Morta R. is a Fashion Apparel & Design trainee from Lithuania and is currently training with Marine Layer, Inc. in San Francisco, CA. Before beginning her training program in the USA, Morta was a fashion designer at Marks & Spencer in her home country, where she acquired knowledge about the corporate fashion world. As Marine Layer is a young company, Morta R. aimed to gain experience within their start-up culture where it is all hands on deck! Morta’s dream is to return home and start her own fashion brand within Lithuania’s emerging fashion community.
Morta R. checked in with InterExchange to talk more about how her training program in the U.S. has helped her obtain new skills in fashion design and achieve some professional goals!
InterExchange: Tell us about your traineeship search process. How did you find your host?
Morta: “I had previously visited California for tourism and I found the company while walking around the city and loved the brand! I had done a Google search and found the company online. Once I did some research on them through LinkedIn, I contacted my host company directly.”
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InterExchange: What is a typical day at your traineeship like? Describe some of the tasks and activities you have been doing.
Morta: “Each day is different and each season is different in the fashion industry! Depending on the projects we’re working on, we do a lot of market research, go vintage shopping, sketch up designs, and develop a color palette for the season. I am learning how to develop woven materials and prints with the team. I also meet with multiple vendors to understand future product and design development and see what the market offers.”
InterExchange: What are some professional goals you have achieved thus far in your program?
Morta: “Coming from a corporate background I wanted to truly understand product development and the steps that need to be followed for the clothing to be produced. I am not 100% there yet, but I have been really enjoying the progress I’ve been making especially knowing how far I’ve come since I started. It’s also been great learning the woven and knitted fabric processes.”
InterExchange: What are examples of how you’ve learned more about U.S. culture and how you’ve shared your culture with others?
Morta: “The USA is an incredible country and I am lucky to be in the most beautiful state – California! I try to say as many “Yeses” as I can when I am invited to an event or friend’s gathering. The past year has been incredible! I’ve been to a baseball game at the Oracle Arena, a Golden State Warriors game, celebrated Halloween, went to music events at the Golden Gate Park, attended some theatre plays and many more! Obviously, it has changed a little bit because of COVID, but I am happy to have been able to experience all this beforehand.”
InterExchange: What would you tell a friend from your own country to encourage him/her to do an traineeship through InterExchange?
Morta: “I would tell them that it is such a priceless experience! You learn more about other cultures, and most importantly more about yourself. This experience encouraged me to dream even bigger! Everything is possible when you put your mind to it. InterExchange has been a great advisor and a huge help. Their team has been incredibly helpful and encouraging.”