Walk into any Marshalls store and head over to the women’s section. Odds are that the dress you’re looking at is one that Miranda Internicola (an alum of O’More) has hand selected for the store. As a senior allocation analyst for TJX Companies, Inc.–the giant off-price department store chain that also includes sister company T.J. Maxx–she’s charged with creating the unique blend of special size collections at 880-plus Marshalls locations around the country.
“Our buyers purchase the right product, and then I step in with placing that product at the right store at the right time and price,” she says. “It’s about analyzing market trends and perceived value.”
Miranda works directly with TJX buyers in her role, sifting through thousands of pieces in company warehouses to find the products she’ll ship to different stores. She’s responsible for considering two components when selecting garments and collections: 1) is it what Marshalls’ customers are looking for, and 2) does the price point make sense?
It’s a lot of responsibility for a recent college graduate, but one Miranda relishes. She says she finds that the job’s challenges hold daily rewards.
“It’s so competitive–not only do you have to keep in mind the company’s off-price mindset, but you also have to find trends that are in the department stores right now,” she says. “I love touching a sample, challenging the buyer on that retail price, getting them to bring it down and then going to stores to see what we’ve created. You get to see someone wearing a garment that you’ve played a part in.”
Miranda, who has worked in retail since high school, says her constant source of upbeat energy lies in doing what she enjoys.
“I’m really passionate about off-price fashion. There are so many opportunities for growth,” she says. “I just love what I do, and making a difference on a store level.”
Though she’s well on her way to her end dream of becoming a buyer for the corporation, this is one businesswoman who proves the old adage that hard work pays off.
“I’m the definition of working your way up,” she laughs. “I helped opened a T.J. Maxx store in Mt. Juliet [Tenn.] when I was 16 years old and continued working in stores through college.”
By the time she interned in the company’s Boston headquarters, Miranda had worked for T.J. Maxx for six years. She spent the summer before her senior year at O’More helping a product specialist: adjusting hems, rearranging the darts, sewing buttonholes and maintaining general brand quality control. Because of it, Miranda landed a job as an allocation analyst immediately following graduation.
Though much of her work now is searching out perfect, already-purchased garments through outside buyers, she’s not limited to picking and choosing. Miranda often plays a direct role in creating those pieces on the Marshalls’ racks.
“Sometimes I find samples that may be successful in our markets. We do a lot of our own productions from our headquarters, so we may send that sample overseas to mass produce on our own label,” she says. “That’s where my background with O’More comes into play.”
She points out the business classes she took at the College as an important influencer in her role now.
“It’s interesting how O’More marries the two sides: fashion and business. They do a good job with it,” she says. “As you are doing your design for your collection, you’re also creating a business proposal. It helps me now as a future merchant to understand quality and cost of goods.”
Miranda says the O’More instructors’ high regard for their students was a unique factor that’s not lost on her.
“Hands down, my favorite part of O’More was the intimacy of the classroom setting. You aren’t intimidated when you walk in, and it’s easy to get one-on-one attention,” she says. “The teachers are genuinely interested in your personal success. It’s about developing your talent, teaching you from the ground up and expanding on it each year.
“O’More successfully equips its students to be strong business partners after graduation.”