Dayna Isom Johnson is an Etsy Trend Expert and judge on the new NBC primetime show Making It, alongside Simon Doonan, hosted by Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman. The series also happens to have an 100% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes—NBD. As part of her role at Etsy, Dayna is “in constant pursuit of new and unique finds, in an effort to unearth the latest and greatest designs, up-and-coming Etsy shops, and to showcase sellers with exciting stories.” Aside from being a major part of a giant platform and successful television show, this boss is also married to her best friend Ryan, and has a dog named Paco. Wondering how Dayna landed her coveted position? She shares the roadmap to getting to her impressive career below.

What was your first job out of college? How did you get it?

My first job out of college was a corporate trainee at Chico’s FAS, Inc. This was a great experience because it was an opportunity to learn about various parts of the business as you rotated positions between various departments, including marketing, allocation, product development, and buying. When the program ended I landed a permanent job in the marketing department.

I didn’t have a hook-up on the inside, I found this role by attending a job fair at my college (The Fashion Institute of Technology) and I relied on traditional resume sending and following up.

What was your college major?

My major at FIT was Fashion Merchandising Management. I certainly use some of my merchandising skills, but I never could have guessed my career path would lead me to becoming a trend expert. During my time at Chico’s FAS, I was transferred from a marketing position to public relations during a company shift and that really propelled me into my current role. During that time, I developed my voice and discovered my editorial skills.

Today, one of the things I love most about my job is that I get to use various skills from my past experiences. I’ve learned there’s always space to try something new. And in my case, that mentality led me to my dream job as the Etsy Trend Expert.

What internships did you do prior to your first job?

I interned at Member’s Only, a private label showroom, and Marks and Spencer in London, UK.

How did you land your current job? What were the steps you took?  

I’ve been at Etsy for almost seven years. About 4 years in, the team had secured a media opportunity to discuss the latest wedding trends. At the last minute our spokesperson fell through and I jumped in to help. From there, I expressed interest in highlighting some of the unique items on Etsy through trend guides, an editorial offering we could provide as a resource to media. I’m fortunate that I work at a company where ideas like this are supported and I ran with it. They took a chance on me, and the rest is history.

What was the best/worst piece of advice you ever received?

The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is to never compare your track of success to someone else’s. Everyone’s journey is their own. If you’re constantly comparing, you lose sight of your own goals, successes, and growth.

The worst advice I ever received was to go-with-the-flow of my career. If you go-with-the-flow, you’ll never challenge yourself or push limits. You may even pass by incredible opportunities.

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