March 8, 2018
Sarah Grace Smith interned at Quiksilver in Orange County, the epicenter of the action sports industry, while studying Merchandise Product Development at FIDM. The Texas native graduated in 2016 and was recently recruited as a Product Line Manager for Roxy Tees at Boardriders (formerly Quiksilver). We caught up with the inspiring recent grad to get the story.
Tell us a little about yourself: I was born and raised in small Texas town, population 7,637. I remember being around the age of seven or eight and waking up to sketch clothes. To be honest, back then I never really thought much of it. Clothing was just something I thought was fun to draw as a kid. At age 15, I requested info from FIDM because I had a hunch that’s where I needed to be. At age 22, I left the farm, moved to Los Angeles, and started at FIDM that fall quarter. (Disclaimer: I've actually never lived on a farm, haha!)
I'm currently living in Orange County and I’ve made incredible memories and new friendships with people from around the world. I love surfing when I make time for it and, at age 26, my only wish is that I never stop learning!
Tell us about your position at Roxy: Once upon a time, 2015-2016 to be exact, I interned for Roxy while attending FIDM. I was on the Design & Merchandising team. It was during this time that my number one dream of working within the world of action sports came to life in front of my very eyes. For a kid whose high school graduation ceremony was held in a rodeo arena, working at the Quiksilver headquarters had me all kinds of hyped! After my internship ended, I spent about a year and a half away from Roxy. In December I received a text about a new position opening up and quickly sent over my resume. In January, I got a call to come back to my old team full-time as a Product Line Manager for tees. Some of the day-to-day tasks may include, but are not be limited to, sharing creative thinking spaces with teammates and other departments through the collective discussion of ideas pertaining to colours, techniques, silhouettes and art. I fill out tech packs when needed, create trend boards, work on sketches and, overall, I try to keep the designers' hands as free as possible so that they can continue pouring their creative energy into the correct outlets.
How did you choose FIDM? I chose FIDM because I had a gut feeling. I know that sounds ridiculous and probably a bit immature, but it's the truth. I knew nothing about fashion. All I knew at 15 was that I wanted to work in action sports; I didn't know how to surf or skate, and decided fashion would be my way in. Early on in life I came up with a little saying to help me make decisions, "Your mind can be persuaded; your heart can be broken; but your gut will never fail." After reading up on the opportunities for students at FIDM, it just seemed to make the most sense to me. The feeling I had was strong—so strong that it gave me tunnel vision and all I wanted to do was attend FIDM.
How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? Speaking as a former student who knew absolutely nothing about the fashion industry, FIDM had a hand in shaping me into the person I am today. From the faculty to the homework to the in-class assignments, FIDM gave me the foundation I needed in order to understand what it truly takes to be in this industry. My work ethic, ability to work alongside different personalities and confidence in myself would have never come to life if it hadn’t been for FIDM.
What is your biggest goal right now? My biggest goal right now is to soak up as much experience and knowledge from the industry as possible. My end goal is to move to Hawaii, have a shop, and live a simple, happy life. I know that I need more experience before I could ever even think of opening up shop. So, for now, I just want to learn and grow.
Anything else you’d like to share? If you have a dream, and it takes more than a couple of years to see it through, so be it. I believe everything happens in perfect time and that patience is the key to life. Don't take yourself too seriously. Be your biggest fan and peace be the journey!
Categories: Alumni News