Why I Turned Down the Biggest Salary I’d Seen


Last week, my (now past) employer let some of us know that due to business, not all of us were coming back to work — apparently there’s a worldwide pandemic going on? Anyway, I knew I would be one of them because the department I was working in was eliminated, and since I’m a nimble person. I can always find my next place to land so I wasn’t really stressed about it.

I also wasn’t too stressed since I was actually in talks about signing on to work with … literally my dream brand. The brand where I would spend all my money if I could. It was the next step up the ladder for me and the perfect next step in my career. It’s funny because in fact, when I was in Paris, I said the one place I would take an offer from hands down was this company. But hey when you make plans, life likes to laugh at you, I found.

The same day that I heard from my past employer that I wasn’t returning to work, I also heard from my dream future employer with an offer for more money than I’ve ever been offered in my career and a higher position that I’ve been working towards.

In one day, I lost a job, gained a job and….also had a lightbulb go off.

Years ago, I worked as a consultant and I loved it, but some things happened in life that made me feel like I should go back to a more stable income, and ever since I’ve been wanting work for myself again for years. I’ve been wanting something new for years. Truth be told, I’ve been waiting for the “right time” to leave the industry I love for YEARS

I love the fashion industry, I believe in it’s future, I think it’s way way more than some vapid materialistic industry that I hear people say sometimes. It’s been a great place for me, but I’ve felt like I was living in the last chapter of my life for way too long while I should be living in where I am now. I didn’t know how to leave but I knew that “I would know when I was ready”.

But there’s no such thing as a right time.

There’s always another promotion to work towards, or a new company that lures you in, or more money right around the corner.

I knew if I took that job, and that salary, i’d be locked in for life. It would give me a lifestyle I wouldn’t be able to pry myself away from. I’d be committed to a life that I’ve been sick of  for years – the same hamster wheel of issues with shipping, and production delays, and miscommunications, and being glued to email but not DOING anything. 

It’s funny, the job I always wanted turned out to be the job that made me close the door to a life I’ve built since I was 14…..the irony. It made me see it was time for me to pivot away from my comfy full time life in the fashion industry for good. I want to go back to the life of entrepreneurship I loved. I wanted to go back to helping smaller companies learn what I know from the big guys. What better time than now.

There’s no “if it doesn’t work out, I’ll go back to the industry.” There’s no “I’ll try it for a couple months and see”.  I love Will Smith (I think it was) and his wise quotes he has sometimes – and he said something along the lines of “Having a Plan B just distracts us from having a Plan A”. I’m not a big believer in a fallback plan. You don’t stick it out with the tough times if you have a fallback plan and the tough times end up leading to the best parts. Working for yourself, switching industries (in a global pandemic lol what am I thinking, I know)… thats tough times central. But I know it’s right for me.

So this is my full time farewell letter to the fashion industry. It’s been an amazing 10+ years – I’ve learned a lot from you, I’ve worked for the biggest and best brands in the world, and I’ve exceeded every single goal I’ve set for myself.  Everything I’ve learned from you I now want to bring to other ambitious side hustlers, future business owners and potential game changers. You made my dreams come true, you’ve been great to me, and I’m on to better things.

I’m here for you anytime you need a consultant, a fresh perspective, or to tap into my experience, boo. I still love you! No hard feelings. I’ve just learned like many things in life – I’m always better off doing things my way. 

Stay golden. Do you. Make noise + f*ck sh*t up.