• Marlene Bond


After completing our study tour in New York City it was time to attend the National Retail Federation (NRF) Student Big Show Program. This program was created to give students a glimpse into the retail world as well as give students the opportunity to gain useful and helpful advice to launghing a career into the retail world. This student program was a two day long event that consisted of over 6 retailers each day. I was so excited for this opportunity and could not wait to be inspired.

Among the speakers at the Student Program there were a few speakers that stood out to me and really inspired me with their words. Among these speakers there was

  • Amanda Johnson : Mented Cosmetics

  • Lindsey Roy: Chief Marketing Officer Hallmark

  • Jo Malone Founder and Creative Director Jo Loves

Amanda Johnson a co-owner of Mented Cosmetics providing the perfect colors for women of color. These entrepreneurs were so inspiring as they gave their story and gave true insight on how to start their own businesses and maintain that business relationship among friends. Before attending the Big Show in New York city I had never heard of Mented cosmetics, after hearing them speak I felt like I knew a lot as well as was very informed on how these two young women started their own business that has now turned into a world wide company.

Lindsey Roy was such an amazing and Inspiring speaker. She spoke of her journey after getting in a boating accident where she lost one of her legs. She spoke so strongly about her journey and where she is at today. She tied in the aspect of working with hallmark to help create a stronger sense of purpose with their greeting cards. She spoke of how Hallmark wanted to a sort of experience with their greeting cards instead of just a card. The launched a campaign last year where they gave away free greeting cards every Friday, this increased the amount of customer foot traffic in the stores. After hearing Lindsey speak of her journey as well as Hallmark's business status I was instantly inspired to send more greeting cards and stay in touch with those around me.

Jo Malone London has become synonymous with British style. The Jo Malone Studio orchestrates a world of bespoke luxury immersed in modern British culture, curating collaborations between world-renowned master perfumers and London's leading creative talent. Jo Malone spoke of how she started her business from a small apartment giving facials and thanking her customers with small samples. Then opening her own shop to selling her company to Este Lauder. After selling to este lauder she spoke of how she got her company back and turned it into something amazing where she has been able to flourish and do what she is passionate about. Jo's story was so inspiring and heartwarming.

After being at the student program of the NRF big shop I was overwhelmed with the amazing insight and knowledge I have gotten over the past couple days. Every speaker had their own unique story where they shared insight and experiences in the retail industry. These stories were just the motivation I needed for my future career. Growing up in a family that has no retail background it has always been a little difficult to understand what my next step should be, if I am making a mistake, or if this is even the right career for me. I made a huge risk changing my major to retail but I have never been happier that I have chosen this path. I know that at the end of the day the guidance and willingness of my peers will help me get through it. I am very excited for the next couple years and will put all of my guidance from this show to use in my future career endeavors.

After the Big Show we had another networking event with Kohls at Rockefeller center ice skating rink. Even though it was 20 degrees out it was still super fun to experience the ice skating rink that I always see on the today show as well as in movies. I skated around with my friends and luckily didn't fall down in the process.

This was a good end to the day. After ice skating we went out to dinner at a nice dinner near Rockefeller center. After dinner we decided to check out the amazing cover girl pop up shop in times square where were able to see the customer experience come to life. They had virtual reality makeup screens where you were able to see what different shades of makeup would look like on you as well as try on various different eye shadows. This was especially interesting because we had been hearing so much about enhancing the customer experience in the store when Cover girl was doing just that.

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Address: Tucson, Arizona

Phone: (907) 347-4848


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