Being an entry-level intern at a clothing store: OOTD by Lilibeth Borges

The reason I chose OOTD for my practical training place was because it stood out to me as a company. I happened to encounter OOTD inside Jyväskylä’s Torikeskus, and for that I’m very grateful. What attracted me about it was the fact that it was a plus-size only store that even had a secondhand section which is more affordable and environmentally friendly. I met with the store owner, Inka, and a few weeks later I was working with her. For starters, I did only a portion of my practical training here (2 months) because the work at OOTD would be more in the realm of entry-level work. The rest of my practical training is currently ongoing at a different location.

At OOTD, I had several hands-on tasks such as measuring clothing, photographing them, greeting customers and giving them advice, photographing a model, folding clothes, adding price tags to clothing, and cleaning the area. These tasks were pleasant in the sense that they didn’t ever bore me because I always had some new activity to keep me productive and moving on my feet. They also taught me how to work in a fast-pace environment, as this was my first time working retail. OOTD receives many donations from different people every day and these need to be cleaned, organized, priced, and photographed so that the store’s traffic is smooth and efficient. Inka was extremely friendly and gave me careful instructions on how to do all these tasks beforehand.

Furthermore, Inka taught me skills in terms of finances and sales processes. She explained to me how she maintains the business financially, such as, how she buys clothing at wholesale prices and how much she marks them up for selling, and how she chooses prices for secondhand items. As this is a smaller indie company, Inka is the primary worker at OOTD and she handles the finances with a budget, but she doesn’t have financial statements that show very specific assets, liabilities, cash flow, and things of that nature. Nonetheless, it was interesting to learn how well she managed the store as one person.

Author: Borges Cruz Lilibeth