Finding a Career in Visual Merchandising

Hello everyone and welcome back for this weeks post! Last week, I had uploaded a video to my YouTube channel discussing my new job.

Before the video, I had announced on Instagram that I accepted a new job opportunity as a Visual Merchandiser. I was getting so many questions left and right about what a Visual Merchandiser was, or what was it that they did, so I decided to do a video to explain the position, (I’ll link the video below for you to watch).

It dawned on me earlier this week that there may be some out there who are also pursuing a career in Visual Merchandising, which is why I’m writing this blog post. Before we get in to all the details, I’d like to mention that building a career takes a while, it doesn’t happen instantaneously. Although I’ve barely been working at my new job for a week now, I’m thrilled with this new opportunity for myself. Let’s look back at how this career all started.

I began working in retail in 2014, only as a seasonal employee during the holidays as a way to make some extra cash. After the holidays, I was offered a permanent part time position so I decided to juggle two jobs for a while. I bussed tables at a restaurant half the week, then folded sweaters the other half.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but I quickly grew bored of the customer service aspect of retail. I wanted to learn more about retail but mainly the fashion side of things, not necessarily the business side. When I was a little, I was a ridiculous girly girl and wore pink from head to toe, as much as I could get away with. I adored fashion, and whenever I was presented with the opportunity, I asked more about visual standards in my store.

Because I was so curious, my managers let me shadow them as we did floor sets, dressed mannequins, steamed clothes, and more. I wanted to learn every little visual detail because I found it so satisfying. Around this time, I also began taking introduction to fashion classes at my community college.

One class that stood out to me in particular was my Fashion Forecasting class- (sometimes I wonder why I didn’t try to get a certificate in fashion forecasting, but we’ll talk about that later). The class focused on how fashion trends find their way from the runway all the way down to the malls where consumers shop.

I found it very interesting, studying how the leaders of the fashion industry would design product that would interest consumers of all ages. It was a gamble, deciding what would be successful and what would be a fad. If any of you have the opportunity, I would highly recommend taking a Fashion Forecasting class, because it helps you understand the business side of visual merchandising.

Okay so fast forward to Spring of 2016, and I made the impulsive “yolo” decision to move from California to Washington. With my retail job, I was able to transfer within the company to another store in Washington (yay job security). Once I transferred, I was promoted to a Lead Sales Associate and found myself tackling a supervisor role, while also having more freedom to help with displays and visual merchandising.

Winter of 2016 rolls around, and I discover Parsons Teen Vogue, a new online fashion program to earn a certificate in any branch of the fashion industry, at our own pace. I signed myself up for the Fashion Merchandising course and dove right in. I watched lectures, ted talks, took copious notes (just cause), complete assignments studied visual displays at other stores etc.

Even though it’s an at your own pace program and you could finished very quickly if you wanted, I ended up completing the program in the winter of 2017, so a full year later, (not like I have to defend myself, but I was working two jobs, my boyfriend and I moved in together, there was a lot going on. That’s also another reason why I loved this program so much, because it was at your own leisure. There were no due dates, other than the year long deadline the program gives you to complete the course).

Back at work, I was up for a promotion and I was trying my best to be the perfect employee, and prove that I deserved this promotion. In the end, after quite a bit of drama, I didn’t get the promotion. Looking back on it, I consider it as a blessing in disguise, because there was so much that needed to be fixed at the store. I’m glad I didn’t get the promotion, because I’ve now moved on to bigger and better things.

Alright so here we are today, after getting this amazing new job. With my studying, experience, and a certificate under my belt, I don’t think I’ve ever been as confident at a job as I am here. I worked very hard the past five years, and I am now in a fantastic position. Just goes to show that as long as you work hard and continue to believe in your potential, anything is possible.

To hear more about what a Visual Merchandiser does, check out my video below:

To hear my review of Parsons Teen Vogue, check out my video below:


Thanks for stopping by, I’ll see you soon!

Chloe

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