2020 Grad Hired at ReMerchable Amidst Pandemic
Growing up in South Texas, Bianca Herrera first realized she was creative at the age of eight. “It all started with my Bratz party and a pair of white furry boots,” she said. “That's when I became interested in fashion and creativity as a form of self-expression.” As a student at Austin Community College, Bianca spotted a FIDM publication while visiting her academic advisor and decided to give the college a call. Her Admissions Advisor, Richard Kim, guided Bianca through the admission process and she was accepted to the Merchandise Product Development program in the fall of 2018, and graduated in 2020 with a B.A. in Creative Industry Studies. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Bianca was hired at ReMerchable as an Apparel Product Developer. We recently caught up with the Austin, Texas-based FIDM Graduate to learn more about her journey.
How did you decide to study Merchandise Product Development? When I applied to FIDM, I was more interested in the manufacturing and business side of fashion. However, I still wanted to have the option to create meaningful new ideas and connect with my originality. Since product development is about adaptation and innovation, we learned everything from patternmaking to digital presentation to sourcing. It gave me a solid foundation to merge my analytical skills and my aptitude for artistic projects.
What led you to continue with a B.A. in Creative Industry Studies? After completing the Professional Designation program, I was so close to finishing my B.A. degree that it just made sense to me for my personal and professional goals. I'm happy with my choice.
What were some of the most valuable lessons you learned at FIDM? The most valuable lessons I learned were the importance of teamwork, hard work, and collaboration – working together for a common purpose without compromising your values. Also, networking!
Did you have any internships or part-time jobs while in school? If so, did FIDM help place you in any of them? Yes, I interned twice during my time at FIDM. Simona Williams, my Career Advisor, helped me with my search, and she's been a great supporter ever since I landed my first internship. I am thankful for all of her help!
How did you adjust to online learning after the pandemic forced in-person classes to stop? I had taken online classes before, so the transition from in-person classes to online was not too difficult. The biggest challenge was managing the anxiety that came with the pandemic while attending school full-time and maintaining a work-school-life balance since I could no longer separate my work from my home. Before the pandemic, that was something I was very intentional about.
You were able to find a job during COVID-19. Yes! I recently took a step back from freelancing full-time for personal reasons, but I worked with ReMerchable as an Apparel Product Developer for several projects. When I began working on development with the company, I was still in my second to last quarter at FIDM living in Los Angeles, so time management was vital. I've helped ReMerchable with aspects of the apparel development process for different clients, including communicating with the team, sketching, tech packs, textile application, and trend research. I also assisted with inquiries regarding pricing and shipments from overseas/domestic suppliers and graphic design.
What did you enjoy most about your role and why? Maintaining a good working relationship, having the flexibility to complete projects at my own pace, and working entirely from home during COVID-19. Of course, I still have to meet project deadlines as a priority, but it's easier when I know I don't have to be in a rush.
What are your ultimate career goals? Ultimately, my goal is to work in Supply Chain Management.
Anything else you'd like to share? Don't give up on your dreams and stay true to yourself. As a friend of mine once told me, revolve your work around your life and not your life around your work. You are your most important employee.
Keep up with Bianca at biancaherrera.myportfolio.com/work and on Instagram @biancanicole86.