When I first decided to attend a small Christian Private School in the Northwest, it was to my surprise and excitement that there was also a Fashion Program! It seemed like the best of both worlds to me- I get to attend a liberal arts school with an intimate college setting, while still pursuing an idea for my future that I felt passionate about (and sounded fun). It turned out that it was indeed that best of both worlds.
Usually friends and colleagues are surprised to hear that what I do professionally (fashion merchandising) is what I went to school for. That's not something that a lot people can say. I loved my education at SPU, because as opposed to attending a fashion school, I got to experience a more typical college life with a very well rounded education. Being at a small school helps make you accountable for showing up to class and having a stronger connection with your professors. I remember if I missed a class Dr. Lee would email me and ask if everything was okay! At SPU they made it easy to carve your path to graduation and finish on time. Because I was able to stay on track I was able to add fashion design as a secondary major within my 4 years. I also had the opportunity to live in London for a quarter and attend the American Intercontinental University. In London I was able to take some more specific fashion courses, like Buying, Fashion Show production and Fashion styling. This was an amazing experience!
One thing Dr. Lee liked to remind us of on a regular basis was that we need to always keep strong relationships with everyone we met professionally because the fashion industry is much smaller than we knew. At the time, I'm not sure we understood that, however after ten plus years of working in the fashion industry she couldn't be more correct! I firmly believe one of the reasons I've been successful at the jobs and found new jobs over the years is from maintaining strong relationships with everyone I work with and always staying true to myself my beliefs and my values. No matter what- people will respect you more and want you on their team.
Over the past ten years I spent most of my career working for Gap Inc. in San Francisco. I was hired right out of college as s sample coordinator and moved up through Old Navy and Banana Republic to a Senior Merchandiser. I have worked for international divisions, Online divisions and US divisions focusing on product development. After I had my daughter I also started a kids and baby website as a side project. Currently I am working for a specialty maternity brand -Ingrid and Isabel as the Head merchandiser for our online and wholesale business.
I have been blessed in my career and always look back fondly and with gratitude to my experience at SPU.
Posted: Wednesday, November 01, 2017