Kimberly Martinez launched an e-commerce accessories business, Born to Accessorize.
Why did you choose this internship?
Before going into the PAH 383 “Pre-Internship: Building Career Readiness” class, I had already conceptualized my own online accessories business with a focus on handbags and jewelry. When an alum of the Applied Humanities program came in the class to present their journey on their entrepreneurship-focused internship, I was inspired and decided to fully launch my own store, Born to Accessorize. If it weren’t for this guest speaker, I don’t know if I would have launched my business’ website because I was skeptical of having success with it. I felt nervous to tell my friends and family about it. Fear was in the way before but after our guest speaker I remember getting excited about the opportunity to work on my business during my internship.
This business means a lot to me because I created it from scratch. I also remember telling my parents that I would become my own boss someday, so it all fell into place perfectly. I also love to accessorize myself with jewelry and purses so that's why I decided to sell these types of products.
What kind of work did you do throughout your internship experience?
Throughout my internship experience, I did things like import products to my website, check emails, be active on social media so that I can bring in more traffic to my store, keep track of the suppliers I work with and make sure their products are stocked, come up with the number and type of collections I want to have, create stickers/business cards to spread the word out, and just learning how to get around on Shopify. So far, I’ve enjoyed working with this website creator because they have great customer service and it’s easy to get around when looking for specific things. It’s the best feeling when I receive a notification from Shopify because that means I just made a sale.
What did you find challenging about your internship?
Overall, I’ve come across a few challenges with a few suppliers that I worked with. The thing with dropshipping is that it’s crucial to be checking the number of products that each supplier has left. There was one issue where I had a product in my store and it turned out that the supplier had run out of the product I was trying to sell. I learned how to remove that product, find another supplier who sells it, and import it back into my site. It’s not that difficult, it’s just really time-consuming. This is called dropshipping, this was also something that I had to learn how to do, which has gotten pretty easy now that I got the hang of it. No matter what the challenges, I was able to find solutions, and that’s a great feeling. What was your favorite part of your internship? My favorite and most satisfying part of my internship is when I receive an order! When I go on Shopify, it’s definitely satisfying going through the process and fulfilling an order because then that sends out an email. I think fulfilling an order has been my favorite thing to do because it makes me feel good that they purchased products that I love and that I’m able to make them happy about their purchase.
What advice do you have for other students as they search for and begin their internship?
My advice is to be open-minded when looking for an internship because sometimes the unexpected leads to great things. Remaining open to continuous learning is so important and who knows maybe you’ll enjoy something that wasn’t your focus before. Although, if you find yourself having an idea of what type of internship you want to pursue, then make sure you ask plenty of questions to find the one that resonates with you most. Another thing is to set goals for yourself, make sure that your good habits dominate your bad habits, have a good attitude, and be creative out there. Never let anyone bring you down or belittle you. No matter what, remember that you have a great Internship Team (Brittney Crawford and Stephanie Springer) that has your back and they’re rooting for you!