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Conversations with the Inspiring Wendy McClendon

Today we’d like to introduce you to Wendy McClendon.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was born and raised in a small town in Northern California and as far back as I can remember, I knew I wanted to work in fashion. Unfortunately there was no industry for it where I lived. While in high school, I looked into attending FIDM Los Angeles or San Francisco, but it wasn’t attainable for my family or I at the time. So I worked on getting my business degree at a local college while working in retail and accounting until I turned 25. At that time I realized there had to be more to life. My love of fashion was always lingering in the back of my mind, so one morning I went online searching for different fashion courses and found School of Style in Los Angeles. Without hesitation, I signed up for their fashion styling and personal styling courses. That decision completely changed the trajectory of my life.

Has it been a smooth road?
It’s definitely had its twists and turns. After completing the styling courses, I made the move to Southern California. I started interning for celebrity stylists and got a full time job in a similar field. For over a year I commuted 3-5 hours each day to my job and internships because I lived 40 miles outside of LA. It got really discouraging at times because there were quite a few months where I couldn’t land any internships due to my limited availability from having a full time job, but I kept persisting. Luckily my family and friends are very supportive and play a huge role in my life and they always encouraged me to keep going.

To anyone who is just starting their journey, I would say first and foremost to have patience! There will be ups and downs, but stay the course. And remember that a strong work ethic and positive attitude go a long way!

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I recently made the big leap and quit my 9-5 and now freelance as a wardrobe stylist full time. I mostly work on projects such as advertising campaigns, commercials, editorials, music videos, and sometimes in film and television. As an assistant stylist, I’ve worked under many talented and seasoned stylists along with costume designers. Each one has taught me invaluable lessons that I am so grateful for. Wardrobe styling, just like anything else, is constantly evolving. So it’s my job to do research and keep up with current trends in the industry. It’s important that I love what I do because I truly never want to stop learning! It’s also really important to me to have an open mind and work on different kinds of projects. That’s where I’m at now. Taking on whatever comes my way! At the end of the day, I simply want to learn, be creative, and stay true to myself.

What do you feel are the biggest barriers today to female leadership, in your industry or generally?
In general, I feel like one of the biggest barriers to female leadership today is the false and outdated notion that women can’t do it all in terms of having both a successful career and home/family life. We absolutely can! I know many amazing women that do it every single day.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Susan Saechao, Robin Randolph

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