The Start of Emerging Designer Bootcamp
What does it feel like to be in an Emerging Designer Bootcamp for 4 months? I had so many questions at the start.. actually so many questions all the time, and there are never enough things you can do to prepare yourself before the program, or even during the program. It's all about drive and tenacity in this bootcamp- which actually is your business is real life.
During these 4 months- June to October- the designers are to build their customer list, account list, following, media channels, etc. Improve on everything and anything you can because this is a competition. We are all competing against each other (13 emerging designers) for the title: Emerging Designer of the Year. It was crazy! Even the final runway show was for points: brand video, music, models, clothing, entertainment, etc. Runway will be it's own blog post.
When all of the designers were in Phoenix, which only happened 3 times in the 4 months, bootcamp was held at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, AZ. I loved going there for bootcamp because it was beautiful, professional, and the conference rooms were a great learning environment. Every 2 weeks we had huge amounts of homework due, there's really no way to explain what it was every week because it was a lot, and very time consuming. I was curious in the beginning how we were going to get so far just having 3 meetings in person- 1 being the final runway show.. but if you're busy enough and doing what Fashion Week tells you to do you will be on the right track to success as a company and in the Emerging Designer Bootcamp. It was really great because even though I had assignments ALL THE TIME there was always someone to answer my questions and make sure I was on the right track. I did this bootcamp from Chicago and Denver - moved in the middle of it, which was great timing (that was sarcasm). I also did it alone. I did not have any employees to listen in on conference calls and help me with the assignments, no one to organize and plan things out for me, it was me myself and I powering through the 4 months but it was the greatest challenge and I love a challenge.
Brian opened the bootcamp day 1 with "Feeding Nuts To Squirrels" by Seth Godin. When we were reading this as a group I new I was meant to be here. Seth Godin is one of my favorite entrepreneurs/motivator. I was just given his book "What to do when it's your turn: And it's always your turn", which I read very slowly because you're not supposed to read it all the way through. This was no coincidence. Brian- the executive director and I- clearly have similar thoughts in being a creative entrepreneur and look to the same types of people for motivation in this industry, which is pretty cool. If you don't know Seth Godin you should! We had hardly even talked about anything Fashion Week related before reading Godin and I was sold, that was enough for me. Maybe that gave me that extra fire to win the competition too. It sure doesn't take much to get me inspired and motivated and that sure did it quickly.