Running a Clothing Brand as a Full Time Intern College Student

Writing this at 10pm right now, which is crazy because, if you know me you know I like my sleep. I’ve been getting up at 6am despite my work day not really starting until 9am. I like to wake up, meditate, lift, eat, then leave for work. On lunch break I typically work on this company, because every bathroom break or split second I have to spare I end up thinking about Collective and how I can improve it. This shit is tough. Nobody said it would be easy, and like my parents have always told me, if it was so easy, everyone would do it. If you plan on getting into running an apparel BUSINESS, not a HOBBY, then be prepared for it to consume pretty much all of your free time.

If you work full time like me at a different job (thankfully I am working in the apparel industry for my internship as well) try to make sure it is something that you can apply to your own work. Learn from the way a successful business was constructed. I have found pattern recognition to be the biggest asset in my life. Seeing what the successful people did in their field and replicating it with a twist. It takes a lot of time but is well worth it in the end, because you start learning the ways to navigate certain situations.

So I get home everyday around 6:00pm. Besides dinner, I basically do not do anything else besides work until 10–11ish and even later sometimes. Be prepared to be called a loner, to be called out for not hanging out with friends, for not communicating well enough, for not being a part of the real world. Embrace it. Let the comments come, they will eventually subside, and turn to compliments. The people who always looked up to you in different ways will stay by your side, and your friends who understand what you are doing will treat you as if nothing ever changed. Take it from me, diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, that finding a way to embrace the difference of lifestyles from your peers is one of the best ways to motivate yourself. Be positive, and keep pushing.

Finally, be organized. I know you are probably creative and have a million ideas a minute. I know. When you do, try to straighten it out somehow, whether it is by writing the ideas down, typing them out, sketching out anything (personally I like to scribble violently on a nice blank sketchbook until I calm down). Get your ideas out in front of you. Then type them out or begin to sketch. Organize your thoughts OUTSIDE of your head, then begin to build on them. For example, when thinking of the next drop, I use a technique a sci-fi illustration professor once taught me: Start with a circumstance, and keep writing down in short bullets the sequences that come next. You will start in one place and once you get your imagination and visualization going, will end up somewhere completely different and crazy. Derive some ideas from there. This takes your racing mind and lays it out nice and easy to think about.

Most of all, make sure you love it. The good times, the hard times, everything about it. Love that you hate certain things about the process, because learning to love the hard parts makes everything a lot easier in the future. Good luck.