Member Profiles | Heather Femia

How did you land at your position? 
The path to my position as Corporate Fashion Director for Nordstrom all started when I was in high school and began producing the high school fashion shows.  That led to me working with local retailers to produce small events in their stores.  I met a fantastic mentor that gave me a chance to work on larger events in a support capacity.  As I attended college I began to take on more responsibility with the company Thalhimers in the Southeast.  My mentor, Kathy Valentine, moved to the DC area to work for Nordstrom.  Kathy recruited me to come join her.  At first I handled fashion events, forecastitng, and fashion press for one store.   Over time it grew to a region, then to be the director of all the regional coordinators.
My current job as a DJ came from me wanting more control over my schedule.  For years I collected music for fashion shows, and trend hunted in night spots in New York, DC, even Paris and Los Angeles on occasion.  I took the music collection and my knowledge of the history of club music and began to self learn the technical aspects of playing.
Where do you find your inspiration/motivation?
I think creative people can’t help but find inspiration.  I will say I always return from travel inspired though.  Of course the usual fashion coverage in magazines and internet is helpful.  Movies,  and music videos are always full of inspiration.  I also find counter culture very inspiring.  Snowboard videos and magazines, music festivals, and yoga culture all feed my inspiration.
Why do you call the DC area home?
I never thought I’d stay in DC, I thought it was too conservative for me.  That changed though because I met my husband here and his company that he built from scratch is here.  I’m happy to say that DC has blossomed with artful people and places, and I have mellowed a bit.
What in your career are you most proud of?
When I run into people I worked with on our most creative projects that took 100% effort from so many people- (models, lighting designers, hair and make up artistes, a whole team of stylists I adored, fearless support from the executives, and a team of behind the scenes staff that were amazing) they always have such proud and happy memories of what we accomplished.  Who new at the time that would mean the most.  Now, as a DJ, I’m proud that I have gained the respect of accomplished people in my field who I once looked to as mentors.
Who new at the time that would mean the most.  Now, as a DJ, I’m proud that I have gained the respect of accomplished people in my field who I once looked to as mentors.
Tell us about a time you felt you had failed.
When I was first starting to play live as a DJ, I often was not 100% happy with things, but I used any disappointment as fuel to make the next time better.  In fashion, when I first decided to retire, it was difficult.  So much of my identity was based on my job.  For a while, I felt a bit lost.  I missed my friends from work, and I missed the creative outlet.  It took some rebuilding and some fearlessness to do something new.
What do you see as the biggest value of an FGI membership?
For me it means keeping in the loop.  It also means a direct connection to so many the creative people in different aspects of the market in DC.  It will always be something I keep up with.  I remember when I was first a member and I attended a lot of events in New York when I was there for business.  It was completely amazing to be in the same room as so many people I had previously just read about.  This is an option open to any member.  That is priceless.
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