Yes, for those of you who are familiar with the TV series Friends you already know who Rachel Green is, or was (Oh man has it really been 13 years since that show ended -YIKES I’m old!!) In fact, you are probably singing the song in your head now…”I’ll be there for you… when the rain starts to fall….”
BUT, for those of you who are not so familiar with Friends let me introduce Rachel Karen Green. She was the character played by Jennifer Anniston. The spoiled rich kid who instead or marrying her fiance Barry left him at the altar and moved into the city (New York City) with no money, no job, and no place to live. After meeting up with a long-lost friend from high school, Monica Geller (played by Courteney Cox) she moved in with her, became friends with all of her friends and got a job as a waitress at the local coffee shop.
Now you’re probably wondering WHY in the world would anyone want to be like that? Well, for those of you that have seen the series, you know that Rachel gets fed up with her job at the coffee-house and breaks her way into the fashion biz at Bloomingdale’s. Eventually, she moves up the ladder and on over to Ralph Lauren where she becomes a Merchandising Manager/Product Developer. Now that’s the Rachel Karen Green that I wanted to be.
The reason I say I wanted to be her before I knew she existed is because Friends aired from 1994-2004, however, I didn’t start watching the show (I highly recommend starting from the beginning … all seasons are on Netflix) until 2002. I was already in college and well on my way to graduating with my Bachelors of Science in Apparel Merchandising, Design and Product Development.
So yes, I dreamed of being in New York one day as an Apparel Merchandiser or designer, jet setting off overseas to Milan and Paris to see what trends would be heading west in the next couple seasons. From before I had my driver’s license I had a job at one of the most fashion-forward boutiques in Birmingham, AL (don’t laugh they actually exist in the deep south too… you should check them out here…). I was fortunate enough to get to go on a few buying trips with the team when I was in high school (which I will forever be grateful… what an opportunity for a high schooler!) It was there that I fell in love with fashion, the business of fashion and the art of apparel… and yes, those of you who know me SHOES!!! Shoes that I had NO business buying at my age, but I just couldn’t help myself.
After high school, I went on to college to pursue my degree so that I could get started in my dream job somewhere in the fashion world. I found a few sketches from a Sr. Project the other day… man those were the days, sitting around with sketch pads and pencils doodling, I’m lucky now if I get to borrow one of my kid’s crayons to jot down something I forgot to put on my grocery list.
After college, I interned with Saks, Inc. Corporate Headquarters in the buying offices and ultimately got a full-time offer (I worked in the Children’s area, Home and Men’s while I was there). Then it was off to Baltimore Maryland to work for Jos. A. Bank Headquarters as an Assistant Merchandise Manger and was then promoted to Merchandise Manager a few months after joining. I was living my dream, I was 23, A Merchandise Manager working in the fashion industry (my husband LOVED that I worked in men’s clothing… he got LOTS of samples) making pretty good money and the Lord had different plans. just three months after Daniel and I were married we found out we were pregnant with our first child… SCARY!!! I was always one who wanted to wait to have kids, work towards my career for a while and one day I would have kids. FUNNY that is NOT what happened at all!
Daniel and I moved back to Birmingham so we could be close to family… I mean I needed my mom, I had no idea how to be a mom, I was 23 and had done my deal of babysitting growing up but that was easy, you swoop in play with the kids and put them to bed…and people paid you for it.. this was going to be WAY different!
Our firstborn came into the world (that could be a whole blog on its own… Little Miss I had to take 18 hours before I finally decided to come) and once she arrived (and yes a second and a third) I had a string of various jobs that ended up pointing me into a marketing career. I’ve worked for large companies, small companies and currently work for a large global marketing agency which I must say is THE BEST… I thoroughly enjoy my job (yes, I have my days… just like we all do) and feel very blessed that I have been given the opportunity to be a part of an amazing team.
Where am I going with all of this you ask… good question, I just stopped to reread what I had typed and I am ALL OVER THE PLACE … If you know me and my dad, you know we have a hard time “landing the plane” HA, I don’t JUST look like you, dad!
But I realized something while on this journey. At some point, it developed into a love of business, not just the Fashion business (I think I’m close to a 50/50 when it comes to right brain/left brain). Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy putting stuff together, doodling when I have the chance, and tapping into my more artsy side. BUT, working with a brand or a specific product and using data to inform a marketing and sales strategy is more exciting to me these days.
I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, but my biggest challenge has always been time. If I just had a few more hours in a day, it would be perfect. But I don’t… we all get the same number of hours in the day.
So I’ve decided to make time, to write, to create to explore and share back with this group about how we can all make it work with the limited number of hours that we have.