Be Your Own Boss: A Lesson from Modista's 3rd Annual MODIvation Conference

On Saturday, November 17th, many  eager students gathered in the Governance Chambers in the Student Center of Kent State for Modista’s third annual MODivation Conference. This year’s theme was “Be Your Own Boss,” and featured industry professionals Stacey McKenzie, Bibi Oubai, Kasia Gibbs, Angela Wische and Tad Boetcher.

The Modista Fashion Group was also celebrating an amazing milestone in their organization, their 10th year being a part of the Kent campus. As a gift for everyone, the group decided to make this year’s conference free to everyone, allowing anyone to come learn more about the fashion industry and network with the special guests.

Kent State Fashion School faculty member Hillary Stone kicked off the day with an amazing speech, incorporating the “Be Your Own Boss” motto throughout her time speaking. Stone had very insightful information to share, as she has been a part of the fashion industry for a while. She ended her very motivating speech with the phrase, “Everyday, become wiser.”

Photo by Hadley Stoub

Attendees were then able to submit questions for the industry professionals to answer during their Q&A session. Sharing their experiences while being in the fashion world, we were able to learn more about the careers of the speakers and gain insight on the ins-and-outs of the industry. When asked about advice for succeeding in the world of fashion, the industry professionals had many useful tips to share with everyone. “Always stay super hungry and never say no to an opportunity,” said Assistant Buyer and Kent State alumni Angela Wische.

After getting to hear from the conference’s guests, everyone moved upstairs to mingle and network. There were many opportunities that allowed the attendees to introduce themselves to the professionals in a more personal setting. During this time, a CottonWorks representative shared information on how their resources are beneficial to fashion students on campus and even included a raffle at the end as well.

Proceeding the mingle and networking break, everyone split into different sessions with the fashion experts and got to go more in-depth with them individually. All of the guests come from different part of the industry, so students were able to hear their different stories in greater detail and have more time to ask them any questions.

Photo by Hadley Stoub

Modista’s president Naz Jackson wrapped up the day with a heartfelt, moving speech. As this being her last year at Kent, she reflected on her time here and being a part of the Modista Fashion Group. “Had I not taken the chance to step out of my comfort zone freshman year and become a dresser from Modista’s annual fashion show, I am positive I would not standing where I am today,” said Jackson. She also stressed the importance of “being your own boss.” Jackson ended her speech by saying, “By showing up today, you have what it takes and you’re willing to be the best you.”

Photo by Hadley Stoub