Many people have taken a clothing retail job at one point or another, whether part time while attending school, or as an entry point into the world of fashion.
Richmond resident Jocelyn Neufeld took her years in the field and created her own fashion line, EIK Design Inc., with business partner and friend Elisabet Krist¢fersd¢ttir.
And now, the duo has been accepted to showcase their pieces next week at Vancouver Fashion Week from March 19 to 24.
"I thought this would be a great way to take my retail experience in Richmond to the next level," said the 29-year-old president of the company.
Neufeld and Krist¢fersd¢ttir met south of the border while completing their Bachelor of Fine Arts in fashion design at the Art Institute of Seattle five years ago.
As Krist¢fersd¢ttir started to work on design projects in her home country of Iceland, Neufeld had the idea to start a business, having Krist¢fersd¢ttir design while she did the behind-the-scenes administrative work.
"I always look to architecture for inspiration when designing," said Krist¢fersd¢ttir, 30, adding the target demographic is women from 25 to 45. "The style is very European, mostly black, but there's lots of texture."
Whether or not to enter fashion design was never a question for Krist¢fersd¢ttir, who grew up in a family of seamstresses. Her grandmother owned a fabric store. She's known she wanted to make her own mark in the field since she was a child.
"It's European fashion, but it's also very wearable," said Neufeld. "A lot of new fashion designers try to break outside the box a little bit, and that's not always as marketable to people. With this, you can wear some of the tops with jeans and it works."
Eight months after they created the business, with a successful launch at a trade show in Las Vegas last month and a Canadian debut next week, EIK Design Inc. seems to be thriving.
They have produced 36 pieces in total, ranging from black sequined leggings to a winter trench coat. Pricing runs anywhere from $50 to $350, according to Neufeld, and all products are made locally.
Next week features the pieces in a runway show on March 20 and also in a designer collection showroom later.
Vancouver Fashion Week attracts fashionistas from across the globe. In terms of designer and media partner numbers, it's the second largest fashion week in North America, garnering more than 20,000 guests each year.
Being their first fashion week, and with the first fitting complete, Neufeld and Krist¢fersd¢ttir are excited for it to begin.
"As with any start-up company, we're always going to take some time to get into the swing of things, but we've been doing well so far," said Neufeld. "It's been interesting."
A live feed of the show will be available at vanfashionweeklive.com.