In August 2013 I began my first retail job at the flagship Ann Taylor on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. While at first this seemed like a departure from my ideal career, I’ve found instead that it is the ideal mix of everything I like most about creative work.
I am finding the art in the everyday and helping each client who comes into the store feel valued. She is my creative project, and as we get to know each other, I find the way to serve her best and make her glad she visited.
Instead of using my communication skills to create sponsorship proposals, Facebook posts and Tweets, or articles, I connect with each customer in person and show her what the store has to offer in a friendly and knowledgeable way.
I use my creativity and practicality as I simultaneously create new looks and combinations for her to try while explaining the longevity and wearability of each piece, right down to her jewelry. I inform her of any promotions that will make her purchase savvier and offer my assistance to find sizes, track down different colors, and lay out her options when it comes to having items shipped, held at another store, or ordered online. It’s all in the details, and I appreciate the challenge of finding unique ways to make each client’s visit worth it, just like the challenges that come up in the arts, communications, and special events.
I take my love of collaboration to new levels as I work with my fellow associates to staff the floor, to deal with frozen cash registers, to restock and rearrange items, and to see that each client is attended to. It makes me happy to see that what I do makes a difference, and I love that my job helps others do their job even better, an aspect of work that motivates me in each position I take.