#CAREERSTORY WestPoint Home
My first 𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙡 job.
The one that made my creative endeavors legitimate.
WestPoint Home. One of America’s oldest (200 years+) textile manufacturers.
And I got the job because of my…👚 textiles.
I had been working since I was 14 but the majority of that time (outside of a horrific stint as a candystriper in a nursing home) was in the service industry.
Or “waiting tables” as we used to call it. Cos that’s what you did. You served a table and couldn’t wait for them to leave. 🥁
I was desperate to break into the creative world.
But I am a pessimist pragmatic optimist so I was also taking interviews at fancier restaurants to see if I could get better tables to wait out.
I had multiple interviews on this particular day so I had two sets of resumes in my bag.
One that talked about my overacheivements in photo school and one that…
…mentioned lots of things that only restaurant managers care about which, sadly, is ultimately less important than the fit of certain textiles on certain candidates. 🙈🙉🙊👎
It was raining as I was on my way to my interview at WestPoint Home.
I vividly remember crossing 6th avenue and a WB Mason truck passing by.
Yes, I got splashed. 😕
The driver of the truck also felt the need to scream out of his window at me saying,
“YOU LOOK LIKE A DOG!”
Most of my resumes were ruined. All of my “real job” resumes were soaked.
The Design Manager interviewing me asked to see a copy of my resume and I handed over a piece of paper that had words like “T.G.I.Friday’s” on it. Yikes.
He seemed baffled, confused by the resume and maybe a bit embarrassed for me. Fair.
So he just started asking me questions about why I was even interested in a career in textiles.
Which I answered honestly and confidently with:
I like the challenge of putting colors and textures together. If it works, it looks effortless, if it doesn’t it looks like a mistake.
He looked at what I was wearing.
(In a much different way than a restaurant manager would.)
I was wearing a saturated purple wrap top, an orange and yellow gradient scarf, a leopard print pencil skirt and magenta high heels.
My resume was pulled out of a gold boho bag.
I feel the need to remind you that this was 2005.
So the WB Mason driver was not into my outfit, but the man who had the power (mhm) to give me the confidence to say I had started a legitimate creative career did.
My outfit was the proof of my statement about putting things together.
That’s exactly what he was looking for in a design assistant.
A few weeks later, I officially landed my first real job, with the salary of a whopping 33K a year.
Weird, problematic, absolutely privileged way to get a job, yes. And.
It would completely open up my world to new people, new skills, new heartaches, and new possibilities.
I called my mother (which I rarely do) to tell her I was now rich. 😂
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