It’s hard to believe it’s been a year already. I guess it is true what they say - time flies when you are having fun. I first started working at Zoe on this day Sept. 24, one year ago. I had an idea of what it would be like since I have worked in retail for 12 years already. But what I have done over the past year with Susan and Zoe, was not one of those ideas.
I will never forget my first day “on the job” was a buying trip in New York City. Susan took me on a train ride from Union Station (at 5am, lets just say I’m not a morning person), arriving in NYC sometime around 8am. We went to several showrooms where I had the chance to look at designer lines that were all showing a season ahead. I felt like VIP getting to see what was coming out for spring when it had just turned fall. I also felt like a tourist, since I had to photograph and Instagram my entire experience. I thought I had finally arrived when we went to the Chan Luu showroom, which happens to be in the Penthouse of their building. This was obviously my first time in any penthouse. I was like a kid in a candy store with all of those beautiful bracelets, clothing, and scarves!
NOTE: Susan won't let me go to Velvet by myself. I would spend the entire season's worth of money there!
After having the showroom experience, it came to no surprise that I would get to meet actual designers. While at the store, I have had the privilege to meet Meagan Kurtz of ADMK Jewelry, Katie Bartels of Katie Bartels Jewelry, Kathlin Argiro, and Michelle Edwards of Haughty Cosmetics. I never dreamed of being able to actually meet designers in the flesh (you something you just imagine would happen one day). To my surprise I was also able to help Kathlin Argiro with a custom wedding gown for one of our customers. Watching her create this amazing piece of artwork with a sash was incredible. I was also able to design and create a display for ADMK Jewelry for their Atlanta Market show.
Tara and Meagan of ADMK Jewelry
Like I said, I have worked in retail for 12 years, so getting new items in every week is normally a walk in the park for me. Receiving merchandise at Zoe is all so different. It’s always like opening presents on Christmas. I have even nicknamed our UPS delivery driver Freddie Claus. I get so excited opening boxes and knowing that I actually had a hand in picking what our customers would one day have in their closets.
Our Favorite UPS Driver EVER - Freddie
Through out this entire year, I have been attending school for a degree in Fashion Merchandising. For this degree, my final grade hinged solely on my ability to cultivate a business plan and website for my own store. I don’t think I could have asked for a better mentor. With Susan already experiencing the good and bad of the industry, I was able to have first hand experiences as a small business owner, and in some cases learn more from her than in class.
With all these great experiences, trips, events, and designer meet and greets, I can’t wait to see where year two with Zoe takes me! Who knows, maybe we will end up front row at New York Fashion week sitting next to Anna Wintour. With Susan and Zoe Boutique, anything is possible!