August 9, 2016
Jake Heddaeus graduated this year with his degree in Merchandise Product Development. He's now working at Pop & Suki, an accessories startup co-founded by model and actress Suki Waterhouse.
Tell us a little about yourself: I am a recent graduate who is enjoying the beginning of his journey working in the fashion industry.
Where are you working? I work at Pop & Suki, which is a start-up women’s accessories line co-founded by Suki Waterhouse and Poppy Jamie. My official title is VIP Coordinator, which means I’m managing a pretty extensive celebrity gifting program. We have a small team, so really I do anything and everything that’s asked of me. I’m working on social media, marketing efforts, tracking samples, making line sheets, etc.
How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? The Merchandise Product Development major covers a lot of different aspects of the industry. From Illustrator and Photoshop to trends to tech packs to textiles, it’s all relevant and useful no matter what your job is within the fashion industry.
How did you decide on your major? I wanted to study something that provided me the tools that would present me with the most options/opportunities when I graduate. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be buyer, designer, merchandiser, etc. MPDV seemed like a comprehensive program that hit on a lot of different fields within the industry, so that's the route I chose.
Looking back, which classes were most valuable? All of my textile classes and anything related to Illustrator, Photoshop, and Excel! Also Brand and Line Development (maybe because I had Hahn —she’s the best instructor at FIDM based off my experience).
Any advice for current FIDM Students? Never say no to an opportunity. Put yourself out there (not just at school—everywhere!) and remain positive and kind. I definitely had my moments where I felt overwhelmed, apathetic or cranky, but you just have to push through.
Any advice for a high school student thinking about pursuing a career in the fashion industry? Yes. I think a lot of people think fashion school is fun and easy. Don't get me wrong—it is fun—but it’s not easy. Be ready to put in work.
What is your biggest goal right now? Short term: Show up every day, focus and work as hard as possible. Long term: Do anything and everything I can to help make Pop & Suki a successful global brand.
Anything else you’d like to share? Follow @popandsuki on Instagram, like us on Facebook, and buy a bag or piece of jewelry in October! :)
Categories: Alumni News, Merchandise Product Development