Thank you Boston Changemakers for coming out on July 11th for our chat with Daniela Bascuñan, Fashion Design Director, Peach. Here’s our key takeaways from this successful female whose humble grit is an inspiration for pursuing your dreams.
Persistence in the fashion industry
- This industry pushes you to work hard. It is not an easy 9 to 5 job. In her first season at Peach, Daniela had four months to launch a brand new collection. That lead time is next to impossible in the fashion industry, but she took the extra steps to make it happen, and going the extra mile 100% paid off.
Differences between a big corporate company and startups
- Corporate company: When you work for a bigger company you are very specific in your role. You can focus on one thing and leverage others on your team to help you do what you do best.
- Startup: Working at a startup is very rewarding because you can easily see the fruits of your labor. This does not come without its challenges because most of the time you are the entire team. Everything rides on your shoulders. Having the structure from working in larger companies has helped Daniela understand how to organize her work while designing at a startup.
Staying inspired during tough times
- Know what inspires you. For Daniela, it’s traveling. Visiting other places makes her reflect on her own struggles, both personal and professional, and helps her keep things in perspective. Whenever she is having a creative slump Daniela reflects on all the different people she has met and uses that as her creative engine. She moves beyond thinking about herself and the minute issues to thinking about the larger world.
Daniela’s tips for salary negociation
- Do your research. Know what the industry standard is in your area. Have a number in mind that will make you feel valued. Never mention a hard number in initial negotiation, instead, give them a range. Also understand how your qualifications fit into those required for the job. For example, do you have more or less than the required experience? If a job offers a salary that is lower than standard, will the opportunities you get outweigh the deficit in salary? It’s always a balancing act.
Balancing your side hustle with your regular job
- Stay inspired and follow your passion. Daniela’s passions are prioritizing and leading ethical and sustainable fashion, which led her to start Frolic. She’s keeping things simple by running her website through Shopify, managing things at night and during the weekend. She also uses WhatsApp to communicate with her artisans in Guatemala. Keeping an open communication allows her to send them sketches and collaborate on pieces. This way, the designs stay true to the artisan’s skill set, keeping her collection authentic.
Advice for those pursuing the fashion industry
- Be humble. The world of fashion tends to be filled with big egos. Stay true to yourself; this is something that’s allowed Daniela to cultivate important relationships and be successful.
- Be open to opportunities that are not exactly what you want to do starting off. Don’t get caught up in titles, money, etc., because you can miss opportunities. If you love what you do and work hard, it is going to pay off.
- Daniela’s top three places to travel: 1 Sri Lanka – an undiscovered gem; 2 Hong Kong – feels like NYC but better; 3 Chile – there’s just so much to do.
- Daniela’s favorite ethically conscious clothing brands: Everlane – very transparent about their supply chain; Amour Vert – a startup in San Francisco that’s all sustainability and ethics; Eileen Fisher – a brand that has been around forever and has been ethically conscious from the beginning.
Want more from Daniela? Follow her on Instagram: @frolicdesign