Naumenko’s strong passion for design, quality and brand development led her to found the label. The 24 year old, Estonian-born woman began her career as a stylist in the south of France and she has always harboured a love of clothes.
I can see myself walking into the shit mist.
Sometimes it falls out of necessity, sometimes out of opportunity, but I’d say always approach any career change with some degree of caution. Some of you may think changing often shows a lack of commitment, but more often, especially with this specific example, change is a natural evolution based on the lessons learned in previous positions, the dynamic nature of our economy creating and removing opportunities and a shift in corporate responsibility which no longer guarantees you a job for life. Quite frankly, I’ve never wanted a ‘job for life’ - the thought almost disgusts me, but since 19 years of age, I’ve doubtlessly known what I want to do to earn money and actively pursued it.
I wasn’t always prepared, and I undeniably did not always know what job would be the right one for me; after school I strongly felt graphic design was the route to take, and during my diploma year I took a hard stumble where I took a chance on 3D design. Mistakes were made, but the internal voice resounded strong; “you love English. You love design. Don’t settle for one (which had been drilled into me that this was the most likely choice), find a way to combine the two”. I did, and I’m glad. You know those moments where you read something, and your eyes widen with edification? I remember that moment well. I applied, I got the course I wanted, and yet still I deferred. I hadn’t gone wrong, I hadn’t changed my mind; there was no doubt about what it was I had decidedly chosen to pursue, it was now a question of when. I wasn’t quite ready to throw myself into another three years of formal education straightway, I wanted to breathe, to explore. So I did. Upon returning, did I yearn to travel more? Did I miss living out of a bag, well yes (and sometimes, no) but did I get my head the fuck down and realise if I gave into those desires, I would always be running away from something I knew was a calling? Yes, the world would still be there.
So fast forward to now, and I am one of the minority (based on age, industry and location) in this day and age that is actively working
1. in the industry they wanted to end up in before embarking on 3 years of commitment and a load of fucking debt,
2. in the area chosen for further study,
3. still happy and reassured that this is what they want to do.
However, now that innate passion vs. external factors and my head screaming out logic leaves me feeling conflicted and with gritted teeth.
An opportunity has arisen. There is promise of money, ownership of my own scheduling, and maybe most important to me, destinations where I can live and work freely, on my own terms. These are factors that are that much more prevalent in my industry, where once abundant, is now but a siren call, and a dupe. In a wider context, these factors propel to higher prevalence, considering our generation, our economy, our changing behavioural and communication patterns, world. I look this opportunity not only with panic, and a feeling of ‘selling out’, but with excitement, and hope.
My God there is slog. I must return to an environment of academia and tests, and reading for non pleasurable purposes. But if it gets me where I want to be in a couple of years time, is it worth it…? I’m thinking yes. I will, as I said at the beginning though, proceed with caution. I can’t fuck this up. I haven’t got time to fuck up - not literally - I’m still young enough to fuck up, I’m just impatient. Sod that - at any age you can fuck up… that’s what I’m trying to say isn’t it? Changes in life are not the bad thing people perceive them to be, change is good, be it career or otherwise; if something isn’t working out for you, why pursue it? That’s the bad bit right? That’s the cowardly approach… It takes true strength to say to everyone ‘hey, I’m doing something else, I’m doing what I want to do,’ despite your family’s, your friends’, the media’s, the government’s, the whole world’s opinion.
So be bold, proceed, but take care, as will I. Hey, maybe I’m just trying to vainly reassure myself…
Let’s be frank: personal satisfaction in your life is not just pivotal to you, but those that surround you, and the economy as a whole. Not only will you become more productive, and generate wealth (for which the State will gladly take a cut), but, you might just ‘risk’ being happier.