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Our Creative Director’s Advice To Female Entrepreneurs

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Meet our Creative Director, Bryce McGillivray…

As a native Rhode Islander, Creative Director Bryce McGillivray has brought New York City fashion home and given it her own personal spin!

Bryce graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2014 with a major in Textile Marketing and a minor in Journalism. Shortly after, she took on the big city to make her small-town dreams come true, but what she gained from this experience is more than she could have ever imagined!

Now, Bryce works as the Creative Director of Fifth & Ninth, where she collaborates with designers to bring ideas to life and leads the advertising and marketing efforts of the company.

With Bryce being such an inspiration, we decided to interview her and extract four main pieces of advice that would be helpful to young female entrepreneurs who are striving towards success.

#1
Don’t be afraid of new experiences

 First and foremost, we asked Bryce what she believes helped her to get to where she is today. She said that aside from the support of her family and a few important people, it was her experiences that shaped her journey, specifically the experience of living in New York City. Bryce says that it “was a time of growth for [her] as an adult and a professional in the workplace.” She says: “not only did I learn more about myself, but I am still so inspired from that time period in my life and incorporate it into this brand daily.” So, ladies, never shy away from change, even if it may scare you. Instead, run towards new experiences, because they may be the key to your success!

#2
Always believe in yourself

Next, we asked Bryce to reveal the biggest lesson that she’s learned so far, based on her unique experiences. While she said there are a lot of important lessons that she has learned along her journey, she identifies the most critical one to be that you have to believe in yourself 100% before you can expect anyone else to believe in yourself. Bottomline: confidence is key. And, in the wise words of Bryce: “Fake it ’til you make it, sister!

#3
Understand that nothing is impossible

We also asked Bryce what she considers to be her greatest accomplishment in her career so far. She responded by saying that she considers her biggest accomplishment to be working alongside some of her favorite celebrities. For those who don’t know, Fifth & Ninth has collaborated with various notable designers, bloggers, and public figures, including Alana Hadid, Vlada Haggerty, and many more! Bryce says that when she started working in the industry, she would “put people who [she] aspired to be on such a pedestal that felt impossible to reach.” She added, however, that “with every professional milestone, the pedestal became easier and easier to reach.” So, always remember that no dream is too big if you’re willing to work for it!

#4
Know yourself

Finally, we asked Bryce the golden question: What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in this industry? Her response was simple: “Know yourself.” She says that this is the ground you stand on. Elaborating on that statement, Bryce added that “it’s so important to know your strengths, but it’s even more important to know your weaknesses.” In fact, she recommends that you take a few minutes out of each day to self-reflect. This can make all the difference in the world! Always remember that you have to be your own biggest fan, supporter, and advocate.

Spotlight on: Bryce McGillivray

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It’s every Rhode Island born fashionista’s dream. Graduate from the University of Rhode Island with your first textile kit in hand, pack your bags, and head to the big city. That’s exactly what our Creative Director, Bryce McGillivray, did when she graduated in 2014. However, Bryce’s dream was completely revamped once she experienced New York first hand.

Following her graduation, Bryce took a bold step and took on an unpaid internship at Bismark Phillips Communications and Media, a PR agency that represents some of the most famous names in the fashion industry. With the experience she gained, a door was then opened for her as an Executive Assistant for Kelly Cutrone, who gained her fame being a public relations mogul in NYC. Although the experience was incredible, it gave Bryce a new mindset to realize her heart belonged home. “These two experiences gave me a very clear understanding of how tough the fashion industry is, and it wasn’t necessarily what I had set out in the beginning”, Bryce explained.

Returning home to Rhode Island, Bryce reconsidered where she wanted to take her career. After reconnecting with Mark Mesrobian, the Executive Vice President of Fifth & Ninth’s parent company, Complete Sourcing Solutions, she accepted a position as the social media and marketing coordinator.

As the saying goes, you can take the fashionista out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the fashionista (or that’s how we say it here at F&N!). After working as the social media and marketing manager for a few months, Bryce’s passion for fashion and design was pushing her to accomplish more. She then developed into a Creative Director for a new in house brand, Fifth & Ninth. The name was inspired by the fashion garment district, “where trends are born.”

Given the freedom to let her creative side soar, Fifth & Ninth took off. In it’s most recent endeavor, F&N has partnered with several online celebrities and social media influencers, such as Smashbox Cosmetics Lip Editor in Chief, Vlada Haggerty, (you can purchase her case here!?) to create a line of cobranded iPhone cases. In the future, the company is looking to expand into lifestyle products such as sunglasses and watches.

Since launching the brand, Bryce has been passionate about providing internships to local Rhode Island girls so they can get industry experience in their own backyard. In addition, the company also took on eight extraordinary College Brand Ambassadors (stay tuned to read about the program)! Bryce’s advice to young female entrepreneurs is to “take the low paying job, the free internship, feel what it is like to be at the bottom and struggle.”

The sky’s the limit and the opportunities are endless when it comes to F&N’s future. Bryce has the vision to expand their tech accessories to more than just phone cases and beauty banks, potentially adding sunglasses, watches, handbags, and so on. Bryce is also newly engaged (???) so a wedding collection could potentially be on her mind.

Bryce does an exceptional job at representing the city in the Ocean State, by influencing girls to believe that you don’t have to be in New York to be successful in the fashion industry. For more behind the scenes about F&N, check out our article in the Providence Journal and Rhode Island Monthly. To keep up with our Creative Director Bryce, follow her blog Blonde in Boutins.

Xoxo, F&N Squad ?