There has never been a better time to be a woman in the work place. We have jobs that are varied and exhilarating - and as entrepreneurs we’re ahead of the game. Here Alice Olins, co-founder of career blog the Step Up Club, meets four wonderful working women and asks them what success and life on the career frontline means to them.
If you finally want to discover what to wear to work, join us for an exclusive style shopping event with Fenwick Bond Street and Step Up Club on September 29 from 6pm. There will be style advice from leading fashion journalist Carolyn Asome, plus makeup lessons and more - book your tickets here.
1. Artist: Sara Berman
Sara Berman is a British fashion designer turned fine artist; one of her pieces is currently being exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery.
- How I made it work: “I loved working in fashion but I never imagined that I would spend my whole working life in one role. That mindset allowed me the mental versatility to consider changing careers. Change is a natural catalyst for growth. If I compare my roles as a designer and artist, running your own fashion business requires grit in order to work, whereas my painting is more about practice."
- What I've learnt: "The thing I am beginning to realise is that art, like design, is never a smooth path from A to B. I am learning to trust my process and know that even if I feel like nothing is working and I will never be happy with a piece, I will come through. I feel incredibly lucky to be in a situation whereby I am able to make my work."
- "I love what I do. I am always thinking about it, in my head I am always working. It is solitary but I have a network of people around me that I trust to bounce ideas off or to look at my work and pass valued opinion. But at the end of the day it is just opinion and it always rests with me. I like that. I like the control and ownership."
- Success is: "For me success is being happy in what I do. When my work is going well I am the happiest person alive. When it's not going well or if I feel a little lost then I am on the floor and horrid to be around. For me, success has nothing to do with selling my work, it's all about what I am working on and if I feel my practice is developing in a way that is truly engaging me.”
MY WORK STYLE
- My style: "If I’m painting it’s baggy jeans and an old cashmere jumper (usually navy). If I’m meeting people then I like to play around and dress according to my mood. It usually leans towards the eclectic. How I look is very important to me. I express myself through clothes and sometimes paint what I am wearing."
- My staples: "I am very lucky and get spoilt on the clothes front. My mother is Helene Berman so I get lots of fabulous coats from her. I have a grey pinstriped Crombie style coat that I love and wear all the time. Jane Lewis from Goat is my sister-in-law and I get lovely things from her too. I have a particular navy jumper that I wear so much that I have doubles. I also love Bella Freud and often wear My Ginsberg Jumper - even though I shrunk it."
- My beauty essentials: "I love Nuxe hair oil and spray it around with great abandon."