"I always knew I wanted wholesale sales. I was one of those people with a one-track mind," says Merchandise Marketing Alumna Jena Weir, owner of the downtown Los Angeles sales organization Jena Weir Sales. Jena transferred to FIDM after her first school, Michigan State, cancelled the merchandise major. "It was the perfect excuse to get out of Michigan," laughs the fast-paced entrepreneur whose fashion showroom in the Cooper Building carries accessory lines like Vanessa Mooney, Stela 9 bags, Jenny Bird jewelry, and Painted Bird shoes.
How did you decide on sales as a career?
When I was at school I worked in retail sales at Guess in Beverly Hills. I always liked competing with myself, and striving to improve each month. I also love that every day is different in sales. It's always exciting!
Did you work while attending FIDM?
My last two months at college, I dropped in at the Career Center a lot. With their help I landed a part time position at a showroom at the California Mart, which got me in to the wholesale industry.
What are some of the satisfactions of showroom sales?
First of all, it's fun to be independent, running a small business. I like finding and growing small unknown designers. It feels like you're helping to change people's lives.
Speaking of growing, tell us about your company's growth.
Jena Weir Sales started in my apartment in the Wilshire district in 2008. I've tried to grow slowly, keeping an eye on overhead. About a year ago, my apartment was getting really crowded, with an assistant and other people coming and going so I took the jump and moved downtown. Now I have showroom space in New York, two full time employees and more part time staff. In fact, my current part time person in LA, I found through FIDM. When I came to speak to the Premier Markeing Group at school, she sent me her resume and she got the job.