Life of a TAA Intern : Amanda Cazel
August | 10 , 2017.
[9:30 AM] Two massive red doors greet me as I arrive to The Apparel Agency. They are a nice break from the otherwise monochromatic elements in the building, and I can hear the rumblings of a design studio inside. Upon entering, I am greeted by Pacos, the office dog and Nichole’s adorable pooch. The patter of Rosie’s paws is not far behind as they are best buds who entertain and protect my coworkers from 9 to 5.
[10:00 AM] After brewing a cup of coffee, catching up on everyone’s night and settling in, work can begin. As the Marketing Intern, my day usually starts off with a recap of what happened while I was asleep. Follower growth on Instagram is tracked, blog posts from influential tastemakers are read and likes on recent Facebook posts are recorded. I am all about analytics, and observing how The Apparel Agency has grown and evolved over the past 7 weeks has been one of the most interesting parts of my job.
[10:45 AM] From my desk, I can see it all. Fit models come in and out all day to try on new samples. Our Pattern Maker and Creative Designer are analyzing them to ensure the best fit and grading specifications are being applied to the garments. There are clients coming in to meet with our Project Manager and Nichole Rairigh, our CEO, to discuss the status of their production order. Some are startups who have never put out a t-shirt let alone started a clothing line. Others are established brands who need some expert advice and assistance to grow their name. We help everyone here at The Apparel Agency, if they have the ambition to succeed.
[12:00 PM] Time to interview my fellow interns. Currently, there are six interns employed by The Apparel Agency, all with a love for fashion and our beautiful city of Chicago. There are Production Interns, who spend their days at the heat press, sewing labels onto finished products and running quality control tests. The Design Interns help our Design Manager create patterns for our clients. They are well-versed on Adobe Illustrator and can zone out for hours behind the dull light of the computer. And then there’s me, the one who does not know how to sew and had to Google the term “minimums”. But no one cares about that here, as long as I do the job I came here to do.
[2:00 PM] By this time in the day I am embarking on another passion of mine, photography. Photographing clothes and textiles is a new challenge, as I am proficient in cheesy senior portraits and candid shots of my sorority sisters. Our Marketing Director, Covania, teaches me how properly shoot flat lays and get the perfect lighting on a cluster of fabrics. This is followed by editing the photos and determining which ones are lucky enough to be seen by our followers.
[4:00 PM] The rest of my day is filled with researching new and exciting marketing innovations. Scheduling posts on Instagram is a tedious task as clever captions do not always come easy to me. I have watched social media training webinars, created email blasts, and conducted keyword analysis to improve our SOE. These things I have learned in my time working for the lovely ladies at TAA, and I am saddened that my time with them has come to a close.
When creating questions for my fellow interns to respond to in the video above, there was one left unanswered: What has been your favorite part about working at The Apparel Agency? I refrained from asking anyone this because it is a very broad question. I did not want anyone to feel too on the spot and give an answer they would regret. So, after some consideration, I thought it is only fair to answer the question myself.
My favorite part about working at The Apparel Agency is the freedom I was given to grow while still being supported. I am an independent person who would rather not have someone watching over my shoulder all day. Here, I was given an outline of what needed to get done and I’ll be damned if I did not finish. At the same time, a day did not go by in which I learned nothing. Whether marketing, fashion or production-related, I was never bored and consistently gaining knowledge.
I am truly going to miss the easy-going and creative environment that The Apparel Agency fostered. I cannot imagine spending my summer in a cubicle, making endless coffee runs, and being locked in a building without windows or puppies. I hope to have the chance to work in a place like this soon, and will surely remember my summer at 2000 W. Fulton Street very fondly. Thank you, TAA
By Amanda Cazel from The Apparel Agency