Career Connections


Hannah Heathman

Major: Apparel, Merchandising, and Design



Company/Organization: Blond Genius
Company/Organization website: https://www.blondgenius.com/
Destination: West Des Moines, Iowa
Timeframe: Summer

Advisor/Coordinator Email: annthye@iastate.edu

I was responsible for...
My responsibilities over the summer included working on a private label extension for Blond Genius, working on collaborations with local schools/businesses to develop high-end apparel and products for their specific needs, continuing to develop the in-house brand as well as covering the floor, working with product and selling the merchandise. Because of my history with Blond Genius I was able to help train the other interns, and I also occasionally covered the Ankeny store.

I accomplished...
My greatest accomplishment from my internship with Blond Genius would be my private label project. I had the opportunity to develop a completely new, private label extension for Blond Genius and see the product I had worked on actually implemented and sold in the store. I created a collegiate/personalized category of merchandise for the store, and was able to see our first order of the product actually sell out completely within a couple of days. Seeing my pet project for the summer be so successful once it was finally brought into the store was absolutely my greatest accomplishment from my summer experience at Blond Genius.

I learned...
The greatest lesson that I learned over the course of the summer was the importance of asking for help, and utilizing the resources around me to be as successful as possible. When I was developing the introduction of private label for Blond Genius I didn't have a clue about where to begin, if it weren't for Erin (owner) and the resources she had I would not have been as successful. It is so important to ask for help when it's needed, and to never be afraid to use the resources provided. That for me has been the best way for me to grow and develop my skills and knowledge.

Advice for others...
My advice for future students looking into Blond Genius for an internship or even career after college would be to take initiative - if you have event/organization/product/display ideas do not be afraid to make your pitch to Erin or any of the other women that work there. It is a small business so individual opinions/ideas are absolutely encouraged. I would also encourage students to go in with the mindset that they may (and probably will) work all aspects of the business. Coming in with a flexible attitude and eagerness to learn is so important for students that want to be successful. Being a small business every employee essentially needs to know every aspect of the job, so coming in willing and eager to learn will make the experience that much greater. I loved my time at Blond Genius, and am so happy I was able to spend my summer with an incredible, and knowledgeable group of women.

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