How She Got There: Audra Danielle Noyes, Creative Director & Owner of AUDRA

Name: Audra Danielle Noyes
Age: 29
Job Title and Description: Creative Director and Owner, AUDRA
College Name/Major: Savannah College of Art and Design, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Fashion Design
Website: www.audarofficial.com
Twitter Handle: @audra_official
Instagram Handle: @audra_official

HC: What does your current job entail? Is there such a thing as a typical day?

ADN: Every day is different, and that definitely keeps it exciting!  As a business owner and the designer, I wear multiple hats and am constantly on the go. A day could be filled with concept developing and sketching the next collection, traveling to a store for a trunk show, or running around NYC buying trims for the next production. The creative side is what I love, but I spend a good deal on the business side–managing budgets, growth strategies, projects and collaborations.  

HC: What is the best part of your job?

ADN: Seeing a woman make the AUDRA garments completely her own, and witnessing the joy and confidence that that brings her!

HC: What was your first entry-level job in your field and how did you get it?

ADN: My first job was as an assistant designer for the women’s collection at John Galliano in Paris, France. I began initially as an intern with the company and worked my way up to be part of the design team. I had to be scrappy and work hard, putting in the long hours.  I focused on developing my technical skills and proactively sought opportunities to ease the workload of the team.

HC: What words of wisdom (well-known quotes, an anecdote from your boss) do you find most valuable?  

ADN: 'Run your own race.' It’s so easy, especially in fashion, to compare your brand to others based on Instagram followers, press hype, celebrity placement, design aesthetic, etc.  It is important to track growth, but you shouldn’t compare information that you don’t know will correlate to a stronger business. What the industry needs is newness and bringing your unique point of view is so important!

HC: What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it?

ADN: Not asking for help enough! I’ve learned that the hard way. You can’t do everything yourself and it’s okay to seek guidance and support from those who have expertise in other areas.

HC: What has been the most surreal moment of your career thus far?

ADN: There have been so many, it’s hard to pin it down to one! Debuting at Paris Fashion Week was an emotional wonderful start, having Tracee Ellis Ross as the first celebrity to walk a red carpet in AUDRA, being reviewed by Style.com, and most recently designing and creating my first full wedding party–bride and all! Shipping out my first production to stores and clients was probably my highlight! It has always been my dream to have real women wearing my creations. There have also been those crazy, ridiculous moments – like having to cut a thong off a model right before she walked down the runway or driving a UHAUL full of AUDRA product to a trunk show.

HC: What do you look for when considering hiring someone?

ADN: Applicants who are proactive, passionate, and positive. Someone who is proactive to learn, find solutions, and persevere through the journey and not in it for the fame. Then pair it with the passion to be thorough in every task given, whether big or small and be positive every day.  They go the extra mile to go above the normal expectations and they seek opportunities to move the needle of the company daily.

HC: What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations?

ADN: Take advantage of any and all opportunities put in front you. It may not be the perfect internship or that design competition that fits your aesthetic, but each experience is going to teach you something, shape you as a professional creative, and lead you to the next opportunity which could be the best fit for you.

HC: What's the one thing that's stood out to you the most in a resume?  

ADN: I recently received an application for an intern who had graduated over six years ago. She never had the opportunity to pursue working in fashion due to life circumstances. She said that what she made up in formal education she compensated with life experience. It’s never too late to go after your dream and I was impressed by her confidence and drive to not give up on hers!

Chelsea is the Health Editor for Her Campus. In addition to editing articles about mental health, women's health and physical health, Chelsea contributes to Her Campus as a Feature Writer, Beauty Writer, Entertainment Writer and News Writer. Some of her unofficial, albeit self-imposed, responsibilities include arguing about the Oxford comma, fangirling about other writers' articles, and pitching Her Campus's editors shamelessly nerdy content (at ambiguously late/early hours, nonetheless). When she isn't writing for Her Campus, she is probably drawing insects, painting with wine or sobbing through "X-Men: Apocalypse." Follow her on Twitter: @cjacks_draw

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