There’s no age limit – upper or lower – on following your passion and making your dream a reality.
Every year fastcompany.com releases a list of their 100 Most Creative People in Business. At number 71 this year is Isabella Rose Taylor. At just 14 Isabella already has her own line of clothing with Nordstrom; a billion dollar clothing retailer with over 250 stores throughout the States.
It all started when she learned to sew at eight, and by nine she was already selling clothes through her own website. At just nine. More recently she debuted her collection at New York Fashion Week 2014. She is now able to turn a profit from her passion for fashion. Taking inspiration from her travels, music and galleries she manages her business affairs alongside studying for a degree in fine art. And yes, this is all before she’s even old enough to drive.
As with most things, it hasn’t been without its challenges; the technical side of the process can be time consuming and complex. Balancing studying with working can also be a difficulty, especially when her entire team consists of just Isabella and her parents. But rarely are dreams easily achieved, and the hardships just make the rewards all that sweeter.
Clinique is also focusing on some teens of the fashion and beauty word with their current Face Forward campaign. The campaign features three young women who are all successful entrepreneurs in their own right, and two of whom are still in their teenage years.
Tavi Gevinson, now 19, first made a name for herself at just 12 through her fashion blog, Style Rookie. Within three years she had developed her blog into an online fashion magazine, Rookie, with articles on fashion and pop culture to social and feminist issues. She has caught the eye of industry experts such as former Teen Vogue editor Kara Jesella and has been twice listed on the Forbes 30 Under 30 in Media list. Most recently in 2014, she was named one of “The 25 Most Influential Teens of 2014” by Time magazine. Speaking of her magazine she said her academic performance suffered during its development but in the long run it gave her satisfaction; especially knowing she had created something that could also help others.
This is a teenager very much sure of what she wants to be doing with her life and making it happen.
At just 13 Margaret Zhang launched her website shinebythree.com an extensive blog covering fashion, beauty, travel, food and lifestyle. But that was just the beginning, alongside running her site she is also a freelance stylist, photographer and creative director utilising the skills she has honed through her blog. She has worked with Harper’s BAZAAR Australia and Thailand, NYLON magazine, ELLE.com, Louis Vuitton, Visa and Nike to name but a few. She has even been nominated for an ELLE Style Award. Like Tavi she is just 19 and balancing her career alongside a law degree. Like Isabell and Tavi she started by blogging in her bedroom and has built that into a business.
So what is there to be learned from these young entrepreneurs? While no-one expects you to know exactly what you want to do with your life before you’ve even left school (and it’s completely fine and normal to not know), if you do happen to know then you should start following that dream and begin turning your passion into a career. Age, and the limited resources that often come from being young, don’t have to stand in your way.