Whitney Port on how to get over being told no (a million times)
Many people know Whitney Port best from her time on The Hills as Lauren Conrad’s coworker in crime at both Teen Vogue and People’s Revolution and then as the star of her own reality show The City. But since her show wrapped in 2010, Port has been busy working hard to establish herself as a serious clothing designer and it seems that has very much become her reality.
Port is the Founder and CEO of Whitney Eve, which launched in 2008. The line had its first runway show during New York Fashion Week in 2009 and will be available in Nordstrom’s for the first time this fall. Heidi Klum, Jessica Alba, Rihanna and Alessandra Ambrosio are all fans of this girly, but edgy women’s brand.
Port recently spoke at the LinkedIn Discussion Series in New York City about her career and branding. One of the most interesting things she talked about was being rejected and how to get over it and really use it to get stronger. Here at Your Coffee Break, we think that even people who are famous and were on television wouldn’t have to struggle but Port admitted that there was often a stigma surrounding her because of her reality TV background. “It was definitely a difficult transition becoming a full-time designer and having everyone take me seriously,” she says.
“Because there are so many celebrity lines and a celebrity will just slap their name on something and not really have any integrity behind it, there was this “Oh she’s just a flash in the pain” type attitude. And reality TV can have a very negative connotation. That has definitely been a challenge and it’s taken some time for the buyers to realize oh “She will be around. She’s serious about this. She’s passionate about this.”
Port said she got a whole lot more no’s in the beginning and yes’s so she had to learn to use rejection to her advantage. “[I’ve been told no] a million times! I’ve had my line for five years and its just this year that I’m getting into my goal department store. What happens is you listen to their advice and you keep working to present the next collection to them. You get it in front of them over and over so they know that not your giving up and you will be around.”
She said not taking no for an answer is a great lesson in and of itself. She talked about how you should remember how much you hate being told no so you work even harder to make sure it doesn’t happen. “All of a sudden you’ll get to that place where people will want to approach you for what you’re doing and really appreciate you for what you’re doing.”
Photo Credit: Marion Curtis, Starpix