Student Creates Pop-Up Shop To Empower Women
Merchandising & Marketing Student Nicole Simons is working to empower women in neighboring communities by organizing and hosting free shopping events of stylish, gently used clothing. She launched Lotus Lady Clothing Collection and held her first pop-up this time last year in her hometown in the Bay Area.
Nicole has been studying on the Los Angeles campus for three years now and just held her latest pop-up shopping experience in October at the YMCA at 4th and Grand in DTLA.
Her vision for Lotus Lady Clothing Collection is to create opportunities for women to contribute to their communities through the collection of clothing, shoes, and accessories.
She’s building a brand and a presence on Instagram @lotusladyclothingco. Each participant is invited to shop the collection and walk away with a bag of clothing packed in a branded shopping bag. Twenty-five women attended Nicole’s recent event.
Nicole also offered free hair and makeup applications at the YMCA event. She enlisted the help of makeup artist Alisa Torres who works at Sephora and hairstylist Esther Holguin of European Wax Center in Manhattan Beach. Nicole made pink cupcakes for the event.
The remaining clothes she donated to the Downtown Women’s Center which is focused on serving and empowering women experiencing homelessness and formerly homeless women.
Nicole just started a new position at The Agency Showroom in the Cooper Building. With her A.A. degree already in hand, she is set to graduate with her B.S. in Business Management from FIDM in June 2019. She is currently applying for the URBN Internship Program in Philadelphia next summer and her next Lotus Lady Clothing Collection x YMCA pop-up free shopping event is scheduled for Spring 2019, so stay tuned.
We caught up with her to find out more.
How did you hear about FIDM and what made you decide to go here? I heard about FIDM originally from watching “The Hills.” Seeing Lauren Conrad work for Vogue while being on TV inspired me. I saw what she was doing and thought to myself, “That’s what I want to do; I would be good at that, too.” I really decided to go FIDM after making my entrance project. Everything came to me so easily, I enjoyed it and I was proud of my work. After that, I couldn’t imagine NOT going to FIDM.
How did you choose your major? When I was a Nordstrom Brand Ambassador in high school, I learned how to merchandise and sell product. I would post my outfits wearing Nordstrom clothing on my Instagram, people would come in the same day to purchase the exact outfit I was wearing. Seeing monetary results from curating a look and marketing it successfully on social media made me fall in love with Merchandise Marketing. After my A.A., business management made sense. I definitely will be a boss or have my own business one day.
What are your career goals and how is FIDM helping you get there? My career goal is to be financially successful while helping others. FIDM has helped me by posting jobs on the Career Portal. I was easily able to find a job that fits with my schedule and allows for time to work on my charity. I use The Idea Center when I need extra help in my classes, plus having free and convenient printing is definitely a blessing.
What advice do you have for someone thinking about going to FIDM? For someone thinking about going to FIDM, I would advise them to follow their intuition and think about a few things that are important to them and to not let go of those things. It’s easy to come to LA and forget your purpose and original passion when you’re trying to balance classes, work, and a social life; staying authentic to yourself during that process is very rewarding.
Anything else you’d like to share? I do random giveaways on my personal Instagram @SimonsStyle_. Last week, whoever sent me a Direct Message first won a pair of my lululemons that don’t fit me anymore. I received 6 DMs in 10 minutes! I’ve lost 50 lbs by eating healthy and working out. So, a lot of my clothes are big on me, which is another reason I have so many to give away. On my personal Instagram I share my health, fashion, and lifestyle tips.