A Day in the Life of a Fashion Designer
Ft. Together & Sunspell
Recently something very rare happened: I was invited by an incredibly creative and inspiring couple to be interviewed for their series of photographic stories highlighting local artisans. It was rare because I agreed to step in front of the camera. One question posed to me by the inseparable duo was: Can you talk us through a typical day in your life?
My answer? It is almost impossible to describe a ‘typical’ day which is ultimately why I love my job as no two days are the same! In one word? A typical day is busy. Very busy.
Yet this had me reflect, and consider you - as this question is probably one of the most frequent things I get asked in an interview, which means people must want to know, right? I thought perhaps you'd like to see what a day in the life is like for a young entrepreneur and fashion designer. If this certainly is not what interests you then I do apologise and would suggest signing up to the mailing list so I can pre-warn you of blog content to come!
I currently start my days at 5.20AM. Living on a farm with my partner means I kick start my mornings with an instant hit of fresh air as I trundle outside to feed the horses & hand reared lambs. This is not something that happens 365 days of the year, but right now, this is my situation until my partner's mum returns home from working abroad to tend to her horse, and until the lambs grow up and feed themselves without swarming round my knees and bruising my legs. Greedy.
In an ideal world I am on time and able to leave the farm before 7AM to miss the rush hour traffic and get to my gym.
Disclaimer: I have no idea what I'm doing, but for anyone interested: it usually involves a 30min-1hr workout broken down into stretching followed by a 5 minute warm up on a cross-trainer or bike then 30mins strength training & ending on cardio (20 minutes on the treadmill finishes me off nicely).
I'm usually at the atelier no later than 8.30AM - and if I miss the gym first thing in the morning I will instead go sometime in the day no later than 4PM as long as I don't have interns in. So again, my schedule isn't strict but I do maintain exercise as it energises me for the work ahead.
Sometimes I will kick my day off by journalling. This is essentially filling at least an A4 page with a stream of consciousness - it can help me solve any issues I may feel are ahead of me or simply analyse and evaluate recent circumstances so I can learn from them - ultimately it's a form of meditation to get my head screwed on for the day.
I set myself a minimum of 6 hours a day spent in my studio. The studio is my home from home, but sometimes I can feel a bit cabin-feverish, and unless I need to sew or pattern cut, I am flexible to take my laptop and any admin work to a favourite Cardiff spot of mine, an arts centre called Chapter.
Chapter Arts Centre
Chapter not only has an endless stream of coffee and food which is perfect for my admin duties but also is home to an independent cinema and gallery.
It's perfect for the mind and soul to escape to new surroundings at times, so here I can sit and immerse myself whether it be responding to e-mails or drafting up technical drawings.
After putting in a good shift out in the real world I head back home to the farm to either continue the never ending work load in the comfort of a fully stocked kitchen or on top of my bed which is incomparable to a desk chair.
It is in these final hours of the day I make time to sketch and read. Small interests such as this keep me free from the pressures of the mind overflowing with to-do's and manage to disconnect me from work even for a moment. On average I probably clock around 12 hours a day combining freelance with running Xandra Jane, so down-time is something I have to be conscious to allow myself.
Building habits whether it be reading a chapter a day or donating 10 minutes to practice my drawing skill is a great way to unwind and settle my thoughts before going to bed. Ensuring I get a good nights sleep so I can approach a fresh day with my best efforts.
What do your days consist of?
Are you working towards any particular goals?
Have you developed any habits to enrich your schedule?
If you want to read the full Together & Sunspell interview and explore their gorgeous imagery click here.