My name is Abby and I am the merchandise intern for Crystalyn Kae Accessories! I was lucky enough to obtain this opportunity through my school, Kent State, where I am currently a junior Fashion Merchandising major with double minors in Marketing and Sustainability! Kent has a studio space and allows junior and senior year students to spend a semester in the Big Apple to gain a more realistic experience of what the fashion industry is like, make connections, and grow our network!
I started my internship with Crystalyn Kae back in January and what first caught my attention about the opportunity was Crystalyn’s dedication to socially conscious style! As a sustainability minor, the environment is incredibly important to me and I wanted to be a part of a brand that valued its resources and did its best to genuinely be environmentally conscious! Crystalyn’s practices of upcycling and recycling fabric is a huge benefit to the planet and helps divert fabric and textile waste out of landfills. Using as much of the material as possible (hello adorable card cases and headphone tacos) really helps to keep her manufacturing as zero-waste as possible. Speaking of manufacturing, local manufacturing is not only a great way to support your local economy, but it also cuts down on harmful transportation emissions! Another part of my job has been weekly visits with her Midtown manufacturers! I have been able to go into the workshops of the garment district and meet the people actually making each element of her products!
How lucky am I that I was able to land such an awesome internship that encompasses all of my passions and has provided me an unbelievable learning experience?! My day to day is always different and although I am technically a merchandising intern, Crystalyn has grown my experience tremendously by allowing me to take part in media, marketing, e-commerce, and transparency aspects of her brand! Some days I am taking new product pictures for the website, the next I am curating email blasts and creating marketing materials. We work together at her workshop in Industry City where some days she’ll be sewing a tote together or adding snaps to card cases, or building relationships with her wholesalers and customers! Everything is very hands-on and to see the actual sewing and construction of a sustainably made bag is eye opening for the amount of steps (often involving multiple vendors within a 5 block radius!) that goes into making just one product!
Being a part of a growing e-commerce and wholesale business has taught me more about hard work and dedication in a job than I thought possible. Being a mostly one-woman show, Crystalyn's company has done nothing but excel, grow, and be a force of socially-conscious and ethical style. It takes a lot of work and Crystalyn clearly puts her brand at the forefront of her life to truly make it something that women all across the world can wear and feel good about! Only adding to the experience, is immersing myself in Industry City's vast community of artisans, makers, self-starters, and entrepreneurs contributing to a little piece of inspiration heaven. From the amazing food (took full advantage of the falafel from Ends Meat and iced coffee from One Girl Cookies), to our lovely photographer neighbors, everyone here has a smile and a passion-driven mission to create.
I would not trade this experience for anything and I have learned an invaluable amount that will only help me as continue on in my journey.
If you’re looking for an internship with a small woman-owned business, focused on creativity and sustainability, then I highly recommend applying to intern with Crystalyn (apply here). The experience will give you a comprehensive look at what it takes to run a small business centered around e-commerce and wholesale! Each day will be different and you’ll have the opportunity to learn first-hand about so many different aspects of the fashion industry. The work environment is incredibly positive and Crystalyn is a fabulous mentor, tailoring your work responsibilities to what best suits you and helping to prepare you to explore the next steps of your career!