During the summer of 2019, I had the opportunity to work for two of my local boutiques in my town as their merchandising intern. I had never had any experience in this specific type of retail space, so I was really excited to learn about a different aspect of the fashion industry.
While the two shops I worked at were just across the street from each other, they were very different. They each have different products, target markets, and vibes to their store. I’ll link each of their socials down below so you can check them out! I was given a good amount of responsibility at each of these shops, which was something I really valued.
Kaletta’s was one of the boutiques I worked at. The owner branded it as “York’s Urban Elegant Boutique” and she does a great job of sticking to her brand. I was definitely the youngest who worked there, which was so fun because I was able to bring an entirely new perspective on fashion and marketing to the store.
Each year, the owner, Jackie, goes to NYC for the NY NOW show at the Jacob Javits Center. She had asked me if I would be interested in going along and of course I said yes, I don’t know why anyone would ever turn down an opportunity like that! Jackie said it would be me, her, and Jodie going to NYC for 2 days to do some buying for the store and I was beaming with excitement.
We took the first train up to NYC, and I was up at 3:30 AM that morning to get ready for a very busy day. We accidentally sat in the quiet car and didn’t realize it at first until we got shushed, so that was funny. I fell asleep on the train and apparently there was a really cute boy sitting across from us and I missed him because I was asleep the whole time. So, if that boy is reading this, hmu.
After we got to NYC, we took an Uber to the Javits Center and when we arrived we had to check in and I felt SUPER official with the badge I received 🙂
This was the first year at the show that they were doing a fashion show, and each day had a different theme. I’ve never been to a show like this before, and it was HUGE. Being able to watch a runway show where different artisan brands were able to show off their products in their own unique way was a great way to get the attention of buyers. I saw a bag that was made of feathers during the runway show that really stuck out to me. I was determined to find the wholesaler because I felt like that product would be a great seller at our store.
After the fashion show was over, Jackie gave Jodie and I list of items she specifically wanted for the store and set us out in search for them. Jodie and I were the ultimate duo during those two days of us being in NYC. We browsed all of the different booths asking questions and picking up business cards so we could take Jackie back to these booths and have her check out the products for herself. After all, she was the one with the final say, and the checkbook.
Jodie and I’s favorite part of the show is all of the freebies that brands were handing out at their booths. We loaded up all a ton of stuff, our bags were starting to fill up and get very heavy. A few examples of the free stuff we picked up: Corksicle tumblers, bracelets, pop sockets, stickers, therapy dough, keychains, bottle openers, and so much more.
The cool thing about going to this show was that not everything there was fashion related. They had stationary, furniture, charcuterie boards, & even plants, so I was really able to learn about a lot of different industries and brands. I loved talking to the brand owners because everyone has a story to share and it gave a great look into the products they create and the meaning behind them.
Jackie relied a lot on me and my younger perspective to help pick out new brands and products that were on track to be trends for Fall 2019. Not to brag, but I did deliver and am proud to say I personally helped picked out 4 brands that are now carried in Kaletta’s and are big sellers. One of my favorite products we carry now are the feather bags. I finally hunted them down after seeing them modeled in the fashion show. They were great sellers at the store, and of course I got one for myself and love it!
I had the most fun and will remember this experience forever. Attending shows like this come in handy in my fashion classes because I can directly relate what I’m learning to personal experiences that I have had.
I actually did vlog my experience on my Youtube channel that I am not very active on, probably should be because my parents tell me I’m funny LOL. I’ll attach the link so if you want a closer look into my experience you can see what it was like to be a buyer!
Also, check out my post on my website with more behind the scenes photos of my experience!