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History Makers​

#23 FIT Graduate, Haeun Lee, Embarks on Startup Journey with 'GREENEST'​
Hits : 8405 Registration Date : 2023-11-08 Author : Administrator


On Wednesday, October 25th, Haeun Choi, an FIT Alumni, visited SUNY Korea to deliver a talk as part of the FIT Alumni Talk series. During her presentation, she shared her journey, from her educational background to her current role as the CEO of GREENEST, emphasizing her dedication to sustainable fashion, and offering valuable advice to aspiring students and entrepreneurs. Here is an interview with Haeun Choi.


1. Can you introduce yourself?
Hello, my name is Haeun Choi, CEO of Greenest, which is a sustainable fashion brand based in South Korea. I got an AAS degree in FIT Korea, and a BS degree in FIT New York campus, both with Summa Cum Laude. I majored in Fashion Business Management. 


2. Why did you choose to study at SUNY Korea FIT?
The reason I chose SUNY Korea FIT is because it was the most optimal choice for me, as I wanted to gain experience not only in New York but also in the fashion industry in Korea. In fact, to work in the fashion industry, understanding consumer psychology and staying attuned to market trends is crucial. FIT offers the advantage of obtaining both an AAS degree and a BS degree from different countries, which has been very helpful in my current business pursuits.


3. Can you introduce your business and explain how you started it?
GREENEST is a fashion brand that promotes responsible and refined fashion while aiming to make sustainable fashion more widely accessible. We prioritize sustainability throughout the entire process, from sourcing raw materials to production and shipping. The brands' collections are a fusion of expert craftsmanship, attention to detail, and classic and elegant silhouettes, all designed to enhance the natural beauty of every person. GREENEST's commitment to sustainability is at the heart of everything we do.

"Sustainability is a top priority for GREENEST in every stage of the process, as evidenced by the strong emphasis on
sustainability in the design of all our collections, including the materials used and overall design."

I had the opportunity to take courses on sustainability and the fashion industry at both FIT Korea campus and FIT New York campus, and I realized that the negative environmental impact of the fashion industry was more significant than I had initially thought. Wanting to make a positive impact within the fashion industry, I aspired to launch a sustainable fashion brand to help realize this goal.

        

 
 


4. In what ways did your academic experience at SUNY Korea FIT and FIT New York influence your ability to manage your own brand?
I majored in Fashion Business Management at FIT. As a result, I gained a comprehensive understanding of the fashion industry, learned about textiles as part of my general education, and acquired knowledge in marketing and merchandising, which are essential for running a fashion brand. In particular, during my studies, I engaged in numerous case studies of fashion companies, providing me with indirect experience of the challenges that fashion companies face and the opportunity to propose solutions through various projects. These indirect experiences have proven to be invaluable in running my current brand.

 

5. How do you cope with fear and doubt in your professional journey?
In reality, running a business is often navigating the unknown, and in the early stages, I was frequently plagued by uncertainty and experienced significant emotional fluctuations. However, once I accepted that these uncertainties are something all entrepreneurs encounter, I began to find my anxiety diminishing. I believe that managing these anxieties is also an integral part of entrepreneurship. Trusting in my choices and persevering in the way I've chosen to go, I have faith that I will eventually reach the goals I aspire to achieve.


6. What advice would you offer to students pursuing their academic and professional goals?
I hope that you won't hesitate to pursue what you want, even if you lack experience or knowledge. Whether you have a wealth of experience and knowledge or not, continuously learning and growing is a common journey. If you have passion or desire, I encourage you to take the first step without hesitation. And always remember that by giving your best effort in every moment, you will eventually see the fruits of your labor. So, try to do your best at all times.

 

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