We’re still on such a high from an amazing Workher event this week with fashion designer Juliette Hogan. Another sold-out function with great careers chat, canapes (did you say fries?), vino and a room full of incredible women – oh and not to mention the amount of Juliette Hogan workher-wear being worn on the night, my dress included!
If you missed out on tickets to #WorkherCareerChat at The Botanist then you can get your dose of it with a copy of the Q&A right here for you. Don’t worry, I’ve got your back.
Juliette talked about the importance of having self-confidence, ensuring you’re happy in your job in order to succeed, how to turn failures into positives and what success really means. #Goals.
Remember Workhers, BACK YOURSELF!
Here’s some of what we discussed with the one and only Juliette Hogan.
After launching her own fashion line at the age of 24 years old, and opening her own store in Ponsonby in 2007 a few years later, fashion designer Juliette Hogan said it’s been a huge ride with plenty of ups and downs.
Can you tell us about when you first started your own line and the challenges here?
“You’re challenged by the idea that something might not work and you’re wondering if you should be doing something else. Fortunately I had the determinedness and the stubbornness to stick it out. Everything I did I had to learn how to do it myself.”
How did you know you were ready to start your own line?
“It wasn’t a really a decision it kind of just happened… After those first three years it was more ‘should I still be doing this?’ That was a real tipping point for me trying to figure out whether or not I should continue to invest my time and energy into something that wasn’t proving incredibly fruitful at that stage or should I be doing something so I could save money and buy a house and start living a real life as such.”
How did you know to keep going?
“I use to keep a diary and I would record at the end of the day if I was happy or sad. At the end of six months I would tally up if I was happier more days than sad with running the business. There were more happy days and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”
Things can be quite daunting for young women in the workplace and a message we always give other women on The Workher is ‘Back Yourself’. How do you make sure you’re doing this and getting your opinions across?
“I used to be the shyest person. It was incredibly crippling, if you’d asked me to do this five years ago I would have said no. I think as my career has developed and I’ve grown up I feel incredibly confident with what I produce at the moment with my designs. I absolutely love what I do and how can you not be confident talking about something when it’s such a great love of yours? I know my subject matter better than anyone else does. So that helps with the confidence. It’s practise. The more times you do things, the better you become at it. Confidence gets you so far in life.”
As cliché as it sounds sometimes you do have “fake it ‘til you make it”, do you agree?
“We’re all faking it, right. I’m sitting here still waiting for someone to tap me on the shoulder and ask why I’m doing this. The nice thing is being a part of groups like this.
“For a group I’m part of I’d organised an event for us last year and we all had to stand up for two minutes and talk about what we each had achieved. The men were so nervous. It really surprised me. I was wondering how I was going to do it, I thought I would burst into tears – I was heavily pregnant and highly emotional. But it really surprised me. It gave me a huge amount of confidence to see these men I had put on a pedestal were worse off than I was. I keep thinking I’m going to be the most unconfident person in the room and that everybody else will be far superior than I am. To know that people I put on pedestals that I thought would have their sh** sorted, struggle with the same things I struggle with.”
Do you have a favourite failure that’s potentially helped you in the long term?
“I have a personality that turns every failure into a positive. I look at every situation and learn from it. So there’s nothing I would do differently in the past. Everything I’ve done has enabled me to be where I am today and everything I’ve experienced has helped me form my personality. Things that didn’t go quite to plan meant I ended up discovering something new.”
How do you manage being a perfectionist and overcoming this?
“I think you learn to accept things that aren’t quite perfect because otherwise it kills you. I expect a high level of work ethic from my staff; anything that goes out to the store has my name on it, Juliette Hogan, so it’s a reflection of me personally. So we have really high standards. Not everything in life can be perfect. You choose what to be concerned and consumed with. Somethings need to be perfect in life, other things you can allow to fall by the way side a little bit.”
How much of your success do you think is because of your designs or because of you as a person and your work ethic?
“My mother tells me that she’s very amazed I have a design brain and a business brain and she’s sure that’s why I’m successful. I think there are people out there who are incredibly creative and make a wonderful product but don’t really understand or have the ability to grasp the business side of things so they can produce amazing work but can’t follow through with the business. And then there can be some incredibly successful business people that have no creativity whatsoever. So they are successful in what they choose to be. I think I’ve got a really nice balance between having creative ability but also being able to understand running a business. When it comes down to it, running a business is possibly the more dominant feature of a fashion label.”
I find self-doubt is something that can affect a lot of women at work, how did you go about this?
“I had such huge self-doubt earlier but there must have been some belief inside of me that I should keep doing it. It would have been so easy for me to just stop but then I wouldn’t have known what to do next.”
How would you define success for you and going back to your mid-twenties, how would you say people should be looking at the word success?
“I think it can mean so many things to different people. The way that I say I’m successful when I talk about being successful is that I have a life that I really enjoy. I have a wonderful partner, a gorgeous child, I get to travel and I have wonderful friends. To me that’s success. I’m an ambitious person, I like to grow my business year on year and I achieve my targets. So I see that as success. Monetary value isn’t success, it’s the fact I’m growing and achieving a business that meets my goals. 10 years ago when I started I didn’t know what success was going to be to me. I was proud of the fact that I had gone out and tried something and that I was making a go of it. And I think that can be success as well. It doesn’t necessarily need to be financial. Everybody has different goals, dreams and ideas for success. For some people it might be that they want to drive a brand new Audi Q2. When you’re setting out and if you’re in the early stages of your career and you define what success is for you, then you’ve got that to work towards.”
For more images from the night, check out our Facebook page.
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A big Shout Out to my awesome friends who helped with the night:
Thanks so much to everyone who came. Bring on the next event!