Most people when they look at the fashion industry see it for all its fame and glory. Runway shows, free designer clothes, styling celebrities and fancy trips to Milan and Paris. The stigma is that it’s all glitz and glamour…the good life. To some extent that’s true; I do get a great discount on clothes, and insider access to things that are highly raved and talked about ( i.e. award shows and TV shows). But it’s not always fun and games. The fashion industry is intense. To say it’s highly competitive is an understatement. The saying “it’s all about who you know” or “ your network is your net worth” really holds true here. You can’t get an internship let alone an interview without some type of connect or big named company on your resume. 

The jobs are a dime a dozen. Entry level positions left and right and there are a ton of different opportunities based on what you want to get into. You want to do management? Enroll in a store management program. You want to do merchandising? See if they offer an internship. The opportunities are really endless, but sometimes to reach your goals things aren’t always so cut and dry.

For the past two years I have been freelancing. Basically what that means is you get paid for the hours you work. No benefits, no sick pay, no vacation time (or if you do go on vacation it’s without pay), no holiday pay…Nothing but the flat rate hourly pay. By law you get overtime but usually as a freelancer( depending on the job requirements) they don’t have you work overtime. Why do this you ask? Because it gets your foot in the door. Sure you’re not building much equity in the company, and your money isn’t the most secure but it does gain you experience. And experience translates to money. Broke now but rich later.

showroom

My first gig was an internship that turned into a job. They paid me $15 per hour, my commute was 2 hours each way and I had to pay for my own parking ($5 a day). Now for those of us that live in California that’s barely, if at all, enough money to cover your bills. Let alone the time and gas you spend just getting to work every day. I was pretty much breaking even on my checks but I was getting good experience. I was working in a showroom that carried a few top brands and I had the opportunity to get a glance at behind the scenes. I didn’t like my boss, the environment was stifling, the company was poorly managed, but It was my first gig after college so I stuck it out.

3 months later they let me go, and I was really upset. I was planning on at least staying for a year! What was I going to do with just 3 months on my resume? Back to the drawing board it was…

The job ended in October and I wrapped up my undergrad in December. I now could devote my full time and attention to job hunting. This go around I knew what I wanted. Reputable company, I wanted to be doing merchandising (my degree is apparel merchandising) and at least paid parking. I wanted to make more money but I could afford my bills with $15 per hour, so worst case scenario I would take that. I also wasn’t very confident in myself either. As far as I was concerned I was starting over because in my mind 3 months wasn’t enough experience; but all experience is good experience! Even if you were let go, Always value yourself!!

georgia-may-jagger-for-hudson-jeansFebruary hit and I was able to land a gig at Hudson Jeans. I’ll talk more later on how I got the job (it wasn’t easy), but nonetheless they hired me. I was working in sales, even though I wanted to be in merchandising, but the company was reputable and I knew it would look good on my resume. This time I was going to make it to at least a year. The company had its rough parts but it was an upgrade from what I had come from so I felt good about it. The terms were the same though. I was a freelancer, and I only got paid the hours I worked. Again I took less pay than what I was worth because it was a good company and I just wanted to get hired.

The job was supposed to be temp to hire but they never actually “hired” me. They just kept me on as a freelancer, never making me permanent or with any chance of a pay increase, benefits…. nothing. I was quickly growing tired of it. I started exploring other options in LA but the truth was I was very homesick. I just wanted to be back in the Bay. November hit, I put in my two weeks’ notice and left. By the end of November I was back in the Bay Area.

I was feeling really bad about myself. My resume was beefed up but I had no money, no savings and nothing (monetarily) to show for it. I was back at my parents’ house in the same situation I was in before I went to college. But the truth was…I wasn’t in the same situation. Things were very much different. I had built a year worth of fashion experience on my resume, I made connects, I learned about what I wanted, didn’t want and overall honed in my skill set. Mentally and emotionally I was way more confident. I had my family here, my very supportive friends, and I was back in my favorite city ever. It’s crazy how time and your environment can change your mindset.

I moved in with my parents in November, but since it was so close to the holidays it was really hard to get an interview. Most companies were wrapping up 4th quarter, trying to make their financial goals for the year. They didn’t have the budget to hire anyone new. I enjoyed my two months off of work and in January I hit the books again.

gap

This time I knew exactly what I wanted, how much money I wanted to make, what company I wanted to work for. I had it all written out and I waited patiently for the right opportunity. I got a call from GAP HQ, to work in their merchandising department for Gap Europe Online. I jumped at the opportunity, and within 10 minutes of my interview they called and said I got the job. Buttttt……It was freelancing….again. I was filling in for someone on maternity leave and the gig would be 6 months. I wanted the position to be permanent but any experience is good experience and since GAP is my dream company I decided to just make the best of the situation.

I’m currently finishing my contract (about 4 months in now) and so far I love it. Love the people, the company culture and best of all the fact that I get to work in SF (which is my favorite city everrrrrrr).

I know you may have been reading this thinking I landed some awesome job in New York or London with incredible pay and benefits, but that isn’t the case for me (at least not right now). I wanted to share this with you because there are some important lessons to learn here. One being never give up. Every opportunity is a good opportunity you just have to choose to see the glass half full instead of half empty. Secondly, Always know your worth! If you sell yourself for a nickel that’s exactly what people will pay. Third: know when to walk away: I had plenty of opportunities come and go but I waited until I got what I wanted. And lastly, never take a job without some type of upgrade. You should always be growing!

Anyways I know this post is long but I hope you learned something! If you have any additional questions feel free to ask!

kierra again

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BBG week 2. Lets go!

Ladies and Gents I have officially made it to week 2! In my previous post I mentioned that I had started the pre-training since the regular weeks were just a little too difficult for me to do.

Week 2 Arms and Abs

Today actually wasn’t that bad. I’m considering adding weights to the routine because I feel like my arms aren’t getting the workout that they should. I’m struggling with the pushups, but I found a new way to do them so that I could get the same amount of resistance. Instead of doing the pushups on the floor I did them on the wall. It’s hard to explain with words but you should look up a video to get the technique right. I’m noticing that I don’t really like the resistance training, At least not for my arms. I prefer to do weight living instead of repetition but I’m still making myself adjust. I really don’t want to give up on this!!

As always I tell you guys some changes that I’m noticing. Nothing physically yet but I do notice myself getting stronger. I’m blazing through the workouts, whereas with my legs and cardio I get tired easily.

Secondly I’m no longer sore. The days of me limping to work or struggling to put on my shirt are over! (at least for now).  Part of me wants to kick into the next gear and up the amp a little bit but I know that I have to take the progress as instructed. I’m sure once I hit week one again I will be wishing to be back at the pre-training.

Thirdly (which is my favorite part) is I finally have more energy! I don’t know if it was just the first week that had me feeling drowsy (maybe because my body was getting adjusted) but I am officially off of coffee. I may start drinking tea as a substitute just for a little pick me up midday; but other than that I’m sticking to water (currently drinking lemon and blueberries infused water). I’m really making an extra point to stay better hydrated, especially since cardio day is around the corner!

More of my craziness coming lataaaaa!

kierra again

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It’s dayyyyyy four! I made it! Week one is almost over. I have an optional Saturday full body workout; which I’m going to do because next weekend I will be gone. Going to Tahoe with Amanda!

Today was legs & cardio..a.k.a Hell day. There is something so embarrassing about not being able to actually walk after an exercise. It’s like you suddenly revert back to being 1 years old and you just learned how to take your first steps. Thank God I do my workouts at the park because I don’t think I could power through it at a gym. These workouts require a lot and half the time I spend it calling on Jesus to help me make it through. Working out in the open sun definitely makes for a more comfortable environment.

This workout is normally my least favorite because I don’t like doing cardio. I know that’s the best way to burn calories but it’s hard enough doing 40 squats andddd doing it short of breath. I will say this time was a little different than the last…..

Squats and Lunges weren’t as hard. I must be building strength in my thighs because normally squats & lunges are very difficult for me to get through. This time I went a little slower and made sure I had the right form.

Mind over matter. There were plenty of times where my body wanted to give out but I literally told myself to keep going. Your mind is what gives out before your body does. Trust me.

My Breathing.I touched on this in my last post but breathing is so crucial. The mountain climbers were so hard to do (especially since I was still sore from arms & abs) but when I was taking deep breathes my muscles would relax. Made the workout sooo much easier.

This time I took the full seven minutes. Those knee ups were the death of me. I kept yelling ” why is this bench so high!??” I swear it felt like I was climbing up Mt. Everest. My balance was a little wobbly and I’m sure I didn’t do all of them perfectly but I definitely tried!

Next week is week 2 of pre-training! It’s the same as the first week, so I’m excited to see if I notice any changes!

kierra again

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Hey Everybody! Over the past couple of months I have picked up quite a few beauty products and I wanted to do an update on all the things I have purchased!

Nars Luminous Foundation: In my initial post I loved this foundation! There wasn’t a blogger on the planet who didn’t obsess over this foundation. But with time I started to notice some qualities that I don’t really like. The foundation claims to be luminous, but it’s actually very matte. Often times I have to mix my Becca highlighter in with the foundation to add some type of glow. The color is also slightly off. I’ve been to Sephora 3 times trying to get this color right and I thought I had finally found my shade. However, I’m starting to think its just a tad too dark. I’m still using it for now but if anyone has any other foundation recommendations I’m all ears! I will say this foundation does work better with primer. Which brings me to my next point…

Primers: I did a review of three primers and for the most part I couldn’t tell the difference between them. Both of them were hydrating and long-lasting; so as far as I was concerned there was no big difference. Wrong! I started to notice that while using the Cover FX primer that my foundation would transfer throughout the day. Whenever I used my phone the foundation would smudge on the phone. The Cover FX primer also has a weird smell. I like that it applies like lotion but it smells like medicine cream and overall just isn’t pleasant. I started using the Smashbox primer more frequently and noticed a huge difference. I use this with lotion (just to add some hydration since I work in the city and its super windy). You don’t need a lot and it doesn’t have a smell. My face is clean and clear and I don’t have to worry about it wiping off. Half the time I forget I have makeup on!

Nars Light reflecting translucent powder (pressed). I’ve been skeptical about this setting powder since the time I got it. I love Nars and I think this was a good product (my makeup never moved) but something about it was just a little too pressed. I felt like I could never tell if the product was actually on my brush or not. I thought about switching to the loose version but decided to change brands all together and get the Laura Mercier Translucent Powder. There really wasn’t anything wrong with this setting powder per-se but I personally felt like I wasn’t using enough product; and for the price it wasn’t working the way I wanted it too.

All the other products I got I’m still loving as much as I did when I first got them. You can check out the rest of my product reviews below!

ABH Contour Kit

Tartelette Palette

kierra again

 

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It’s day three guys! As I mentioned in my previous post I’m restarting week one over again. I was initially going to do the regular week 1 but then I got the upgraded guide and it came with pre-training (thank God!). Come to find out a lot of the corners I was cutting in the regular guide (i.e Pushups on my knees instead of full pushup) were actually a part of the pre-training guide (which makes feel a lot better; because now I have something to help me work up to the actual guide). Hopefully after these 4 weeks of pre-training I will be able to re-do week one properly!

Today I did pre-training week one arms and abs. Normally I drag my boyfriend into my workouts but this time my best friend was in town so she decided to come with me. I also changed locations. I was doing it in my bedroom but I felt like those close quarters made it a little too difficult for me to complete my exercises. Especially with two people in the room. I found a local park and decided to work out there.

My best friend is actually the exact same build as me but a little smaller. We have the same shoe size, same height, same boob size (crazy right!) but she is about 2-3 sizes thinner than I am. We have similar weaknesses and the same strengths. She was able to help teach me proper form, and was overall a great motivator. Definitely will be working out with her again!

Anywho back to the actual exercises. The pre-training is different from the actual guide because it doesn’t require weights. These workouts are less resistance with less reps. It’s designed to help you build a solid foundation and strength so that when you get to week 1 (of the regular guide) you can actually do the full on exercises.  So far I’ve noticed quite a few differences between the workouts:

  1. With the regular guide, I took the full 7 minutes to do the routine, and I could only perform them once. However with the pre-training I was blazing through them with usually 2-3 minutes to spare (which I used to do repeats) and I was also able to do each circuit twice as instructed.
  2. I wasn’t nearly as thirsty as before. I drank water, but I wasn’t gasping for air like I was last time. I think the LISS routines I had this week really helped build my endurance.
  3. These exercises are the best time to learn proper form. You can blaze through 15 pushups but if your butt is arched in the air (as mine was) then it does nothing for you. Instead of trying to beat the clock, focus on making sure you are doing them correctly and take your time if you need too.
  4. Breathing matters. I was really struggling to hold the plank position (for 30 seconds) and I couldn’t figure out why until I realized I wasn’t breathing! It seems such a simple thing to do, but you’ll be surprised how quickly you forget to do it when your grunting through the exercises.

All in all, I feel stronger. I’m not sore (at least not yet anyway) and my body feels more solid. I’ll be more excited once I start seeing some changes!

Feel free to comment below! I would love to hear what little things you do to get through your routine!

xo

Kierra

 

 

 

 

 

 

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