I have had the opportunity to work alongside business owner Allison Lyons and learn the basics of running a small business. General retail store tasks so far have included selling, merchandising, pricing, steaming/ironing, styling and visual merchandising, and repairing vintage garments. The buying process is another aspect I have become familiar with. I have learned about dating vintage garments and textiles, as well as how to size them using measurements. also I have gained experience in areas such as social media marketing, event planning, website design and SEO, making online listings, shipping, and photographing products.
My greatest accomplishment during this internship was gaining massive amounts of knowledge about vintage apparel, including how to date it, how to repair it, and how to talk to other people about all of it. Since I was interested in much of the rich history of vintage clothing before I was an intern at Rumors Vintage, I was able to apply myself accordingly and soak up all the knowledge that owner Allison Lyons was able to provide.
The greatest lessons I learned from my experience had more to do with the people and less with the vintage apparel. Working with old things brings up many memories and stories for folks that are visiting the shop; being able to hear these stories and learn how to respond to them was one of the greatest lessons I learned from this experience, as this skill is able to be carried with me through the rest of my career and the rest of my life.
What advice would you give?
Some advice I have for students in Apparel Merchandising and Design is to not stress over finding an internship super early in college. I was not going to be able to get an internship this summer - I felt like I wasn't quite ready for one and I also did not have the availability to live elsewhere - but my internship sort of fell in my lap after checking CyHire enough times to find something I knew I would love. Try not to get the most sought-after internship by other people in your program, but rather find an internship that will interest you and leave you taking many career lessons and life lessons away from it.