Meet Jessica Wilson, the co-founder behind fashion-based app Stashd. At just 22 years old, Jessica has made a solid name for herself within the fashion realm, even working prestigious shows at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Australia. Read more about pursuing a fulfilling fashion career below!
Q: You’re 22 and you’re already an entrepreneur, which is a huge accomplishment! Tell us a little about your background, and why you decided to pursue the entrepreneurial route
A: I originally grew up on a small farm and took that seemingly un-idealistic situation as a 16-year-old girl and turned it into a business venture running events on the farm’s land for neighboring high schools. I then attended a college and was told by a career adviser that I would never land an internship in fashion. I then went on to work with some of the world's leading companies and designers in Australia and New York, despite having no contacts in the industry. So I guess I like the challenge of changing the way in which we think about approaching a problem and viewing it more so as an opportunity. The entrepreneurial role is all based around solving a problem, and with the shift in the industry at current with the introduction of technology specifically within the retail sector, it has just been identifying the problem (opportunity) and then working to solve it!
Q: You also recently produced a show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Australia. How much preparation did that event take, and what was your biggest takeaway after it was all over?
A: There is a lot of preparation that goes into the 15 minutes that comes out on the runway! I worked on everything from the creative direction, model castings, fittings, show calling on the day and overall organization. During every event or project without a doubt there is something new to be learned and amazing, like-minded people to connect with. Q: For you personally, what was the scariest aspect of dropping out of college and paving your own path in the industry?
A: I was lucky enough to know what part of the industry I wanted to be involved in early on. I found that exposing myself to people and opportunities within the industry allowed me to learn more than I would from a textbook or assignment. Not to say that college isn’t important, it most definitely is, but I just had a clear vision of what I wanted to achieve and where I wanted to be so decided to make it happen on my own accord. No one is going to be as passionate about your direction and career than you, so it’s important to take ownership of that. There is always the feeling of fear - you just need to decide you want it more than you are afraid of it.
Q: You also launched an app, Stashd, that presents its users with a unique luxury fashion experience. What was the process like while developing the app, and how long did it take for Stashd to go live?
A: I am a co-founder of Stashd and my business partner Pete Neill is a tech gun! He is a self-taught iOS developer and has sold previous successful apps, so he developed the app within the space of 6 weeks, once it was up in the app store users started to grow and within the space of three or so weeks Stashd was featured as one of Apples best new apps! We are now aligned with top-tier, globally shipping online stores Net-a-porter, Mr Porter, Ssense.com and Farfetch, have users in over 80 countries. We have also been featured as one of Apple's best new apps in 11 countries!
Q: For fellow Working Girls looking to go out on their own and pursue an entrepreneurial career path, what would your single best piece of advice be, and why?
A: The hardest part is deciding what you want to do. Once you know what it is you want to do it’s just a matter of making it happen. Fear and self-doubt is a natural feeling when you’re going against what society expects of you as a 20-something Working Girl, it’s just how you handle that feeling and channel it toward working to achieve your goal.
Learn more about Stashd here and be sure to nab the app while you're at it! What are your go-to fashion apps? Share them in a comment below!