Brittany Berghorst: It’s funny I actually went to college to get out of retail. I tried a couple different jobs after college, and ended up back in retail. I was a speech communications major with a minor in studio art. But how I got this job was that I worked with the previous store manager at a different store a long time ago, and when she was hired to open this location she needed an assistant manager. That was back in 2008, and I’ve been here since we opened the store. Last September, I was promoted to the store manager.
Green: How many stores in the retail industry have you worked in?
Berghorst: I’m kind of a retail whore … Zumiez, Zook, PacSun, Wet Seal, Coldwater Creek, Express and Levi’s.
In the beginning, I was in high school. I just had my seven year anniversary at Levi’s. I was at Express before that for like a year. My major was speech communication, but I never really knew what I wanted to do with that. I just felt like it was broad enough that I would be able to choose something. It was really a fluke how I fell back into retail.
I was between jobs back in like 2006, and I needed the money really bad for my friend’s wedding. I got this job, because I could, at Coldwater Creek—which is like an older ladies’ store. I was 26 at the time, so that was not necessarily a good fit but I just got it so I could get a paycheck so I could go to her wedding. Then, I just kind of ended up back in it.
Green: Did you think you’d be doing it for as long as you have?
Berghorst: Absolutely not. I did not. Every year I say no, but I’m still here. I think I would like to eventually get out of it.
Green: You said you just got promoted. What makes doing the job you have now different from any of the roles that you’ve had at any of the various stores you’ve worked at?
Berghorst: This is the first time that I’ve actually been a store manager. For the last seven years, I was an assistant manager but I worked very closely with the store manager. As store manager, it is your responsibility to staff the store and come in if someone can’t come in, even if it’s your day off or your vacation. That’s the biggest change. And of course being salaried, versus being hourly, so I’m working more hours but not necessarily getting paid for it.