From Rolling Hills to Opening Doors All Over the World Part I

#Fashionbizinc #Fashionforprofit #Francesharder #Networking #Wiseword #worldwide


After we returned to LA we found our potential dream house that was within our price point due to it being a foreclosure. We had lots of work to be done before we could call it home but I enjoyed the remodel. We all settled once again into the Southern California life style that we enjoyed so much and returned for, and fortunately we still do!

My first job was to return to FIDM and to teaching again part time while the children were busy with their schooling. Teaching was the perfect position for me as I did not want to work full time but I did want to work!  Soon new doors opened in a variety of ways, some good and some not so positive, but really mostly good. I made new friends and. connected to many of my old acquaintances. But as happens with most of us some negative experiences often motivate us to move on and this can often turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

Over a period of years, I started two clothing businesses and managed to get screwed both time in different ways. But both of these startup businesses were a huge learning experience that helped me understand the many startup challenges, which in turn gave me so much more knowledge. During these challenging times and out of the blue I received a call from Otis college of Art and Design Fashion Department. They needed a studio instructor and had heard of me from another faculty member and so a new door opened and 9 years of teaching as a full time faculty member in one of the USA’s best fashion universities. I taught and at the same time I was taught and learned! I loved the challenges this new position presented me, which also motivated me. It also opened doors to some amazing freelance opportunities. All of the below list of places and design assignments are a story on their own and many occurred while teaching at Otis, or after I started the Fashion Business Incubator as it was called in 1999. With all these new experiences it motivated me to create a new further educational class for Otis on Entrepreneurship. This then led me to write my first book Fashion For Profit. It taught me that having a great idea is not enough!! You have to really understand the business side of the industry.

While in the midst or writing my book and still teaching at Otis I met Sandy Blifer who is a talented artist here in LA.  I partnered up with Sandy to start another new business venture, the Fashion Business Incubator, as it was called when we first started in 1999. Since the inception we have grown and provide much more than entrepreneurial training and evolved our job training program. So we changed to the Fashion Business Incorporated. Sandy taught me much about the power of networking and forced me to attend endless meetings in which we could pass out our business cards. Through these many meetings new doors opened at the city hall, which helped to fund our newly formed nonprofit 501c3 startup.

To close my epic story of the power and influence of networking, I have a short synopsis of some of the different experiences of the assignments, which I listed below.  I think I have made my point over the past few blogs of how my life’s network has guided me to experience amazing travel, make new friends, new work experiences, and all in all a wonderful journey through life.

To be Continued ...

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