How to be a fashion freelancer (when you don't know anyone in the industry) : Courses & Free Tutorials on Adobe Illustrator, Tech Packs & Freelancing for Fashion Designers
How to be a fashion freelancer when you don't know anyone in the industry

SFD121 How to be a fashion freelancer (if you don’t know anyone in the industry)

January 18, 2021

Alex is a self-taught freelance technical designer living in Ottawa, Ontario. He didn’t go to fashion school, and he never held a job in the industry. Yet he’s working with small fashion brands, helping them get their ideas into production alongside his full-time job. Even if you don’t know anyone in the fashion industry, you too can build a network and find success. In this episode, he shares how he managed to carve a spot for himself as a fashion freelancer, and what he’s learned in the process. 

And if you want to check out the Successful Fashion Freelancer course that got Alex started, check it out while it’s open–this week only!

In the interview (which you’ll love), we will cover:

  • How Alex had the guts to get started, and what he said to land his first client
  • His advice for other inexperienced freelancers 
  • How he feels about working for free
  • The importance of clear tech packs for successful production
  • The bold moves he made to create a network in the fashion industry
  • His #1 tip for happy clients
  • The tips Alex uses to find brands to pitch to
  • How he navigates the sustainability conversation as a freelancer
  • And more!

Press the orange play button below to listen here, or listen on Apple Podcasts:



Starting from zero as a fashion freelancer

Alex Reid discovered his love of fashion almost a decade ago, when he was in 11th grade. When he graduated and went on to college, he didn’t even consider studying fashion, and instead followed the crowd in his hometown and majored in business and finance. 

But after working in banking for a while, Alex was miserable. He hated the pressure and knowing he was there to help the company, not the people they were serving. 

So he transitioned to a government job with less stressful hours, and started exploring what he actually wanted to do. That’s when he realized that his love of fashion could actually translate to a job he loved.

How to be a fashion freelancer when you don’t know anyone in the industry

Alex jumped into learning fashion illustration and sewing, not knowing exactly how he was going to break into the industry without spending tens of thousands more on another degree. 

Then, when he began learning Adobe Illustrator, he found SFD and discovered my course, Successful Fashion Freelancer. Putting together what he learned in the course, Alex zeroed in on the services he could actually offer, and started talking to people he knew about what he could do. 

He didn’t know anyone in the industry, but a friend he talked to just happened to know someone who was starting a brand. Alex jumped at the opportunity, and hasn’t looked back. 

If you’re drawn to freelancing, but feel like you don’t know enough, this episode is for you!

Loved this interview? Check out Episode 78, Working with Factories as a Fashion Freelancer!

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