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Do You Know What Your North Star is? 3 Key Factors to get you there and How to Apply to Design Work

“Explorers depend on the North Star when there are no other landmarks in sight. The same relationship exists between you and your right life, the ultimate realization of your potential for happiness. I believe that a knowledge of that perfect life sits inside you just as the North Star sits in its unaltering spot.” -- Martha Beck

Like many of us, I often get distracted and lose focus with too many things vying for my attention. I get drawn in by exciting articles, design trends, inspiring blog posts, and the desire to keep up with others in my field. As a result, I often feel overwhelmed with information overload and waste time and energy.

While I know living life is not a straight line, I want to avoid big zigs & zags. Recently, a friend asked me, "What is your North Star?' and I had to pause and think about it. I took this as an opportunity to evaluate how I spend my time and energy and solidify my ultimate goal. Now, I keep my North Star in my line of vision and remind myself to use my time and energy to progress toward it. If I'm getting distracted (which I still do!) I ask myself, Is this the most important thing I can be doing right now? Is it leading me toward my long-term vision? What is the one thing I can do right now that will make progress toward my goal?

If you're unsure about your North Star, don't worry; you're not alone. Here are some suggestions on how to help you determine yours:

First, think about that ultimate goal that you're striving towards. Focus on that as your finish line, and avoid getting distracted by what others are doing. Then, consistently remind yourself of where you want to go, even when it feels challenging. If you get off track, it's okay; it's human. So get back on the road and keep going!

Additionally, I believe your North Star can be holistic, applying to your personal and professional journey. Align your work, personal life, and projects with your values and beliefs. You may have individual career goals and personal goals, but you can apply the North Star concept to both, and they will align, making it even more powerful.

The spring season brings in a renewed sense of optimism and opportunity. It feels like New Year's, except with more sun and blooms everywhere! I am using this time to dig deeper and invite you to do the same. With your long-term vision (Your North Star) in mind, how will you get there? What tools & strategies do you need to achieve it? Achieving this requires understanding additional factors, such as your values, mission, and purpose. So, let us step back for a moment. Before you finalize your North Star, ask yourself the following:

3 Key Factors needed to define:

1. What are Your Core Values?

2. What is Your WHY? (which in turn creates your Mission Statement)

3. What is Your Mission Statement?

With that said, I'd like to invite you on a journey- We are kicking off this Season with not only this idea of working towards our personal North Star but how that applies to our profession as Fashion Design industry professionals. How can we use this same thinking in our work? If you are familiar with Inside Fashion Design, we advocate for "Conscious Fashion Design". This means that everything we do, we do in a thoughtful and considerate manner. This incorporates our values so that we can achieve results that make the best, most significant positive impact we can on people & planet.

What does this journey entail, you ask? I understand- you would like to know what you are getting into. Just like when my business partner and I decided to take an eight-day trek to Macchu Pichu- we were excited but wanted to know what we were signing up for!

This Conscious Design journey is broken down into phases to make it digestible and manageable. There are five phases, and each includes modules with actionable steps, including a checklist, design tools, and resources to guide you along the way. Just like a good roadmap (remember the old school style?), this will keep you moving forward in the right direction.

To set the foundation of this journey, we want to have our Core Values, our Why & our Big Purpose in place- that is the beginning of our journey before we get into any design & development work

The 5 Phases are:

By joining us on this journey, you can utilize tools and resources like the design and development journey/process list to evaluate where you are in your design journey and where you need help.

Every small step makes a difference. We will set aside time each quarter to assess our progress and use our supportive community of peers to hold us accountable. Join the IFD Team & a community like Inside Fashion Design Connect, where you can confidently work towards meeting your values, goals, and North Star.

Are you interested in following along on this Conscious Design Journey? Take 2 minutes on the link below to join us and we will keep you in the loop!

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Hey there, lovely fashion friends! My name is Britta Cabanos, and I'm thrilled to have you here! 


I'm a 25+ year fashion industry design professional, and I'm passionate about supporting conscious designers, ethical makers, and sustainability. I believe that fashion can be a powerful force for good, and I'm committed to helping aspiring fashion industry pros make their mark in this exciting and ever-changing field. 


If you share my passion for conscious fashion and sustainability,  then you're in the right place. I offer industry insights, mentorship, connections, and resources to help you achieve your goals and make a positive impact in the world. Let's connect and explore the possibilities together - are you ready to join me on this exciting journey?

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Thanks for joining us!

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Consciously & Ethically Designed

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About the Book

"Conscious design is a philosophy used at the Peterman Design Firm. We use it to create brands and products that restore and sustain our planet. The Peterman Method for conscious design is the culmination of Ian’s 15+ years working in product development and Jessica’s 20 years in working as a healer and studying regenerative technologies and tools for both people and our planet. Together, we’ve written this book to lay out a culmination of our combined experiences. Our goal is to help other people start looking at the world, and design, in a more conscious way."