ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Tommy Brooks III (AA-FD ’14) Designs His Career Path To Success

TBrooksIII2016-05-23-11-54-14Tommy L. Brooks III, AA-Fashion Design ’14, initially interned with Dallas-based fashion designers such as Abi Ferrin to gain his footing in the industry. Working with Abi Ferrin helped shape his professional life. “Seeing the business side of the clothing line helped me to gain an understanding in trying to start my own line.”

Today, Brooks is the Quality Control / Lead for Dallas designer Tish Cox and her high-end fashion line. “I inspect the quality of garments for the TISH COX brand, knowing fabric science, pressing, and steaming. He is also as the Assistant Designer for Dallas Lighthouse Sportswear division. “I design concepts for Dallas Lighthouse Sportswear, along with sewing, measuring specs for garments, and training.”

Describe a typical work day:

After determining which deadline dates are priority, I provide the seamstresses with the work needed for the day. As they are working, I check for quality, time, and OSHA Compliance. If there are mishaps with fabric or machines, I communicate with the Manager and employees, and receive an acceptable plan of action.

What do you enjoy most about your career?

 Handling the various fabrics, and hustle and bustle of it all.

How did education at Wade College help prepare you for your career?

Fabric Science or Textiles is EXTREMELY helpful. You must know what fabric you are dealing with and what it can do.

What advice do you have for students/graduates beginning their careers in your profession?

 Always be courteous and on-time. A strong, dependable work ethic is key! Be confident in the education you receive from Wade College. It is very beneficial.

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

I started my own company / brand by the name of Ruisseaux. As of February 2016, I am officially the CEO of Ruisseaux Apparel Inc. I had a small debut line July of 2016.

Motto that you live by:

Do not attach your name to just anything.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Keep your word. Let your “yes” be “yes” and your “no” be “no”.

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Alumni Spotlight: Dee Skinner, Fashion Design

Dee SkinnerMeet Dee, Wade College Fashion Design Alumni and Designer/Merchandise Coordinator at Treska, Inc. headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas.

 Describe a typical work day:

It is never the same which I absolutely love about my job. Every day is different such as designing prints and textiles for our jewelry, creating mood and trend boards for our collections, grading patterns, creating silhouettes for our jewelry, designing jewelry i.e. (picking out beads, cording, dying beads and cording, different wrapping and weaving techniques). Also, I style, shoot, and edit our merchandise images for our website and manage our social media accounts. I work all the Market Shows, too. During my first week working at Treska, I sat in a meeting pitching my designs and artwork to the Head Buyer at a major corporation. It was mind blowing! I work closely with everyone and all departments from the CEO, CFO, sales, production, design, and warehouse. I’m a “Jill of All Trades” and work is never boring.

 What do you enjoy most about your career?

The thing I enjoy most about my job is that I’m not confined to just one role/responsibility. I’m not boxed in and I get to truly be creative with each role. I also enjoy the fact that I’m a part of the entire production cycle “from concept to market to consumer.”     

 How did your education at Wade College help prepare you for your career?

My education at Wade helped me to prepare for my career in many ways such as course related curricular, volunteer opportunities which paved the way for more opportunities, and interview preparation.

What advice do you have for students/graduates beginning their careers in your profession?

Never give up! Landing your “dream job” in the industry is a hard task as you are competing against several other qualified candidates, but perseverance is key.

What opportunities, decisions, and events have shaped your professional life? 

While attending Wade, I volunteered for EVERYTHING. I saw each volunteer opportunity as an experience, a potential “job interview”, a learning experience, and an opportunity to build my resume.

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

Landing my dream job. All the blood, sweat, tears, and late nights made it all worth it in the end. I know this is just the beginning and I am very optimistic for the bright future ahead of me.

Motto that you live by:

Keep praying. Keep planning. Keep pushing.

Always dream big and work hard for them to become your reality because one day they will!

 

Spotlight on Employer: Fossil Group, Inc.

The iconic watch tins. The diverse portfolio of globally-recognized brands. Numerous stores worldwide, wholesale locations, and a robust e-commerce business. These are things that make Fossil Group, Inc. a highly-sought out company to work for. Headquartered locally in Richardson, Texas, this global organization is home to design and distribution of fashion lifestyle and accessory products. Fossil Group, Inc. encompasses the American vintage Fossil brand, Portfolio brands such as Burberry, Diesel, Michael Kors, and Tory Burch, as well as contemporary lifestyle brand Skagen.

More than a dozen of Wade College Merchandising & Design Alumni are contributing their skillset to the growth of Fossil Group Inc. They are gaining exciting industry experiences within various departments of Digital Imaging, Portfolio Product Development, Materials Development, Store & Environmental Design, Fossil Jewelry, Fossil Men’s Leather, and Fossil Women’s Leather. The combination of their Merchandising & Design degrees, positive attitude, professional demeanor, and willingness to embrace opportunities to learn and do new things are some of the skills and traits that many Employers like Fossil Group, Inc. desire.

Wade College Alumni at work

Wade College Grads at Work!

Job Fair Jump Start

March 2014 Job Fair copyLast month, Wade College welcomed to the fall 2014 trimester a large, new group of first term students, as well as our continuing students. Wade College students quickly grow accustomed to a wide variety of industry opportunities at Wade College, beginning in their very first trimester. These opportunities range from one-day volunteer opportunities at industry events to short-term and long-term internships and paid work opportunities, to permanent placement in career-related, full-time positions with notable DFW-area companies.

The start of a trimester can bring students anxiety from trying to find a job, whether it’s to help pay for school or to gain the necessary work experience to ready a resume for a full-time career in fashion, interior or graphic design. Career Services at Wade College gave students a jump-start with their job search by bringing employers on-campus through our fall 2014 job fair. Employers and their representatives included Terry Costa, Dillard’s, Michael Kors, LOFT, The Army & Airforce Exchange, The Limited, Sunglass Hut, and ZURI Furniture. Job opportunities presented included part-time jobs, full-time jobs, and internships. Students from all levels and concentrations attended, dressed for success, with polished resumes in-hand. They had the opportunity to network with employers and learn about job opportunities that they each offered. Employers were impressed with the preparedness and professionalism of our students, each making a good first impression. Many students received scheduled interviews and, to top it all, several of them landed the JOB shortly after!

Job fairs are a one-stop shop. They are part of the job search resources offered by the Career Services department for Wade College students to meet one-on-one with employers at one time and at a convenient location on-campus. All in all, it was a success, especially when students become employed in positions that not only help pay their bills, but also enable them to gain industry experience while pursuing their studies! We are fortunate to have such a stellar Career Services department with tremendous industry connections at Wade College!

Designing Your Portfolio: Fashion Design, Merchandising, Graphic Design, and Interior Design

DESIGN YOUR FASHION PORTFOLIO
One of many resources Wade College offers for portfolio preparedness.

If you are considering enrolling in an art or design school, most likely you will need to have a portfolio of work that you’ve done to show the admissions committee. Current students will also be asked to assemble portfolios of the work they have completed while in school. At the end of your program, your portfolio will be reviewed and assessed for completeness and creativity.
At Wade College, Associate of Arts students do not need a portfolio for admission, but they are required to develop one while in school. A portfolio is required for those students enrolling in the Bachelor of Arts program. Associates degree program students participate in the Professional Portfolio Critique at the end of their fourth trimester. Students’ portfolios are first critiqued by faculty and then by an outside panel of industry professionals.
Are you panicking yet? Don’t worry—Wade College offers an entire class that will teach you how to assemble and market your portfolio. Not only do you want your portfolio to shine for your end-of-program review, but it will also need to impress those potential employers!
In addition to the Portfolio Planning and Design class, the Wade College library offers a number of books on planning and assembling your portfolio, whether you are a fashion design student, merchandising student, graphic design student, or interior design student.
Stop by the library and check out these books:
Portfolio Design, by Harold Linton
Design Your Fashion Portfolio, by Steven Faerm
Portfolio for Fashion Designers, by Kathryn Hagen
Portfolio Presentation for Fashion Designers, by Linda Tain
The Portfolio (DVD)
Developing and Branding the Fashion Merchandising Portfolio, by Janace Bubonia-Clarke
Design Portfolios: Moving from Traditional to Digital, by Diane Bender
Designing Your Fashion Portfolio: From Concept to Presentation, by Joanne Barrett
Graphic Design Portfolio Builder: Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator
Portfolios 01: An Essential Primer for Today’s Competitive Market, by Maura Keller
Building Design Portfolios: Innovative Concepts for Presenting Your Work, by Sara Eisenman
Portfolios for Interior Designers: A Guide to Portfolios, Creative Resumes, and the Job Search, by Maureen Milton
Winning Portfolios for Graphic Designers: Create Your Own Graphic Design Portfolio Online and In Print, by Cath Caldwell
No Plastic Sleeves: The Complete Portfolio Guide for Photographers and Designers, by Danielle Currier
Creating Your Digital Portfolio: The Essential Guide to Showcase Your Design Work Online, by Jan Clazie
How to Create a Portfolio and Get Hired: A Guide for Graphic Designers and Illustrators, by Fig Taylor
If you are not a Wade College student, check your local library or Amazon for these titles and help yourself create an amazing fashion design portfolio, merchandising portfolio, graphic design portfolio, or interior design portfolio.