This month's blog has been written by our intern Sophie, who has been interning with us since March. As it's her last week with us we wanted her to write a blog about her time at Epona, give it a read below.
I arrived at Epona Clothing on my first day with no idea what to expect. Having only been in London for a month and a half, I had mentally prepared myself for an office plagued by dreary cubicles, conservative attire, and high-stress, condescending attitudes. However, stepping foot into the open office where the Epona team looked stylish, nestled around a table covered in mugs of tea and Macbooks, I felt pleasantly surprised and embarrassingly unsophisticated.
Everyone in the office welcomed me warmly, and I was given a tour of the building as well. From the openness of the office itself, with garments hanging on the walls and the entire team working at two tables, to the openness of the overall building, in which other companies leave their doors wide open and employees collaborate with each other on a daily basis, gave me an idea of the type of company I was going to be interning at.
I am currently an English major at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, with an interest in writing and editing. Most of my work experience so far has been in the fields of PR and copyediting at places such as law firms and staffing agencies. It is safe to say that the sustainable and ethical clothing industry was not exactly an area I was familiar with before interning at Epona, and I knew I had a lot to learn.
At the heart of Epona is their aim to improve the lives of as many cotton farmers as they can while offering fashionable clothes to their customers that not only look good but also make people feel good wearing them. This humanitarian, revolutionary, and due-diligent outlook permeates throughout the entire company. From the tangible difference Epona makes on the lives and villages of the Indian cotton farmers they work with and visit on a yearly basis to the open, down to the creative and accepting office atmosphere. The extra time that Epona takes can be seen in everything they do, from building relationships to creating quality products to operating a business that benefits the whole community.
The stereotype of interns running around grabbing coffee and shredding old files that I had has completely gone out the window. From my first day to my last I have undertaken both large-scale and difficult projects as well as shorter tasks, each of which I have acquired new and important skills I can take with me long after I leave London. One of my first assignments at Epona was creating their online photobook documenting the company’s recent trip to India. Using InDesign, the company’s online blog, as well as a plethora of photographs from the trip, I got started on one of the most rewarding things I have accomplished to-date. Because I was accustomed to the strict and extensive directions I have had to follow when working in the states, the lack of strict instruction I received before setting out on this project was a bit nerve racking. However, my co-workers and boss’s encouragement for me to have total creativity over the project gave me the confidence I needed to begin what would become a 30-paged published photobook.
However, what I have learned most at Epona is that young people can make a positive difference on both a local and global level. In today's world, it is even more important for businesses to foster work environments based on ethically conscious and globally aware principles. Epona clothing does just that.
Interning with the design team, I have not only gained valuable marketing experience but have been able to do so with a much better understanding of what it means to be part of an impactful company poised to meet the challenges of an ever changing complex global economy.