Posted: March 12th, 2022
Julia Fox — a Personal Narrative
This is the story about my venture into a business start-up, about my travels and my education, and what I have learned along the way. I was born in Italy but I moved to the United States at the age of six, to live with my father, an American. Through the years Italy seems to always have called my name; I made many trips to Italy to visit my mother, my brother and the rest of my family.
Most of my friends don’t realize that I speak and read in Italian fluently because of the fact that my mother constantly speaks to me in my native language. In fact, she has never spoken to me in English. I have learned through research that a bilingual person’s brain “…has two active language systems which work simultaneously” which helps my “general reasoning” — and may prevent me from getting Alzheimer’s disease (Diamond, 2011).
The language, the culture, and the fact that my mother (and family) was in Italy, hence I went back to Italy to finish the final two years of my high school experience. My goal was to eventually request credits because of my extensive background in Italian.
As a small child I always had a strong passion for fashion. As I grew, my love for style got even stronger so I decided to make a career out of it. Well, my dreams began to transition into reality in January 2013; that was when I created my own fashion line called Franziska Fox. However, I the project was more than I could manage myself, so I partnered with a childhood, trusted friend. Together we have achieved a level of success, and my dream is on solid footing.
Our business is predominantly a knit wear brand at a contemporary price point, albeit we also produce some leather and fur pieces that are more expensive. However, even though I am pursuing my dream with passion, it has not been an easy task. Like every challenging journey, there have been plenty up and downs.
Nevertheless, I must say that it has been very exciting along with challenging. For example, we have had the opportunity to see the world. When I say the world I am referring to our travels to eastern nations such as Vietnam, where we had the opportunity to explore workshops and factories that produce items similar to ours. One of my favorite places to visit was Hong Kong; it was in Hong Kong that I learned a lot about the business. I was able to learn so much about how they make their fabrics and how they run the knit factories.
Even though I did not have much experience in business management, I have to admit there were times when I thought about just throwing in the towel and pursuing other options, but we learned from our mistakes. Certainly I learned that failure written in pencil can be erased.
Having an education under your belt is priceless; my dad always told me “everything at one point can be taken from you, but what you have inside your head- that is yours forever.” So I followed his advice, graduating from an alternative high school called City AS School which catered to kids who basically didn’t like school. They set up internships all over the city and you can collect credits that way. I enjoyed this a lot because I wasn’t constantly feeling like I was wasting my time.
With that said, my interest in requesting credits in Business dates back to my early years, visiting other people fashion shops while in Italy. This gave me first-hand experience of commercial life, where I often was able to engage with various aspects of the business. I love finding out how numerous aspects of businesses bond together in an organization and how fashion is used all over the world. Through my journey, I learned that creativity, hard work, motivation, excellent social skills and even risk-taking are necessary ingredients. And as Mark Twain said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started” (Brainy Quote).
My Travels — Learning Experiences
Looking back, I remember graduating from high school and decided to take a year off to travel the world. It started with a trip to Paris (a wonderful place to explore), and from there I decided to go to Italy to visit my family along with my friend (who later became my business partner). From there we went to the south of Italy, Naples, and since we were so close to Morocco we decided to stop there as well. Since we were already in Africa, we decided to take a trip to Cape Town, South Africa to visit a friend and then from there we went on to Lebanon. Amazingly, we realized we had been on 24 airplanes. During this time, I really felt refreshed and that I was ready to take on anything. Travelling the world like this really opened my eyes to a lot of different cultures and to be honest, gave me a new perspective on life. I would not take back the experience for all of the money in the world.
Education Means Everything to Me
When I came back to the states I enrolled in a community college because I knew it would help me financially in the long run. Education “…is often paramount to future success” and it shows “…that you have a drive to learn and apply ideas, information…to achieve a variety of tasks and goals” (Santiago, 2012). I found the courses a bit challenging but also enlightening. I attended the New School because most of my friends went there and recommended it. It offers an amazing selection of classes. I have a very full schedule and unfortunately because of tending to my business, school cannot always come first. My advisor was able to help me come up with classes that cater to my creativity which would also be therapeutic, which I need because I am stressed out 24/7.
Currently, I am majoring in Liberal Arts; there are moments when I think that I am interested in becoming a psychiatrist even though it would take another ten years of schooling. What’s more, playing the cello enabled me to overcome my fear of public performance. As a result, my previous fashion acumen as well as learning about business has helped my self-confidence improve.
At this point I am actually excited about making some drastic changes in my career. I likewise learned the value of seeking out new challenges. I think that becoming a psychiatrist would be great because I really do believe that there is a lot of work to be done to improve the quality of mental health in the world. The fact that I do like to help people and work with people would be beneficial in this area.
In the end, so often we discover that failure is a better teacher than achievement! This has certainly been true for me. In conclusion, I am confident that the lessons learned from the Liberal Arts — and from my fashion work, my Italian influences, and my travels, have shaped and arranged me for success of the next direction of my life. And so far, it’s been a fascinating, wonderful life as I peek into the future and see even more challenges and ways to help others in this world.
Brainy Quotes. (2014). Mark Twain. Retrieved October 4, 2014, from http://www.brainyquote.com.
Diamond, J. (2013). Benefits of Being Bilingual. Retrieved October 4, 2014, from http://www.buzzle.com.
Santiago, A. (2011). Why Is Education So Important for Success? About.com. Retrieved October 4, 2014, from http://healthcareers.about.com.
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