Allen D. Nease High School Presidents Sreeja Miryala and Daynalis Reyes-Kildare have an exciting year ahead of them. These Ponte Vedra, Florida-based Presidents chat about discovering new opportunities thanks to FIDM Fashion Club, collaborating with their school’s Conservation Club, and how they get inspired for club activities.
How did you learn about FIDM Fashion Club?
Sreeja: I had been signing up for and attending online FIDM events, and a few months later, I got a pamphlet in the mail about the FIDM Fashion Club. I thought it was a really fun idea since we didn’t have anything like it at our school. I also visited the FIDM LA campus this summer and after seeing all the projects there, I knew I wanted to start one at my school with one of my best friends.
Daynalis: When Sreeja approached me with the opportunity to be a Co-President of this club, I immediately accepted. I had never heard of FIDM, but I definitely knew about Sreeja’s passion for fashion. We’ve always bonded over that so I was very excited to be able to lead this together with her.
What opportunities has FIDM Fashion Club allowed you to pursue?
Daynalis: The city we live in has a lot of hidden culture and creative outlets, so figuring out projects for this club has given us the opportunity to find those outlets and incorporate them into our club. We’ve already been told that we will be able to help out with the St. Augustine Fashion Week in the upcoming year so we are ecstatic about that.
Sreeja: We’ve also been able to learn more about fashion through this club. When we research and put together PowerPoints and hands-on activities for our club, we learn more and more about the industry, and each time we fall in love with it a little more.
Is this the first time you have held a leadership role?
Sreeja: No, but it’s my first major leadership role! Last year, I was the CEO of a mock company (we created a company called “Friendly Fashion” which was an eco-friendly clothing brand) and we created a sales pitch for our business. That was my first role as a leader of a group. It was exhilarating and with Fashion Club I feel like I can embrace that leadership side of me.
Daynalis: Yes. I’ve never been a leader of a club or anything like this before so it is a bit of pressure. However, since fashion has always been a huge interest of mine, it is not hard to engage in it or find inspiration. I am endlessly grateful to not only be a Co-President, but also be a Co-Founder since this club is new to our high school.
Tell us how you’re working with FC members on a community project:
Sreeja: There’s a Conservation Club at our school that teaches about eco-friendly practices and cleaning up our planet. We plan to have our clubs collaborate and create an upcycled dress or outfit made up of eco-friendly materials. All of our members will be able to participate in the design process and we hope to inspire others to shop clean and help the earth stay clean.
Where do you find inspiration for club activities?
Daynalis: When it comes to inspiration, you can always find me browsing through the Instagram accounts of other FIDM Fashion Clubs. We always steer clear of copying, but I find the ideas of other Presidents very motivating. Also, the Fashion Club website has a lot of great ideas and advice. I printed the FIDM Fashion Club President Handbook from the website immediately because it is just full of helpful guidance.
Sreeja, tell us about your jewelry line and the inspiration behind it:
Sreeja: I run a small business called SM Brands where I sell handmade jewelry over Instagram (@s.m_brands_). I’ve loved creating jewelry since I was 7, when my dad bought me my first jewelry making kit for my birthday party. Since then I’ve significantly advanced in my jewelry making skills. I run my business on my own, from managing the social media to the advertising to the jewelry making and designing itself. However, I must give credit to Daynalis, who has been advising me anytime I need a second opinion, or need someone to bounce ideas off of since 2020. She is also my brand ambassador.
Visit FIDM Resources for free education resources for your Fashion Club, from workshops to games and online events.