Successful Couturier: Lottery or Strategy

What every parent naturally worries about is when (or whether) financing their children’s education will pay off. What students worry about is which field of study they would like to pursue, what they would be good at doing and just how on earth to achieve it. A person’s passion usually indicates their talent and no matter what the obstacle is the driving force of their career choice.

Formal education of any kind is never wasted, however can be more or less productive. As education goes, the process of learning or learning how to learn makes it interesting and the secret to overcoming challenges. It follows the quality of instruction, relevance to one’s ambitions and goals, and not lastly the authoritative resource from which the training comes.

If you ask anyone who intensely enjoys their career they will tell you they never ‘work’ a day in their lives – it is admittedly challenging, sometimes an uphill battle, and sometimes makes you plain crazy; but it is always interesting, always evolving, and immensely fulfilling. If you ask the Founder of EHC, still creative in her 71 years career, it is because of her passion for Couture. But what about the financial returns or rewards?

As a commodity money makes the economy pulsate, puts food on the table, pays the rent and in fact all our bills. EVERYONE needs it but, ‘how much’ money is totally subjective. For example (2011 stats) in Calgary, starting out a single person earning $36,000.00 per year could rent a 1-bedroom apartment and live comfortably. What your short and long term goals are or how long it would take to financially ‘break even’ in your career: meaning how much you would need to live on [not going further into debt]  until you turn a profit, is so specific to each individual and depends on a thousand and one variables.

To put some perspective on it, graduates of medicine frequently take 20 years to pay off student loans, while graduates of other disciplines, perhaps only 5 years while working in their chosen professions.  If you are going into self-employment or working at home, you’ll also need to include some initial investment – that may be a very small amount compared with operating a boutique [small business].

A working design professional could reasonably expect to reach their ‘break even’ point and take-in profits in as little as 5 years, but 10 years are not uncommon.

There is a saying that if you work hard the money will follow – which as we all know isn’t the whole story – and frustration sets in because of the inability to change something, insufficient skills or experience, lack of knowledge or lack of opportunity. Take the time to develop your own business plan at the beginning of your career – this will help you plot your particular route, and to adjust it accordingly. This, by the way, is beneficial for everyone starting out in business (aka employment) not just for up and coming fashion industry entrepreneurs.

To attain and retain job satisfaction make ‘life-long learning’ your mantra, soak up information like a sponge daily, be adaptable in new situations, be perceptive and determined, and importantly continue to nurture your passion, cultivate a healthy support system of family and true friends. Tip to career longevity:  it is an epic part but not the entire part of your life.

How gratified and financially secure you become in your chosen career depends on good education,  practicing high work ethics, maintaining a good reputation, and the continual search for access to new resources, all balanced adds up to positive indicators of long term job satisfaction and increasing  financial growth potential. For professional artisans in the business of Couture and Design this is no exception. There are no glamorous short-cuts. So don’t rely on winning Lotto Max as your financial plan.

Coco Chanel in her Studio











Paris as your City of Choice? – photo by Sheldon Levine
Calgary as your City of Choice? – photo by MAX

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: