Sometimes all we need is an opportunity and a mentor to lead the way. From being denied a management role at her first job in a clothing store to having her designs rejected time and time again, Hadari Oshri, knows from first hand experience the difference an opportunity can make in someone’s life. She is making it her goal to give people the opportunities she wasn’t able to experience early in her career through Xehar.
Question: Tell us about a time where you wanted to go learn and grow but you weren’t given the opportunity to move up?
Hadari: When I used to own 7 retail locations, my job was designing, manufacturing, buying, and merchandising. I was able to forecast trends while learning what women wanted to buy because I was constantly shopping at our stores and I took the time to connect with everyone that shopped with us. After a certain point I decided that I wanted to create my own designs but when I expressed my interest in designing my own collection, I wasn’t supported by those around me at first.
Later on I was given the opportunity to present a collection to the team I was working with. However, since my designs were a year ahead of what was trending at the moment, the people I presented them to didn’t see the potential in them. However, a few months later I started to see designs very similar to mine showing up in department stores. Once the team I was working with noticed this, we agreed to move forward and produce the collection I originally designed. However by the time we had it in stock, our customers already purchased similar designs from other stores. Because the collection didn’t sell as well as it could have, the blame was all on me despite the fact that I created the designs a year in advance. For the longest I thought the collection didn’t sell because it wasn’t good, but I’ve come to realize that timing is everything. In retrospect, the collection was great and would have sold well had the team I worked with believed and trusted me in the first place.
Question: How did these experiences motivate you to give back to others through offering people opportunities?
Hadari: Ever since I launched Xehar I’ve come across a lot of people who were like me. They often have the drive and passion to work in the industry but are not given the opportunity because they don’t have years of experience working in fashion. A perfect example is our stylist Cheyenne. She started at Xehar as a model but during our shoots I noticed her energy, her work ethic, and her ability to style our clothes and I decided to extend an opportunity to her within the company. At first it started with her working as a part time stylist, but over the period of only a few months her role developed into a full time position and eventually she became the lead of our creative team. Just like myself, Cheyenne didn’t go to school and she has ADD. However, with time I was able to see that she was a genuine and good person who was just looking for someone to believe in her and give her an opportunity. With her talent and my coaching, she now directs our photoshoots, styles our models, leads our ambassador program, and collaborates with multiple departments in order to keep this place running on a day to day basis.
The ability to give back and to give women like me the opportunities to succeed is what started the #AConfidentYou movement. I say this because at the end of the day it’s not just about what others can do for Xehar, it’s also about what we can do for everyone we collaborate with. Our latest press day was two weeks ago where we flew in girls from all over the world, we worked together on strengthening the #AConfidentYou message, networking, and creating an environment where we all support each our goals. The power to give back is what motivates me to get out of bed every morning. The success of Xehar no longer affects just me, now I’m working with all of these great and ambitious girls who I can’t afford to disappoint or let down. As Xehar grows, our opportunities will too and so will the careers of those who work with us. We’re can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us.