Friday, May 31, 2013
What is a merchant?
I started my career in fashion as a designer. It was so easy when someone outside of fashion asked ‘what do you do?’ I could easily say ‘I am a fashion designer.’ The reaction was fun. When you tell someone you are a fashion designer, they get excited; start asking questions and look at you with amazement. Everyone knows what a designer is. Fashion designers are glamorous in the eyes of the non-sartorial focused. It was a fantastic conversation starter.
After I switched into merchandising, I began to dread when someone would ask what I do. Before I realized how this kills a conversation, I would say ‘I am a merchant.’ The response from non-fashion industry folks was always: ‘Oh’ paired with confused looks. The fact is that merchandising can be a confusing term to both outsiders and insiders.
For blog readers who are seasoned fashion industry veterans, you can stop reading. This may bore you. If you are young in your career or thinking of entering the industry, keep reading.
You can see how complex the word merchandising can be. Eventually, I simplified my response when people ask me what I do. I now say I am on the product and business side of fashion. This is less scary for people. If anyone has a better answer to this merchant conundrum, please post your comments.
Learn more about the fashion industry from Career Coach Kate Kibler at http://www.katekibler.com.