Fourth Week: Blackwater

This week I  continued at Blackwater, and did such things as steaming new arrivals of clothing, waxing the racks, and making sure the store was neat and all clothes were hanging on the racks nicely. I learned that the physical appearance of the store is really important, especially making sure that the clothes are neat and orderly. Waxing the racks might not be the most interesting job, but little things like making sure the hangers glide easily on the racks, make the customers happier and make the looking at clothes easier

Not only the presentation of the store, but also the presentation of the clothes themselves is important in making a sale. Getting rid of the wrinkles in garments, and tying ribbons or lacing up laces on clothing items make them look more appealing to a customer.

I also got to pick out an outfit, along with accessories, and dress a mannequin to be put right outside the side door. I chose a dress and some necklaces, and Mary Alice helped me chose some more necklaces that would layer nicely. This was so we could showcase many items without it being over the top. I also got to dress mannequins with outfits that Mary Alice picked out in order to showcase the new arrivals of clothing that they got in.


Third Week: Change of A Dress

For my last week at Change of A Dress, Diana taught me different ways to fold and hang up various clothing, in her store, and in other stores that she worked at, including Banana Republic.

First she introduced to me to a henry hanger, which is used to display an outfit without a mannequin or dress form. I had to tie the henry hanger to a normal hanger, and then I arranged a top, pants, and a sweater on the henry hanger to make it resemble an outfit, complete with accessories like a necklace and a belt.

The next day, I learned how to fold button down collared shirts different ways. Diana taught me the board folding technique with a clipboard, and how to arrange the folded shirt on top of the stack by folding the arm over and folding up the cuff. I also learned how to pin the shirts so that they would stay folded, and how to fold the shirts without the board. This helped me see that every store has a different method and expectation for the folding of their clothes, with some stores prefer certain methods over others. It also taught me that folding is not just for functionality purposes, but also a display strategy.

I was also showed how Change of A Dress hangs their clothing. Since they are a consignment store, all of their clothing pieces are different. To give her store some unity, Diana hangs all the bottoms the same way, by folding in the sides and clipping them so that they are all the width of the pants hanger. She also hangs her jeans by clipping the pant hangers to the side of the jeans so that the waistbands are facing out making it easier to see the sizing and brand. This gives the purpose of unity and ease in identifying clothes.

I had a fun time at Change of A Dress, and learned a lot of things about the industry and the goings on of retail stores. Interning at a consignment store gave me a different perspective in the world of fashion as it is very unlike any of the typical retail stores.




Second Week: Change of a Dress


This past week I learned a lot more in depth about merchandising and running a retail store, while also doing many things that were unique.

I barcoded many new belts that came in the first day. I was able to arrange them aesthetically by color and learned to hang them so that they the tail ends did not flop over. This taught me to think critically about how the function of a display should be just as important as its visual appearance.

This week I also put tags on many new pieces of jewelry that came in on that day. This showed me that not only is merchandising about clothing, it also involves accessories, such as jewelry, and requires attention to detail with threading thin threads of fishing line onto delicate pieces of jewelry.

On the last day this week, Diana let me pick out an outfit in the store, and showed me how to take down a mannequin, undress it and dress it. It made me realize that being in merchandising also requires a lot of physical strength, from lifting, moving, and flipping over a 70 pound mannequin, to pulling off magnetically attached arms. I had to figure out how to put on the pants and how to put on tops and jackets, and also how to accessorize and layer the clothes properly to make them look wearable. She then taught me how to pin clothing items to fit the mannequin and how to roll cuffs and tuck the shirts.