The Daily Grind Video

Dear Grinders,

They say, “It’s not always what you know, but who you know.”  While that is a valid point, whoever coined this phrase left out an essential part: You have to pay your dues.  Meaning, one has to make sacrifices and prove themselves to the game, whatever that game may be.  In my case, styling has always been a dream of mine.  In high school, I took every art class my guidance counselor would allow me.  So when I graduated, I knew I wanted to study Fashion.  I attended the University of Cincinnati and entered into their Design, Art, Architecture, and Planning program (DAAP).  After almost two years of excelling at the university, the demands of providing for my daughter took precedent.  

Although my time there was cut short, the knowledge I gained was irreplaceable.  College is the “what you know,” the education.  Yes, most people make numerous sacrifices to go to college, but it isn’t enough anymore.  Everybody’s going to college these days because society will have us believe there’s no way around it to succeed.  However, once an individual goes to college and graduates with thousands of other people, seeking the same jobs, what is going to get that person through the door? “Who you know.”  The relationships people build and the networks they maintain open doors faster than a plaque on a wall that says they have attended an institution.  Don’t get me wrong, knowledge and education is extremely valuable, but something has to stand apart from the other equally qualified candidates.  


Undoubtedly, I have met people in the industry who could possibly give me opportunities to advance my career.  People have asked me, “Sarah, you know so many people that you could style, why not just dive right in?”.  My answer to them is simply that I haven’t paid my dues.  It’s great to know that I have potential clients, but what designer or boutique is going to let me pull from them without that established relationship.  Even after the door is open, you still have to prove that you deserve to be there.  Anybody can be put on, but what is going to make their peers, that don’t know them, trust and want to work with them.  A person could know the president of a major corporation, but if he employs that individual as vice president, with no prior experience, the board members are not going to respect their newest associate.  People, you have to be willing to work your way up the ladder.  Interning is the most efficient way of letting someone know that you’re willing to bust your ass with the only reward being the knowledge that you have gained while doing so.  Employers want to see that a person is so in love with what they do, that they are willing to do it for free.  Of course, the incentive is the long term gain this sacrifice will bring.  

In my most recent endeavor, I have been interning with celebrity stylist Leah Taylor.  Leah is the co-owner of Taylor-Ector Studios in Atlanta, a photography studio fully equipped with a photographer, wardrobe stylist, hair stylist, and make-up artist.  (For bookings visit  


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