“I would love to see more people meditate. While the idea may seem completely foreign to most, I have seen it do a world of good. As a RYT, I practice and teach yoga on a regular basis. Some times the best thing you can do for yourself is to truly clear your mind. In fact, one of the major reasons asana (physical poses) is a part of the yogic philosophy is because it gives your mind some physical thing to focus on while you meditate. Quieting the mind is by no means easy, but it has an uncanny way of putting things in perspective. This would likely benefit a great many people.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Lexie Broytman, fashion model and founder of EvaDane jewelry.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Most people do not know, EvaDane started as a college project in a public relations course at Quinnipiac University. I was instructed to create a company which is how EvaDane eventually came to be. I had been modeling since high school; after graduating with my masters degree, I went to pursue fashion full time in New York City. It was not until later when I felt the need for a creative outlet that I thought about the possibility of starting a business.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started?
One of the things I found most interesting about starting EvaDane was how clear things became. When I first began, I felt considerably lack-luster about my (then) current situation. Even though I was modeling and living in Manhattan, I did not feel fulfilled. Now looking back on that time, I realized by naturally gravitating toward something I was passionate about, my life became more defined. It was as if there was suddenly a much clearer path in front of me. Since then, I have tried to continue to move forward with the natural flow of things knowing it is probably for my greater good.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I have made my fair share of silly mistakes to be sure. One of the funniest was while re-ordering the gift boxes our products arrive in. I was purchasing quite a large quantity (somewhere in the thousands). At the time I was living in a New York City apartment. Needless to say, it was a fairly small space. I had meant to send the shipment to my hometown where I had much more room at a storage unit. However, the shipment was accidentally sent to my New York City address. The delivery guy just kept trucking boxes up into my apartment. By the time he finished unloading, there was not an inch to spare and I could barely move from room to room. Lesson learned — from that point forward I tripple checked shipping addresses on bulk orders.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
From time to time I stop and think about what makes EvaDane unique. Fashion accessories, particularly jewelry, are everywhere. It can be hard to differentiate from other companies. In my opinion, it comes down to the energy I put into my company. EvaDane products are all about supporting the wearer through their unique journey. My goal is to produce interesting pieces of jewelry people want to make part of their everyday style, simply because it makes them feel good. There is a sense of realness to every piece we put out. My hope is customers feel good energy when they wear our products.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
It can be hard to keep creativity alive. Artistry is so much a part of fashion. I believe to create art there is an element of passion involved. Personally, I do things on a regular basis to stay engaged in the present. I’m always traveling into Manhattan for various projects, spending time in an environment like that is super stimulating for me. So, I would say do things that keep passion alive. Know when to step away from work, but also know how to come back to it.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I am really excited about our newest project, a limited edition collection of bracelets which support Honey Bee conservation (available on www.evadane.com). A portion of the proceeds from this collection will be donated to Planet Bee, a group dedicated to conservation efforts. The bracelets feature stones such as Citrine, Dalmatian Jasper and Red Moonstone with gold and silver finishes. According to the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) honey bees pollinate $15 billion dollars worth of crops each year which equates to a third of everything that Americans consume, meaning without them, the ecosystem will struggle to survive. Honey bees are on the decline due to a range of factors. But there are a number of initiatives to preserve them. Honey Bees symbolize community, power and balance — characteristics that are radiated in this collection. I have always believed in giving back to the greater community. Once I learned how important this small species is to our existence, I felt compelled to act.
Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?
Fear is a misunderstood friend. As a general rule I have often been reluctant to put myself in uncomfortable situations. I suppose that is not so atypical. However, I have found the most growth came over the course of some pretty uncomfortable situations. When you take calculated risks (or even not so calculated) you are making yourself available to new experiences. After a few instances where I saw serious personal strides, I realized fear is actually a great barometer for positive change.
Do you see any fascinating developments emerging over the the next few years in the fashion industry that you are excited about? Can you tell us about that?
Customization seems to be on the upswing now. Customers want to purchase products specific to their needs, tastes and experiences. EvaDane has always specialized in offering a wide selection of customizable products (particularly through our Amazon shop). I am excited about this trend because it allows our company to get to know customers. This understanding is very helpful as we move forward and roll out new products.
What are your “Top 5 Things Needed to Succeed in the Fashion Industry. Please share a story or example for each.
1). Keep the juices flowing — Build in time to recharge your batteries. Whether that means taking time to catch up on personal relationships or visiting a particular favorite spot. You have to continue to fuel your creativity before anything else can be done.
2). Thick Skin — Fashion can be pretty rough some times. If you are grounded in your personal power, it is much easier to handle criticism from others.
3). Forget Perfection — Nothing and no one is perfect. Do not fall into the trap of striving for perfection. Put forth your best work with what resources you have. Move forward knowing it is all a process — plus you can always edit later.
4). Be Proactive — You have to advocate for yourself, always. There can be so much noise in the fashion space. Stay true to your purpose and stand up for your goals.
5). Compassion — Facing challenges within the fashion industry are best met with compassion. In fact, everything in life is better dealt with a little compassion. Remember the people you interact with on a daily basis are human too. Keep it all in perspective.
Every industry constantly evolves and seeks improvement. How do you think the fashion industry can improve itself? Can you give an example?
Accountability is big for me personally. Coming from the modeling world, I have found myself in many situations where no one accepts accountability for their actions. It can be easy to be taken advantage of within the fashion realm, especially as a young girl. I would like to see those who operate within fashion take a little more personal responsibility for their role or involvement in various scenarios. I strongly believe it would do the industry a lot of good.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would love to see more people meditate. While the idea may seem completely foreign to most, I have seen it do a world of good. As a RYT, I practice and teach yoga on a regular basis. Some times the best thing you can do for yourself is to truly clear your mind. In fact, one of the major reasons asana (physical poses) is a part of the yogic philosophy is because it gives your mind some physical thing to focus on while you meditate. Quieting the mind is by no means easy, but it has an uncanny way of putting things in perspective. This would likely benefit a great many people.
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Originally published at medium.com