An individual major in entrepreneurial studies, Caitlin Brown ’17 wanted to complement her coursework with an applied business experience. And during her internship as a sales intern for Kate Spade footwear at Schwartz & Benjamin, Inc., the skills Brown developed are “ones that I could not have learned in a classroom. Being able to work hands-on in the footwear showroom allowed me to familiarize myself with the selling process from a wholesale perspective.”
Schwartz & Benjamin is a family-owned business that designs, manufactures, and sells shoes to retailers like Kate Spade, Alice and Olivia, Derek Lam, 10 Crosby Derek Lam and Rebecca Minkoff. As a sales intern for Kate Spade, Brown was responsible for preparing for Market Week, when the company’s clients visit the showroom to see the new collections and purchase shoes for the upcoming season.
The week prior to Market Week, when Schwartz & Benjamin receives their shoe samples for the upcoming season, Deborah Lloyd, the creative director of Kate Spade, chooses the shoes to put in stores.
“Ultimately, we end up not selling 50-75% of the shoes that we designed,” Brown says, noting the highly selective nature of the work that goes into preparing for Market Week.
But while it’s a busy time for employees of Schwartz & Benjamin, Brown says, “seeing our clients reactions to our upcoming season is priceless.”
Brown was also responsible for researching new accounts, coordinating market appointments, scheduling showroom appointments during footwear markets and managing the stockroom.
With the guidance of her adviser, Professor of Anthropology and Sociology Jack Harris, who helped her secure the internship, Brown is back on campus, focusing on entrepreneurial management and leadership among others skills to help her fulfill her plans being a future business owner.