Kit Hickey, one of the co-founders of Boston-based fashion tech company Ministry of Supply, is featured prominently in a recent article in Outside Magazine. In the piece by Abe Streep that focuses on finding your dream job and “rebooting your career,” Hickey is held up as an example of how using skills developed in one career can lead to a successful transition to a “dream job.”
From “How to Find Your Dream Job : An eight-step plan for rebooting your career and finding a job that you love”:
In 2011, Kit Hickey was a successful investment banker in Boulder, Colorado, but she was a little disillusioned and had a vision for a line of business attire that used the performance technologies found in outdoor apparel. She enrolled in an entrepreneurial program at MIT and partnered with another student who was a gear designer to launch Ministry of Supply. She uses her banking experience, focusing on the company’s thriving business model, while her partner geeks out on materials and construction methods.
Hickey actually met her co-founders at MIT and combined her business experience with Gihan Amarasiriwardena’s and Aman Advani’s attempts at “fashion hacking.” Advani had worked on his own to build a better sock that was still fashionable, a kernel idea that may have led to the Atlas sock. While Amarasiriwardena has often spoken to me about how growing up, he would often take technical gear, like Patagonia or North Face clothing, and deconstruct it and retool it to make it more fashionable or applicable for normal use.
What’s interesting is that Hickey seems truly happy in her new gig. Every time I’ve come across her promoting MoS’s wares — either at the EmTech conference held by the MIT Technology Review or at Ministry’s Newbury Street pop up shop — she seems not only to be excited about the company’s technologically advanced clothing, but she also comes across as pretty much the happiest entrepreneur I’ve ever met.
Hickey isn’t alone in being someone who’s made a risky career switch. Objective Logistics’ Phil Beauregard was also an investment banker prior to founding two companies. CRV’s Jon Auerbach, like some other VCs including Google Venture’s MG Siegler, was a journalist before making the leap to venture capital. Applause’s Dan Rowinski was a chef, a sports journalist, and an editor for ReadWrite before running content for the Framingham-based app testing company.
I too, made the leap, spending almost ten years as a teacher before starting to write about tech in Boston.
If you are thinking of changing careers, the Outside piece is a good place to start. Also, check out Reid Hoffman’s and Ben Casnocha’s “Startup of You” or “What Color is Your Parachute” by Richard N. Bolles.