Meeting Megan Kirkwood! What I learned from the freelancer sensation

Continuing with my lovely yet hectic uni life, I had received the wonderful opportunity to interview a Canadian Fashion Professional, who was none other than the lovely Megan Kirkwood! Yet how did it come to that? Who is she? And what secrets of the fashion industry did I discover? Well that’s why this specific post will be dedicated to her, and my experience with the interview.

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It all began on a beautiful day of September 23rd, where 6:30 outside of the famously popular Ryerson café Balzac, myself and three other wonderful classmates, Nicole Tinker, Carolyn Monteith and Emily Steverson, waited anxiously for our first interview assignment with Kirkwood. But who is this lovely lady? Well she is a freelance beauty editor for several publications such as the Globe and Mail, (in addition the Globe Style Advisor) Glow, Hello! Canadian Health & Lifestyle and Glam Canada. She is also a consultant for many beauty brands, like Shiseido, Burt’s Bees, and Cots Canada. With so many accomplishments under her name, you can bet we were nervous of speaking to such a prestige person. I took on the majority of the role of asking Kirkwood our questions while the others wrote it down. So with the spotlight on me, my interviewing skills were put to the test.

It begun Kirkwood explaining how she came about to finding her passion, first beginning at Flare magazine internship of the summer before her forth year of university. The internship was competitive and stressful we were told, but she received a position within the beauty department, and thus her editorial journey began. It wasn’t until after working five years in the magazine industry Kirkwood realized she wanted to become her own boss. “Maybe I don’t want to work for someone for the rest of my life,” she stated, explaining how she applied to jobs outside of publishing and began to fall in love with the experience of a freelancer. Her comment struck a cord within me, considering I thought about the idea with my own potential writing career. Kirkwood enjoyed the freedom of being a freelance writer, and the opportunity to work with different brands, magazines, and newspapers. She emphasized how consulting for beauty brands came very organically, and now her business consists about 50% of it.

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Kirkwood was previously a Ryerson Fashion student, so she understood the struggle of trying to find your place within the fashion industry. It was especially relating with Kirkwood about the stress of assignments and figuring out future jobs, stating, “Don’t stress. I was a stress case.”

Sipping her coffee from the café we were interviewing her, she gave us the inside of the ups and downs of being your own boss. Of course the freedom of planning your own schedule was an absolute perk, but there was also the uncertainty of a paycheck that other jobs guarantee. However, despite the drawbacks like paychecks and taxes (for if you are a freelancer, you pay your own taxes), she said with a smile, “I haven’t had the urge to return to a traditional office job yet,” which reassured me greatly on my own delegation with my blog. Of course her being a freelancer I asked what advice she would say to any aspirational writer/blogger, and responded that networking was key. Connect yourself to everything, essentially making your name searchable. Kirkwood impressively enough has two blogs, the sites being http://megankirkwood.com/, which is more used as a portfolio, while http://potofroses.com/ is more lifestyle and personal stuff (the food she finds looks delicious!). Even part-taking in events, such as Kirkwood did by becoming part of the Ryerson Mass Exodus Show, really exposed her to everything and what this industry was.

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We wrapped up the interview of asking Kirkwood inside scoop of the Fall Beauty trends this year, which she joyfully told us her predictions. “The ponytail at Valentino is going to be big,” she emphasized. Matte red lipstick, liquid liner, and big brow are the “classics” as she labeled, and the sudden love for nude nail colour and spidery lashes are also hot this upcoming season.

From the very last moment it ended, I realized how much Kirkwood’s words strengthen my resolve to succeed in the fashion industry. If I keep trying, and as she said it, “Stay cool,” it will all come to you.

Thanks for reading loves,

Alexandria Kingly

The Fashion Student Life: My first three weeks @ RU

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Yup, I should have posted this WEEKS ago, but oh boy the work piled up on me! Let’s just say becoming a first year university student takes a toll on you, especially being a fashion student.

And I’ll tell you why my darling readers.

I’m going to Ryerson University, taking Fashion Communication, hence striving to achieve a degree in design. This was a difficult program to get in, especially the list of requirements for a portfolio. And after that fateful day of receiving an acceptance letter to the program, I thought the least of my worries were over!

Uh, hell no to that.

First day, I had three classes, which sadly I got lost for two out of the three. (not fun). And my first term I have to take six courses, SIX courses for goodness sake! It is Art History, Fundamentals of Design and Colour, Textiles, Intro to Fashion, Construction, and Patternmaking. The first four are manageable, but the last two I want to jab my head against the wall. I never knew how difficult it was to be a designer loves! I honestly want to bow down to people who say they want to make clothes, because it’s very difficult, (patience is required). Thankfully I only need to take design for one year, so I’m going to hold my fingers till then.

I’m so anxious if I’ll ever make it through, and it’s only been three weeks! But I just gotta push, no? Anyone can understand the stress of post-secondary, so that’s why with a focused head you can survive. Oh I miss the days of senior year of high school where I literally did NOTHING. I had so many spares I was like a bum chilling with a Tim Hortons Latte everyday. (which is ironic because I still do, but with a stressed mentality hehe)

Oh, but this program absolutely has its perks! I get flooded with emails everyday about internships, jobs, events, etc, all fashion related. Like for example I’m going to be volunteer at Latin American Fashion Week, which is something you guys should definitely attend or help out. And as well, I’m trying to become a member of the Fashion Union at Ryerson, (which is something I really hope I can get in to!) Even on the 10th of September I went to the fashion show, called Intro, which is second year student design pieces strutting down the runway!

The one in blue, yup that's meh~

The one in blue, yup that’s meh~

This experience is indeed stressful, (mid-terms are creeping up on me!) But I realize it’s indeed worth it!

(As long as I have my dark roast coffee haha)

Thanks for reading loves,

Alexandria Kingly