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FIDM Student Receives Fashion Scholarship Fund Award

FIDM Student Receives Fashion Scholarship Fund Award

Stefanie Sauri, who hails from Irvine, California, is one of two FIDM Students who recently received $7,500 awards from the Fashion Scholarship Fund. “I saw a post on my FIDM Portal about the Fashion Scholarship Fund Case Study competition,” said Stefanie, who can apply the award to any educational expense such as tuition, study abroad, and summer intern housing. “My project focuses on the Black Lives Matter Movement and how eye-catching nail art can stimulate meaningful conversations about the movement.” We recently chatted with Stefanie, who finished her Merchandise Product Development coursework earlier this year and is now studying Business Management, to learn more. 

Tell us about your entry project for the Fashion Scholarship Fund Case Study competition: Black Lives Matter had its moment in the spotlight of media coverage, but it is more than just a trend. The brand I created keeps the conversation going. The ability to communicate powerful messages through fashion is not limited to clothes, therefore, I challenged myself to experiment with a new medium than I am used to. In my own hobby of painting intricate nail designs on my nails, I have observed an indubitable ability for nail designs to capture the attention of those around me. If bold nails catch people’s attention, why not have the nails speak what you want to be told? Gen Z is even more passionate than that; Gen Z screams for what they believe in. Thus, came the name of my brand: Screaming Fingers. 

How did it feel to learn you were one of the recipients of this prestigious award? I was so excited and filled with gratitude when I got the news. I am still so honored that my project was selected! Completing the project was rewarding on its own since it gave me the clarity that I would like to actualize this idea into a real product sold with the profits going towards the Black Lives Matter movement. I am now even more hopeful that this idea is worth carrying out.

Do you plan to take advantage of any of the FSF opportunities such as mentoring or job placement? I absolutely plan on taking advantage of all FSF opportunities provided. I am excited to attend the Zoom event presenting our projects to the Board of Governors and the Virtual Talent Acquisition event. One of the things I most desired going into this was the possibility of receiving mentorship, so I am very excited for that!

How have you adjusted to online learning in light of the Covid pandemic? My first quarter online was my last quarter of Merchandise Product Development. Having the world slow down meant a break from my usual responsibilities of two internships and a job on campus, allowing me to focus all of my attention on creating my portfolio. There still were many obstacles that came with switching to online learning, but the positive in such an unfortunate time was getting time to create a portfolio that I’m really proud of. 

What are some of your favorite lessons you've learned so far at FIDM? Coming from a very competitive and academically intense high school, I pretty much mastered the art of grinding and cramming in studying to perform well on tests. However, coming to FIDM, it was an entirely different process of getting work done. Projects were based on creativity and took a long time to complete. There were no shortcuts, no cramming the night before the test. I had to learn to pace myself, which really helped with procrastination. FIDM has really challenged me to master a different way of thinking and expanded what I ever thought I was capable of. 

Another big lesson I learned is the importance of putting yourself out there and connecting with others. Right from the beginning, networking fairs and constant classroom presentations pushed me out of my comfort zone. Almost every class forced interactions, whether it be team assignments, collaborations with brands, or sourcing materials from various places. It forced me to use my connections and realize that my best resources are the people I meet. This has really helped me with my internships and jobs because I am able to get any task done because I know how to use my resources and reach out to others when I need to.  

When are you expected to graduate from FIDM? After completing this year in Business Management, I plan on a final year at FIDM in the International Manufacturing & Product Development major, graduating in 2022 with an Associate of Arts Degree, Associate of Arts Advanced Study Degree, and a Bachelor of Science Degree. 

What are your ultimate career goals? I would like to expand my experience in Product Development, working for various brands over the years. I also eventually want to start my own brand, but this would be after working for other brands first. 

Anything else you’d like to add? If anyone reading knows of anyone I can reach out to in the nail polish industry to jumpstart this gel strip brand, please reach out to me! Thank you!

Categories:  Business Management Merchandise Product Development Student