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Friday, November 11, 2011

Dreams Change...

Not only do dreams come true, but dreams change—and I believe they are supposed to change.

Yesterday I quit what was supposed to be by dream job: a shoe designer. Calm down and keep reading, please!
My whole life I have said I wanted to be a shoe designer. But in reality I didn’t know what it took or what the job even entailed. I moved to Los Angeles with my dream in sight and set out to live it. After I graduated my first program at FIDM, I really did have second thoughts about even applying for the Footwear Program, but because I have such a great support system of encouragers, I applied. I was very excited when I got accepted and thought that meant that it was meant to be and that I really did want to be a shoe designer.
I 100% loved the Footwear Program. I loved my teachers, friends and of course the school atmosphere. The knowledge I gained from my years at FIDM can never be taken away nor the experiences and friendships. And all of those things have made me the person I am today and will allow me to find my new “dream job.”
I’ve been struggling since I started my job (and honestly throughout the Footwear Program) because I didn’t love going to work. Sure traveling to New York and China seems exciting but the whole time I was away all I could think about was being anywhere else and doing anything else. I was not happy sitting at a desk sketching shoes, or trying to predict the next season’s trends. It has been a hard thing to admit to myself, much less everybody else. But here it is….
Kimberly Hart is having a quarter-life crisis (it's okay to laugh) and does NOT want to be a shoe designer when she grows up.
My new dream: to own my own shoe boutique in Austin, Texas and help ladies find that perfect shoe for whatever occasion. I guess it is true, you can take the girl out of the honky tonk, but you can’t take the honky tonk out of the girl!  Los Angeles isn’t for me. I’m a true Texas girl who is ready to take on whatever life has in store for her in Texas!!
What happens now? I try to find somebody to take over my lease in LA so I can move back to Austin. I will find a job that I love and most importantly one that I am happy at!
As always…Dreams DO come true, just ask Cinderella….and me in a few years!
Oh I forgot to mention: Since I don’t have a job, I finally get to go to Dancing With The Stars this week!! Talk about finding the silver lining…

Saturday, October 29, 2011

An American Celeb

I survived China for 2 weeks. I have been back for 4 days and am still waking up early due to the time change—jet lag is no joke!

             Leaving for China I was more nervous than I thought I would be. Once I got to Hong Kong  and had my first Chinese Lunch, a cheeseburger, sweet potato fries & Coke zero (Yes-you read that right!) I begin to see how lucky I am to be able to experience a whole different country and the nerves subdued. 

              My first day at the factory was a bit overwhelming because I still did not feel  like I knew enough to be of assistance. Throughout my two week trip (working at the factory 13 of the 14 days I was there) I learned A LOT and was able to make more decisions by the end of the 2 weeks. That being said one of the most rewarding moments came during my last 4 days in China. My boss came back to LA 4 days before me, therefore I was the one everybody was coming to when there was a questions or problem regarding a shoe. I had to figure out an answer for them—whether I emailed my boss and waited for her to wake up and respond (remember China is 15 hours ahead of LA) or make the call on my own.  I definitely had to email my boss for a lot of the issues, but the handful of times that I could answer or solve the problem made me feel so good. It is those moments I have to remember when I go through the hard times that are ahead because believe me there are plenty of hard times in my future. But if a job was easy, would it really be that rewarding when you have an “A-Haa” moment?

              Now onto some of the non-job related experiences that a blonde haired, blue eyed Texan had while in China!
1.       Food: For the most part I did very well! We ate mostly at Hotel Restaurants or really nice ones that were just fine.  I tried and actually liked most things I tried. I am now a fan of Shrimp Walnut lettuce wraps, which for me is unheard of! I think I ate Italian food more than anything. I ate McDonalds (and got pictures) 3 times. Yes- the McDonalds tasted the same! My one China Food potential nightmare came once my boss had left and two of the technicians at the factory asked me to go to dinner. It was a Saturday night and they were so excited to take me out. We went to a real Korean Restaurant where they ordered a massive amount of food. They didn’t MAKE me try anything but I was polite and tried some different foods. What they called a “Korean Pizza” was put in front of me and I thought I would at least try it (like I had done everything else) until I saw a tentacle on it and I couldn’t do it. Over all my first Korean Food experience wasn’t a total nightmare! I survived to tell about it!
2.       Sticking out: Across the street from my hotel (a very nice Sheraton) was a “Super Store” which has about 5 floors of randomness. One Sunday we got back to the Hotel about 5 and I thought I would venture out and cross the street to go shopping. I left the hotel at 5:30 and was back by 6. Once I got across the street safely (Chinese drivers are crazy) and entered the Super Store I felt like something was wrong with me. Everybody stared at me. I was so uncomfortable that I left and went back to comfort of my hotel room and ordered room service.
3.       Another related story: After dinner with the factory technicians they took me to a mall so I could buy my Grandma a tea cup (that was what she asked me to bring her back…if you know her don’t tell her I got her one because I’m surprising her with it for Christmas!) While searching for the perfect tea cup I got “rear ended” by a shopping cart. So naturally I turn around and a Dad smiled at me and motioned for me to wave at his 3 year old daughter in the cart—Who am I? An American Celeb? I just smiled and waved…soaking up my one moment of celeb-ness!
On a serious note, China was great, the people were great and I get to go back in January (word on the street anyway)!  The hardest part of being there for 2 weeks was not the food or the culture difference, but not being able to talk to anybody back home, specially my mom whom I talk to everyday!

      Until I have something interesting to tell whoever reads this, DREAM BIG because ….. Dreams DO come true, ask Cinderella…..and ME!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I want to eat my cake...not just have it!

Well I’ve now been employed as a shoe designer for almost 3 weeks. It has definitely been an experience, to say the least. It has kind of been like riding a roller coaster at Disneyland!! I am of course very excited to be employed and doing what I have always dreamed of doing, and might I add the paycheck is amazing, but I miss home, family and friends.
My first week was very exciting!! I loved my day of walking around New York City shopping for shoes—that’s right, my first day of work was spent going in and out of shoe stores with my boss. Oh did I mention while we were crossing a street OWEN WILSON almost ran over us on his bicycle?!?!  He waved at us as he passed; I like to think we could be friends!! The next 3 days were spent in New Jersey at ITC’s office where we begin the designing/building of our Fall 2012 collection. After work each day we went to different restaurants, where I made myself try various types of food that I had never tried. For those of you who know me well, you know how big of a deal that is! Then when the check came---I didn’t have to pay anything! Again, for those of you who know me well, you know how big of a deal that is! Wednesday rolled around and it was time to head back to LA! A black car (not sure what kind, but the kind celebs ride in) picked us up and drove us to the airport! I admit, I felt slightly VIP getting out of the black car at JFK!
My day to day work activities since NY really are not that glamorous therefore I will spare you the play by plays. BUT since working, I have never appreciated Fridays at 6pm more in my life—the weekend goes by fast, but it is much enjoyed! Also since working, my whole schedule has changed. I am usually in bed by 10-10:30 and up at the latest by 9:30am (again, for those of you who know me…..) On the weekends, I run all the errands that have built up—mostly get things needed for my apartment as it is still not complete! I’m kind of grown up?
Yesterday I had a pretty cool experience—I called to increase one of my credit card limits and the lady on the phone asked “What is your job” to which I happily replied “A shoe designer” and she asked again, because she thought she heard wrong so I said it again. She thought it was such a cool job!! That was the first time I had been asked what I did for a living and gotten to say that I’m a shoe designer! Pretty cool, right?
Now…just a little rant—I have lived in LA for almost 2 years and been on the “waitlist” for Dancing with the Stars tickets for those 2 years. I checked my email today and I GOT TICKETS for next week! Only problem is the taping is 3:30-7! I work until 6. REALLY? Really God?? That seems like a very evil joke, and it’s not even April Fools!! I guess you really can’t have your cake and eat it too??
The next blog I write will probably be AFTER I’ve been to CHINA! I fly to China on October 10 and will be back in LA October 25! Think happy thoughts that I don’t starve while I’m over there! Haha!
                As always--remember that dreams do come true, ask Cinderella ….and ME!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Extra. Extra. Read ALLL about it..Kimberly is employed!

         For those of you who did not recieve this in a letter form, here is what has been going on in my life the past few months!         
         Post UT, I moved to Los Angeles to attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising to study Merchandise Product Development and  then go on to study Footwear Design. Since forever I have said that I wanted to be a shoe designer when I “grow up!” After many classes and a few obstacles –oh and my 10 day trip to Italy to tour various factories, tanneries and museums (life was rough)--, my dream is becoming my reality. I am happy to say that I graduated in June from FIDM as a “certified shoe designer.” 
         What’s next? A 7 day trip to Cabo! That’s right, my first week post graduation I treated myself to a trip to Cabo with my roommate. I considered it my last hoo-rah before I join the much awaited “big girl” world!
         Once back to reality, I began searching for my first job because being a “certified shoe designer” does not mean anything unless you are an EMPLOYED “certified shoe designer!”  That means the task of finding my first job became top priority. Believe it or not, there are not many footwear design positions available—it’s a pretty specific job title! I applied to various job leads through FIDM, where a few led to an interview. Over and over again I was told that they were looking for someone with “more experience.” Which makes sense, but if nobody was willing to hire me how could I get the experience they wanted? Never the less, I didn’t give up!
         Which brings me to the end of July. I came across a job posting that appeared to be perfect and a great opportunity. I sent in my resume and hoped for the best. The next day I got a response that requested work samples, so naturally I sent in my best work from my FIDM classes.  The following Tuesday a lady named Denise called me to have a phone interview. The phone conversation went really well and she seemed to like me. I explained to her that I would be leaving that Friday to go to Texas for two weeks to which she responded saying that it was okay because the position was currently filled and she had other people she was interviewing. I thought nothing of it because remember, every other employer had eventually went with someone with “more experience.”  Well two days later (Thursday, the day before I was leaving for Texas) I got a phone call from Denise requesting that I meet her for an interview two hours later. I of course jumped at the opportunity to meet with her! During the interview she gave me a mini project to do—basically design shoes for the current market trends. I worked on the project while in Texas and sent it to her on her deadline (two weeks from that Thursday when I returned to LA).
           It is now the day after I submitted my mini project, (Friday August  5) and my phone rings and I recognize the number—it is Denise! I answer and after she compliments my mini project and thanks me for being professional the words come out of her mouth, “I would like to offer you the job as assistant designer!” Trying to hold back my excitement and not start yelling and jumping up and down, I gracefully accepted the job!  Then of course after I hung up I began yelling and jumping up and down!
           My job is for a company called ITC Trading Co. of America—a company that designs shoes for various brands and companies. They are headquartered in New Jersey, but I will be able to stay in LA and work from my apartment as well as the apartment of the designer/developer I will be working with, Denise. My first day is September 12 in New York! Yes, I am getting flown to New York for my first week of work as a shoe designer! I will be working in the New Jersey office as well as meeting the other employees.  If that isn’t exciting enough, I’ve already been told to clear my calender for mid-October because I will be traveling with Denise to China for two weeks! Needless to say,  I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to be living my dream!!
             I have decided to start this blog to tell all the stories that come along with a first job! Check it out to keep up with this latest and possibly most exciting chapter of my life as a shoe designer.



Oh and ps. ALWAYS remember....Dreams really do come true, just ask Cinderella...and me! :)