Elizabeth chooses merchandising
Elizabeth loves fashion. However, she wasn’t sure she wanted a career in design. She took sewing and illustration classes throughout middle and high school, but realized she didn’t enjoy it. Instead of giving up on fashion, Elizabeth knew there had to be more career opportunities in the industry.
“Creating my own thing is not at the top of my list,” she said. “I took sewing and illustration in middle school and high school, and I didn’t like it. I knew there had to be more opportunities than that in the fashion industry.”
Elizabeth knew about Iowa State’s well-respected fashion program and decided to visit. When she did, Chris Wise, an adviser in apparel, merchandising, and design, told her about the different programs Iowa State offered. Fashion design was an option there of course, but the merchandising program sparked her interest.
“I wanted to focus less on sketching and more on the business side of fashion,” she said. “Which is why I chose merchandising.”
Now, Elizabeth is a sophomore and couldn’t be happier with the choice she made. She enjoys her classes and all aspects of the program.
“Merchandising for me has been a lot of course work and tests,” she said. “In design it’s more projects that show your skills. For some that’s right, but for me it’s not.”
She said a lot more thought goes into merchandising than people think, and that’s one of the reasons she enjoys it.
“A lot goes into getting a product,” she said. “You have to be in tune with what consumers want from color to style in order to pick the right one. You have to know what’s going on in the industry, and that’s why I want to be a merchandiser.”
Elizabeth knows merchandising isn’t for everyone. She said students need to think about their strengths to find the right direction in the fashion industry.
“If you like sewing and sketching or seeing concepts from the beginning to the end, then you’ll do better in design,” she said. “But if you want to work more with people to bring actual products to stores than you should do merchandising.”