Enjoy the Process
Olga is a fashion designer, apparel product developer, and apparel buyer. She is proficient in designing, developing and managing all the steps of garment production process from the idea till bulk products and sales research. Olga has strong experience in garments design, making full technical packs (measurement lists, technical description and specification of garment), leading negotiations and communicating through correspondence and in person with suppliers and manufacturers in China. She is currently owner and stylist at Beautiful Mess Image Consulting in Seattle, WA, USA.
What should everyone know about you?
OG: I am a young apparel professional with several years of experience in industry. I have been working as a Designer, Product Developer and Buyer for one of the major apparel companies in Russia. Now, I’m trying myself as stylist using my experience and love for creativity.
How would you describe what you do?
OG: I’m working with the ideas, materials and people to create clothes. So you can enjoy yourself looking at the mirror ?
Why did you choose to be a designer?
OG: I always loved to draw, saw and create my own outfits from scratch or by making over old clothes. So when it came to choosing my career path my mom suggested that I try to get into apparel design. Back then I thought it was a great idea. Now, I’m endlessly grateful to my wise mom for knowing me so well and helping me find myself!
What steps did you take to become a designer?
OG: When I decided I wanted to become a designer, I have made a research on the Universities that has Fashion design on their board. To prepare myself for the exams I had to take the art school classes. I had only one year before entering exams at University, but the art school course was 4 years. So I got to the intensive 1 year course for kids like me, who needed the faster results. This year in the art school was like a revelation for me! I felt that I have finally found my place in life. This way I knew I’m on the right path! Unfortunately, the first time I failed my exams to University and had to wait one more year to try again. This year I have spent working at the factory that was making children clothing. At that moment my job was very far from designing clothes yet! I was an ironing person… ? This work was very hard and exhausting, but because of that I made a promise to myself that I’m going to enter the University next year. And I did it! Then it was 6 years of fun, interesting and very hard but fulfilling education time. During this period, I have participated in several local design competitions with some minor success. Those times I was very upset not being a winner. But then I found that it’s not about my work or my talent it’s more of a luck moment. So I have decided to concentrate more on getting better professionally then trying to win competitions that not really benefit me in any way. Then instead of wining competitions I have graduated with honors from my course. This was enough to get me to the next level and find the job that I really loved and enjoyed!
Best/Most Challenging part of your job?
OG: Best part of my job is to be able to create whatever comes to my mind! It feels good to have such power even if you create just some small things ? Most challenging part is to start the process to get going. Because when it starts, everything is moving almost on its own with just some adjustments and small corrections on the way. The challenge for me is to put idea out in the world without hesitation and overthinking it.
If you weren’t a designer what would you be?
OG: I really love the creation process and working with my hands, feeling textures and materials. So if not a fashion designer I would be an architect, interior, landscape designer or maybe even a restaurant chef, creating amazing tastes and textures with food. I really enjoy cooking! ?
How did you get started in design?
OG: I had several great Russian designers as teachers and mentors at the University. Also, I had some amazing experience working at the fashion houses for some of the successful designers in Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation. This way I had the inside view into the career in fashion design. So later when I received a job offer I have already had some skills and experience in the industry. Knowing all the basics of work gave me a chance to pick up on my job pretty quickly. Which was a good booster to my career growth.
What do you like about what you do?
OG: I like the excitement of the arising idea that want to be brought to life. Also, I like the feeling of being involved in the process of creating something new.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
OG: In 10 years I see myself as an owner and a designer of my clothing and accessories brand, or having a successful style consulting career.
Are there any types of clothing/footwear/accessories that you avoid wearing?
OG: I used to have some taboos for specific kinds of clothes or accessories, but not anymore. I learned with time that in fashion you should never say “never”. I always grow and change as a person and all the tastes and favors are changing with me. So I prefer to be free from all the limitations and let myself change in every way that suits my mood of the day.
What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your career?
OG: I have definitely changed my view to mass market apparel since I have started my career. During my student years I used to think that mass market design is the lowest form of the design for the apparel professional. Because it’s dull, uniform and more about the market then art and creation itself. After a several years working in industry I see creative process in all the different ways now. Design is not just about the idea, shape, silhouette or pattern and techniques. It goes beyond that through the collaboration with graphic designers, technicians and manufacturers. The result itself as a piece of clothes or accessory is not the most creative and fulfilling thing in the end. Creation is all about the process but not the result. This way even being a mass market designer you can be a real artist and fulfill your creativity thirst. Just by enjoying the process all the way from the idea to the final clothing sample in your hands.
What advice would you give to young designers?
OG: Always be open and honest with yourself and follow your gut. No one can tell you how good or bad you are at your profession. You make your choices and it define your path. Stay in this only if you feel that it’s something that makes your life full and inspiring. You can enjoy the career only if it’s truly yours. So listen to yourself carefully and don’t let anyone or anything make choices for you!
What would you like to achieve before the end of the year?
OG: I would love to move my career to the next level and become a successful designer in the US.
What’s your motto?
OG: Enjoy the process!
Learn more about Olga Galkina at StylePortfolios.com.
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