Karissa Smedley

Major: Apparel, Merchandising, and Design (Fashion)
Minor/option/emphasis: Event Management
Company/Organization: The Boho Vase
Company/Organization website: https://shopthebohovase.com
Destination: Ankeny, Iowa
Timeframe: Spring 2024
Advisor/Coordinator Email: jgagnon@iastate.edu


As a Buying and Visual Merchandising Intern, I work with the owner of the store, assisting her throughout the buying and managing of product inventory as well as applying visual merchandising standards in the store through executing product and window displays. The Boho Vase also conducts retail-based events that I help assist with as it allows me to apply my minor into my internship as well.


Completing an internship with a small business, I feel there is a lot more freedom in my work as I get to be more creative while still working very closely with a professional. With this being said, my greatest accomplishment has been the ability to use these skills and challenge them throughout my experience as well as learn new valuable skills that I can apply into my career in the fashion industry.

Learning experience

Throughout my experience I have learned was how truly intentional you have to be when merchandising product and predicting what products customers will want to purchase. These are important parts of any retail business as it affects the buying experience for customers.

What advice would you give?

Make a lot of connections during your time at Iowa State. Networking is so important when thinking about a career in the fashion industry!

Career Connections