In April, I volunteered to be a mentor to someone in the apparel industry through my local Fashion Group International chapter here in Seattle. This year was the sixth year of the award-winning program. With so much volatility in the retail and fashion industries, the mentorship program offers an opportunity to work with executive professionals and move the mentees career or business to the next level. It’s something I would highly recommend to those starting out and to those who are experienced in the industry to give back. Getting matched with a mentor definitely helps with faster growth for the mentee. And for mentors, it’s very rewarding to work with someone new who is excited and passionate about their brand, and watch them evolve over the six-month course of working together.
The first FGI meeting where all the mentees and mentors meet is fun because you don’t know who you are going to be matched with. All you know as a mentee is that someone is there to help you. The mentorship chair paired me with Fay to help her with her marketing. She had already established a product line of performance apparel for dogs on her own. (Check it out at https://louiedecoton.com/) Her product is locally made of high-quality eco-friendly materials to help dogs feel more comfortable. I love animals and Fay has great positive energy, so it was a quick and easy match. We agreed to meet every other week for the next half a year to work on her strategy.
Throughout the course, FGI also has a Mentorship Speaker’s Series. There are about 5-6 evenings where you get to learn from a local business about everything from Law 101 to Financing to Digital Marketing to Creating a Successful Apparel Business, to name a few. Various panels and networking events called Wine & Conversation happen over the duration of the year as well. It’s a great opportunity to come together as a local fashion community and learn from each other. Fay and I attended a few of these together to further her mentoring.
You can learn more about this program in your local city by becoming an FGI member at http://fgi.org/membership/ . Feel free to reach out to me directly via a short web form here with any questions about the program at https://www.developapparel.com/consulting