Monday, August 31, 2009

From the Runway to the Team

by Angie | Marketing Assistant

There are very few defining moments in most people's lives that they appreciate at the time the moment occurs. Most people look back upon opportunities they've received, or events in their lives and wish they would've looked upon them with greater appreciation. Luckily for me, I don't have to look back and wonder.

Many people on the team can recall the first time they heard the words "Project Ethos" - that moment for me came when I was only 17 years old. I had just graduated high school and started my own clothing line. I received an email offering me a spot in this show that in some form or another, combined the fashion, music and art of young people in the LA area. Amazed at the idea that anyone would want to display MY work anywhere, I contacted them back - and the rest was like a whirlwind.

As a participant, it was my assignment to design a 15 piece collection to display on the runway for Project Ethos 4:"Outrageously Ripe" back in 2007... and let me TELL you, it was not easy. I had just turned 18 years old - I was a full time student at a community college, I had two part time jobs and I was the ONLY person I trusted enough to put hands on my collection. I had NO idea what I was doing most of the time, but the Ethos team made me feel like I had some sort of back-up. They held my hand through everything, business cards, line sheets, press kits, and even allowed for a few frantic phone calls here and there.

When I started with Ethos, it was on the verge of becoming the monster that it is today. "Outrageously Ripe" was the perfect theme for that show because that's exactly what it was. The road from participant to team member has been an interesting one. After my show, I set off on my own little adventure inspired by Ethos and did my own fashion shows in the Pasadena area with a few promoter friends I knew. Then one day, I got a call from a person on the team who showed a few of my pieces to Sean Healy who owned a store on Melrose. I made a deal with him and filled an order to put a line of my shirts in his store. It was my first major success when the whole order sold out in a short span of 2 months. All because of Ethos.

That success led me to enter a CosmoGirl writing contest that posed the simple question "How have you used MySpace to further your career?" Ethos was my obvious answer - and I won. The prize was the chance to go to the Myspace offices in Beverly Hills and interview Tom (yes, MySpace Tom) for the magazine. I went there with the intention of leaving with more than just an article for CosmoGirl. After the interview, I asked him if there were any internships available. He said they didn't even take interns yet, but that he'd love to have me.

The next day I received an email offering me an internship in the PR department. Working there for the summer, I continued to be in love with Ethos. In an effort to pay Ethos back for all they had done for me, I pushed them to create a MySpace page for Essence of Ethos so that I could nominate them for the MySpace Impact Award for $10,000. Needless to say, we didn't win, but not shortly after my internship ended, Ethos offered me a spot on the team.

Now here I am, 3 years later. Grown from that 18 year old girl the team once knew into a 21 year old woman. Many on the team know me as Angie, the crazy one who can sometimes get a little out of line, and who on occasion talks and acts (what we on the team like to call) a little "urban". Nevertheless, I will always be known as one who unwaveringly loves and believes in Project Ethos. Not only because of my own experiences with the event, or the team, but because of the good that it represents. Ethos is a positive force that cannot fail because it stems from a love of art, and a celebration of creativity. When something is inherently good, no amount of negativity can break it down. Ever.

That is why Ethos is here to stay.

I will remain forever humbled, and grateful for my experiences with this extraordinary group of people, and the fact that they have accepted me into their family.

Lets just say, I'm finally at a loss for words.

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