I’ve been loving the feedback and conversation about this series. I’m glad this is a topic we can all share. It’s just good to know we’re not alone in the whole “I have no idea what I’m doing with my life” thing. Today’s interview is with the sweet and talented Alex Yeske of Jeans + Dreams. Her blog and aesthetic is refined and fun and I admire how she ambitiously values networking with people you admire. That’s something we can all do more of to get where whenever we want to go.
When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?
a waitress at a restaurant I could roller-skate in
What do you do now? Is there anything on your list you still want to do?
I am a graphic designer at Madewell and do a little bit of freelance design work in addition to blogging. I think I would still love to do any of the things on my list, except maybe not the roller-skating waitress – not sure I have the coordination for that!
What inspires you?
Person: it’s a cliche blogging answer, but Jenna Lyons. I have interviewed with her and attended meetings with her, so I can honestly attest to her inspirational nature, amazing fashion sense and sharp intelligence.
Brand: Loeffler Randall – everything they do is amazing and I love their branding
Color: always black + white. love a pop of coral and chartreuse too.
Music: The Head & The Heart, Foster the People
Artist: Ellsworth Kelly, Alexander Calder, de Kooning
When did you realize something you liked was actually one of your passions. What did you decide to do with it?
Growing up I was always interested in fashion, but never thought I could actually be a part of it without being a fashion designer. I admired a lot of brands and wished that I could work for them and it wasn’t until I got into branding and graphic design that I realized I could actually take my skillset and get into fashion that way.
Tell us about a risk you’ve taken in the process of figuring it out.
I can’t recall a large risk, but I’ve taken lots of small risks throughout my internship and job hunting process. I wasn’t afraid to put myself out there and reach out to people who had jobs I admired and it ended up paying off in most instances – my current position is a direct result of hard networking!
What are the biggest obstacles that you have overcome to get to where you want to be? And if you aren’t there, what are your fears in getting there?
For where I am now, I’d have to say one of the biggest obstacles was making it through my intense design program at Syracuse. It’s design bootcamp and you either sink quickly or learn how to swim. It’s such a difficult major to get through but so rewarding in the end because we have such a unique skillset compared to other graphic designers graduating from other programs.
Looking down the road, I have a lot of ideas of new things I’d like to do and projects I’d like to explore. My fears are definitely of failure, but at the same time I have fears of not doing these new things.
How does blogging help you figure it out?
Blogging helps me figure it out by allowing me a place to record my thoughts and interests, as well as meet and network with others who share similar goals and ideas. It’s a great testing ground too to see how things resonate with readers that can inform future decisions. Blogging helps me stay in tune with all of my goals outside of my day job and graphic design – it helps me not lose sight of my other dreams.