Growing up, my dad had this saying, "Your life is like a book that's filled with many chapters. Try to have more good chapters than bad ones." Being an intern at Loyale these past 9 months was one of those good chapters. My time here has been filled with fun, love, laughter, hard work, some darn good conversations and I must add, food. It's bittersweet closing this chapter, so I wanted to share some highlights with you all...
I was in a lost place when I met Jenny, the founder and owner of Loyale. I’d just transferred to UNC Chapel Hill and didn't know what I was doing with my life (read all about that here). One thing I did know about myself, though, was that I liked to stay busy, so I started looking for a fall internship. Loyale is the one that caught my eye - an ethical clothing company then located in Raleigh, NC. I checked out the chic, clean website platform (in fact, I stalked all of their platforms) and knew that the internship was up my alley. The style and personality of this company captivated me, and its morals and vision were almost identical to my own. The job description seemed more like play work, so applied and crossed my fingers. It all felt meant to be during the interview - and it was...I was offered the internship, then I stayed for almost a year!
Unlike a lot of the internships available today, Loyale allowed me be creative in their workplace and celebrated my personality; instead of forcing me to fit in a box, I was free to come up with ideas for the company and share my opinions. Loyale has a cheerful atmosphere with fun, interesting people surrounding it. I got to work amongst some amazing people and was continuously collaborating with Jenny - like in what circumstances do you get to speak to THE owner of a company and work alongside them?! She trusted me to do my job efficiently and effectively, never hovering over my shoulder treating me like a child. Feeling like I was a part of a team and not "just an intern" is something I will be forever thankful for, and Jenny gave me the opportunity to grow and contribute my gifts to growing her vision and mission.
What were my favorite experiences? Learning the ins-and-outs of social media and how frustrating, and rewarding it can be. Reviewing marketing strategies, ambassador program concepts, database configurations, photoshoot plans, giveaway partnerships - you name it, we talked about it. Modeling for one of the Loyale photoshoots (never, ever thought I would model!), and working on fashion trends for the new collection Jenny is designing (you guys better fasten your seat belts, because this shiz is GOOD).
Let me let you in on a little secret - Jenny does it all. She has a drive and passion for this company that I think a lot of owners lack. She cares about others in a way that hits home, and she busts her butt to get things done. She is constantly on the go and always thinking creatively about things. There were times where I thought something wasn't working or meeting our expectations, and Jenny was quick to say, "Let's keep trying this, let's stay the course." She's very positive and doesn’t give up, ever, and this mentality is something I've learned that you HAVE to have when you’re running a startup, and my goodness, she has it.
I've learned tons from my time at Loyale, much more than just business tactics and strategies, and I felt like I was part of a family. I couldn't be more grateful to have worked alongside Jenny and her team. It was such a great chapter in my book that I’m sad to see close, but change is good and I’ve got exciting adventures ahead...for one last time, this is Loyale's intern signing off!