A Glimpse of the Matilda Jane Experience

Ashley the intern here!

It’s my last day at the lovely Matilda Jane, causing me to look back at everything I’ve learned. What better way to reflect on my experience than to share it with all of you?

I started this internship at the beginning of May, and what a summer it has been. Being involved in this company has been completely eye opening, showing me an extremely unique business growing to full capacity, but with the mentality of a tight-knit family. When I first arrived here, there were so many people to meet and names to remember (I am NOT good with name/face memorization), but I quickly felt comfortable and involved.

Posing with some new friends during my first week on the job!

The first weeks of my internship mostly consisted of getting ready for Art Fair. Ironing, sewing on buttons, ironing, tying straps, steaming and did I mention ironing? It was a lot of work, and left me pretty sore and immune to heat this summer. What those tasks did allow me to do was become close with my coworkers. The other interns and ladies at 435 with me became some of my best friends in this company. As the weeks rolled closer to the big sale, I met cheerful and bubbly Sam for the first time as she started getting the building Art Fair worthy. We eventually converted the musty old warehouse into a Platinum wonderland!

All the hard work paid off and I was finally able to see the action of Art Fair unfold. I met some wonderful and dedicated customers that weekend. The Pre-Party was a blast and Art Fair was a crazy but fulfilling experience. I have never seen a company with customers willing to fly across the country just to get their hands on merchandise; it was so awesome to finally understand our customers and their honest love for Matilda Jane!

Zelda, Lilly and I cleaning out 435 after Art Fair! (We really love those mannequins)

 

After the sale, it was back to 4031 and time to prepare for the Dress Rehearsal and meet the glue of the company—the Trunk Keepers! Over the course of the conference, I learned just as much as the TK’s did! It was also my first time meeting Denise, who completely lives up to her reputation as being an incredible lady. I had the chance to hear her and Sam talk about their designs and inspirations behind the Paint by Numbers line. It was the first time I got to really take a look at the line as a whole; it really enlightened me to the overall theme and continuity of design within a season. I also really benefited from Jeff’s presentation, which gave me my first look at the business model the company follows (sometimes I forget that this is a business after all) and the amazing potential it holds for growth.

When all the big events came to a close, things slowed down a bit and I had the chance to really work in Platinum. I inventoried fabrics, packed and shipped some orders and saw the behind the scenes action of the design process. I even had a chance to design a dress with Lilly, another intern! It was so cool to pick the fabric, build a map, see the pieces cut out and eventually see the finished product. I even had a chance to meet Chang!

The dress Lilly and I designed! We named it “Bollywood”

Probably my favorite part of the internship was the opportunity for a Q&A session with Sam, Yama and Amy. Everything that had been bouncing around my brain finally had a chance to burst out and be answered! I learned all about the technical processes of sourcing, sizing, designing and marketing. There is so many behind the scenes details that go into making just one garment, bringing it to life and into the hands of the customers. It really is incredible the work the ladies of Matilda Jane do, all for you!

Ellen and I on our last day as interns

Overall this was a fulfilling internship, allowing me to meet incredible people who I hope to stay in touch with, and gain a better understanding of how the apparel business really runs. It’s time for me to move back to Bloomington for school and on to the next adventure, but I may be back! Since I’ve been with this company, my life has been so unpredictable…

     
Maillot Croatie - August 15, 2013 - 10:50 pm

Thank you for your article.Thanks Again. Awesome.

Hannah's Closet - August 12, 2013 - 11:09 am

Thank you girls for sharing all the details of your amazing experience with us!! Good luck ahead!

Erica S - August 10, 2013 - 7:05 pm

What a unique experience! I would love to have half of the knowledge and even a pinch of the friendships youve gained through your internship. I’d say you’re lucky, but I’m sure it had more to do with your talent and hard work!! I’m sure you’ll go far (and maybe be back).

Gran - August 9, 2013 - 8:07 pm

Ashley, I enjoyed reading about your experience this summer. Hoping that the next year at school is a really good one (though it may be unpredictable) and maybe we will all get to see you next year at Art Fair??? The dress that you and Lilly designed is beautiful.

Mama Hope - August 9, 2013 - 4:58 pm

And off you go … Maybe you will be back!

Luvmi Webber - August 9, 2013 - 4:49 pm

Hi Ellen Congratulation. I seen you at AF and gave you compliment on your cool hair style;) .