“If you find something you’re interested in, get involved!” – Brandon Hill
As I prepared to finish college, I decided to sign up with a temp agency in an effort to give variety to my work experience. The very first place the agency sent me was the Distribution department here at Stuller in preparation for the holiday rush. Once the holidays were over, the manager of distribution offered me to stay in a newly created position. I quickly grew to enjoy working here, as I met new people and became interested in how the jewelry industry operated. So I gladly accepted the position and left the temp agency.
Within a couple years, I moved through a few different positions within distribution, ultimately becoming a team leader. During my last semester of college in pursuit of my Advertising degree, I sought an internship in a related field. I soon discovered Stuller’s Marketing department was planning to begin an internship program. I applied and was accepted! So for my last semester of college, I worked part-time as a Marketing intern, while still full-time in Distribution.
In Marketing, I reported directly to the PR Manager, who was leaving for maternity leave right as the internship ended. I was offered a permanent position working for her, taking effect immediately while she was out. Working in the PR arm of Marketing provided a unique opportunity to become involved in a variety of projects – from facility tours to video content to work on the From the Bench publications. These tasks specifically helped me to develop valuable project management skills, leading me to apply for my current position when it became available.
As the Catalog Project Manager, I oversee Stuller’s catalog production. This includes creating schedules based on due dates to the printers, facilitating the overall flow of information, and working with the Merchandising and Marketing departments. This means my days are filled with tracking progress and countless meetings.
My position is extremely rewarding. Though there is stress that comes from working with so many moving parts and different personalities on a project of this scope, it is incredibly satisfying to see the finished product. The process has increased my understanding of the jewelry industry and helped me to understand jewelers’ specific needs. And the best part is being able to incorporate that understanding into the next round of catalogs to make each one better than the last. I strive to improve everything from the design to the internal process of creating catalogs.
Producing a catalog is a group effort. In order to show so many associates my appreciation, I have started get-togethers after work after each catalog successfully goes to the printer. Nearly the entire Marketing department gathers to celebrate another successful project completed! Everyone seems to have a great time, and I’ve come to really appreciate this opportunity to show the team my gratitude.
Through catalogs, I’m able to give jewelers one of their primary tools, enabling them to find anything they need for their customers at the turn of the page. I’ve also noticed that the incorporation of customization software has made a huge impact on the industry. I was just starting here at Stuller as the company was beginning to develop this technology. It has been quite interesting to watch its growth!
At this time, I have two boys – a 3-year-old and a 5-month-old. So I don’t do much of anything that doesn’t involve them these days. This means most evenings consist of peek-a-boo and Batman. I’ve been involved in Boy Scouting in one way or another since I was 12 years old. It’s a great program that has really helped to shape me into who I am today. In turn, I think it is important to give back and offer that same guidance to the youth today. I have recently become the Scoutmaster of my troop and spend much of my time on camping trips and other Scouting activities. I also really enjoy movies and especially like to hunt down older movies.
My advice to others is this: if you find something you are interested in, get involved! Most people will welcome you with open arms and the overall experience will benefit you in the long run. Also, when you hit a roadblock or new challenge, take a step back and really evaluate all your options before tackling any problem.
In case you missed it, check out the last Feature Friday post featuring Russell Brown of Brown’s Jewelers.