College or Career: Smart Gen-Z Choices
By Adriana Llames
How often are you impressed by someone to the point you want to go the extra mile to make a difference in their life? That's what happened when I met 21-year old Lauren of LN Accents at the WGN Studios in December. She was just 19 years old when she began LN Accents, which has already garnered media attention on Daily Candy, Seventeen Magazine, ABC and WGN. The most impressive attribute about Lauren? She chose college over her booming business because "it provides more opportunities."
Reality of personal branding
Lauren is a bright young lady that was on winter break from Syracuse University when we met in the green room at the WGN Studio. She was there for the second time being featured fo her LN Accents headbands and bracelets jewelry business in the "Midday Fix" segment. This budding branding machine and fashionista wrote in to The Oprah Show at 16 to meet her icon, Marc Jacobs. The very next day she heard back, and a film, hair and makeup crew showed up to follow her journey and story from home to the HARPO studio where she met Marc Jacobs. There's something about Lauren that inspires confidence in her brand and conveys an "I'm going to be a major designer one day" mentality.
Syracuse today and success tomorrow
With successful entrepreneurs such as PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel setting up foundations to provide 6-figure seed money to college kids to drop out of college and start businesses, Lauren's choice to pursue her education over jumping full on into the business world was inspirational. "I enjoy working and do as much as I can to build my brand but have always thought about going to school because LN Accents has always been a side business. I learn so much in my classes about the skills I need to be successful in the future. If I just did headbands it wouldn't open me to other opportunities" said Lauren.
Personal and business branding
Lauren's Company name follows her own name: LN Accents for Lauren Nicole Accents and she spends her school breaks expanding the brand's coverage and exposure. While Lauren is studying fashion, her twin sister (that's right, she has a twin) studying PR and planning to attend law school. The hope is for her sister to manage the operational aspects of the business in the future, for now she does the modeling for Lauren who designs and sews each design. I had the pleasure of meeting both girls who make an impressive team.
Her advice for other Gen Z'ers
We all know there's no superhero in real life, so how does a 21-year old run a successful fashion business, garner top media coverage and attend Syracuse full-time? Lauren says, "I stay organized and set aside the time develop the designs and to always be networking with people. It's important to keep in contact with media I've met in the past." It's important to always promote your personal brand because you get a lot of no's and "it doesn't mean your brand (or product) isn't good. It just means it's not the right for them."
Adriana Llames is a master career coach and acclaimed author of "Career Sudoku: 9 Ways to Win the Job Search Game", released with top book seller Amazon.com. She is the chief engagement officer at adrianallames communications and a highly sought after keynote speaker motivating and inspiring audiences with her high energy, focused programs on personal branding, social media and networking. For more information, visit www.adrianallames.com.
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The Personal Branding Blog offers branding and career advice from Dan Schawbel and his team of experts. The blog helps professionals learn how to build a personal brand for their own career and job search success. It is an AdAge Power150 blog and has won many other awards, including "CareerBuilder.com's 6 Job Blogs You Should Be Reading," "FINS 5 Marketing Blogs For Your Career," "Intent.com's 2011 Career Blog," "MC Hammer's Top 10 Favorite Blogs," and has received recognition in Spain, Singapore and many other countries. The blog has been syndicated by Aol Jobs, Yahoo! Shine, Forbes, FoxBusiness.com, Reuters, Hoovers, BusinessInsider.com and many others.