Alexandra Popoviciu
Fashion & Graphic Designer
July 16, 2018

Interview with Alexandra, a freelance fashion designer building her own brand

Alexandra is a freelance fashion designer who works remotely while traveling and building her own brand.

How did you get started with remote work?

I graduated a few years ago and I started working for some high end fashion brands for a while but after I decided that I would like to focus more on my own brand and find something remote since I was also traveling a lot back then.

I started looking for remote jobs, which wasn’t so easy at the beginning because I had to build up a profile and a more commercial portfolio for my clients on Upwork.

Once I built up my profile and I gained more experience, I started realizing that a freelance job is way more interesting, better paid (maybe just in my case as a fashion designer) and allows me to move, not like a permanent job.

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What are you working on?

I’m a fashion/graphic designer and I work on a lot of different projects starting from design to prints, technical files, market trends, and even branding.

At the moment, I’m working on 10 different projects, mostly focused on hi-tech, wearable technology and sustainability.

I also have to deal with the manufacturers, once the designs are done and develop cordial relations with them.

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What's your typical work routine?

I do have to mention that even though being a freelancer has a lot of advantages, in order to have a healthy work routine, there is need for a strong work ethic and a balanced timetable.

I often tend to work until very late and get stuck in a chaotic timetable (maybe also because I’m doing a creative job).

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Do you have a dedicated space to work?

My work environment is pretty messy, but it also depends on the project I’m working on. I have a small studio where I work most of the time and I like to personalize it with favourite painting/sketches or sculptures. I like to feel in my “own bubble” when I work.

Lately I’ve been traveling a lot, so I always try to find a nice spot to work with good internet connection. I don’t really have a dedicated space to work, but I prefer quite places with big windows and nice views.

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How do you manage having too much or not enough work?

At the beginning was hard, since I had to spend a lot of time building up my profile and my portfolio. I also had to work on projects that I didn’t enjoy so much and spending a lot of time applying for new jobs.

Now I started to have long term clients with constant work and I also get a lot of new job invitations on Upwork. When I started freelancing, I had a full time job for a while and when things started to get better, I quit and focused just on freelancing.

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What contributes to being a successful freelancer?

Hard work and luck, being in the right place at the right time.

  1. I consider the most important thing is to get clear feedbacks while working on a project and have a good communication with the client.
  2. I’m always trying my best to fulfil the client’s expectations when I end a project, I don’t like to leave space for “what if”. I try to make sure the client is happy and satisfied with the results.
  3. Having a nice website or online portfolio to show previous work/projects.
  4. Treating my clients well. Being transparent and professional is essential, this helps clients to build up trust and confidence in me and my work.
  5. Self-discipline. It wasn’t easy for me at the beginning, especially that all my clients are from different time zones so I never had a proper night, until I started to become more self-disciplined and work on my time management skills in order to have a more balanced timetable.

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What tools do you use to stay productive?

I do Fashion Design so I usually use Rhino, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and sometimes InDesign for creating layouts or journals.

I also have a small sketchbook where I sketch ideas or I add inspiration for my clients designs. Beside all this, my laptop is the main tool.

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How do you stay on task?

Self-discipline is most important when working remote.

Knowing that I don’t have a boss who is imposing me rules, I need to be my own boss. At the beginning wasn’t so easy because I’ve had a lot of projects that I didn’t really enjoyed but now I take just projects I’m interested in so keeping myself on task is way easier and the whole process became smoother.

Another issue I’ve had in the past was multitasking. I thought working on different smaller projects at the same time can help finish things faster but I always ended up skipping small details or mixing up the briefs.

The most important thing in order to keep myself on task is to be in the right environment, not being disturbed and taking small breaks time to time.

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What do you like about remote work?

I finally learnt how to manage myself and be my own boss and I really enjoy the freedom of being a freelancer.

I can choose the days I want to be off, I don’t really follow the regular timetable, Monday – Friday.

Luckily, I arrived to, the point where I can select the projects I want to work on and I always learn new things, since the projects are so different sometimes.

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What do you not like about remote work?

I had to learn to manage my time and to learn to be stricter with myself at the beginning but that is not an issue anymore.

At the moment, I really enjoy working remotely because it gives me enough freedom to focus on my own brand.

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Alexandra Popoviciu

Alexandra Popoviciu is a freelance fashion designer and creative director at ALEXANDRA POPOVICIU, graduated from Coventry University (UK) with a BA in Fashion Design.

Her work experience is based on the luxury and commercial fashion sector, she worked for design studios such as J.W Anderson, Iris Van Herpen and Rick Owens and as a freelance designer providing services for private clients, small business or established companies.

Follower her work on Instagram, NOT JUST A LABEL, and Behance—or get in touch via email.

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