Empowering Women with DeLeseia Johnson
Our empowering woman of the month is DeLeseia Johnson. Each month we are featuring amazing boss girls in our community. For the month of June, we had the pleasure of working with Ashley West, our empowering women for April, as our photographer for DeLeseia. So much talent from both of these ladies!
One thing I love about being a local business owner is that you get to meet so many different people throughout your community. And I am constantly meeting young bright women that have so much drive and courage to step out of their comfort zone and do what they love regardless of the barriers they face. I was fortunate enough to be connected to DeLeseia, a young bright model that is looking beyond the glam of the fashion industry and is more interested in the business and marketing side.
Deleseia is a working model and has been for years…no wonder she looks flawless right? She started modeling during middle school and has returned to modeling hoping one day it would get her into the fashion marketing side of the business. DeLeseia is currently a student at Oklahoma City Community College as a Diversified Studies Major. It’s an associate degree plan that lets her choose courses that suits her interest. She has been working as a freelance model and working towards her degree. She plans to transfer to University of Central Oklahoma to complete out her degree with Fashion Marketing. Once she is done with school, Deleseia plans to find an internship or a position for buying/trend forecasting for a retail company.
As a young girl, DeLeseia has always had an interest in the fashion industry, from the moment she was able to put on her grandmother’s shoes and walked down a piece of carpet that she turned into her own personal runway. By high school, she had a marketing teacher, Brandi Redus, that noticed her interest and recommend that she look into some fashion marketing programs. She also joined a marketing program called DECA at her school so she could further her knowledge on the fashion industry. DeLeseia took every opportunity to be more involved including consistently working in retail positions and even coordinating her school’s fashion show and working on the display windows for the event.
DeLeseia interest in the fashion retail world, particularly the buying and marketing area lead us to cross path being introduced by a mutual friend, so I was able to sit down and chat with her some. At such a young age, DeLeseia is very focus and driven. Her maturity and professionalism will bring her far in this industry and I have no doubt that one day she will be making great strides in the fashion world! If you want to see more of DeLeseia modeling photos and follow her journey, you can check her out on Instagram @_deleseia.
Getting to know DeLeseia!
What interest you about Fashion Marketing?
I have always like how it seems to be the underdog of the industry. A normal consumer might not be aware that there is someone that picks what specific clothes are going to be in their favorite store, or the research behind predicting the popular colors for the season. Even other careers like advertising is what brings the industry together as a whole. The marketing side of it plays a bigger role than what one might think and I love that.
What are some challenges or barriers that you feel in wanting to make fashion your career?
The biggest challenge that I’ve came across with my experience so far is the fear of not being accepted. I remember it being one of my reasons for not wanting to model anymore and pushed me to look for another area of the industry where I felt that would be accepted. Even though the fashion industry is a big artistic field, there are still those areas where it stays true to its traditional values. Although I highly respect those traditions, I feel there should be more of a compromise between the old and the new in some areas of the industry. The demand for buyers or trend forecasters is also low. It can be intimidating at times but I’m positive about where I want to be in the industry so I try to use that as my motivation to work harder.
What do you enjoy the most about what you do in the fashion industry?
Meeting and working with so many different people. It’s very refreshing meeting others that are the opposite of myself because it teaches me to look at life in a different perspective. While working in retail and modeling I’ve met teachers participating in the walk outs, socialites, college professors, other talented creatives, therapist, and even business owners. Ever since I’ve started it has made me feel a part of my community. That’s why I prefer to work with different people so that I can meet someone new while also learning something new. It’s a win-win situation.
Are there any experiences you have had in the industry and how had it helped you grow in your personal and professional life?
It has definitely been trial and error. Most of the experiences that I have encountered have been about basic professionalism. Over time, I have noticed how certain experiences have also help my professional life. Be prompt and on time, notify whoever your working with of any issues that may arise as soon as they happen, etc. I have mainly learned to speak up when it pertains to giving input or about a concern that I might have because it is better to be heard or else you might get pushed to the side or left out. There have been times that I have failed once or twice but I always take it at face value so that I learn from my mistake and make sure that it won’t happen again.
What advice would you give someone that is interested in making the fashion business world as a career choice?
Once you find your niche, keep working to perfect it. It’s okay to make mistakes along the way because trial and error is a part of the learning process. Working with others that are a little different than you can benefit you more because it can help you see a situation or an idea differently. Learn from others along the way instead of trying to do everything on your own. Having a mentor figure to guide you through your career journey can give a rewarding confidence boost and the experience you need. Find a way to work on your craft outside of school and work, it can help you find exactly what it is that you’re good at. Research different fields of the fashion industry as well. There’s so much more out that than just being a model or a designer. The most important advice that I would give is to have fun and enjoys whatever path that you choose.