5 Questions for Teresa Matthews, Logo Store Manager

How do you pick out designs that will be popular with college students?Usually I will talk with vendors and talk about what designs they have found to be popular at other schools with other students. I will also look at trends, as far as what’s going on in regular fashion. I’ll see what colors are popular in fashion and what styles are popular. We also work with the graphic designers associated with the different vendors to come up with different and creative designs. But I also always keep a couple of the classic designs around because those do well. I will let students look at designs in the catalogs and see what the options are to see what they do and do not like as well.

What is your favorite part of interacting with students on a daily basis?
Just getting to know them. I get to find out where they are from and what some of their interests are outside of their major and school. Some of them like to come in here and just visit and talk. I think it can be like talking to a parent for them, I try to be friendly and helpful. I get energy from the students, with all their different experiences and hearing about their challenges and successes in their life.


What skills do you teach your student intern?
I teach the student workers most of the stuff that I do in the Logo Store. I teach them the software, it’s a new software that we started last year. It’s a relatively complicated and in-depth software, but the students are really good at picking up technology quickly. I teach them how to put in inventory. They have to count the product when it comes in and make sure everything looks right – the design is correct and there’s no imperfections such as stains or bad stitching. I also teach them a little bit about marketing. I have them help a lot with social media marketing and like to use their ideas on what will bring other students into the store. I run designs and ideas by them to get a student’s perspective on what would sell well in the store.

How do you plan ahead to have what students will need?
Some of it’s just by experience from year to year. I’ve been in here about three years now. Year to year you figure out what sells and what students are asking for. You also find out what vendors might be pushing that might not sell well here. Experience in the store is a big part of knowing what will do well and what will not. Also, I look at trends. I make sure it’s a trend in Missouri. It might be popular in California, but if people in Missouri have not started wearing it, it will not sell well here. We’re a smaller store, so I do not have room for things that are just going to sit on the rack, I need to make sure things will sell well before bringing them into the store. I am also a member of the National Association of College Stores. They provide articles and survey to members that let us know what students across the nation are saying.

What are some of the best-selling items in the Logo Store?
Our silicone card-holder pockets that go on the back of cellphones are probably are most popular item. Lanyards are very popular too, every students wants a lanyard when they start. The coffee mugs do well because we aim them at different groups such as alumni, parents and grandparents. The apparel of course sells well, and our equestrian students like the equestrian designs and equestrian styles. The hats are popular with fathers and students. Our blankets are also big-sellers when it starts to get cold out.