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Sarah Koss X JCI Fashion Graduate and Nordstrom Business Analyst

23
06.2017

At the age of 18, Sarah Koss left her home in Seattle, Washington to study Fashion at John Casablancas Institute.

“I love fashion and wanted the opportunity to live abroad, which JCI was able to give me.”

While studying the Fashion Business and Arts Program at JCI, Sarah received internships at Horton Berner and Moulé. Once graduating JCI, Sarah began her journey at Nordstrom as Men’s Clothing and Furnishings Manager in January 2012.

In 2013 she began to move her way up in the company and became Studio Manager for a year and then got promoted to Personal Styling Manager. As Personal Styling Manager, Sarah was responsible for managing large teams in developing and executing high-level business plans.

In 2015 Sarah was appointed as Nordstrom’s Styling Sales Manager where she taught selling through organized classes and worked with over 800 sales representatives. Recently, the JCI Fashion graduate got promoted to Business Analyst for the Nordstrom Technology team.

“I love managing people and helping teams build out a structure for new roles and launches. My immediate goal is to be a project manager and who knows where life will take me from there!”

 

How did you get involved in the fashion industry?  

While I was a student at JCI, I had my own fashion blog, Twitter account, and other social media accounts. When I was near graduating the fashion program, I tweeted a Nordstrom store manager about current opportunities and he replied telling me to call him the next day to discuss employment. The rest is history!

During school, I interned with Horton Berner Fashion Group, one of Canada’s leading Fashion Showrooms. I also scored an internship at Moulé which I loved. I would tell every JCI student to apply for an internship while you’re in school. This is the best way to get your foot in the fashion scene, build connections and get real life experience.

“The Fashion Director at JCI at the time, Nicola MacEwen, really pushed for me in my internships and got me interviews. She was an important person in my development and professional career—I’m very thankful for her.”

Tell us about your Nordstrom journey.

I’ve had many different positions within Nordstrom. From managing the men’s and women’s departments to Personal Styling and most recently I was the Sales and Styling Manager. As a Sales and Styling Manager I was responsible for new hire training, the personal styling team, elevated sales programs, teaching and educating on tools and store systems.

“I love that the fashion industry is always changing and evolving. No two days are the same and I’m always learning something.”

I just got promoted to a corporate position as a business analyst for a technology team. My goals are to be in the program management team and this is the perfect next step to get me onto that path.

What do you do when you aren’t working?

I just bought a house and we got chickens! That’s really fun and time-consuming. I’m also a big sister for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Organization which is very rewarding. My hobbies include hiking, playing tennis and traveling.

“People describe me as an outgoing, eager and go-getter type of person.”

What are some challenges you’ve come across in the industry?

I believe that the challenges are more around specific education. With the market flooded by people who love fashion, the JCI program gives you a great crash course on all things fashion and allows you to find your true passion. If you want to get into business or something more specific, additional schooling and specialized degrees are helpful.

What advice do you have for aspiring fashion students?

Volunteer a lot— whether it’s a fashion show, sample sale or store opening, you will build a lot of connections by keeping your mind open and putting yourself out there. What really helped me is not worrying so much about a specific job when I graduated, but more on the company I wanted to work with. 7 years later and I’m still with Nordstrom!

What really helped me is not worrying so much about a specific job when I graduated, but more on the company I wanted to work with. 7 years later and I’m still with Nordstrom!

“I get inspired by people who think out of the box. I love when people can truly be themselves and express who they are from what they wear. It’s all about empowering each other.”

Picture via Sarah Koss’s Instagram 


Love fashion and want to make it your career? JCI Institute Vancouver’s Fashion Business & Creative Arts Diploma Program provide students with a comprehensive overview of the fashion industry, combining creative and business elements. This diverse approach gives our fashion school grads a distinct advantage both in knowledge and skill. Prepare for many jobs in the fashion industry, including becoming a fashion buyer, fashion stylist, or for work in fashion merchandising. If becoming a fashion designer is more your speed, choose our Core Fashion Program. This course at our fashion design institute will give you all the skills you need to be a fashion designer. Choose between our fashion programs to find the best fit for you!

Davneet Dhillon,
Blog / Features

How to Theme your Instagram Feed

22
06.2017

Remember when people used Instagram almost exclusively to showcase their food and late night selfies? This billion dollar app has now grown into a successful tool for blogging and building a digital portfolio. Not only is it efficient and easy to use, Instagram allows you to create, share and promote content to attract and gain followers.

Before we get into the guide on how to begin a theme for your Instagram feed, check out these examples edited through the popular app VSCO:

 

VSCO is widely used in the social media industry and allows you to filter images to look cohesive on your feed. The app is free to use, but also allows you to purchase additional options if the esthetic you’re after is not included.

What is an Instagram Theme?

Instagram themes are all about consistency. Whether you decide to keep all your pictures bright and clean or dark and moody, having your photos follow a similar colour story is a great way to keep your feed visually appealing. Editing each picture in the same way creates uniformity, even when a variety of content is being shared.

Not everyone chooses to follow a theme for their Instagram. However, if you’re a blogger or want to get noticed, it’s best to begin a theme on your page so followers can recognize photos as yours. This doesn’t mean you have to scratch your current account and start all over— once you being a theme, it will eventually overtake the old pictures.

The Must-Have Apps

Begin planning the layout for your Instagram theme by using apps such as UNUM, Planoly and Preview. These apps allow you to test out your theme by moving pictures around on a mock feed before publishing them to Instagram.

Stick with the same filter and think about every post before you publish it. The color and feel of your latest Instagram post should match with the previous posts – once you have this down you’re on the road to a theme! Other apps to use for editing are:

Find Your Muse 

Not sure what type of theme to begin? Luckily there are a ton of bloggers and influencers who have unique and creative themes to turn to for inspiration. Here are a few of our favourite Instagrammers who know how to maintain a visually appealing theme:

Lauren Conrad / @laurenconrad 

The warm and fuzzy theme:

Aimee Song / @songofstyle

The fashion blogger’s creative theme:

Mery Seng / @happilygrey 

The greyish hue feed

Jillian Harris / @jillian.harris

The white boarder and clean theme

Crafting an Instagram feed is not hard! It’s quite simple once you get the hang of the filter choices and become consistent with your posts. Remember to be picky with what you share! As much as you love that selfie, if it doesn’t fit your theme, don’t post it.

Check out Pinterest for more Instagram theme inspiration.


(JCI) is widely recognized as the industry leader in providing job-ready training and has been setting the standard for artistry and innovation for over 30 years.

Established in Vancouver since 1978, JCI continues to stand behind top professionals in the areas of fashionmake up, hair and esthetics. With note-worthy careers as award-winning makeup artists, international fashion stylists, skilled spa technicians and cutting edge hairstylists, graduates of JCI continue to shine.

Supportive and positive learning practices provide students with the most beneficial educational experience.

Our faculty is comprised of leading industry professionals and guest instructors from various aspects of their respective fields. Our instructors and graduates continue to win awards and gain recognition for their work and contributions to their industries. Just 1 block down from the Waterfront Station, JCI sits surrounded by cafes, design studios, art galleries and photographers’ studios – the perfect place for students to absorb creativity and find constant inspiration.

 

Davneet Dhillon,
Blog / Fashion / Features

JCI Fashion Graduate, Co-op Student and Art Enthusiast: Carolina Lara Cardoso

07
06.2017

Carolina Lara Cardoso knew exactly what she had to do in order to pursue her dreams of becoming an Art Director in Canada and leading a creative team. After a sudden loss in her family, she gathered herself together and moved from Brazil to Canada to study Fashion at John Casablancas Institute.

“I decided to spend time away from Brazil to grow stronger as a person and learn more about the international fashion industry.”

“Besides the fact that Fashion is one of the largest industries in the world with high demands, what inspired me to get into this industry was its true art form. Fashion tells stories— from the designers who create garments to the people who wear it, and it reflects the changes in human history.” 

Carolina enrolled in the Fashion Business and Arts Program at JCI in 2016 after completing a degree in Advertising in Brazil. As a newcomer to Vancouver, she didn’t have many references or friends, however, she decided the city would be a great place to network with people in the industry.

“I had to overcome my fear of being an outsider and having English as a second language. To this day, I often struggle with myself but I love challenges because they keep me going. I’ve learned to start new friendships and value every person that crosses my path.”

As someone who enjoys traveling and experiencing different cultures, the adaptation process for Carolina was very natural. Despite it getting tough being away from friends and family back home, Carolina kept busy with creativity and made new connections.

Fashion is not the only thing that Carolina is passionate about—she enjoys studying and learning about Art History, Architecture, Design and recently found an interest in Botany.

“A few of my fashion inspirations are Grace Coddington, David Bowie, Alessandro Michele, Vivienne Westwood, Stella McCartney and Leandra Medine.”

Since graduating from the JCI Fashion Program, Carolina began her Co-op placement with Amaterasu, a Canadian Beauty Brand founded by JCI Fashion and Makeup graduate Sara Au Yeong. Carolina works as the Creative Digital Designer—creating visual content for the brand including videos, product photography, and graphics.

“I love the creative aspect of fashion. It it much more than trends— getting dressed is an act of poetry.”

The biggest challenge that Carolina has come across as an international fashion student is building a network from scratch. It’s difficult to start a career in a competitive industry without networking. This is a reason why Carolina decided to begin her Co-op at Amaterasu and since then she has built many connections.

“I have been very lucky to work alongside with Amaterasu Beauty because I get to work for a company that not only values quality over quantity but sees people and the planet alongside their profit.”

From Brazil to Canada, Carolina has been walking with her head held high and focusing on goals to consolidate her career as an Art Director and preparing to lead a creative team in the long run.

Check out the creative projects that Carolina has contributed to on her website.


Love fashion and want to make it your career? JCI Institute Vancouver’s Fashion Business & Creative Arts Diploma Program provide students with a comprehensive overview of the fashion industry, combining creative and business elements. This diverse approach gives our fashion school grads a distinct advantage both in knowledge and skill. Prepare for many jobs in the fashion industry, including becoming a fashion buyer, fashion stylist, or for work in fashion merchandising. If becoming a fashion designer is more your speed, choose our Core Fashion Program. This course at our fashion design institute will give you all the skills you need to be a fashion designer. Choose between our fashion programs to find the best fit for you!

Davneet Dhillon,
Blog / Features / Makeup

JCI Alumni Beauty Collaborations We Need Now

25
01.2017

leigh dickson colorista poster

2017 is off to an amazing start for our JCI alumni! Some very exciting collaborations have been announced between our Makeup grads and huge global retailers. We’re thrilled to see such amazing partnerships, and cannot wait to see what other opportunities the year will hold for our graduates.

Leigh Dickson x Loreal Colorista 

leigh dickson colorista

We saw some teasers of this collab a few months back on Leigh’s Instagram feed, but nothing was confirmed until the #colorista products launched in the US. Here in Canada we should be able to get our hands on them now as they launched worldwide yesterday. We’re glad they made it across the border, since Leigh is giving us serious hair envy with her new tri-coloured locks. This dye is great for the commitmentphobe since it fades out after 4-10 washes.

Samantha Ravndahl x MAC Cosmetics 

samantha ravndalh x mac cosmetics

If you’re like us, the search for the perfect lipstick shade is a struggle that never ends. Well, Samantha’s MAC collaboration might just be the light at the end of that tunnel. While we don’t have any details yet, some of her fans are placing their bets on it being the best nude ever.  We will have to wait until April to see if they’re right, but either way this is a product we would do almost anything to get our hands on before it sells out!


The Makeup Artistry Diploma Program

JCI has gained an industry-wide reputation for excellence, giving students an exceptional network of contacts and resources when they enter into the marketplace. During the 10-month full time program, students study everything from glamour and special occasion makeup to special effects makeup and prosthetics application techniques. With classes limited to 16 students, individualized attention and encouragement foster each student’s personal  and professional growth potential.

John Casablancas is the pioneer of prosthetic lab techniques and face casting in Western Canada. This advanced level of training affords our graduates amazing opportunities and a significant advantage for a career in film, TV or theatre.

JCI,
Blog / Features

Top Posts of 2016

15
12.2016

As 2016 winds to a close, it’s time to reflect on all the amazing things students and graduates of JCI have accomplished! We’ve had many program starts, projects, finals and graduations in that time.  We’ve also had the pleasure of seeing tons of those grads start amazing careers and succeed  at events like IMATS or Vancouver Fashion Week.

Thanks to the world of social media, we are able to follow along on that journey more than ever before. As always, we love to share some of those great photos on Instagram! In just a few short weeks we will be ringing in the New Year and starting fresh, but before that goes down, lets take a look back on the top posts of 2016:

jcinstitute best posts of 2016 instagram

Makeup grad Samantha Ravndahl obviously goes over well with our crowd! Her stylist, Hair grad Karl Brown at Axis also always gets a lot of love on our feed. Makeup Grad Kimberley has continued to blow up this year, and Samantha St John has been doing such amazing things and absoultely killed it at Halloween. We can’t wait to see more hair posts from her as she continues with our Hair Art and Design program! Current Makeup student Carly Saddler made our list with her winning contribution to our #JCITRICKORTREAT contest, and Makeup grad Ruby stole the show back when she was studying at JCI with the video of her injury final reaching over 40K views!

Please keep tagging @JCInstitute, sharing your work and creating. Thanks for sharing all that you have with us this year, we are looking forward to seeing what 2017 has in store!


JOHN CASABLANCAS INSTITUTE

(JCI) is widely recognized as the industry leader in providing job-ready training and has been setting the standard for artistry and innovation for over 30 years.

Established in Vancouver since 1978, JCI continues to stand behind top professionals in the areas of fashion, make up, hair and esthetics. With note-worthy careers as award-winning makeup artists, international fashion stylists, skilled spa technicians and cutting edge hairstylists, graduates of JCI continue to shine.

Supportive and positive learning practices provide students with the most beneficial educational experience.

Our faculty is comprised of leading industry professionals and guest instructors from various aspects of their respective fields. Our instructors and graduates continue to win awards and gain recognition for their work and contributions to their industries. Just 1 block down from the Waterfront Station, JCI sits surrounded by cafes, design studios, art galleries and photographers’ studios – the perfect place for students to absorb creativity and find constant inspiration.

JCI,
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