Thursday, April 19, 2012

Associate member feature: Mary Gillogly of The Retail Life

Meet Mary Gillogly, North Carolina based Social Media Strategist and Community Manager for The Retail Life. We are happy to feature Retail Professional Associate member Mary from The Retail Life and to learn about her experience in and love for retail (she had me at a pup named "Gucci").
Mary’s favorite color:  Gray
Mary’s favorite meal: Toss up, Indian or Thai Curry
Mary's personal design style: Mary describes her style as eclectic. Pulling pieced from stores such as Free People, Anthropologie, TJ Maxx and a handful of local boutiques. She liked to mix classic with bold prints and patterns and can be found playing with bohemian looks from time to time.

What is your favorite thing about working with retailers?
I love being able to relate personally to retailers since I worked in retail for 10 plus years. It’s fun to connect and share stories with retail workers.  As we all know, retail is not the easiest career path one can take and you have to truly have a passion for it.  I enjoy finding those passionate individuals who love their jobs and helping them to continue to excel in their careers.
What would you say is the most helpful thing The Retail Life offers to retailers?  The most helpful thing about The Retail Life is the direct connection that we provide.  Not only can you find jobs but I am personally there through out the entire day to use as a resource if you need assistance with applying for jobs or have any specific career questions that you are unsure about.
How long has The Retail Life been in business?
The Retail Life is fairly new and has been launched within the last 6 months.
If you could offer any advice to retailers out there, what would you say?  When working with customers, especially those that are unhappy with you, you have to be tolerant and understanding.  Try your hardest to see their side of the story. Also be genuine!   No one wants a plastic or sales person who is just going through the motions.  Try and befriend your customers to make lasting relationships.
When you were a retailer, what was your favorite part of the day?
My favorite part of the day would definitely be the merchandising and artistic part.  I love the set up of the store and making a visual display that acts as a silent seller. Whenever you have down time when customers are not around this is a great way to pass the time and lead into future sales.
When you were a retailer, what was your least favorite part of the day?
Closing time is never fun, cleaning up from a busy day and getting things in order for the next day can be a daunting task.  However it’s a great feeling coming in the next morning and knowing everything is ready to go!

Do you have any hobbies?  I love dogs!  I help a local rescue by fostering one dog at a time.  I love getting to know the dogs personality and matching them up with the right family.  I’ve placed over 10 dogs now.  I also participate in a dog therapy program with my personal pooch Gucci and usually I can bring the foster pup along as long as their personality complies.

Gucci with Mary's current rescue pup, Taco
What is your favorite thing about retail? I love the real connection with customers and making friends through the process. Some of my best friends today are from when I am working in retail or promoting a retail establishment.  It’s fun because you can relate to each other because we like the same thing like great fashion!
What is your favorite thing about fashion? I love that your sense of style can be seen everyday and it doesn’t cost a lot of money to have a specific look. Once you have established the type of style you want to have you can achieve it in various ways and brands without having to spend an exorbitant amount of money.  I feel in many ways fashion is like art that you can wear on your body everyday. 

The Retail List is a online community for retailers and prospective employees.
The Retail Life is a part of the One Step Retail Solutions Retail Professional Association. For more information please visit our website or contact Amy Hanson at