A love letter to my interns…

Posted on August 06 2018

A love letter to my interns…

   As the “official” summer months are coming to a close I thought it would be fitting to reflect on these past couple of months and my amazing summer interns that made it all possible; in addition, why not reminisce on my own time spent as a fashion intern and all the lessons I learned along the way…

  Every year I work alongside the UCO Fashion Department {my Alma Mater, GO BRONCHOS} to bring one-two student interns onboard for them to complete their summer practicum. This is their opportunity to get a true hands-on learning experience within the fashion industry, and as I tell the girls who come to intern with me, they are definitely getting the full run of things at Cargo Room because I always need help in ALL areas!

   This year I had the great pleasure of bringing on two students, Hannah and Rosy. I had high hopes and rather hefty goals in mind for my new little summer team; I even took a trip to target to get new notepads, calendars, and whiteboards to track our prospective journey {plus I have an obsession with all things office supplies, so I was totally okay with these purchases}.

    At the time I questioned myself, are we taking on too much? These are MAJOR changes that I want to make in my business: redesign the Showroom, build a new website, start a monthly newsletter {finally}, host a 4th Birthday Party for the trailer, and launch a new program {more details on this to come}. These are the objectives I set forth for myself and my interns on top of our regular business obligations, and let me remind you, we only had a FEW months to try to accomplish them all.

   What I didn’t know then {that I definitely do now}, these two students were about to work incredibly hard, push me beyond my comfort zone, and allow my company to reach new areas that in four years of business I haven’t had the time or resources to reach.  I could honestly go on and on about how amazing these two ladies have been and how I could feel their passion for my business, however, then my first blog post would be entirely too long, so, for now, I will just say how truly thankful I am to have had them on team Cargo Room, and I cannot wait to see what the future has in store.

A note from Hannah…

   Why I’m Thankful, I Had The Opportunity To Intern at a Local Boutique

   I’m not going to lie, when my classmates in college started to leave out-of-state for their internships, I was pretty jealous. To have that “real” experience in a new state, by the ocean, around beautiful things would have been my ideal internship experience. But, life doesn’t always work out the way that we want it to and at the time we don’t understand why but I now know that God wanted me to experience something special.

    How did I choose where I was going to intern? Well, it all started with UCO’s Fashion Troupe Organization; an opportunity for fashion marketing students to listen to different business owners and their ventures through owning a business. During one of those meetings, Heather Parsons was our guest speaker. She shared her story and was actually a UCO Fashion Marketing Alumni. I loved her experience throughout the fashion industry, and I loved her story. You could tell she truly had passion behind her business and it sparked an interest in me. She was the first mobile boutique in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. After her speech, I went up to talk to her and loved her contagious + bubbly spirit. She was extremely sweet and gave me her business card.

    I pondered on that business card and thought for a few weeks on where I would best “fit” to do my internship. I was also taking summer classes and didn’t have the option to go out-of-state, plus it is expensive, and I couldn’t afford it at the time. I knew what my long-term goals were (have my own boutique maybe) and I wanted to learn anything I could about fashion and thought it would be a neat experience to see how Heather has been so successful and what it takes to run a small business. Little did I know, it was NOT all rainbows and butterflies. The mobile boutique seemed so glamorous until I helped with the entire all-day process. It was beyond exhausting and to know that Heather does this almost every weekend throughout the year entitles her to have a special deserving award (#BOSSBABE, #THEHULK, #GOGETTER).

    I am extremely thankful for my one-on-one experience with a small boutique. I have learned more than I could have dreamt of in 3 short months. Heather not only allowed us to work in all fields of her business but she trusted us which can be a very hard thing to do considering this was and is her “baby.” From Shopify, MailChimp, and Square to maintaining new inventory, merchandising the showroom, opportunities to work the trailer, and a Dallas Market Center experience. We also were able to style photoshoots with our gorgeous + fun models as well as be the photographer behind the camera. OH, and we can’t forget the fun ice cream dates + random deliveries of delicious ICED COCONUT LATTES from Café Kacao (courtesy of Heather’s BF), and we may or may not have always had cookies or donuts on hand to keep us fueled with energy. Heather truly took care of us, and I will forever cherish the experience and a new friendship I found in the process. I love you Heather!

 Xoxo,

 Hannah  

   {Okay…I am officially crying! Love you too Hannah}

My time as an intern…

   Every time I get asked to speak with students I put a lot of emphasis on interning. I do this because I know firsthand how vital it was to my own experiences.

   My first internship was with a Showroom out of Dallas; sadly, I cannot remember the name of this exact Showroom, but this Showroom was where I accredit the start of my fashion journey. After I found out I would be moving to New York for a semester to study fashion they were the first people I called for recommendations as to where I could find a good fashion internship in the Big Apple. They set me up at an internship for a brand-new clothing company called Hunter Dixon, which eventually led me to my first industry job as their Director of Operations {but I will save that for another blog post}.

   In addition to my internship with Hunter Dixon, I decided to take on a second internship with Cosmo Girl Magazine in the fashion closet; remember this was the years right after Lauren Conrad worked at Teen Vogue, so of course, I wanted to follow in her footsteps. Unfortunately, my time in the fashion closet was not nearly as glamorous as that portrayed in a TV “reality” series, but alas, I had a fabulous time working with all the clothing, designers, editors, and my fellow fashion student friends, plus I DID get a lot of free samples!

 

Playing in the Fashion Closet at Cosmo Girl Magazine (2007)

        {Playing in the Fashion Closet at Cosmo Girl Magazine, 2007}

   What I learned from all my interning experiences was that fashion was not just ONE thing, it was all-encompassing; it was writing, it was numbers, it was marketing, it was sales, it was creative, it was business, etc. etc. but above all else, for me, it was FUN! I knew this was the industry I was meant to be in, an industry that made you work hard but was never dull. Fast forward 12 years later, I still feel the exact same way.

 

 

           

 

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