Recruiter Interview – Liz Rossof
Liz oversees Betabrand’s Think Tank. She works with customers and collaborating designers to create the next generation of global fashion trends. Liz and the Think Tank team support designers of all experience levels with opportunities to reach new audiences and create product with zero financial risk. All designers, from the novice to the master, get customer-facing design credit, immediate community response to their ideas, and are compensated based on the success of their designs.
Tell us a little about yourself.
LR: I’m Liz Rossof, I have worked at Betabrand for over 4 and a half years. I have been the Director of Think Tank (where our new design ideas and design collaborations begin) for two years.
How did you get into recruiting?
LR: Betabrand is a platform for designers of all levels to engage in conversation and ideation on new clothing and accessory concepts. A huge part of my role as Director of Think Tank (where these conversations happen) is recruiting new talent to our platform. It is very satisfying as I get to see our designers succeed and have their products made. They get customer facing recognition for their designs, they get paid, and they get to SEE pictures of people from all over the world wearing their ideas.
Tell us about Betabrand
LR: Betabrand is a Crowdsourced, Crowdfunded clothing company that features collaborations with emerging designers, as well as established designers and international brands that use our platform for innovation and marketing.
What we offer is totally unique in the clothing retail and manufacturing industry, as we handle all aspects of development and sales for collaborating designers, allowing them to focus only on their designs.
Collaborating designers make 10% of sales during the 30 crowdfunding period and 5% of sales for 11 months after that. I would love to find a way to support you and your own designs in reaching our community of 1 Million+ users/customers.
Why would a fashion industry job seeker want to work at Betabrand?
LR: By using all the internet has to offer, we have created a new way to both design and consume style. We have about 80 people who work at our HQ in San Francisco, and we have worked with 1000s of designers and design thinkers from all corners of the world to create new products. Our tagline is New Ideas, Non -Stop, and it is true! It’s a very exciting environment.
Tell us about the hiring process at Betabrand
LR: We have a different process for our in-house jobs at HQ, than I do for Collaborating Designers through Think Tank, but we both use StyleCareers to get the word out. The Collaborating Designers can work from anywhere in the world, and they can submit design ideas at anytime. When we have an opening at HQ our search is for a fixed period of time.
What types of fashion industry positions do you recruit for?
LR: For the Think Tank I am always looking for designers and design thinkers. I am looking for people with their own voice and ideas that want to use our platform to gain a following as well as have an opportunity to have their products produced and make money.
In house, for jobs at HQ we hire when there is an open headcount. We host all departments of our e-com site at HQ so the jobs can be from design to engineering, from production managers to marketing, retail to content management, photography to fabric sourcing. We even have a data analyst! -She’s rad, BTW.
What sources do you use the most to find fashion industry talent? (job boards, newspapers, social media, personal networking, colleges, etc…)
LR: Online job boards like StyleCareers have been exceptionally helpful. Personal networking as well as working with schools is also important and fruitful.
What are some common misconceptions job seekers have about your job?
LR: I think that because the Betabrand platform is so unique and the whole concept sort-of blows people’s minds at first, there is a level of concern and worry that they won’t do it right or that we won’t really give them the credit on their design that they deserve. The bottom line is that we are telling stories of collaboration and community by putting forward people’s ideas. If there isn’t a collaborating designer, there isn’t a story. We are built to work with designers, if we don’t tell their story, the product is lacking.
What should job seekers know about your job as a recruiter?
LR: That I am here to answer their questions and concerns. I believe that there are no bad questions, as long as they are honest questions. If something is unclear, I hope they feel comfortable asking me to clarify.
What are some of the most common mistakes fashion industry job seekers make when looking/applying/interviewing/etc… for a job?
LR: Sending huge PDFs of their resume with no text or intro. Read the posting and write a few lines about why you want the job. Also, people should have web based links to their work, having to download or look up huge PDFs from a dropbox or folder takes too much time. Make a site, a coroloft or something to house your work.
What’s the craziest thing a job seeker has ever said to you?
LR: That I reminded them of their mom.
What’s the most inappropriate thing you’ve seen on a resume?
LR: We work online…. I think that sums it up! 😉
What advice do you have for younger job seekers?
LR: Go for it! I want to see your ideas. I want to MAKE your ideas! I want you to make money and see your ideas worn by the world. Betabrand is an incredible opportunity to get your name out early in your career. Internet sites like Soundcloud and Bandcamp have catapulted the careers of 1000s of independent musicians and bands , we are doing the same for clothing designers, with the additional support of all the development, manufacturing, and fulfillment.
What advice do you have for older job seekers?
LR: Same exact advice! Expect that you have a whole other level of understanding what is successful in the industry. Some designers feel comfortable designing for another brand their whole career. Betabrand offers an opportunity to be customer-facing and get recognition for your creative work, without the financial risk of starting your own label. If you’ve ever wanted to put your ideas out as ours publicly, Betabrand is a great opportunity to do so.
What are some common mistakes fashion industry job seekers make during the job search process? Resumes/Cover Letters/Correspondence/Applications/Follow-up/Interview/etc…
LR: Not taking time to introduce themselves in an email, and sending giant PDF portfolios. Take a few sentences to tell us about you and why you are a good fit for the job, and make a website for your portfolio. It doesn’t have to be fancy! It could be simple as a public Facebook album, just don’t make me download files!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
LR: Good luck! We are here for you! Hope to hear from you soon!
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