Interview with Alex Small, Fashion Blogger

Tell me about your company and what inspired you to start a fashion blog?

My fashion blog Small 4 Style covers events, trends and interviews with fashion industry professionals. I started Small 4 Style when I was a freshman at SMU in 2011 to get involved with the local fashion community. It’s been a great way for me to develop connections and have an outlet to express my passion for fashion. I’ve gotten to experience things that I wouldn’t have thought were possible for me, like going to exclusive events and having the opportunity to meet fashion designers and entrepreneurs.

Do you have a business plan? Explain why or why not.

I have certain goals and objectives I want to work toward. Increasing my reach and followers is something that’s always on my mind as well as finding opportunities to monetize my content and make new connections. I think it’s important not only stay current, but to think ahead too because business is always changing and fashion is a fast-paced industry.

Do you think it is important for Arts-related entrepreneurs to have a business plan?

Of course! Whether it’s a formal business plan or a list of goals, I’m a big believer in having a plan. You have to establish a direction in order to start your business and take it to the next level. Starting a business is about building a brand and an image, which is especially important for fashion entrepreneurs. How you dress, how you interact with people, and your work ethic and your personality are just a few things that define you. These things can make or break your business.

I’m a finance major at SMU, and whenever I bring that up in conversations or interviews, people tell me that I’m on the right track for a career in fashion with my business major. I’ve talked to so many fashion professionals, especially designers, who have emphasized the importance of knowing the business side and how its importance is often underestimated in the fashion industry.

With social media being the #1 source of communication in our current state of affairs, how do you plan to capitalize on that?

Social media has been a great way for me to connect with my readers and increase my following. I plan on continuing to utilize my social media networks to keep my readers interested in what’s new on Small 4 Style.

What is your advice for those who would like to start a fashion blog or have a career in fashion?

If you want to start a blog, go for it. It takes some time to build up a following, connections and good content but it’s totally worth it. If you’re in Dallas, it’s easy to find events and opportunities to get involved locally. Be persistent and meet new people. These people may not just become your mentors and open up a lot of opportunities for you, they may also become your friends.

Though I haven’t secured a job yet for after graduation in May 2015, I feel that my experiences thus far will be the key to getting a job. To be successful in the fashion industry, work experience in retail or any other part of the industry you’re interested in is essential. I worked at Nordstrom in high school and college during my summers and winter breaks and that helped me get an idea of what path I want to take in the industry. I’ve learned that I would love both the business and creative sides and hope to become a buyer for a major fashion retail company. Some people may work in retail and then realize that it’s not for them, and that’s OK. If that’s the case then you’re just one step closer to figuring out what you love. The fashion industry isn’t as glamorous as everyone thinks, but if you’re willing to put in the effort and if you’re passionate about it, you’re on the right track.

Another important aspect of getting into fashion is to do your homework. Subscribe to the major fashion magazines and Women’s Wear Daily. Read books and websites about fashion, watch fashion TV shows, and stay up to date with what’s going on in the business world. Every free moment you have, try to take advantage of it by learning something new. Getting as much knowledge as possible will make you better at your job and more of an asset to your company.

Interview by Kymberly Johnson, student in Developing an Arts Venture Plan, Arts Entrepreneurship at Meadows School of the Arts, SMU.

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