With every season comes a new start, a shift in perspective on life and a fresh outlook on the near future. No matter how firmly you have your sights set on your career, a change of season might just be what you need – that extra push to venture into new opportunities, take the next step or break the mould and start a new career entirely – one that you really love!

In the last weekend of winter, OutInCanberra was lucky enough to attend The Style Sides Fashion Careers, Blogging & Business Workshop. The day provided an insightful glimpse into the ins and outs of the competitive fashion world and the know-how to make it to the top.

The fashion industry is truly a fickle one. A self-confessed fashion obsessive myself, throughout my school years textiles was by far my favourite class, and over the weekends, you would find me under a mountain of fabric swatches sewing away behind mum’s big sewing machine into the wee hours of the morning.

It was a true passion of mine, but I was deterred when I discovered that society had a pre-conceived perception of the fashion industry, which created a stigma around women who pursued it as a career – unintelligent, materialistic, foolish, mass commodity consumers who only cared about aesthetic.

One step into the seminar and the stereotype was blown out the window – a quick pan around the room and it was clear that the fashion industry isn’t all about the ‘glitz and glam’. The workshop shone light on all the amazing movers and shakers in the industry, and also brought together some of the most exciting women in the local Canberra fashion scene.

Surrounded my local bloggers, driven businesswomen and aspiring industry experts from all walks of life, the workshop brought us together to share ideas, learn from one another and form new-found friendships and connections.

After a brief introduction, The Style Side founder, Kimberley Sara, took us through the agenda of the seminar. We learned anything and everything there is to know about different roles in the industry including retail, design, public relations, marketing, editorial and magazine, freelance and digital; how to successfully brand your business and yourself as a public figure; the art of identifying and approaching a business opportunity; and networking tools.

Interestingly, the seminar also delved into how the industry has modernised to collectively include ‘influencers’ as branding tools and pillars of the industry – models, brand reps, socialites, social media gurus and bloggers. This reinforced the power of and effect that technology and online platforms have on many business sectors – not just within fashion.

A key point that resonated with me was the importance of interning and work experience and how to stand out of the crowd when landing that all-important job. Don’t just send off your resume to a generic email and not follow up, you must: get past the guard, identify the hiring manager who owns the job, show that you are worthy of being hired and don’t give up.

When it came to break time it wasn’t long until I was in awe and found inspiration among all the women who attended the seminar. As we nibbled on some cheese and biscuits I grazed shoulders with a photogenic local Instagram star (bit of a fan girl moment!), got to know the story of a creative free spirit, and laughed with like-minded aspiring young women who were exploring how to turn their interest for fashion into a career.

Next up Jemma Mrdak, founder of blog A Stylish Moment and boutique communications and social media agency Dak & Co, took to the stage. A blogging and media guru, she shared all her tips and tricks of the trade while covering basic tech budding bloggers will need, legal requirements, how to create unique content, understanding your audience, nailing your media kit and all there is to know about working with brands.

Jemma’s number one tip was to BE ACTIVE! Keep posting regularly on your blog to maintain a steady content flow and engagement.

To wind up the seminar, Kimberley shared with us the quote, Don’t tell people your dreams, show them! and that’s when I realised, who cares!? Who’s watching!? If you love it then just do it, it’s as simple as that. If that means starting your own blog, opening your own business or collaborating with other brands – do it today! Strive for it, be confident and you will succeed.

After what seemed like only a short while the seminar was over, and one by one we closed our notepads, bottled up all the inspiration, said our goodbyes and headed out the door, armed with a set of new skills and knowledge to take on the fashion world!

Keep and eye out on The Style Side for future upcoming events.