Fashion Institute of Technology
Meet Meghan Ellie Smith, a woman with a one-of-a-kind job the rest of us can only dream of. Her official title is “The Levi’s Girl.” She says she always puts air quotes around her title whenever someone asks her what she does in person, because she doesn’t want people to think she just weirdly gave herself that nickname! How did she get a job like this? Well, she goes into the details below, but let’s just say she also had to pass the ultimate job screening — a vote by Levi’s Facebook community! Meghan is a graduate of The Fashion Institute of Technology, where she studied fashion and general illustration before obtaining her degree in the latter. This comes as no surprise as she’s someone who simply oozes style in everything she does. Her three passions are music, artworking and Brooklyn — even though she has lived in San Francisco for the past four months. Make sure to follow her “epical” quest (yes, I have a crush on her newly coined word) as the first-ever Levi’s girl on Tumblr and on Twitter @TheLevisGirl.
Take something you think it’s too late to do and DO it, preferably today.
How did you discover your current job?
It was a completely random happenstance! I was procrastinating doing a painting one wicked hot summer day in Brooklyn, and as I was lurking around Facebook I saw that a friend of mine had “liked” Levi’s Facebook page. This led me to Levi’s page where I came across this little ad about their search for the “First Ever Levi’s Girl.” And so it began …
What has been your path so far to get you where you are today?
Ohhh my … that’s a rather long, chaotic story. I actually just finally wrote it out with all the nitty gritty, honest details and posted it on The Levi’s Girl blog as a part of a project forShape What’s To Come! I definitely encourage you to head there and read the full thing. I’d been meaning to write it out for a long time, and I’m pretty proud of it. It’s unapologetically honest and will surely surprise you. You can find it here.
I hate to hold out on you, but I don’t wanna give any details that’ll ruin the surprise of the story! Like that kid who tells you the ending of a movie you wanna go see? Ugh, no good.
Was there any one situation that helped you along your way?
Uh oh. I’m afraid I’m gonna have to plead story linkage on this one again.
What is your typical day like? Does it ever change?
Something pretty fantastic about this job is that there’s not really ever a typical day! It’s especially great to me, because I get bored fast, reeeal fast. Sometimes I’m traveling all over the place, sometimes I’m at the office, some days I work from home, etc. Kinda rules.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Definitely the opportunity to inspire all these people who follow my blog and Twitter to go out and create something amazing, pursue their passion and just be a weirdo if they wanna be. I’ve gotten e-mails from some girls recently saying they were inspired by my art and my individuality, and nothiiing makes me happier than to hear something like that.
What is the most challenging part?
This is going to sound absurd to … 98 percent of readers, probably. But oh well. This past summer I was (barely) surviving and paying the rent by selling my art and just working from home every day painting and whatnot. With the combination of not having to leave the apartment, plus the fact that is was SO hot (fourth floor apartment + no air conditioner = NOT good), I was wearing grungy, paint-splattered tank tops and gym shorts every day, hair piled atop my head in a sloppy bun and maybe switching the gym shorts for jorts when I had to make a paint run. Sooo … going from being a dirty, scrappy, starving artist who’s never worked for a corporation in my life, to suddenly being thrown into this world of fancy offices and meetings, cleaning myself up to look all office-appropriate every day, etc., has been a bit on the overwhelming side!
What do you feel is the biggest challenge for women today, particularly females in your industry?
I’d say simply being taken seriously, which frustrates me to nooo end.
Who are your role models?
Basically anyone who’s awesomely odd and completely comfortable being themselves.
Is there a quote or mantra that you live by?
Oh, yes. That’d be -- “Better to starve with a full heart than strive with an empty one.”
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Why yesss there is. Something I feel quite strongly about is the idea of taking something you think it’s too late to do and doing it. It doesn’t matter if it’s something big, small, serious, ridiculous, whatever. For instance, one random hidden talent of mine is that I compose symphonies in my mind, and my favorite instrument to emphasize is the cello. I just think it’s above and beyond beautiful. I’ve always wanted to learn it, but when you get older it feels “too late” to pick up a new instrument. But fiiinally (yesterday, actually!), I decided it was time to stop thinking and talking about someday learning the cello and to actually DO it. So I marched myself down to the music store, rented a cello for three months and left feeling a whole lot of genuine joy. Anyways, all I wanna leave you with is this: Take something you think it’s too late to do and DO it, preferably today.