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A Day in the Life of a CAST Alum: Mallory Kohlmeyer, Family and Consumer Sciences

Mallory Kohlmeyer poses at Kate Spade event

Mallory Kohlmeyer, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences alum, at the Kate Spade Spring 2016 fashion presentation in September.

Mallory Kohlmeyer ’08 is a director of global licensing for Kate Spade & Company in New York City.

She oversees the watches, tech accessories and eyewear categories for Kate Spade New York and Jack Spade brands. Her primary responsibilities include meeting with external licensing partners and internal cross-functional teams to ensure the design, merchandising, sales, marketing and distribution of these categories are successful and align with overarching Kate Spade & Company strategies.

The College of Applied Science and Technology’s “A Day in the Life of a CAST Alum” series is designed to shed some light on how CAST alumni spend their days. As with many careers, our alumni will tell you that every day is different, but this series aims to provide a peek into an alum’s world.

Kohlmeyer graduated from the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. Here’s a closer look at her job:

8:45 a.m. — The best start to the work day is a walk down the streets of my favorite city. It is great to get some fresh air and a clear mind before heading into the office.

9 a.m. — I always kick off my morning with a quick read through the digital WWD and other industry headlines. Then I pour through my overnight email, prioritizing the most important items to settle before the day’s meetings begin.

10 a.m. — The licensing team and I meet with our chief marketing officer for a discussion on the Japanese market. She had just returned from a trip to Japan and thankfully had many positive things to say about my categories in this market. Great start to the day!

11 a.m. — My licensing partner for watches arrives to the office for a tour of the showroom. It is Summer 2016 Market and the showroom is set with a cheerful “I Need a Vacation” beach theme—all of the handbags, jewelry and apparel are set beautifully to play a large part in telling the season’ s story. I love to walk them through so that they get a sense of how the watches we’ve designed for this season fit into the broader seasonal story.

11:30 a.m. — I take my licensee to lunch at my favorite thin crust pizza place a few blocks away. We discuss business, current events, our weekend plans, etc. Building a strong relationship with licensees is key to a successful partnership, so I am constantly hosting lunches and dinners to ensure we have time to relax and enjoy one another’s company.

12:30 p.m. — After lunch, they head back to their offices, while I walk the few blocks to Macy’s Herald Square—the largest department store in the world and one of the most important doors in my U.S. distribution strategy. I visit the fashion watch floor for a look at our product and our competitors. We are just starting the holiday season, so it is important to keep a pulse on how we look at point of sale, what the salespeople are hearing from customers, and how our product offering stacks up to the competition. I snap a few quick pics and jot down some notes before heading back to the office.

1:15 p.m. — Back at the office, I hop on a Quarterly Business Review conference call with my eyewear licensee. We review third-quarter sales, distribution and marketing updates in great detail, before discussing upcoming projections for the fourth quarter.

2:30 p.m. — I meet with my tech accessories design team on a weekly basis to review upcoming projects, new samples that have come in to the office, and the upcoming product development and design summit with our tech licensee. We just launched audio accessories this month so it is a very exciting time. In this meeting, I share the news that Wall Street Journal just wrote a piece on fashionable audio accessories and our new crystal earbuds got an outstanding mention!

3:30 p.m. — Back-to-back meetings are a daily occurrence, so I am not surprised to head straight to a marketing strategy meeting with my marketing, creative and social media teams. We discuss 2016 plans and ways to incorporate the exciting spring product introductions for my categories into our brand messaging.

4:30 p.m. — Back at my desk, finally! I spend the next hour rolling through the day’s email – those which I didn’t catch on my iPhone in between meetings. I always try to have time at the end of the day to play catch up.

5:30 p.m. — Budgeting is high priority this time of year, so I use the last hour of the day to review my 2016–2018 long range plans: the sales, distribution and marketing efforts required by category to achieve my financial goals for the company. I look for risks and opportunities and develop summaries to follow up with my licensees on our next calls.

6:30 p.m. — Work/life balance is so important to my positivity and productivity every day, so I make a constant effort to be home by 7 p.m. Nothing matters more than spending time with my husband!

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