Jenna Lyons, the executive creative director at J.Crew in her recent interview to Glamour magazine, gave some really good advice for those who aspire to work in the industry.
As the executive creative director at J.Crew, one of America’s favorite retail clothing and accessories brand ; Jenna started with humble beginnings as just a secretary working her way up from her desk at the hallway to calling the shots and being a favorite of the First Lady Michelle Obama. With her 25-years career experience we have highlighted some really cool and inspiring quotes from her candid interview with Glamour.

“The thing I think is most important for young people to know is that today there’s this idea of having everything quickly, that you’re going to walk in the door, be a designer, and not have to do any of the grunt work. It’s just not realistic. The things you don’t learn in school are the skills you probably need more: what it’s like to work with other people, how you build a team and collaborate.”

“I remember this woman wrote me a letter and said she had to give a speech and was incredibly nervous. She had gone into J.Crew and got something to wear, and people said, “You look great!” She said, “I’m a scientist, I’ve never had anybody compliment me on my clothing before.”… I do think sometimes people assume that what you wear isn’t important, but I know it can make someone who needs a little boost feel beautiful.”

“if you look at business…the mistakes often end up being the best things that could have happened. The only sad part about down business is if you don’t learn from it, you know? Get in there and be humble. If you’ve had a great run, now’s the time to sit back and put down your feathers.”

“The person who makes herself indispensable, that’s the person you want to promote. But when someone comes in and starts asking—it’s such a disease. Demanding, “I’ve done all this and I want X,” doesn’t work for me so much. [Instead] ask questions: “I’m ready to take it to the next step. What is it that I can do better?” That, to me, is an engaged, collaborative way to get somebody to the next level. You’re not going to get there just because you think you’re ready or because someone else got promoted. We don’t sit here and create a scale where we carefully ratchet everyone up evenly. Because if that were the case, we’d all be drones. No one is a drone…. You are you.”


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