The summer the Great Recession began, husband-and-wife team Mai and Josh Olivio started Ruche, a vintage-inspired online clothing retailer, out of their garage. Today, they’ve got 25 employees and a bright future ahead of them. For this employer 5 in 5!, we spoke to Josh about the burgeoning company and what it’s like to intern there.
1. What do you look for when you hire an intern?
We look for fresh college students who want to showcase their artistic abilities, who love fashion as much as we do, and most importantly who can grow with us. We’re not just looking for students who want to visit California for the summer and go back to school with some experience working at another dot com. The best candidate in our minds is someone who not only has the artistic ability to match the Ruche brand, but who is also career-oriented. Since we are a new company, we need help with a vision to step into the unknown and grow with us.
2. How did you get started in the industry? How can I get started?
We started as most companies start: out of our garage. There isn’t really any trickery involved; to be successful at something new requires you to be obsessed with the topic at hand. Great candidates stand out because you can tell they are seemingly obsessed with the idea of working at Ruche. We have seen really neat artwork portfolios from good candidates, but great candidates amaze and humble us by bringing custom Ruche portfolios that clearly took time to prepare just for that one chance to meet with us.
3. What is the future of your industry?
What we see in online shopping is significant growth: It’s becoming more and more popular to shop online. Our interns have a chance to play with online media to further enhance online experience, to create buzz and enjoy it.
4. What is one main thing an intern can do to make a favorable impression? To make a negative impression?
Be prepared! Be a step ahead of the person next to you, and use an interview as an opportunity to show what you would do if you were in the drivers seat. Hand-pick outfits from Ruche or create sample custom graphics for Ruche ahead of time.
“To be successful at something new requires you to be obsessed with the topic at hand.”
The worst thing to do is lie about your qualifications to get a job. Be true to yourself so your future employers have reasonable expectations of you. The hardest job you can have is something you shouldn’t have signed yourself up for in the first place.
5. Give us a positive intern story? An intern horror story?
I think the most positive intern story we have here is our previous styling intern. She started as a styling intern back in August and is now hired on as a part time employee while attending the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. She currently holds one of the most coveted jobs here, stylist. We’re already looking for ways to create a position for her when she graduates and is ready for a full-time career. We haven’t run across any horror intern stories, but hiring for an intern is as important if not more than hiring a permanent position. We have to put in effort to train and groom our interns, so we need them to make the best out of the opportunity and learn as much as they can. As an intern, you should stay focused on the task at hand and have the drive to learn. We always notice good work ethic!
You can read more about our story here, as well.
Update: Wanna work for Ruche? Check out this link to see seven internships they’re currently have posted on Internships.com!