Written by: Minna Tang
- You will be on Her Network’s fashion panel at our Women Mean Business Conference– what do entrepreneurship and fashion mean to you?
Entrepreneurship: The lesson I have learned is never getting beaten down. I often feel threatened to quit when I look at my friends because “9 to 5” is tempting. They can relax and not worry about anything after work, but for me, I am stressed out by my work because I can never relax from it. However, “9 to 5” is always going to be there. Although I am always working, I know I am doing things I love and believe in. UNItiques is a brand new concept. There is no formula to tell me what I should do with the mistakes and failures I have been encountering along the way. Therefore, not being afraid of those uncertainties and never letting them get in your way is important. Instead of letting those mistakes stop you, sometimes you just need to find a new way.
Fashion: I am very frustrated with what is happening in the fashion industry now. Big companies have the money to make things overnight, but it does not matter to them whether these clothing items will be sold or not because they have enough money. The whole process, in my opinion, is such a waste. Clothing can and should have more of the life, in terms of the ownership. The value of UNItiques is that we want people to be more responsible with fashion and be more conscious with what they are buying and using. With the great potential UNItiques has, we will be able to create a database to be able to provide suggestions to some big companies to avoid the waste we just talked about.
- How do you draw interns to Unitiques?
One thing I learned in college is two-way communication. When we walk past a billboard, we can talk about it with people, but we cannot respond to it. Therefore, an interactive campaign is the key. The purpose of [posting on Facebook is] to find an intern for Unitiques. However, instead of going out and looking for the right person, I chose to let people come to me. When I see people putting down “marketing” or “advertising” [as interests], I will reply to them and tell them “Hey, UNItique is hiring an intern and this is an awesome place to work for!”
- Have you ever being overlooked in the business world because you are a girl?
Sometimes when I try to give a pitch to people, they say to me: “Your idea is impressive for a girl!” or “I never see girls do that!” Those words often make girls feel that they cannot even enter the business world because this is not a field for girls. What is happening to UNItiques now is that our male-dominated companies do not even consider us as a competitor. Speaking from personal experience, some of my male friends have asked me: “Why do you even bother to do this?” If I were a guy, however, I would definitely not be so discouraged. To solve this issue, I hold my head up high and make an army of supporters! Although many people doubt me because of my gender, there are more people out there that believe in me and in UNItiques.
- How did you balance school work and Unitiques? How do you balance your work and your personal life now?
There is no a perfect way, so we should just go find and create one balance that works for us. One important thing to remember is never putting too much on your plate immediately. When I created UNItiques, I became a part-time student right away because I knew that I needed to focus more on it if I want to make UNItiques successful. In life, you only get things you ask for. Since I was spending so much time and effort on UNItiques, I was asking BU to get independent study credit for it. There was never such a thing as independent credits before me, so I had to convince different people that what I was doing was worth the credits. One year later, I got the credits. Since then, BU has started giving out students credits for their independent studies. If there is no solution, create your own solution! Taking an initiative is like throwing a fishing hook out there, something will come eventually.
You can support Alex and UNItiques by joining UNItiques.com. Use promo code: HERNETWORK to win $200 in free concert tickets!