Since my last post was full of all the negative things I experienced in retail, I wanted to balance it out with some of the positive experiences I had. Every moment in life has a hidden lesson, and in the past three years I have learned a lot.
I think the most positive part about working at Anthropologie was being surrounded by such a wonderful team. I always said, “If you ever need a confidence boost, just walk through our doors!” Every day, the team was always there to welcome you, tell you how cute your outfit was, and they were absolutely genuine about it. Sure, dealing with snarky customers isn’t always fun, but at least you had your team there to back you up and push you through your day.
One of my biggest challenges was learning how to deal with situations with grace and dignity, even when they did not deserve an ounce of grace. There were many moments I had to learn from. Being in a customer service role is not always sunshines and daisies, but you learn. Working in retail truly tests your patience. Over the years, I had to learn to let some things go, and to not get so worked up about them. There could have been moments where I had every right to scream at the top of my lungs, but didn’t. I had to learn control, and kindness. This translated in my personal life in big ways.
The customers weren’t all bad though. I definitely had my fair share of favorite regulars that would come in. It’s amazing how involved you can actually become in some of these ladies’ lives. Over the years I have seen women go through dramatic weight transformations, go through divorces, have babies, get married and loose loved ones. The fitting room can be a really vulnerable place. I have heard many stories throughout my time in that store. Somehow I felt connected to many of these women, even though I only saw them for a few hours, maybe once a week. Sometimes I knew that I might be the only person they could objectively talk to. I was there to give style advice, but also to listen, and to listen with my heart. I loved the bonding experience I had with many of the customers.
With job skills, I would say that I was able to advance myself quite a bit of the past couple of years with Anthropologie. I was able to dip my hands in many areas of the business. From hiring, to growth and development, to selling, to events, to social media marketing, and actually running the floor, I gained so much experience. With Anthro, I had my first big interview too. I applied for an internship at home office about a year and a half ago. I passed the first couple rounds of applications, and the company flew me out to Philly for an interview. I was so nervous that I probably talked nonsense during the actual interview. Hindsight is always 20/20 and there are plenty of things that I could have done to be better prepared. BUT, it really did give me the opportunity to grow and learn. (Not to mention, to see a glimpse of Philly and home office!)
There was also the benefits of throwing parties and events! I live for that sort of thing, so I always enjoyed planning all of the birthday events and the stylist events. I most enjoyed putting together pop-up markets. Something about giving opportunity to local businesses is just so awesome to me.
Overall, I would not trade in my experience for the world. When I started at Anthropologie I was 20 years old, and I feel like I have truly done a lot of growing since then. The experience I had there, and the mentors that came along with it truly helped shape who I am now.
All for now,