Q&A with a Studio1851 Student Employee

By Alexis Grant1851 Contributor

Julia McNicol, sophomore, in front of the Studio1851 store. Photo by Alexis Grant

Julia McNicol, a sophomore majoring in Fashion Media and Marketing, offers insights to working with Lasell’s student run retail store, Studio1851. To shop at Studio1851 and see weekly store hours, check out their website or Instagram page, @studio1851lasell.

Q: What is your role at Studio1851 and how did you first become involved?

A: I first became involved with Studio last year, and was actually the first Freshman that my professor invited to be a part of the class. This year, I’m taking the lead on the newsletter that comes out each month which explains any new products or events the store has. I’m also involved in social media and doing live streams. We do these either for our own products, or with Spotlight Artists, which are students from Lasell who have their own products or business. For the Spotlight Artists, we help sell their products through the store. Overall, I mostly focus on the marketing and media side of things.

Q: What are some of the other roles that students have working with Studio1851?

A: Some of the students who are Fashion Merchandising majors work on inventory, buying, working with different vendors, keeping track of where the best place to buy a product is, how many products we need, and pricing. Some of the other roles are running the website, taking online orders, shipping, sales, and accounting.

Q: What are some of the major things you’ve learned by working with Studio1851?

A: I’ve learned how much really goes into working at a retail store. I’ve worked in retail before as a sales associate, but working in every aspect of the business like I have with Studio has shown me that it really takes a village to make everything come together.

Q: Why should people shop at Studio1851?

A: You can’t find any of our products at the bookstore, and we’re the only place that sells school specific Lasell merchandise. So where the bookstore only has Lasell University products, we have ones that say “School of Business,” or “School of Fashion” specifically. Any smaller products we have, like jewelry, hot chocolate, or socks, are from small businesses with a purpose. We have products from women owned businesses, businesses that donate to charity, businesses that are organically sourced, and more.

Q: What is your favorite part about working with Studio1851?

A: The team that I work with is so motivating, they’re all doing so much for Studio. They’re very talented, and it’s been great to meet so many different people and work together to do amazing things!

Q: What is your least favorite part?

A: It’s a very big time commitment. It’s not just in the class, there’s so much to do outside of class too. I love what I’m doing, but it is time consuming.

Q: What is Studio1851 doing to help you prepare for a career in fashion?

A: [Studio1851] has given me the opportunity to try different fields, which has helped me realize that I have a love for writing. I wrote a few pieces for Black History month for the website last year, and I really enjoyed promoting that through the store and working on social media. I also tried buying and I realized that wasn’t for me. So it’s really given me the chance to explore different pieces of the fashion industry and figure out what I’m most passionate about.

Q: Could you talk about the creative process of Studio1851, and how you go from having an
idea for a product to making it a reality?

A: Once we have an idea, we have to figure out the logistics of how much it’s going to cost and who we’re going to get the product from. Sometimes we get requests from students on campus, and it’s our job to bring in what they’re looking for. We have these long sleeve “Entering Lasell” shirts- originally, we only had them in a few colors, but now we have a whole variety of colors based on what students wanted to see. So a big part is just listening to what the community wants and making it happen.

Q: And is that really a team effort or is there one specific person that does that?

A: There might be one person that takes the lead, but everyone has their opinion and gives suggestions. It’s presented to the team as a whole and then we decide together.

Q: Working with Studio1851 must mean you’re very busy- do you have any advice for
students looking to improve time management skills?

A: For me, it’s best to write everything down and plan out my week. So I’ll make a list of each thing I’m going to do Monday, Tuesday, and so on. If I don’t write it down and it’s just in my head, it’s never going to happen! I’m involved in a few different clubs, plus Studio, plus classes, and it’s hard to balance sometimes, but it’s definitely easier to break it down into smaller pieces throughout the week.

Q: Have you noticed any changes in yourself since you started working at Studio1851?

A: Yes. I’m working on marketing right now for some of our new products, which is something that I haven’t really done before since I’m only a Sophomore. It was a little nerve wracking at first, but I have gotten a lot more confident with trying new things. You learn as you go!

Q: Does Studio1851 have anything big planned for the future?

A: This fall, we’re definitely bringing in lots of new products, some of which we’ve never had in the store before. I can’t say specifics, but definitely something to look forward to.

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