Ashley Castleman

Major: Apparel, Merchandising, and Design
Minor/option/emphasis: AMD-Merchandising
Company/Organization: Nova Octo
Company/Organization website:
Destination: New York, New York
Timeframe: Spring
Advisor/Coordinator Email:


As a stylist intern at Armarium, I assist the two stylists with: showroom management and maintenance including merchandising the showroom, assisting the stylists in client fittings, merchandise trafficking, administrative tasks, scheduling shipments and couriers to ensure deliveries of rentals to our clients, assisting with event planning, and researching events, and potential marketing collaborations. At Novo Octo, I assisted the stylists by being the face behind Nova Octo which means the person the client interacted with most. I helped ensure their rental arrived in the best condition possible, met the standard of luxury rentals, and ensured it arrives to them in the specific time needed.


My greatest accomplishment from my experience, was being able to understand the structure and business operations of a luxury rental service. This also included being able to recognize luxury fashion labels and understand who they are as a brand. Ultimately I accomplished being able to understand everything from branding, marketing, merchandising a showroom, interaction with high end clients, and the operations behind the company.

Learning experience

The greatest lesson I learned from my experience is the fashion industry changes quickly, especially for startup companies. My internship experience was with Armarium, who was one of the first to enter into luxury fashion rental services. Unfortunately, the business could no longer continue due to a lack of financial stability needed in order to operate. Therefore, I ended up finding a new internship opportunity with Nova Octo. I am grateful for the opportunity to have learned from two different luxury services as the industry is moving into this market in order to appeal to the idea of sustainability all audiences are after.

What advice would you give?

My advice to future students and interns, is to be confident in yourself and your abilities. Do not be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone in your work environment or even stepping outside to a different city for your internship. This allows you to not only gain skills and knowledge from your company for your career, but also about yourself and what you may want your future career and life to look like. And most importantly do not be afraid to ask, whether that is asking questions or asking for more tasks to complete within your work day.

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