Hi everyone! We got the chance to sit down with our Canadian friend Jodi and chat with her about the ups and downs of the fashion industry. We hope you enjoy :)
Born in Kincardine, Ontario, a small town three hours outside of Toronto, Jodi Taylor grew up with a love for the outdoors, spending her weekends boating, hiking, snowmobiling, and swimming. When she wasn't doing that, you could find her in her room with her collection of books and CDs, or on the train to Toronto to spend a day shopping in the city.
After graduating from the Fashion Management program at George Brown College in Toronto, Jodi widened her knowledge of the industry by working in various roles across the fashion industry. From wholesale to social media management to merchandising, she realized her true passion lay in storytelling and ideation and transitioned to editorial. Jodi is now an Editor at the luxury lifestyle brand, Coveteur, splitting her time between Toronto and New York, writing about all things fashion, sneaker, streetwear, and music-related.
When did you first start developing a passion for the fashion industry?
I can't really pinpoint the exact moment, but somewhere maybe mid-high school, I became interested in the industry. It started with print issues of Vogue, Teen Vogue, and Elle—and Tumblr, of course. My goal was always to be Editor-in-Chief of a publication.
How has both growing up and working in Canada shaped your early childhood and career?
Honestly, I grew up in the middle of nowhere, so I feel that I didn't get a real taste for the industry in Canada until I moved to Toronto to go to university. But going to school and working in the city has taught me to be resourceful. The fashion industry has never been huge here, so I learned early on that you have to learn how to properly network and be willing to work hard to get to where you want to be.
Switching gears a bit - What was your first encounter with mental health? Either personal or with family/friends?
After graduating from college and working a few internships, I moved to England for eight months. And while I had small encounters with mental health prior to this, my time there—finding work in a new country, living with a family member who I hadn’t seen in years, not having any friends besides the one that I went out there with, being away from family and friends, going broke in a foreign country—showed me how important good mental health is and how difficult it can be to maintain. I feel as though that experience shaped me into who I am today, and taught me to be truthful to myself, to never be afraid to say my opinion and to always check in with myself.
The fashion space - especially on the editorial side - is very demanding - how have you best dealt with the daily challenges that come with such a role?
I’ve definitely learned to take each day as it comes. Learning to become flexible has been extremely helpful to me, and creating to-do lists for the day (and the week) keeps me on track. On the days where I am feeling extra stressed, I’ll make sure that I hit a workout class—spin and boxing are my go-to's—or find even 20 minutes to go for a walk, read, or listen to some chill music. I also pretty much always have CBD oil nearby to keep me level headed and calm.
What mental health-related messages/issues do you feel need to be focused on to address the younger generations in the digital space?
We still have a long way to go with making people feel comfortable and safe enough to share their stories, and for others to feel comfortable being the shoulder to lean on and the one to listen. We need people to truly understand just how important and real of an issue it is, and set the example that it’s 100% okay to open up, or on the other hand, to take a step back when they need to.
What would be your biggest tip of advice for our younger readers looking to break into the industry?
Work hard and stay focused, but make sure you’re getting your rest at the same time. I don’t believe in the whole work-around-the-clock-and-never-take-a-day-off way of living, as I’ve experienced burnout and trust me, it’s not pretty. I think that you can still work hard and achieve your goals while making sure you stay mentally and physically healthy. My advice has always been to be positive, smile, never burn a bridge, and meet as many people as you possibly can. You never know who might be able to help you reach your goals.
Favorite Madhappy item?
I’m obsessed with the crop crewnecks.
Best restaurant in Toronto?
La Bella Managua.
Who's your role model?
Favorite recent book or podcast?
Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou. I have no idea why it took me so long to read that.
If you had a billboard that everyone in the world could read, what would it say?
Don’t forget to smile.
What makes you Madhappy?
Friends, family, and chilling at my house. Also, a good bowl of spaghetti Pomodoro never hurts.