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Meet Trailblazer Richele Reyes

Today we’d like to introduce you to Richele Reyes.

Richele, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’ve always had an interest in the fashion industry since I was young, and when it came down to choose a college and career path, I ended up attending Cal State Long Beach and getting my bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising and a minor in Marketing.

The first job I had straight out of college was for a women’s fashion e-commerce business. The company owned two websites, and I found out about the company through a family friend who was the Warehouse Manager at the time. They were a small, but growing business based in Fullerton and the jumpstart to the career I have today. I started out as a part-time employee as a Products Poster, and after a few months in this position, they hired me as their first Buying Assistant. I was so excited to be in this field and to be learning more about a career path that I had dreamed about as a young girl. I was at this company for about four years in total, and within this time frame, I worked my way up the ladder from a Buying Assistant to Assistant Buyer to Associate Buyer, until I took on the position of Buyer for after about two and a half years. It was a short ride up, and I really felt appreciated by the company and my bosses because they recognized the passion that I had for the job, my hunger to learn more about this industry, and my diligent work ethic. I am forever grateful for this opportunity because not only did I gain invaluable buying & e-com experience, but I also gained lifelong friends from this company.

After I left Ruche Inc., I spent a year working for a sunglasses company under Frame & Optic in Huntington Beach. They own the brands zeroUV sunglasses and SunglassLA. From this company, I gained more experience in replenishment buying and learned about Amazon business. Currently, I work at Z Supply LLC based in Irvine. This company owns six different women’s brands (Z Supply, Black Swan, Others Follow, Rag Poets, White Crow, and Icons of Culture). You could say I’ve played a few different roles within this company because we are still run by very small teams, so I’ve had my hand in a few different areas, but I originally came on as a Buyer. At first, I was helping out more with the e-commerce business that is direct to consumer. In this position, I was doing more buying and strategy, as well as some merchandising. This past year, I was moved into the role of Digital Merchandiser for their wholesale business, however, my official title there is Buyer/Merchandiser. I help manage all the product and categories on their B2B websites. I create and maintain the seasonal line sheets that the sales reps use and I help give support to our Sales Director and sales team. I also work closely with our marketing and creative teams on all of our e-mail marketing and strategy, as well as assist on photo-shoots for e-com product shots and seasonal lookbooks.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It was definitely not a smooth road getting to where I am today, but I am grateful for the struggles I had because they helped me grow not just professionally, but as an individual as well.

Some of the struggles that I have dealt with include being unemployed for a little while when one of the companies I worked for closed down and was sold off. At this same company, I witnessed my team grow smaller and smaller as they were being let go until I was the last one standing. That was probably one of the more difficult struggles I’ve had in my career because I respected these people and some of them were very good friends of mine. And while I do miss this company immensely and wish it were still around, I still see it as a blessing in disguise. From this experience, I learned how strong I can be and I was able to move onto other companies where I gained a lot more experience to help further my career and I met a lot of really great people. Stay positive and surround yourself with good people that are like-minded and have the same interests and goals. These kinds of people are crucial to have as a support system as you navigate through life’s difficulties.

Advice that I would give to any women just starting out in the fashion industry is to network, network, network. Start in college and join clubs or go to mixers, as well as take on as many jobs and internships that you can while you’re still in school that is related to the field you want to be in. This will be your stepping stone into getting started in this industry. Also, stay hungry and passionate. Treat every small job or task given to you as an opportunity to learn and grow and keep working hard.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
My experience includes buying & analyzing and digital merchandising, specifically for e-commerce businesses that specialize in women’s fashion and accessories.

What sets me apart from others is my insane work ethic. I’ve had multiple bosses and colleagues praise me for my drive and passion for the job. A lot of my experience is working for smaller companies that aren’t corporate and because of this I am used to wearing multiple hats and being a quick problem solver.

While I do enjoy the planning, strategizing, and analyzation that comes with my job description, I also love working in this industry because of the creative outlet it provides for me. I enjoy creating content for social media on the side for myself, and I’ve been fortunate to be able to work with our Stylist and Content Creator Justin Cabal at Z Supply to create content for our Instagram accounts, blogs, and emails.

So much of the media coverage is focused on the challenges facing women today, but what about the opportunities? Do you feel there are any opportunities that women are particularly well positioned for?
I actually think the media coverage of the challenges that women face today are such a blessing. It’s shed light to the world and has opened our eyes that we are deserving, hard-working, and we can do anything! It’s empowering women all over the world to stand up for themselves and inspiring them to be the best version of themselves. I firmly believe women are well positioned for any opportunity that they aspire to, whether it’s CEO, entrepreneur, lawyer, or candlestick maker. It doesn’t matter what it is. If you put in the work and never lose sight of your goals, then I think we all have the capability to accomplish anything we want to.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Photographer: @justincabal

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