How five Niven employees fell in love with retail
Nick Milinkovich, Senior Account Executive
“My Dad was in the display business. He used to walk me around Sportmart and we would look at all the Nike fixtures he produced. While he was busy looking at the displays, I was busy keeping an eye out for any of my friends. Being caught shopping with your dad when you were 12 was very uncool and I had a reputation to uphold.”
“I do recall thinking it was so cool that something that was produced in my dad’s metal shop ultimately ended up on the store floor selling Nike product. With every one of those trips my love for retail grew. Over the years, shopping with my Dad became less uncool, so I could focus more on displays and less on looking out for friends.”
Adam Mergens, Senior Designer
“Some of my fondest memories of retail were when I was a kid going to Stratford with mom, aunt and cousins. I always loved going through the Discovery Channel Store, Zany Brainy, Noodle Kidoodle, KB Toys, etc. So much has changed there and I find it very nostalgic driving past the mall on the way to work every day.”
“Now I’ve come full circle and work on making those retail experiences for the present and future. Funny side story: I once fell in one of those fountains they have in the mall and still remember the bright light at the bottom and all the quarters or “wishes”. A stranger hoisted me out by my leg. Had to get a brand new outfit and I think I still own the t-shirt.”
Shelley Mielas, Senior Account Manager
“Personally, I fell in love with retail back in the 80’s around Christmas time. Me and my sister used to go through the 300+ page JC Penny’s catalog and flag all the stuff we wanted Santa to bring. Professionally, I fell in love with retail while working on a few craft brewery brands. I was able to combine my love for craft beer and retail with a career that I enjoyed.”
“I loved knowing the new brews that were coming out before the rest of the world. I also loved going to a local bar and seeing the new tap handle or signage that I made. Or going to Jewel and seeing my rack displayed proudly. It’s a pretty cool feeling to be a part of it from the beginning.”
Jocelyne Flores, Senior Designer
“My love for retail started with a great Apple customer service experience. When I was in college, the cover keyboard of my Macbook got stained. I was so frustrated and worried because of all the money I thought it would cost me to fix or replace it.”
“So I took my laptop to the Apple Store. The specialist was very friendly. She told me they had a program to change the cover keyboards at no cost. I thought that was AWESOME! The regular price to change it was around $200, but I didn’t pay a thing!”
“The service from beginning to end was terrific. They helped me transfer essential files to continue working from home and gave me tips on extending the life of my laptop—for FREE! I left the store satisfied and happy. After that experience, my admiration for the brand went beyond the aesthetics in their stores. They made me feel that they cared about me and appreciated my preference for their products.”
Katie McKillip-Von Feldt, Senior Account Executive
“I believe I fell in love with working in retail when I worked abroad in college. I don’t think I realized how different the stores in Ireland would be. It was exciting to see all of the different styles and trends.”
“While I was there I worked at a free trade shop, where everything was made by women out of a village in Nepal, and all profits went back to those women and the village. The shop was owned by one woman who ran everything. She discovered the artists while traveling abroad, falling in love with them and their beautiful pieces.”
“At the time Nepal was the poorest country in the world. By opening her shop and selling their items, she helped them build a library for their town and bathrooms for their school. Even though it was just a small retail shop in Galway, it felt good knowing we were helping people across the globe.”
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