I just had the honor to attend a lecture and Q&A by Ceci Johnson at my school, FIT!
Ceci Johnson is the founder of Ceci New York. She is an expert in luxury invitation designs, branding, and visual styling. Ceci started her company ten years ago and since then she is the “go-to” girl among an international high-profile clientele, including royalty, A-list celebrities, the president, and leading luxury brands. Like myself, Ceci has been fashion obsessed and dedicated to a lifetime pursuit of glamorous individual style her whole life. She is a wife, daughter, and new mother who still has time to follow her dreams and look completely gorgeous, fabulous and most importantly- happy!
What led to me add Ceci on my personal list of amazing and inspirational woman was not just the fact that she created a business and company I dream of working for, but she was also friendly, sincere, and so down to earth. Her work ethic and passion combined is what drove her to be so successful and I applaud her for that! I’m sure that everyone else in the audience could agree that tonight you could feel Ceci’s passion as she told stories about her business. When asked questions about how she became so successful, she was very honest explaining that she wouldn’t be so successful if this wasn’t what she loved to do. She never short changes herself and always stands up for what she believes in. She sets very high stands and expects them to be met and that is another reason why she is so successful.
As a fashion major and event planning minor, I was SO into what she was saying from the moment she started speaking. I have to share a few words of advice Ceci shared tonight:
“Inspiration is all around you, but as a designer you must also define the target, whether its a client or a brand.”
“In a world of clunky binders and template invitations I saw a niche for a truly couture design. and I went for it!”
“Don’t give your work away for free. Nothing – and I mean nothing – says commitment like a deposit and signed contract.”
Something I am going to have to paraphrase, was her answer to the question, “What was the moment when you were like, ‘wow, I made it’?” She thought for a second and then explained that when she started out she wanted to get involved in a little event, and she did! When it was over she was surprised how easy it was, so she set her goals higher and higher. The fact that she keeps setting new goals allows for amazing confident boosting moments when she reaches them! How cool is that?!
Attending FIT was always a goal of mine, and I reached it. This is only the beginning, because I will never stop setting new goals!
After Ceci’s words of wisdom tonight I felt increasingly excited about my future and a lot less scared. I came to the realization that throughout my whole life I have had passion and love for being creative, not only in fashion. I put creativity into everything that I do. From baking giant cupcakes, to redecorating my house without my mother’s permission. I started my own small line of jewelery. I created bracelets, earrings, embellished hats, and hair accessories because I loved doing it. I guess I never really realized how awesome that was because I was just doing because it came natural to me. I will paint mine and my friend’s nails crazy prints and designs, because, again it’s something that makes me happy. I could go on and on explaining all the ways I have been creative my whole life, but it’s really more than that. Finding what you want to do, to be your career, is finding what truly makes you happy. It has to be a part of you. You could have your life up in jumbles and everything could be falling apart, but when you have your creativity, that’s forever; My creativity, and my passion for fashion, will never disappoint me or let me down.
Ceci Johnson, you and your kind words are seriously a blessing and I thank you SO SO much for sharing your story!
I HIGHLY recommended you check out her website http://www.cecinewyork.com and from that check out her twitter, instagram, and pinterest!