“Floor Supervisor, Style Advisor, and Key Holder are all roles I’ve been able to flourish in at The Latest Scoop. And soon, I’ll be able to add Buyer to that list!”
Kirsten Wong has been flawlessly balancing store tasks for multiple locations, in addition to learning the ropes with the Buying team at their head office a few days a week. Though she’s now on track to land her dream position, Kirsten had her eyes on a career at The Latest Scoop far before she was ever on their payroll. Thanks to her dedication and decisively chosen projects in a number of her classes in Blanche Macdonald’s Global Fashion Marketing program, Kirsten was able to bring her dreams to fruition.
I remember Donna saying how important relationships are in Buying and Fashion in general, and they really are. Having the ability to create a genuine connection with a customer, a wholesaler, or a supplier in a fairly small amount of time is crucial. It’s so much more than just ‘sales’; it’s interacting with people in authentic, purposeful, and meaningful ways.
“I knew The Latest Scoop was smaller and local, which would allow me to move up with them—which is exactly how it’s worked out so far. Anytime we could choose a business for a project, I decided to do mine on Scoop. It turned out to be one of the most strategic moves I could’ve made! The owner and Head Buyer had the chance to look at my final project from [Executive Fashion Program Director] Donna’s [Baldock] Buying class, which helped show them my potential. The time I spent at Blanche helped me figure out that Buying was the path I wanted to follow.”
Kirsten started shopping at Scoop, as she lovingly and intimately calls it, when they opened their first Gastown location in 2015. She was working at another store in Kitsilano when the next Latest Scoop location opened up just down the street. She would shop there fairly often, and the people who worked at Scoop would come into her store. Eventually, she had such a strong rapport with them that when Kirsten was ready for a change, Scoop already knew who their new hire would be.
Kirsten still took a bit of a detour before answering her calling as a Buyer. She wanted to study something that would help her make a living right after high school. So, she enrolled in a Physiotherapy program, “I was so on-the-fence about not pursuing fashion even then. I talked to someone close to me about my love of fashion and all the clothes on Gossip Girl and thought, ‘How crazy would that be to pursue?!’.”
Two years later, Kirsten was finishing up her Physiotherapy program and getting ready to transfer to UBC when she had a revelation: “Literally every time something stressed me out, and I felt like ‘ugh, why am I doing this?’ I would go to the Blanche Macdonald website and dream and plan what I would do with my time there. I finally realized that it was probably time to admit this is the route I should’ve taken all along. That showed me it’s always good to trust yourself and your instincts. Even your young, eighteen-year-old self’s instincts!’
When Kirsten finally found herself in the classrooms of Blanche Macdonald, she started to get the feeling she was beginning to figure out exactly where she was going and what she wanted to do.
“Looking back at my year there now, I realize how many things I still notice after Blanche Macdonald. After my first class with [Executive Fashion Program Director] Peggy [Morrison], I couldn’t go anywhere without looking at people’s clothes and identifying all of the different features I could remember from class. [Fashion Instructor] Lyndi [Barrett]’s PR and Styling classes were so full of passion, you can tell she loves what she teaches. It was just a really, really positive experience.”
The owner and Head Buyer had the chance to look at my final project from (Executive Fashion Program Director) Donna’s (Baldock) Buying class, which helped show them my potential. The time I spent at Blanche helped me figure out that Buying was the path I wanted to follow.
Unbeknownst to Kirsten, Buying had been something in which she had always been interested.
“When I was little, all I did was fold and re-fold my dresser and closet. I tracked ALL of my clothes, and I loved to pick them out. When I got older and I found out that Buying was a real job, that’s when it clicked that it literally encapsulated everything I loved: travel, meeting people, seeing all different clothes at trade shows, and of course, shopping with company money!”
Now that she’s on her true path, Kirsten spends her days doing what she loves—connecting with customers, supporting other staff, and standing-in for the managers when necessary. Though the clothes are dreamy, “The Maddy Slip Dress is literally The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants but in a dress,” it’s the people that make each day sparkle. From the girls on her store team to the other stores’ staff, to the Head Office and warehouse teams, the tight-knit connections and relationships are what Kirsten cherishes most.
“I remember Donna saying how important relationships are in Buying and Fashion in general, and they really are. Having the ability to create a genuine connection with a customer, a wholesaler, or a supplier in a fairly small amount of time is crucial. It’s so much more than just ‘sales’; it’s interacting with people in authentic, purposeful, and meaningful ways.”