What Does It Mean to be a Retail Entrepreneurship Major?

When people ask me, “What’s your major?” they are usually surprised, confused or really excited about my response: Retail Entrepreneurship. This is the major that has evolved from RMPD, Retail Merchandising and Product Development, at FSU. Retail Entrepreneurship focuses on the business side of the fashion industry. For me, it was an easy decision to choose this major because I have always loved fashion, but I’m especially interested in the business and merchandising side of the industry.

The classes I have taken thus far in the major include topics like Design Elements and Principles which gave me a lot to think about in the sense of what goes into a garment and its usage. Others have included Textile, Apparel, and Retail Industry Analysis which was more of an overall view of the industry as a whole. Some of the other courses that are now required are Introductory Textile Science, Design Elements & Principles, Product Development, Product Analysis and Costing, Trend Analysis and Forecasting, Visual Merchandising Strategies, Quality Assurance for Textiles and Apparel, Quantitative Merchandising Management, Global Sourcing, Retail Merchandising Planning Strategies, and Executive Perspectives on Retail Management. Before diving into these classes, some prerequisites that I needed to take were Economics, College Algebra and a leadership course. Retail Entrepreneurship also requires students to also take Marketing and a computer course during their time in the major.

The major now exists in the Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship at Florida State. According to the school’s website ”the new Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship is the nation’s first stand-alone entrepreneurship school outside of a college of business at a public university offering a Retail Entrepreneurship program.” It’s a major that has taken some time to get started and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of it.

(Courtesy: Tallahassee Democrat)

I get to study what I love. I have never been a huge fan of school and taking classes, but now that the majority of my classes relate to what I want to do, I find it so much easier to go to classes, work on homework and study for tests. The real-world applications that exist in this major are absolutely incredible. In many of the courses, we talk about current news and events in the fashion world. It’s much easier to crack open a textbook when my favorite designers and models are right inside. When Chanel and Audrey Hepburn, as well as Lady Gaga and Alexander McQueen, are right there in my textbook, in my notes and on my study guides, how could a class not be entertaining?

The advisors, professors and other members of the staff are all so supportive of the work that my classmates and I are putting together. Because the major isn’t too large, the hands-on aspect of the process is incomparable. My advisor is always willing to help with everything from choosing classes, updating my resumes and cover letters to finding internships. The goals I set are always easy to achieve with the support of my advisor and my professors. The common bond that is created by the love of fashion truly brings together the students with the professors.

I am even more excited about my future because of this major. I have always known I wanted to do something related to fashion, but honestly growing up, I assumed I would be forced to study something in the business or communications schools and then hope to connect it to apparel later. In the Retail Entrepreneurship major, however, it is all retail and fashion, so I can be more confident that I know everything I need to be successful in the field. It is always a great way to show how passionate I am about working in fashion having chosen this major. There is also an immense amount of jobs that I am being prepared for. My eyes have been opened to all the different positions, titles and career paths that are available today. I could become a buyer, personal stylist/shopper, store manager/owner, planner or vendor and that’s just what I would want to become. There are hundreds of others I will be qualified for by graduation. Especially in the technological world we live in today, more and more jobs have sprung up relating to social media and tech that can also be connected to Retail Entrepreneurship.

Although it is mainly an apparel focused major, there are more applications to retail than that. Often times, we discuss furniture selling, sales in general, and the restaurant and entertainment business. This means there are plenty of routes for me to take if I choose to.

All to say, this major is an amazing one to consider if you are into fashion. It is a truly fascinating and focused area of study. I am always really excited to discuss what my studies are like because I know I am getting a really unique experience. I have been so lucky to be supported by my parents and classmates to pursue this major at Florida State University. I couldn't be happier to be studying what I love at a great school.