Bulgarian Young Leaders Program for the Institute of International Education (IIE) visit Caravan Stylist Studio

Claudine DeSola with the group of Bulgarian students

 

A few weeks ago I got to be part of an event where Claudine DeSola, the owner of Caravan, spoke in the studio to a crowd of Bulgarian students who were here visiting NYC (most for their first time) studying Business, Public Relations, Fashion, Marketing etc. I sat beside Claudine as she spoke about her incredible experiences and years spent in the fashion/P.R. world! She began by giving the students a brief background about her years of experience, first starting out with a pop-up store for Levis and beginning her own agency. She discussed how she always knew she wanted to be an entrepreneur and all of the challenges that came along with that profession. She told the students how there seems to always be a three year rule when it comes to being an entrepreneur, it literally takes at least three years to really feel as if you’re somewhat stable and have figured out all of the kinks of your business and their systems. After her third year she finally felt as if she had seen the light! She stated how there will always be struggles, you really have to put in work but that’s all part of the job and you must be willing to work at it; and that’s when she decided to launch this studio! She wanted to help young designers and the fashion community P.R. companies are can be very expensive. For young designers first starting out in the industry, it becomes very expensive and you can only get so much P.R. when you first start out, therefore Claudine wanted Caravan Stylist Studio to help these young emerging designers. Designers move to places like Soho, but all the resources are really here in the district and we need to help maintain a district dedicated to fashion! So that is when Save the Garment Center was created.

Claudine began to discuss how the most important thing is vision, you have to have an idea;  a strategic plan. Where do you want to start,where do you want go, what’s your first year plan? And so on. Secondly, strategy and timing are also just as important, she stated, –where you want to be and when. Lastly, patience is super important becausesuccess does not happen overnight. Claudine opened her studio in November but it is all JUST starting to happen. Some great advice she ended with was “NOT to stress. Things won’t happen simply because you’ll just think how hard they are instead of actually getting them done. Always make sure you’re moving ahead of your competition. Good management is back bone of successful company.”

Claudine’s wise words really touched the students and you could tell especially during the question/answer part of the event as well as when we got to chat very non-formally at the end with the students and really get to know them on a more personal level. Every single student that asked a question at the end, which was practically everyone, personally thanked her before they began their question, they were truly so appreciative. You could really tell they were taking in all of her advice and valuing everything she had to say. And why wouldn’t they, Claudine is a wealth of information and experience and they could not have picked a better person for the students to come hear speak! At the end we gave them treats to take home in our very own Caravan Tote Bag and they were super excited! It was quite an exciting day and even I took notes separately myself about all of Claudine’s motivating words!