Q: I want to build a business where I will have my own fashion boutique with my own line (clothes, shoes, accessories), nail polish line, and makeup line. What do I major in?
A: This is a great, focused question. You’re likely to need the analytical skills found in two academic disciplines, business management and fashion design. You’ll also want to develop some analytical skills relative to online marketing, because in the future even the most successful boutiques will need a strong online presence. You’ll also benefit from courses that enhance your people skills, allowing you to understand and relate well with customers, employees, and suppliers of goods; these might include courses in psychology, English, and communication.
The question is where to put your emphasis. In making that decision, it may help to think about future events or circumstances that could require a change in plans. For example, suppose that you can’t raise the money to open your boutique, at least in the beginning. If you had to work for a large fashion company, what functions would interest you more–say, designing or buying merchandise versus managing a store? The former might lead you to major in design, with a minor in business; the latter might lead to the converse decision. Your plans will serve you best if they give you flexibility in responding to the unexpected. And, above all, you’ll want to seek confirming inspiration in your decisions.