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Influenc-HER Profile Series|Candice Crocker

candi pic ig

This year we are committed to releasing 24 Influenc-HER Profile Series of trailblazing women living out their dreams. We begin this series with thee amazing Candice Crocker. She is beauty, she is passion, she is influence. Here's our interview with her!

What is your name and what do you do? My name is Candice Crocker. I work in Public Relations professionally and I’m a Natural Hair and Beauty Vlogger/Influencer. Are there any childhood experiences that led you to where you are today? Growing up, my friends would always ask me to do their hair, we’d play with makeup and take pictures after. I’ve been taking “selfies” since I had my first camera. I’ve always shared my beauty and hair tips with my friends because I love beauty and hair products. Becoming a beauty influencer/vlogger is just a natural extension of what I’ve always done and my personality. Where did your passion for blogging/vlogging come from? It happened organically. I’ve always shared my favorite beauty and hair tips/finds with my friends and family so it was only natural to do the same on social media. Once I started sharing, women gravitated to my platforms. I love to help other women and I’ve met many wonderful people by doing this. It’s definitely fun and so rewarding for me. candi 2 What has been your biggest achievement thus far? My biggest achievement so far was my first Instagram/Facebook Live Takeover collaboration with Creme of Nature and Cocotique. Being invited to work with brands I’ve loved and used since I was a little girl is amazing. Also, being featured on Essence.com was pretty cool. What is the secret to the perfect twist out? I’m still trying to figure that out! LOL! Click here to watch Candice's take on achieving the perfect twist. Are there any products you swear by? I swear by these products: Olive Oil Ecostyler Gel; Aussie Moist 3-Minute Miracle Moist Deep Conditioner; Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner; TGIN Honey Miracle Hair Mask, Taliah Wajjid Curly Curl Creme candi 3 Who do you look to as inspiration? I look to my mother (Blanche Crocker), Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Oprah and Beyoncé as inspiration. What tangible piece of advice would you give young girls who want to be where you are? Be you! Be confident in your abilities. There is someone, somewhere, who needs what you have to offer. Your talent/gift/expertise is what makes you special. You can accomplish whatever you want in life as long as you wholeheartedly believe in yourself and put in the work. Be willing to invest in yourself, open to learning new things and fearlessly follow your dreams.
I love that we can be strong and soft, feminine and androgynous, sweet and sassy, plain and glamorous, domestic and independent, flexible and rigid.
What do you love most about being a woman? I love that we can be strong and soft, feminine and androgynous, sweet and sassy, plain and glamorous, domestic and independent, flexible and rigid. I love being girly, how beautiful it is to be able to give life and that we’re the nurturers of the world. What is the key to finding balance in your personal and professional life?
The key to finding balance lies in planning well, communicating effectively and being realistic about what you can accomplish. You must carve out time to take care of yourself. If you don’t make self-care a priority, you’ll overwork yourself and have nothing to offer others. You must create the perfect work life balance for yourself and be unapologetic about it. Only do things that make you feel good inside and stay away from negative energy.
What is one thing many people do not know about you? I’m a huge fan of politics and love to get in deep discussions about it but only with close friends and family.   candi 4Our fun question: If you could be any animal what would it be and why? I would be a bird so I could fly anywhere I wanted at any given time. I’d go on vacation every weekend! Are there any projects that you're working on that we can look forward to? I will be taking over Eden Bodyworks Instagram soon. I’m super excited! What does the future hold for you? I’m not sure and I’m okay with that. I’m not putting myself in a box. I have many goals that I want to accomplish, however, I leave myself open to growing and becoming the best I can be. I’m looking forward to evolving, naturally, with my brand. Where can people find you? Instagram: CandiCoatedCurls Facebook: CandiCoatedCurls YouTube: Candice Arielle            
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Influenc-HER Profile Series | CEO Nikki

ceonikki   Today we have the privilege and honor to highlight CEO Nikki. She talks to us about her passions, her strength and her journey in becoming CEO Nikki, Check out how she conquers every opportunity   . What is your name and what do you do? I am CEO Nikki and I am CEO of Speak HER, one of the founders of HYPE HER, and a Certified Holistic Life Coach & Motivational Speaker Are there any childhood experiences that led you to where you are today? At a young age I was always one to use my imagination, now I see it was foreshadowing for my future 😉 I always imagined being on a big stage, talking to people and helping people, so I would say my experience that led me here was my imagination! Where did your passion come from? I was in a really bad relationship with myself in 2012. I was a single mom with breast cancer, depressed, suffering from anxiety if I've never hit the bottom before, that was surely it. I was in a place where I was tired of letting life push me around and backing me into corners and my spiritual sister Lana, taught me about oneness with self and meditation and loving my body and watching what I ate. It turned my life around. I became obsessed with healing self, and others around me. Little did I know this would become my new life. Tell us how you became CEO Nikki? One of my very best friends Carmel actually gave me that name. In one of our many conversations she mentioned how proud of me she was, and how far I had come. She told me I CONQUERED EVERY OPPORTUNITY (hence the CEO) and it stuck with me ever since. ceo-4 You have battled and won the fight against cancer FIVE times, where does your strength come from? The divine, God, the Universe, whatever you want to call it, this higher power has kept me and loved on me the entire time, even when I didn't love myself enough to carry on. This higher power, this entity, has instilled in me a vision of my life so grandiose, that I envision giving people life tools that generations can use and that's the thing that strengthens me. Even at my weakest moment, I can still find strength in that. What words of encouragement could you offer someone battling cancer, who's reading this interview? Laugh and dance!!! Laugh like no one is watching, dance like your life depends on it and do it OFTEN. I remember doing laughter yoga for the first time where you partake in laughing exercises that helps to decrease stress (my doctor's idea, I thought he was crazy at first). I laughed so hard and I don't even remember where the laughter erupted from, I was crying, sweating, my stomach ached, like this laughter felt so good it hurt, but in those few moments, I forgot I had cancer, I forgot I was broke and brokeEN, I was just.....laughing. Laughter heals. Just laugh! What are some of the services you offer and how have they helped your clientele? I offer one on one coaching sessions where we talk about manifestation, goal setting, living your best life and how to apply the law of attraction which is the theory of what you think about, you bring about. I also offer VisionBoard Bashes where I can teach you how to create an effective VisionBoard as well as retreat facilitation. I have had clients that are able to see their own visions clearly all while learning how to purge negativity to aid in the manifestation process. In the most recent VisionBoard Workshops held at Goodwill of the Southern Piedmont in Charlotte, NC, 2 participants saw direct manifestations of their VisionBoard within 3 weeks of creation. Who do you look to for inspiration? The universe. We live in such a fast pace society that we rarely take the time to notice the small things. I have moments where I'm just quiet and present in the moment and pay attention to what's surrounding me. The wind, the trees, people in a rush, people waiting, birds EVERYTHING, and I just wait for the universe to give me whatever lesson I need in that moment. ceo-2 What tangible piece of advice would you give young girls who want to be where you are? Trust yourself. You are way more powerful than you give yourself credit. Love yourself enough to ONLY surround yourself with people who will love you and celebrate you and tell you the truth and lastly Speak life into yourself. Words are powerful so choose the words that your ears will hear wisely. What do you love most about being a woman? That I am the giver of life! Any human that's on this earth must first pass through a woman first! How magical is that? What is the key to finding balance in your personal and professional life? Listen. All the answers are revealed to us when we are still. Listen to your body, listen to your heart, listen to God. Be still and listen. What is the gift and curse of being a CEO? The gift is I'm responsible for carrying out the vision. The curse is I'm responsible for carrying out the vision. The irony of the power being in my hands, I can make the right decision, I can make the wrong decision but either way I'll learn and grow. ceo-3 What is one thing many people do not know about you? I hate to see people run their bare toes through carpet, it makes me cringe EEEEK! Our fun question: If you could be any animal what would it be and why? I would love to be a bird. I'm not sure what kind of bird but birds are meant to rise and fly above. Story of my life. What does the future hold for you? The future holds a "Black Girls Rock" award with my name on it, connecting with some amazing women to change lives for the better, working with my husband to teach other married couples how to be happy and change their families lives, traveling with our daughters and laughing until hurts. Where can people find you? You can find me on Instagram @CEONIKKI on Facebook CEO Nikki and also follow my Company on IG @ispeakHER and @HYPEHEREXPO
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Influenc-HER Profile Series|Kimberly J

kimj Today we bring to you our interview with Kimberly J, talk show host and radio personality. She brings light into the dullest room and has a heart of gold check out our interview as she talks about  her inspirations and transition into media!!!

What is your name and what do you do?

My name is Kimberly Jenkins, also known as "Kimberly J." I am a radio personality and Talk Show host, mother of 3 and a wife.

Are there any childhood experiences that led you to where you are today?

No, the "Kim" you see now definitely developed during my adult life. My childhood was loving, secure and quite a fairy tale. I was raised in a loving, but firm household. However, my adult life and experiences were a segway to what I would say were a test of my strength, character and determination! My adult life and experiences along the way helped me discover who I am. It redirected my career path and gave me a clear perspective on my "why" or purpose as most would say. However, I'd be remiss not to give my parents credit for correcting my written and verbal grammar and teaching me how to be "well spoken" and confidant which is a strong requirement in media.

kim in action

How did you get started in your current field today? I started working on my own show, Koffee with Kim, about 3 years ago. I went to do a Public Service Announcement (PSA) on 88.1 WHOV for a business colleague and the radio station manager, Jay Lang heard me recording the spot and asked, "Who are you?" He proceeded to say, "I want you to do a show here at the station. You'd be perfect for this." And as they say, the rest is history.

Who do you look at as inspiration to keep going? Believe it or not my husband and kids--especially my daughter, Kaitlin and Steve Harvey. My husband works so hard and I want to see him retire early and I also want to be a good example for my children and leave a legacy for them. As for Kaitlin, she has overcome so many obstacles from preschool through middle school. She never met an obstacle she couldn't overcome. She has a drive in her that's admirable! As she began to focus on broadcast and journalism from an early age, and defeating her obstacles, I realized she and I had a passion for the same thing. Quite frankly, I was enjoying keeping up with the tabloid gossip, fascinating news stories and talking about it just as much as she was. One day she said, "Mommy you could do that [pointing to the Oprah Winfrey show]." Out of the mouth of babes... Ironically, I had said it before in jest, but never really gave into the idea until real life set in and my perspective changed. I thought...why not? If Steve Harvey can do it, so can I. He had to overcome so much more than I did in my adult life and like so many others without a background in TV or journalism--he did it! So, I prayed about it and jumped on the path I feel God designed me to take.

kim killing it

What makes you stand apart from everyone else in your field?

I don't think I stand out more than others in my field. However, I don't feel like what I do is a job. It's way too fulfilling and I love every minute of it. It's a passion with purpose that requires a lot of work. It's not work done without any passion you call a "job".

What tangible piece of advice would you give young girls who want to be where you are?

Mind your manners at all times. Don't burn bridges. Listen to the advice of those who have "been there and done that". Learn from their mistakes and their experiences! Social media is great if used appropriately. What you post is your brand and it follows you for life--even if you delete it! Study, stay focused and of course keep God first!!!

What do you love most about being a woman?

Wow! All things girly and feminine!!! We have so many things from glam to intuition to wisdom. We are delicate yet strong and the best multi-taskers in the world! We're the rib! Without a rib the meat has no support or protection--drop the mic! LOL

kim at events

What is your most memorable moment as a media personality?

It actually just happened recently. I went through a divorce in 2006, moved the kids and I to Georgia for a year and of course was looking for a good church to join. My girlfriend urged me to visit her church where Eddie Long was. So, my brother was in town and he and I went to visit the church but only it wasn't Eddie Long preaching. It was Paula White! I lucked out--well let's call it favor and got a seat about 3 rows from the pulpit. The night before I had prayed and asked God to send me a sign and let me know if the kids and I were going to be ok. In a room filled with over a thousand people, Paula White said, "God gave me a word for someone in here today." She looked right at ME and said, "God said that everything is going to be ok. You're going to be all right." WHAT!

So here we are 9 years later and I'm hosting an event for Women Vets Rock. I knew Paula White was the speaker but I thought someone else was introducing her. Nope! I was asked to introduce Paula White. Look at God. I had an opportunity to tell her how God used her that day and that she was right....I am better than ok. We serve an awesome God! There isn't a paycheck in the world that could give me the feeling I had at that moment.

What is your least memorable moment as a media personality?

I don't have one....maybe because it IS the least memorable. LOL....I guess that's a good thing.

kim radio

Are there any struggles being a woman in your field?

Yes it's like many other fields. Many times you have to be clear that you're about business (for men especially) to take you seriously. But I have an awesome team of men at the station that help diffuse those instances before I'm ever approached.

What is one thing many people do not know about you?

My biggest fear for years into my adult life was public speaking!!! It kept me from running for offices and Miss Freshman in college. Now I LOVE it!

Our fun question: If you could be any animal what would it be and why?

I'd be an indoor cat. They are fun, loving, fiesty...ahhh they use the restroom indoors in their own private bathroom. Most importantly, no one is trying to make a coat or some shoes out of their fur. Let's not forget, they always land on their feet! They're purrrr-fect. OK, that was corny 😳.

What does the future hold for you?

I have 2 TV Shows in production and a radio show. I don't know what doors God will open from here, but I'm staying the course until He opens the next BIG door...His plan is so much better than mine! I can tell you, whatever it is He gives me, it will be great!

Where can people find you? I can be reached on FB at "The Kim and Colby" show as well as "Kimberly J". On IG and Twitter, I can be reached at Iam_KmberlyJ. My website is www.IamKimberlyJ.com Emails can go to KimJ@IamKimberlyJ.com

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Influenc-HER Profile Series| LexiWithTheCurls

What is your name and what do you do? Alexis Felder. I am the Digital Communications Manager at Bossip.com and founder of LexiWithTheCurls.com

Are there any childhood experiences that led you to where you are today? As a teenager, I always knew I wanted to work in the Entertainment industry. I went to school in Atlanta so I could be close to all of the action and work on my goals. I was obsessed with TV shows and movies. I eventually ended up working in the television & film industry for 6 years before transitioning to digital media.

How did you get started in your current field today? And where did that passion come from? I literally got my job because I had my own blog. I was self taught and knew how to use Google Analytics, how to utilize and grow my social media, and what it takes to work with brands. From that passion behind my own blog, I was able to apply and get hired for a job in the Digital media field.

Who do you look at as inspiration to keep going? I work for a great company who started from just the small purchase of a URL to a multi-million dollar company. That is a ton of inspiration. It can happen to anyone with persistence, the right formula and the drive. In addition, I look to every single site as inspiration. It takes alot to put your life out there and it's inspirational to me the influencers that do this every day. Taking pictures everyday, writing posts every day, it's alot of work.

Lexi8small

What makes you stand apart from everyone else in your field? I think the difference with me and my blog is that I work for a huge site for a living. Most influencers either blog full time or have full-time jobs that aren't in their field. My career is in the same field essentially.

What tangible piece of advice would you give young girls who want to be where you are? Be kind to everyone. Someone who is an assistant one day may run the company the next day. I have seen this happen so much. Even for me, people who treated me unkind back in the day, I will remember. People remember everything so be kind to everyone no matter what their title is or what they do. It's just a good thing to be nice in general. It get's you further in life.

Also, give other people opportunities. If you have an opportunity and it's not for you, pass the info on to someone else. Be a blessing to someone. It will come back to you. I have had paid opportunities that while I needed the money, I didn't think I was a good fit and I would pass the opportunity to another influencer. We can all work together and don't need to hate on the next person.

Last one, make sure your career makes you happy. When I was working in television, I was working 12 hours minimum daily, 5 days a week. That is a lot and it takes a toll on your mind and body. I gained alot of weight and I had no personal life because I was always working. I was making great money in television, but it was so worth it for me to switch careers and actually get home before the sun goes down and not have to be on my feet for 12 hours. Go for what makes you happy and comfortable.

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What do you love most about being a woman? I love that women are both professional and sensitive. I think you need both in every business. You need to have compassion, but at the same time, get business done.

What is your most memorable moment as a Digital Marketer and Youtube Vlogger? My most memorable moment would be getting a job in a field that I am passionate about. My Marketing background from college and my experience running my own site gave me the drive and experience to work for a website that has a huge following.

What is your least memorable moment as a Digital Marketer and Youtube Vlogger? When I first started, I used to be in the mix too much with the blogger drama. It was so new and at the time everyone talked about everyone. Remember, anything you say or write on the internet can and will come back to haunt you.

Also, on Youtube, people don't care about your feelings. They will say mean things so you have to let it roll off your shoulders.

lexi 4

Are there any struggles being a woman in your field? In the digital marketing field I haven't experienced any issues. When I worked in the television field, I had so many issues with guys. Anytime I had a problem on the job, it would be with men. Generally a male upset that I had a higher title than them, or that I was making more money than them, or they just had problems with me in general. It turned into a couple of bad experiences for me.

What is one thing many people do not know about you? Most people won't know that I am actually shy in real life. I've heard some people say that I wasn't that friendly, but in actuality, I'm just shy. If I don't know you, I'm probably not going to walk up to you, introduce myself, and have a conversation with you. People assume I am an extrovert by my social media. Remember, social media is what everyone wants people to see of you.

Our fun question: If you could be any animal what would it be and why? I would be a chameleon. I would love to adapt to every situation and person. Having great interpersonal skills and being able to get along with every type of person is a true skill and something I always strive for.

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What does the future hold for you? I have no idea. I would love to expand at my job and do alot more on the business side. Maybe even doing sales and working with brands.

Where can people find you? You can find me at LexiWithTheCurls.com and FB/IG LexiWithTheCurls Twitter: CurlyGirlLexi and Snapchat: Lexiwiththecurl (no 's') I rarely snap but I am trying to get with it.

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Influenc-HER Profile|RoxyGrey

Check out our interview with the wonderful RoxyGrey, she is a Marketing Specialist as well as a mentor and advisor. Read more about how her genuine love and passion for people ultimately turned into her becoming the creative genius she is today and today's Influenc-HER!!!
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What is your name and what do you do?
 
My name is Melicia, but many know me as RoxyGrey.  I am a marketing specialist and advisor/mentor.
Are there any childhood experiences that led you to where you are today?
 
I've just always been a people-person.  My Mom told me I was never one of those loud kids, but that I would run down the aisles in church and just silently wave and smile at people (lol).  I've always been so drawn to people and the way we interact with one another, and how we can help each other. Where did your passion for Marketing come from? I didn't actually realize I wanted to be in marketing until a few years ago.  All I knew was that I have a passion for people, I love being creative, and that I have a knack for networking and connecting people.  Many people started coming to me for branding advice and that's when it hit me, like this is what I want to do.  I believe in the people and the brands that I've worked with (and still work with), and I want them to succeed.  So I create marketing plans and help lead them in the right direction.  My joy and passion comes from catalyzing one's dream into reality.
Who are some of your favorite clients you've worked with or interviewed?
Hands down, Gene aka No Malice.  He's such a great person to be around and he's been a spiritual mentor to me over the years.  He's so creative and has all the ideas, yet he stays so grounded and keeps it 100, always.
Favorite person I've interviewed would have to be Greg Selkoe, Former CEO & Founder of Karmaloop.  I remember interviewing him about 3 years ago (http://roxygrey.com/post/31983395782/rg-exclusive-greg-selkoe-interview), and then going to Richmond months after to watch his speech at VCU.  I was sitting in the third row, and he was in the middle of his speech, when he looked at me and said, "Hey!  There's Roxy!"  (Mind you, we've never met before that.)  Ever since then, we've remained in contact.  His whole mindset is amazing, and I'm so excited to see what he has in store for us with Curateurs and all his ventures.
And my favorite person I'm currently working with is Rob Hill, Sr.  I am soooooo blessed beyond words to be working with him on a project that will launch later this year.  A few months ago, he told me that he wanted to have an event to help raise money for teachers, but he didn't know if it would happen.  And then just a couple of weeks ago, I met with him and he was a little sad and said, "I don't think it'll happen with everything that's going on."  I looked at him, and said, "Oh no.  We're going to make this happen."  The look on his face and the joy in his smile were priceless; and he's been on this project since.  Just being around such an influential and peaceful person like Rob has been such a blessing in my Life.  Being able to vent and talk about creative issues with someone who understands where I'm coming from has helped me grow in so many ways.
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Who do you look to for inspiration?
I actually look to my friends for inspiration.  They've believed in me since Day One; and on the days that I'm feeling overwhelmed, they check me.  They push me.  They make sure that I'm always on the right track.  I love them sooooo much and we inspire each other.  <3
What tangible piece of advice would you give young girls who want to be where you are?
 
Work hard.  Be genuine & upfront; stay true to what you believe in.  Be nice.  And ALWAYS have Purpose in everything that you do. What do you love most about being a woman? Being underestimated.  For the most part, we women are still underestimated in everything that we do, but people forget that WE ARE BUILT FOR THIS.  Women are built to birth another human being, for Heaven's sake.  We are naturally-born superheroes, and both men and women tend to forget that.  I absolutely enjoy and love being a woman.  Our lives are so unexplainable, and I continue to surprise myself.  <3
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What is the key to finding balance in your personal and professional life?
 
PRIORITIZING.  I have a calendar (in addition to the one of my phone) that I carry everywhere with me.  I color code my days so I know what I'm doing for work, school, and my personal Life.  Trust me, I still have my days where I struggle with balancing, especially since I can get sidetracked and/or be so heavily engulfed in work projects.  These past few months have actually been a test of balance for me.  I also schedule some quality time about twice a month for myself, like massages and getting my nails done.  When I started grad school, one of my best friends got me a "school" journal, where I'm only allowed to write about school and whenever I'm frustrated or feeling like I'm overwhelmed.  Writing always balances my emotions.  🙂 We know you love to travel, what has been your favorite place to visit thus far? Hands down, Venice, Italy.  I loved everything about it - the food, the people, the beaches, the sites.  Venice is such a beautiful place... and the most interesting part about it: They live on water.  I love it.  I would totally go back.
What is one thing many people do not know about you?
 
I'm a good chess player.  (Or I like to think I'm one.) 😉
roxy 5
Our fun question: If you could be any animal what would it be and why?
 
An elephant, my favorite animal.  An elephant doesn't have to announce its presence in a room by roaring or being obnoxious.  It just walks in, big and full of humility, kindness, and Love. What does the future hold for you?
 
In the near future, more collaborations with really great creatives, and more events!  🙂
Where can people find you?
 
Instagram: @roxygrey / Twitter: @roxygrey / roxygreytoday@gmail.com
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Influenc-HER Profile Series: Lydia Critchfield

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What is your name and what do you do?

My name is Lydia Critchfield, and I am a rising senior at Virginia Commonwealth University majoring in fashion design and minoring in general business.

Are there any childhood experiences that led you to where you are today?

I remember using sewing machines as early as 3rd or 4th grade, and I was drawing designs regularly by 5th grade.  I had always been interested in fashion, so I knew from a very young age that fashion design was the career for me.  I particularly remember really liking the show That’s So Raven,and she made a lot of her own clothes, which I thought was awesome.  I’ve been interested in all aspects of art growing up, and always did as many crafts as I could get my hands on.  I knew I needed a career that allowed me to be creative so that I would enjoy working.  After being accepted into Virginia Commonwealth University’s art department, I couldn’t wait to begin fashion classes sophomore year.  Being accepted into and studying in the fashion department has been the best learning experience.  I don’t think I would ever hope to have a successful career without the skills and knowledge that I’ve been taught at VCU.

Who do you look at as inspiration to keep going?

To keep me going and inspired, I look to both established designers that I like and my fellow classmates.  My favorite designer is Monique Lhuillier, so following what she’s working on encourages me to keep going so that I can be in her place one day.  My classmates also inspire me to work harder.  We all push each other to do our best, and encourage each other when we’re feeling down.  Having a group of peers around me to keep me positive and help me stay on track toward my goals is the most important thing to keep me motivated.

What makes you stand apart from everyone else in your field?

It’s pretty hard to stand out in a field of work that includes so many talented, unique, and creative people, but I think one thing that sets me apart from the masses is my eagerness.  I get so excited about what I do, and that passion comes through in my work ethic and the things I make.  I’m a bit of a perfectionist, but I still love to have fun. I like for my illustrations and clothes to be vibrant.  I think adding a serious effort to exciting garments sets me apart from others in my field.

What tangible piece of advice would you give young girls who want to be where you are?

I would tell young girls to choose their careers based on what they’re passionate about, rather than just practicality.

  I am a very rational person, but I think everyone should at least try to do the thing they love so that they don’t spend their life wondering what if. 

Hard work and practice have helped me the most in getting where I am today.  In the fashion industry, you can’t be afraid of the word no.  When looking for an internship, I applied to at least 100 different places, and around 10 responded.  But, I kept sending emails anyway, and I ended up with more than one offer.  Not everyone is going to love everything you make, some people might hate it all, but that’s okay because not everyone can be your customer.  If someone wants to be a fashion designer, they need to work hard, practice their skills like sewing and drawing, and be diligent when looking for jobs.  Build up a portfolio as much as possible to get into a good program to study more.  With fashion constantly changing, there’s always more to learn.

What do you love most about being a woman?

I think the best part of being a woman is that we have so many different options to dress and accessorize ourselves however we please.  There’s clothing out there for every style imaginable, you can dress formally or casually, and on top of the clothes you can add jewelry, nail polish, makeup, hairstyles and colors, purses, and of course, shoes.  Knowing that the world is like a never-ending closet for women excites me.  Personally, dressing myself for my mood or occasion or just my style of the day is my favorite part of being a woman.

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What is your most memorable moment as a Fashion Design Major and Designer?

My most memorable moment as a fashion design major would be seeing my first collection on the runway.  It was just last semester, my junior year, and the first time I had made a collection.  It consisted of 3 outfits [pictured above], and seeing them come out on the runway was the best feeling ever.  It felt like my hard work had paid off and it was sort of a milestone moment in my career.  I hope to be able to showcase on many more runways in the future.

What is your least memorable moment as a Fashion Design Major and Designer?

My least memorable moment in fashion design has probably been the times when I stayed up all night working on projects and not getting the grade that I was aiming for.  For one competition project, I worked on it everyday for weeks, and the day before it was due I was fixing last minute details and presentation things until 6am, only to not be selected by my teacher to be sent to the competition.  Things like that can get me down, but it also pushes me to try harder next time.

Are there any struggles being a woman in your field?

In fashion, I don’t think being a woman makes it any harder than a man to make a name for yourself.  However, there are still more well known male designers than female designers.  Luckily, I don’t see gender to be a hindrance in furthering my career.

What is one thing many people do not know about you?

One thing many people don’t know about me is that I spent a lot of my childhood on a farm.  I grew up with goats, llamas, dogs, and cats.  I feel like I’m more into city living at heart, but I definitely appreciate the things growing up in a rural area has taught me.

Our fun question: If you could be any animal what would it be and why?

If I could be any animal, I would like to be a mermaid.  I know that’s not really an animal, but it’s the best thing I can imagine.  They get to swim all day and hang out with tons of other underwater species.  Not to mention they probably have an awesome 6 pack of abs just from flipping that fin, kind of like leg lifts.  It would be cool though because they can still come up to land and hang out by the beaches too, so it’s like the best of both worlds.

What does the future hold for you?

For my future, I want 2 main things. Number 1 being a successful career, and number 2 being a family.  I would like to work my way up in an established brand, hopefully getting to be a head designer or creative director one day.  I would definitely prefer working with women’s ready to wear or even in the bridal industry.  Maybe after several years of learning what not to do, I could start my own label.  I would probably start out as an online store, and work my way up to a brick and mortar location.  I know that I will be working crazy hours because that’s how the fashion industry is, but making time for my family is super important to me.  I would like to travel a lot while I’m still young, and have my career going so that I can be around by the time my kids are reaching all those precious milestones.  I also want to be a supportive wife in whatever my husband decides to pursue.  My career may come first on my timeline of the future, but when I also have a family, they will take priority.

internship

Where can people find you?

Currently, I am interning with Gretta Kay’s bridal boutique White Dress in Waynesboro, VA.  I’m also starting work at the Sew Classics in the Shenandoah Valley Heritage Market.  Those two stores are where I’ll be spending my summer months, and in the fall I’ll return to finish my senior year at VCU.  If anyone would like to contact me, my email address is critchfieldla@vcu.edu

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