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Dec 14

Faces of the Seed….Brittany James

Volunteer Profile: Brittany James

Brittany James grew up in St. Charles, Missouri with a younger sister and a hankering for dance and tennis.  After graduating from Frances Howell High School in 2006, she came to Mizzou with dreams as big as her love of fashion.  Lucky for us, she is currently majoring in Marketing and Merchandising through the Textile and Apparel Management College and minoring in Business.

Brittany had seen the Mustard Seed downtown but didn’t start volunteering until she heard of the opportunity through the TAM program.  After e-mailing and asking about volunteering, she became a Business Intern for the store.

She describes the work she does as a “collaborative internship with Vessels International,” which she says is really fun and “a lot of independent work.”

She says the main work that she does is researching things like “microfinance” (Your guess is as good as ours!).   Working with Vessels, she helps to establish “vendor standards checklists” that make sure nothing is left out as new artisans from different countries are qualified for fair trade.

As for our humble little store, she is helping Mustard Seed with surveying customers and determining our target market.  This will help to “develop branding and better packaging.”  We’ll take her word for it!

Brittany says that her favorite thing about Mustard Seed is all of the merchandise.  She enjoyed “learning the ins and outs of fair trade” and is always eager to relay its message to friends.   She is a walking billboard for Mustard Seed, wearing our clothes and accessories and happily telling inquisitive strangers where she got her garb.  She says, “It’s important to get the word out, [fair trade] is getting bigger.”

Brittany remembers one purchase she made in particular.  Apparently, Brittany’s mom and aunt collect all things bunny (as in rabbit!).  Brittany bought her aunt a bunny hat and she reports with a laugh, “It was her first Fair Trade item…Sadly enough, it fits her head and she wears it!”

What is Brittany’s favorite merchandise right now?  “Every single Alpaca thing!”  Perhaps our Alpaca scarves, hats, and gloves will come in handy during her holiday plans of ice skating and celebrating with her family and her fiancé’s family.

In the future, Brittany says that she “can’t see [her]self working for someone else.”  She hopes to open up her own personal styling business, or perhaps a luxury puppy boutique!  She also wants to support her fiancé in the restaurant industry, possibly with opening up his own restaurant.

Here are some of Brittany’s favorite things:
  • Favorite color combination: Anything metallic…Black and gold.  I’m quite the MU fan!
  • PC or Mac? PC
  • Google or Bing? Google
  • Favorite book: Why We Buy, which is about consumer research.  It’s what got me interested in the industry to begin with.  Or QBQ- The Question Behind the Question.  It’s about self- accountability, especially in the work force.
  • TV Show: Real Housewives of… any of them!
  • Movie: A Walk to Remember, Dumb & Dumber
  • Columbia restaurant: CC City Broiler
  • Favorite shoe: Louboutin!
  • Coffee Drink: Toffee nut latte from Starbucks
  • Season: Summer
  • Tradition: Everything to do with Homecoming! Pomping, parade, tailgating.

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