During my design & discovery journey, I found myself in situations where I was overly eager to gain more knowledge and experience in various aspects of the footwear industry. This often led me to explore job openings ranging from lower levels to top tier positions in established brands.
At some point, I would have killed to work for another footwear company and provide my unique vision & skillset, but now, I’m enjoying the process of watching MOLLY blossom into a company that I would have loved to work for if I was still job searching. I cannot begin to tell you how hard it was for me trying to get a job as anything in the footwear industry. On numerous occasions over the course of 3 years, I applied to both small-scale and major fashion houses here in Canada, from family-owned businesses to large retailers such as Nordstrom and the ALDO group. In moments when I felt I needed validation from a footwear establishment to prove that I was “legit”, this seemed like the right move. Reflecting back now, I’m more content with the outcome of each failed job interview, and I embrace the challenges & redirections I faced while trying to establish myself as a reputable footwear designer.
Nordstrom was one storm of a heartbreak brought on by a nonchalant, and frankly, rude individual who shut me down as as he proved to be very uninterested in my experiences- both as a sales associate, and more so, as a footwear designer, within the first few seconds of our sit-down. You would think someone with the technical knowledge on the anatomy of shoes would stand a good chance applying for the sales position in a Footwear Department, but that was far from the case. His dismissive demeanor & responses might as well have told me to hurry up & wrap it up because he had somewhere better to be. After walking out of there feeling unseen and very unheard, I just knew there was no way I was getting that job. Almost a week later, I was called and told that someone else fit the position better. More power to whoever got it, but I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty devastated for many reasons. One being that I greatly admired the fact that the well-known Department Store started off as a shoe company, and two, losing that opportunity left me in doubt of myself, my purpose, and feeling like a huge failure.
After being overlooked and rejected by Nordstrom, I was far from interested in being let down again, which is why I couldn’t bring myself to hold out hope when I was contacted by the ALDO Group over a year later for the role of a Senior Product Developer. Nonetheless, I took that interview, and in doing so, it forced me to recognize all of the accomplishments I had made for myself so far, completely reinforcing the fact that I really did not need validation from an existing company to make me “legit” in the first place. Being asked why I would be a great fit for the ALDO Group left me more aware of my skills, my passion, my purpose and why I created MOLLY- to provide the opportunity that I desperately felt I was being deprived of, and to make my story just that- mine.
- It doesn’t matter how many times you get the rejections and Nos
- It doesn’t matter how many times you end up disappointed or lose sight of your vision.
- The most important thing is that you pick yourself back up, remember your worth, keep progressing and never give up on yourself.
The fact of the matter is that I was over-qualified for the Nordstrom position, and I would have delegated more of my efforts into the ALDO group than I would my brand if I did end up getting these jobs. A blind person could see my passion and fire for footwear, so I guess in the end, they did me a solid by pushing me to develop MOLLY into what my younger, less-experienced self would have dreamed of working for.
The Journey To Molly is a never-ending ride that teaches me incomparable lessons of life. Building an empire with the stones I’ve been thrown is incredibly testing, but honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Have you experienced similar disappointments with job searches in your desired industry? If yes, comment below and share how you handled and overcame these setbacks. I would love to hear another perspective.
Until next time,