Monday, August 6, 2012

Carol Wafer's Interview for FashionGun

1. What is FashionGun and what is your role?
I am the Founder and CEO of FashionGun.

2. How did you build your team to make your vision come true?
It all came together in a fantastically fortuitous fashion ([how is] that for alliteration?). 
Last November, Ian Miller and I founded the company. It was just the two of us for a few months. I knew the basics of what we needed and I had some ideas of whom to bring on. Our lineup of our [monthly] crew has changed a few times since then. They were very talented [people,] but it wasn't the right fit or feel for the company.
Jessica Krantz joined the team and was one of the first co-founders to join and, besides Ian and myself, is the co-founder that has been with us the longest. Jessica got her job by more or less stalking me. I'm joking of course, but she was very persistent and has proved to be one of the best decisions that I have ever made.
I have been very fortunate to find the people that I have.

FashionGun's full cast of characters can be found on

3. How long have you been in the art and then fashion industry?
Ha. A long, long time. I started modeling as a baby/small child. Both of my parents were models and it was a [source] of strain with [my] parents. It was "not the life" my dad wanted for his daughter.
 My mother is a professional artist and I was that kid you see at a gallery opening or an Art gala dressed to the 9s and holding precocious conversations with adults, who thought I was ever so cute and very well bred as well as spoken. I was always at Art events and it is a world I feel has never left my identity.
I started painting in high school but soon lost focus when I began my career as a screenwriter.
Fashion has always been a HUGE part of my life and more importantly who I am. I think I have my father to blame. He had me in Calvin Klein bloomers as a tot and Gucci bags as a teen.
My life has always been about which costume I was going to wear on which day. I think my favorite signature styles from high school were my goth/punk [style,] which gave way to my 1940s swing phase...which never really ended.

After graduating from culinary school with more than a few degrees and accolades I turned my focus back to fashion and re-entered the world of academia. In school I took a class on styling for photography. I felt that for the first time in my life I truly found my calling. It’s one thing to be good at the endeavors one takes on (not to toot my own horn), but it's an entirely different thing to find the thing you excel at above all else. To find a form of art that is your own and to know that your abilities and talent reach far above average, you know you have found love.

Signature Pieces:
Menswear (ties, bow ties, suspenders, hats).
Animal Print (leopard in all colors).
50s and 60s wear.
80s gear updated.
4. Tell me the story about how you got started?

Ian, my life partner, had expressed that he wanted us to work on a project together. He's a tech product manager and it's more or less his scene, a world that I knew VERY little about. I've been an entrepreneur for many years and had companies in many fields so I do know a little something about that end of the game, but not much else. I think my natural talent exists in building powerful teams.
We had a hard time thinking of an idea. He wanted to do something that drew a parallel with my life and career as model and wardrobe stylist.
One night I was going through my inbox of Model Mayhem answering emails from publications and photographers wanting to shoot me. I was frustrated by the site, the way it functions, and the way it malfunctions. There were so many things that I hated about my life on the site. Ian came over to offer assistance in some way. When he looked at the site, the first thing he pointed out, or rather gasped at, was the over all aesthetic of the site. His next words changed my life forever. "Why don't you just create a better model mayhem?"

5. Tell me a story about what has shaped your desire to build a company such as FashionGun?

There have been many reasons why I would have quit. Just dropped FashionGun. So much adversity, so much stress. The feeling of this is never going to happen can be overwhelming and I think it is a normal part of entrepreneurship. The thing that keeps be dedicated is knowing that yes, I am solving a problem that I have, but beyond that I think of my team and I think of my community here is San Diego. I think about all the models, makeup artists, photographers, hair stylists and all the other roles that make up our amazing in industry. I think of little boys in the mid-west who devour Vogue in hopes of being a designer someday. I think of the girl in inner city Nashville who dreams of becoming a makeup artist and watches Project Runway like it's going out of style. I think of the high schooler who would love to grow up for a career in fashion but has no idea how to get there or what is even out there.
I started for FashionGun for me. For my needs. But I stay because I love it, and because I have created something bigger than me. Something bigger than all of us here at FashionGun. I awakened this sleeping giant and I'm so ecstatic to know that I am actually doing something that in some way makes the world a better place.

6. What is in FashionGun's future?

To disrupt the world of tech and take the fashion world by storm. FashionGun will always work tirelessly to stay the best and give the most.

Interviewed by Jessica Krantz, Co-founder of FashionGun. Edited by Jennifer Novoseletsky.

Jennifer Novoseletsky

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