I turned down both of my part-time job offers because they needed me to work too many total hours a week. Though I was in need of a job that paid a little, making $10/hour was not worth giving my entire summer up for. I can’t expect to get the most out of my New York stay if I’m working every single day of the week. Nope, not happening. Even my mom urged me not to accept the secondary employment proposals. I contacted my cousin Leanna because she’s the only person I knew in the city prior to getting here. I knew that she had contacts within the fashion industry since she is high up in Tory Burch merchandising.
I’ve only met Leanna one other time in my life before this summer. That was at her brother’s wedding, in Boston, over nine years ago. We kind of lost touch with my father’s side of the family since then, and this summer, I have made it a goal to revive the relationships. After all, they are family. I babysat Leanna’s precious daughter, Dylan, last Saturday. She was the sweetest, most talkative two-year-old I’ve ever met. Even though she had never met me in her life, she ran up to me and hugged me cooing, “You’re my cousin!” I’m so glad to be considered a part of the East Coast fam, even though I’ve been out of the picture for so long.
It’s so great to see people having your back just because you’re family. My first night over at her house, Leanna gave me hundreds of dollars worth of Tory Burch hand-me-downs, which I gladly took off her hands. Then she asked Dylan what they had for me and Dylan replied, “We have a special present,” and ran to get it from the kitchen. Leanna reached in a bag and pulled out a small black box. She said, “my mom and I wanted to give this to you because it was your great grandmother’s wedding ring. You were named after her.” My g-grandmother’s name was Magdalena and she had excellent taste as confirmed by the intricate detailing on her ring. We both started crying during this gifting and Leanna gave me a huge welcome-to-New-York hug. Good to have you Eastern cousins back in my life!
Leanna set me up for an interview with one of her best friends from college. The company is called Calypso St. Barth, and is a women’s fashion boutique. Calypso produces a wonderful collection every season with a somewhat Bohemian flavor. Their stuff is incredibly unique and very difficult to create as you can perceive from viewing their website. I interviewed, and got the job on the spot. I will be working for Hudson Jeans three weekdays, and for Calypso the remaining two. Calypso’s main office is a 45-minute subway ride, so I have to get up much earlier than usual, but I’m happy to be working for them.
This incredible opportunity was the spawn of who I knew, not what I knew, though the ladies in the office were very impressed with my portfolio. The two companies that I’m working for are extremely dissimilar when it comes to their target market. I look forward to learning the ropes at Calypso and killing two internships with one summer (two birds with one stone?). I’m so excited to have ideas and inspirations from both Calypso and Hudson rub off on me during my time here. I’ve been so blessed this summer in obtaining work that directly applies to what I want to do for the rest of my life—design. What awesome experience I am gaining!
Alena Netia Horowitz