in my life?

 

Answer: I was working towards something. I was already in the “PROCESS”.

 

Just like you are working towards something…

I knew I had to pay my dues and I needed as much experience as possible. I also knew I needed a full-time job after I graduated with my degree!

 

You have to be willing to inconvenience yourself temporarily

in order to achieve what you want in the future.

 

I had to push myself through the challenging season of my life to get where I needed to be. Looking back, I see I was already in the “PROCESS” of getting hired for my first, second, and even third job.

 

After 2 years, the company was not doing well especially in the apparel division and I was 1 of the 4 people to be laid off. I have to say I am so glad I experienced this when I did. I learned a lot about myself and what I wanted for my career through this experience. I felt at peace when I walked out of that office (even though I had a wedding to pay off!)

 

Students: Please know it is more common than you may think to be laid off. I hope it never happens to any of you, but if it does, know that you are not the only one and that it may not be related to your work or performance.

 

If this does happen to you, use it as a motivator: to re-evaluate, learn, and pursue something new. Consider meeting with someone (like me!) to productively move forward and find the next opportunity. One thing I have learned is that this “PROCESS” we are in, is not meant to be done alone. Use your connections and network in good and bad times and you will never find yourself desperate for the next opportunity.

 

After only 1 month of being let go, I was blessed with a job offer from Auburn University to come teach for 1 year while they filled positions.

 

Though I did not have to go through the job hunt process (apply, interview, etc.) for this job, does not mean I didn’t have to put in the hard work to prove that I was qualified for this job.

 

Like I said earlier, I was already in the “PROCESS” of getting hired for my first, second, and third job while STILL in school!

 

They already knew my qualifications, work ethic, abilities, etc. I had proven them during my master’s degree.

 

Students & Small Businesses: You NEVER know how something will pay off in the future OR come back to hurt you later.

 

If you are continually working to make yourself a stronger professional, your career and life will evolve. If you have the mentality that you will continue to learn and keep your mind open, you will end up doing things you never imagined you could.

 

You may be asking yourself, “How can I continually work towards being a strong professional or small business owner?”

 

Follow along on this blog journey and keep checking your mailbox for advice, actionable content, and encouragement. We would also LOVE for you to follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 After finishing my contract with Auburn University, I knew my next step in my career

had to revolve around teaching, mentoring, and connecting people. So in 2015, after exhausting the available jobs in Auburn + Opelika, AL (where we live now) and knowing my strengths lied in entrepreneurism, design, and consulting, I made the bold decision to start my own business serving small businesses and college students.

 

I knew I could help students brand themselves but I knew I needed the help of other professionals to connect the students to their industry. Thus AlumNetwork was launched as a free membership network and now connects students, professionals, and industry.

 

(We would love for you to join AlumNetwork - JOIN)

 

Some people ask me if I am disappointed that I don’t use my degrees for what I do now. I find it amazing that they can’t see that everything I learned and did in college has prepared me to do my job now. I believe everything we do now is in preparation for what is next. You just have to decide if what you are doing now is going to hurt or benefit you in the next step of life.

 

Some of the best advice I received from my grandfather was,

“The purpose of college is to learn HOW to learn.”

Don’t worry about your entire future. Trust that it is a process and take

advantage of each opportunity as it comes.

 

I now work full time for myself and love the ability to help others as they learn and pursue their PROCESS. I am thankful for my process and I hope this blog post encourages you!

 

If you ever need someone to help you with YOUR PROCESS, please email me at

eloise@eloisedesignco.com or consider downloading the resources I have available: 

THE PROCESS WORKBOOK or THE BRANDING WORKBOOK.

 

< Eloise >

 

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CONTACT ELOISE:

eloise@eloisedesignco.com  |  334.430.1686

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