Hobby to Hustle: Q+A With Fashion Marketing Student and Entrepreneur Kylie Haywood
Kylie, recently featured on Surrey Now-Leader, received social media messages asking if her beautiful, hand-painted jeans were for sale after posting about her new hobby. The jeans combine trendy patterns with thrifted jeans to create unique statement pieces in a stunning and sustainable way. Pete Jeans has sold four pairs of painted jeans, which is no small feat for a full-time student. Though busy, Kylie finds painting to be a calming escape from her other tasks, a purely creative outlet that also happens to be her business. Her Pete Jeans Instagram, started in December, shows off beautiful flatlay images as well as pictures of the jeans in action with full outfits.
We reached out to Kylie to learn more about her experience in the Fashion Marketing program and how it prepared her to run her business:
What appealed to you about the Fashion Marketing program at Wilson School of Design?
I have always had a special connection to fashion, growing up making my style unique with a love for sewing. As I grew older I was exposed to many marketing opportunities. I was in charge of running multiple social media pages around my high school, and marketing quickly became another passion of mine. I knew that wanted to keep sewing as a hobby so I would never lose my love for it, and when I discovered the Fashion Marketing program in my grade 11 year of high school I was sold. This program is a perfect mesh of my passions, and was an amazing gateway to my dreams of working in the fashion industry as a buyer.
What have you learned from this program that gave you the confidence to start your own company, Pete Jeans?
Throughout my first year in the Fashion marketing program I have learned so many amazing skills that have ultimately given me the confidence to start this business. I have been guided by the most amazing mentors and teachers as well as such amazing classmates that have become lifelong friends. Without all the support I’ve received from these amazing people I wouldn’t have taken this leap. Learning both the creative and the business sides of a company has helped me so much understand how to run a strong company as well as important skills like networking, connections and marketing skills. Having the faith in myself that I know how to create meaningful marketing and strong business ethics has made this experience so amazing.
What other tools has Fashion Marketing equipped you with that have helped along the way?
Learning the adobe software has been an amazing tool that I have learned. I have continually used the programs from creating a logo to care labels included with purchase. Another tool that I have learned during this program is networking. As someone who struggles with anxiety, this was a scary one to learn, but it was probably the most important skill that I have learned. Talking to new people with or without anxiety can be scary, but overcoming that fear and getting to make connections with new people that can in the future help me with career paths as well as amazing mentorship has been so rewarding.
"Learning both the creative and the business sides of a company has helped me so much understand how to run a strong company as well as important skills like networking, connections and marketing skills. Having the faith in myself that I know how to create meaningful marketing and strong business ethics has made this experience so amazing." - Kylie Haywood
Do you see yourself continuing with this business throughout the program and afterward?
This project started off as a way for me to release my anxieties doing something that I loved doing, which grew into a business. I do see myself continuing this journey for a while still, as it helps me with stress as well as get a bit of extra pocket money to continue building towards my wardrobe. As a fashion student, I have no issues saying I love to shop, and at this moment I’m slowly trying to create a wardrobe of timeless and classic pieces so I can highlight the denim I love to paint.
What is your favourite part of the program and why?
My favourite part of the program is the people. I am fully surrounded by people that are constantly showing me new aspects of myself. These amazing people have brought out the best in me as well as my creative abilities. These people are the most uplifting, inspiring and creative team that I have worked with and I will forever be thankful for them. Everyone, from my professors to my classmates, has been a mentor for me and they are my favourite part of this program.
Thank you Kylie for sharing your story with us
We’re proud of Kylie for combining her natural creativity and painting skills with the fashion and business knowledge developed in the Fashion Marketing program. Check Kylie out on Instagram or LinkedIn to see more of her work or even order a custom pair.
(Photo below: Lauren Collins/Surrey Now-Leader)