Fashion Entrepreneur Podcast

Fashion Originators



Welcome to Fashion Originators, a podcast hosted by me, Stephanie Irwin. Every other week, I interview game-changing fashion entrepreneurs. Each episode, THEY share their wins, losses and wisdom – all to inspire your career and personal goals.

5 ways to empower yourself in the fashion industry #motivationmonday

5 ways to empower yourself in the fashion industry #motivationmonday



Recently, a friend and I were philosophizing about our peers in the fashion industry. During our chat, she remarked how ‘everyone tries so hard to appear happy, yet they all seem deeply miserable.’

Initially, I didn’t agree with her. I argued that we were all just naturally angsty, going against the grain of conventional intelligence (i.e: becoming a lawyer, doctor or ‘useful’ professional). As I began to run into more of my peers at events, however, I began to realize that, to a degree, she’s 100% right.

A few acquaintances of mine have left jobs through various means (quitting, redundancy, getting fired etc). When casually asked about these issues, however, a film of professionalism remains. If it’s ‘truly a wonderful company with a warm, positive culture,” then why, exactly, did you quit after 3 months? If you’re being made redundant, or your boss yells at you on a daily basis, things probably aren’t “so much better at my company than most places.”

While I don’t endorse talking smack about anyone or any place you’ve worked (unless they  murdered some dear to you), I do endorse being genuine, and not taking crap just because other people have. When you’re fed phrases like ‘that’s just the way it is’ or ‘prove yourself’ and ‘be professional at all times’ it’s no wonder our industry is so insane. When you’re asked questions like ‘what did you dislike the most about your last boss’ in interviews, it can feel like everyone wants you to slip up. 

When reflecting on these moments in my history, one word kept coming up – disempowerment. If you constantly have a happy, smiley, calm front up 24/7, you’re not actually a human – you’re a human soul in a robot body. Instead of being happy because of internal fulfillment, the industry seems to only care about the appearance of happiness.

So, you ask, how can we be happy for real? How can we break the chains of fake smiling and dialogue? Personally, I’m trying out a range of ways to make myself (and my peers) feel more empowered. Regardless of what you think of the work you do, I believe we can all afford to be more empowered. Here are a few of my ideas below…

“5 ways to empower yourself in the fashion industry" 

1.     Learning new things – I’ve made a list of things I’m good at to ‘double down’ on (as cheesy as that sounds), and a list of new things I want to try. I used to always focus on the skills I lacked. As good as it is to fill skills gaps, this mentality made me forget that I already have a lot to offer.

2.     Take time for yourself – this is something new for me. I’ve been eating at my desk for far too long. When you do this, you don’t actually take a break. Often, I scarf my salad in 5 minutes and get back to work. I’ve noticed that I’m far more productive if I eat lunch outside the office and get some fresh air.

3.     Help someone out – If any of you need help with anything, this is an open call: .

4.     Work out – even if you have to get up at 5am. Lately, I’ve been learning to embrace workouts that are slower and more strength-based. Less self-hating burpees and more self-building pilates!

5.     Create a mastermind – At the moment, I am brainstorming a monthly fashion mastermind. These are a popular thing amongst the ‘success coaches’ of the world like Jack Canfield, who believe that building a small likeminded tribe to discuss goals / direction with will make you feel more connected with other people, and in turn, yourself. Also, I’m looking for 2 like-minded peers to Skype with once a month about these things – are you up for it?

That’s it for this week! I would love to know – how are you empowering yourself this week? Or, would you be keen to take me up on #3 or #5? Reach out on Instagram, @fashionoriginatorspodcast, or via email: ! I’m away in South Africa for the next two weeks, but things will be back to normal after that J .

Find a fashion job you love (in 4 steps) #motivationmonday

Find a fashion job you love (in 4 steps) #motivationmonday

Why your fashion industry rut is a good thing #motivationmonday

Why your fashion industry rut is a good thing #motivationmonday