Seychelles Designer Advises Footwear Students To Focus On Their Fresh Ideas
Seychelles recently hosted Footwear Design students for a full day of industry insights. As part of our series of posts, we caught up with Alumna Stephanie Boda, a Seychelles footwear designer who previously freelanced for MadLove, a beach-style footwear/accessories brand exclusive to Target. After transferring to FIDM from Arizona State University, Stephanie earned Associates degrees in Fashion Design and Footwear Design, then her Bachelor’s in Business Management.
Tell us a little about yourself and what you do at Seychelles: I have always had a passion, or obsession, with shoes and knew I needed that passion if I was going to get through college. Fashion was my first major, but I liked the specificity of shoes. At Seychelles I am in charge of our in-line development out of India, but I also work on special projects or private label brands for customers, trend research, and even sales depending on where we are in the season.
What do you like most about your job? I really enjoy working for a small company because of all the exposure I get to the different parts of our business. Even though my focus is on design, I still get to work with customer service, production, and sales teams.
Any advice for current FIDM Students? Mostly to not second guess yourself! You’re in this industry because you love fashion and style, and the way you look at it is unique to YOU. We all have something different to offer, people will try to tell you what to like or not like, but remember that your opinions hold a lot of value. When you’re applying to jobs, don’t get wrapped up in thinking about what you lack in experience or background, think about all the fresh ideas you have to bring to the table, because even just taking a different approach can be inspiring. Being young and new isn’t a bad thing.
What is your biggest goal right now? I’d love to eventually be less involved in the design process and more involved in the business side of things. I really like to dig into the strategy behind the decision-making process.
Anything else you’d like to share? Something I have found very valuable after graduating from the Footwear Design Program was keeping in touch with my classmates. A lot of us have scattered around the country (and the world) and they’re a really great resource for questions that come up or advice I need. It’s fun to compare the similarities and differences in our jobs, and it’s also given me a glimpse of how other companies work. Having close friends in the industry from the get-go has really helped me stay focused on my goals.