Introduction: Nadia Nathania & Her Breakthroughs

July 8, 2018

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Hi! As many of you have known, my name is Nadia Nathania. A few of my followers on Instagram have asked me, what is it that I really do? I was shocked that one time a few people thought that I was a photographer. I'm not, by the way. LOL. So I’m writing to give you a little background of what I used to do and what I currently do.

The best way to find out a little about me is through my LinkedIn profile. But in short, I’m currently working as a fashion stylist under Niel Dimitrij and I also help him manage his  company's finances for #STYLEWITHDIMITRIJ and his clothing line that's launching later this month, DANSON. The rest, you can check on my LinkedIn profile

In 2016, I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in English Language and Literature from the University of Nottingham. I straightaway continued my higher education and graduated with a Master of Science in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management the following year from the same university. I always knew that I wanted to do a master's but I was thinking of going to work before doing it, but my parents were a big factor in why I chose to do my master's straightaway. Long story short, I wanted to work in fashion because since my early years, I’ve always had an interest for fashion, and the creative industry but my dad felt like having a master's will attract more employers who want to hire me. But with the economy being like what it is right now, having master's ended up making me look over-qualified yet inexperienced. But anyways, I knew that if employers weren't going to give me a job, I might as well create an opportunity for myself. So here's a few pictures below so that you can get to know me better. 

At my master's graduation.



Style & Concept by Niel Dimitrij, assisted by me. Photographed by Jiang Vivienne. Make up by Elisa Han. Muse: Lydia Rekwandani (left), Malvava (right).
Style & Concept by Niel Dimitrij, assisted by me. Photographed by Jiang Vivienne. Make up by Elisa Han. Muse: Malvava (left), Lydia Rekwandani (left).
For those who are curious, I grew up in Surabaya, Indonesia - born and raised (so yes, I do have that Surabaya accent) - before I left for China in 2013, and then Hong Kong, England, and back to China…and then to Malaysia to work in property before I decided that it wasn't my passion so I decided to go back to Indonesia, in 2018. 5 years and 5 different countries. I've been really blessed and I am grateful for all the opportunities that the universe has given me. 
Anti-mainstream picture at my favorite spot in Shanghai, China - where the French concession is. A lot of nice bakery and coffee shops in that area.

My MSc Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management classmates and I.


My favorite view in the whole world. Taken by my iPhone 6.

Went to Oxford during Spring and this was too beautiful to be true, honestly. 

Me and my best friend Nicole enjoying too much British tea afternoons and all the cakes. I didn't take so much pictures of me when I was in the UK. I was too shy because I gained a ton of weight and wasn't killing it on camera. Obviously, I didn't know how to contour before. But then again, I regretted that and I should have just loved myself. #selflovemuch



During my master’s program, I joined a program called the Advanced Living Series from Milestone Trainings. I was living in China at that time, attending the University of Nottingham Ningbo Campus and my Nottingham senior enrolled me to this program. I remember he called me one day, and he said, “With only RM 2,500 your life will change! Would you like to join Discovery Training as a part of the Advanced Living Series?” 

I was stunned, I was thinking, What on earth is going on? Did he join a multi-level marketing company? He didn’t stop right there, he asked for my email which without a doubt I gave to him, the moment he asked for it. He sent me some files, which I like to call a survey / questionnaire that made me think what I really wanted in life. I was 21, I was doing my master’s degree - I felt like the smartest girl on earth, what could be wrong with my life such that I had to go for such a training to improve myself? I felt like I was set out to go and conquer the world. 

But I decided to go anyways…I thought, maybe, there’s something that this Milestone Trainings thing could teach me that my university can’t. And yes, I was right - Milestone Trainings taught me about life. It was the school of life. I received so many learnings about life, how I handle different situations, how I’ve been personally showing up in both personal and professional contexts, so on so forth. Since the first time I walked into Milestone Trainings for Discovery Training, I’ve experienced so many breakthroughs - some of those that even when I look back today, I go like, “Wait…I did that?”


Here’s a 3 biggest things that I genuinely believe that I would not have been able to do without being equipped by the lessons I learned during the ALS program.

1. Have a tremendously improved relationship with my parents and almost everybody else. I was the biggest, most righteous bitch I know and a lot of people didn’t click with me. I played the victim and blamed it on their behavior rather than checking on myself and see what is it that I did - that caused the situation to be the way that it was. 

2. Be vulnerable, and be open to feedback - which has enhanced my career so much. I remember before ALS, I was easily angered with feedback, but now I know that feedback is just neutral information and because of this I now can read a business situation where I can see three things: 1) What’s working. 2) What’s not working. 3) What’s next. I hold on to these three things so much and it has helped my career so much as a fashion stylist just in 3 months.

3. Be risking. I always sticked to the belief system, the culture, religion, the “oh-so-right norms” of the society - doing things that other people did. So whatever idea I had that didn’t feel “right” to be done, I didn’t do. I so desperately wanted to fit in that both in business and personal life, I had no “unique selling proposition” as you call it, marketing wise. I was stiff with the rules, too - I would get so frustrated if I had plan A B C D E then it was changed to E D B A C - even though the end result would probably be the same. And it got me into a lot of arguments with my ex co-founder (I was very entrepreneurial since my early years but never clicked with any of my ex co-founders - I guess we know the reason why now). 

Bottom line….it was the smartest decision I’ve ever made - and the best money I’ve ever invested in my life. I paid everything myself, you know, from the trainings to the plane tickets (I got a scholarship from the Ningbo Government that I originally was going to use to buy a Honda HRV but I changed my mind). 

It was also perfect timing, I was in my last semester of my master’s degree and as you know that the gap between leaving school and starting work is honestly the most confusing time of anybody’s life. Having previously joined ALS before I graduated my master’s really helped me to identify the opportunities that were waiting for me and clarified what I was looking for in a job, or what I wanted as a long-term career. And I guess that’s it - here I am, getting paid to do the things that I love (involving writing a blog post every once in a while, playing with clothes, meeting new people almost every now and then, directing/assisting photoshoots, making marketing strategies) no complaints at all…but seriously, ask yourself - don’t you want to make money and do the things that you love so much at the same time? 


Me and my crazy Legacy 52 family.
Life is what you make it...if you want something to happen, then you go make it happen. Don't sit around and wait...get up and do it.

I hope this post has given you a little bit background about myself...I also hope that my learnings have been useful and be a blessing to you!

xo,
Nad.

Slow Fashion vs. Fast Fashion

July 2, 2018

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Have you ever heard of the terms: “fast fashion” and “slow fashion” before?

Maybe yes, or maybe no.

So…let’s get right into it. What’s the difference between fast fashion and slow fashion?

By definition:

Fast fashion are low-cost clothing collections that mimic current luxury fashion trends. While slow fashion recognizes the impact that clothing can make on society. Clothing companies practicing ethical manufacturing ensure the workers making their clothes are in a safe-working environment and paid fairly.


I started venturing and looking around Indonesian brands since I got back from living abroad. Before I left Indonesia, I used to have zero appreciation for Indonesian brands – thinking that most of them are replicating designs of international brands. However, I changed my way of thinking that actually when I buy something local, I support real families, real local workers…



And I’m really thankful to have met Harumi Davita, creative director of a local brand BOBABABE as she has explained to me that BOBABABE practices slow fashion. When I buy clothes from their store, I feel good because I know that my money’s going to help the workers’ families and I feel great to be wearing something that is made in my home country, my hometown – Surabaya.

So in the end, it’s back to the choices that we make. We choose what we put on.
Look at it this way, when you buy from a fast fashion brand, in Indonesia – they’re actually pretty expensive because these items have gone through the customs, and they’re taxed. But when you buy something local, the price has less tax in it and you can still contribute and make a difference just by shopping.


How to Set Up & Run a Fashion Label, One of My Favorite Books to Read

June 30, 2018

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Being the bookworm that I am, I always make sure that I read one book per week (at least). Although I switch between books most of the time, there are a few books that once I start reading, I finish (without changing books). Here are a few of my favorite books reviewed on GoodReads.com. 

How to Set Up & Run a Fashion Label - Toby Meadows




No matter how talented you are as a designer, if you are going to run a successful fashion label you also need to know about business—from marketing and PR to manufacturing your collection, and where to find the money to finance it all. 

In How to Set Up and Run a Fashion Label, Toby Meadows presents a no-nonsense guide to running your own business, whether it is within the clothing, accessories or footwear sectors. Packed with tips, case studies, and tasks to help you analyze yourself, your market and your product, the book is designed for anyone wanting to start their own fashion business.


So if you're interested in setting up your own label or thinking of expanding or re-structuring your fashion business, this book is a must-read!

Style by Lauren Conrad / Beauty by Lauren Conrad

Filled with an inspiring array of fashion tips and personal stories, and lavishly illustrated with dozens of color photographs throughout, Style is the perfect book for all of Lauren’s many fans and for any girl or woman looking for pointers from one of Hollywood’s most relatable yet glamorous stars.


You've seen Lauren Conrad on TV and red carpets, looking fabulous whether she's going casual for a day with friends or dressed for a night out. Now Lauren reveals how you can adapt her classic, understated style for yourself. 



In her first-ever style guide, Lauren offers tips on how to create your own unique look, shares her favorite sources of inspiration, and identifies the absolute must-haves for any fashionista's wardrobe. Along the way, she examines her fashion evolution, from California-casual teen to camera-ready style icon and clothing designer.


From beauty advice and hair secrets to how to shop vintage or find the perfect T-shirt, Lauren Conrad Style unlocks the mysteries of being effortlessly chic. With Lauren's guidance, you'll look and feel stylish every day.

Style icon Lauren Conrad has spent years learning from the pros and perfecting her look, and now she's sharing all her beauty secrets in her book Beauty.


In her first guide dedicated exclusively to beauty, Lauren covers everything you need to know to maximize your own beauty potential. From tips for creating a strong foundation and maintaining healthy skin and hair through diet, exercise, and all-around wellness to everyday makeup techniques and tricks of the trade for special-occasion looks, Beauty provides the advice you've been waiting for. Lauren's personal anecdotes and illustrated step-by-step lessons for makeup, hair, and nails will have you looking great for day or night.

Note to Self - Connor Franta


In his New York Times bestselling memoir, A Work in Progress, Connor Franta shared his journey from small-town Midwestern boy to full-fledged Internet sensation. Exploring his past with humor and astounding insight, Connor reminded his fans of why they first fell in love with him on YouTube—and revealed to newcomers how he relates to his millions of dedicated followers.


Now, two years later, Connor is ready to bring to light a side of himself he’s rarely shown on or off camera. In this diary-like look at his life since A Work In Progress, Connor talks about his battles with clinical depression, social anxiety, self-love, and acceptance; his desire to maintain an authentic self in a world that values shares and likes over true connections; his struggles with love and loss; and his renewed efforts to be in the moment—with others and himself.



Told through short essays, letters to his past and future selves, poetry, and original photography, Note to Self is a raw, in-the-moment look at the fascinating interior life of a young creator turning inward in order to move forward.

I am a huge fan of reading a good book with the accompany of a good cup of coffee in a cozy cafe. Here are my two favorite spots in Surabaya to read. 

Blackbarn Coffee.

Carpentier Kitchen




Why I Quit Blogging

June 13, 2018

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I remember the first fashion blog I ever followed was when I was in high school. Then I started reading different fashion blogs and I have always thought of making one but I didn’t have the courage to publish one. It wasn’t until I suffered from depression in 2011 and my therapist encouraged me to do something that I would like to do, and had never done before at that point. So, then I started blogging, and blogging helped me to deal with depression.

My blog took off pretty well on a small city scale. I even started receiving free items and I had to take pictures of them to promote them online. Not long after, banner ads started coming in. Some local magazines actually interviewed me. It was pretty fun. I blogged from 2012 (when I was in high school) all the way to 2015 when I was in my university final year. I went for university abroad to the UK and Mainland China at The University of Nottingham for both my undergraduate and postgraduate degree, and was blessed with the opportunity to do a summer exchange in The University of Hong Kong. I was enjoying life at its best during university years. But then, my way of thinking started to shift.

I, who was once passionate about fashion, started to doubt the chances that I’d get in the fashion industry. I began to think that, maybe, since I already have a master’s degree, why not go all the way to do a PhD and leave fashion behind? Was I worthy enough to be in the fashion industry? And then, being an Indonesian woman in her early 20s, questions like, “So, do you have a boyfriend? Should we set you up with someone? When do you plan to get married? Shouldn’t you start preparing yourself to be a devoted wife?” started to pop out and it really made me down. Not to mention, statements like, “You know, you’re going to be expired after 25. Women are like Christmas trees – they’re on sale after the 25th were uttered by no other than my family members and closest friends. I was annoyed. Is this why I was born? To grow up and become someone's wife? That's it? I mean I would love to have a family of my own too, one day...but don't I get to make a name for myself and continue doing what I like and be a blessing for others in the process? My thoughts were all over the place.

Maybe, or maybe not, and just like any of you who’s reading this post, I had a time when I started doubting my abilities, my intelligence, my beauty, and some guys (not that they are unkind people) who were introduced to me, even said that I dream too big – with my fashion career goals, with my educational goals, and so on so forth. “Just be a normal girl…” they said. So, I stopped blogging, I even stopped styling photoshoots (even though I started styling as a hobby in the 12th grade), and worse, I started telling my professors who offered me to do a PhD in the English Linguistics department, “I don’t think I’ll be a good PhD candidate. I’m not like my other classmates. They’re much better than me.” Hell, I even made another Instagram account to avoid people seeing my blogger-like photos on my account and start judging me.

But then in 2017, I was so blessed that I had the opportunity to go for the Advanced Living Series from Milestone Trainings and met so many new people at the training center and during my master’s in China. It got me thinking, “What do I like? And what do I want to do about it?” The idea of having one job itself was already something that maybe I’d achieve but I don’t know when I’ll achieve that – but to be at this point in my life, where I get to actually have different jobs and manage them all at the same time – I am so incredibly blessed.

Today - despite whatever it is that people may say or comment about me - I’m starting the blog again, I’m styling with Niel Dimitrij’s styling team, I’m helping out Mum with her stationery and office supplies business, I’m even co-founding a skincare line with my good friend that is launching soon (there are still processes we need to go through). I can’t even believe it myself!

Well, if there’s any moral lesson that I can share with you, is that – never doubt yourself whether you are young or old, whatever your gender may be, dream…as high…as big…as much as you want because it’s free, and never give up. Try anything. Don’t be afraid. You’ll never know what you like if you don’t try. Obstacles will come, but take them as lessons to move forward and check with yourself: What’s working? What’s not working? What’s next?

I guess that’s it for this blog post. Until next time…

xo,
Nadia.