Ten years of experience as a MERCHANDISER, BUYER AND PRODUCT MANAGER for top national fashion brands. Lifetime creative soul.
Born and raised on an island in the Puget Sound of Washington state, Tara graduated from Santa Clara University in San Jose, CA. She started her in career in the fashion apparel industry the highly selective RMP program at Gap, Inc. in San Francisco upon graduation.
In late 2012 after five years at Banana Republic, Tara moved across the country to Philadelphia, PA to work for Free People (of Urban Outfitters, Inc.), as the head wholesale buyer and web merchandiser. In June of 2015 of she moved back to the West Coast to look for her next creative calling. After a stint as the tops and jackets/outerwear senior buyer and merchandiser for Lucy Activewear, she is now the Omni-channel Merchandise Manager over the Plus Sizes division of Charlotte Russe in San Francisco. CR is a fast fashion retailer for 18-25 year old women with a strong growing digital presence.
Tara is an avid knitter, snowboarder, hiker and general outdoors-woman. She is currently an aspiring yogi. A sometimes professional photographer (her photo of the Pike Place Market made it on the cover of Visit Seattle magazine). She has run a successful fashion blog and attended several New York Fashion Weeks as a member of the press.
She built this website herself.
EXPERIENCETARA'S VISUAL PORTFOLIO
OMNI-CHANNEL MERCHANDISE MANAGER
San Francisco, CA
June 2017 – Present
Plus Size Division
LUCY ACTIVEWEAR, VF CORPORATION
SENIOR RETAIL BUYER
February 2016 – Present
• Drove 54% of total retail store volume, $24M in total sales in tops, bras and jackets categories. Managed 65 programs and 275 cc’s per 3-month season to support bi-weekly product flows.
• Delivered a 14% growth in jackets and 11% growth in bras categories for Spring 2017 versus 2% total business.
• Built a $400k graphic tee business in 2016 with projected sales of $900k for 2017, 6% of total tops department.
• Created category-level assortment segmentation framework to facilitate a diverse and compelling product range. Evangelized to all cross-functional partners. Resulted in 15 new styles added to Fall 2017 line, a $550k increase in sales volume.
• Implemented new buy process for Fall 2017, integrating visual mapping to fixture and new flow and markdown cadences to maximize in-store newness for customers.
• Overhauled internal business reporting process to more effectively communicate product wins and opportunities to greater team.
FREE PEOPLE, URBAN OUTFITTERS, INC.
SENIOR WHOLESALE BUYER
December 2012 – June 2015
Wholesale Business Account Base Includes:
+ 3000 specialty boutiques worldwide
SWEATER & JACKET/OUTERWEAR SPECIALIST
• Owned $89M business, 45% of total Free People wholesale. Managed 50 styles per monthly delivery across sweaters, heavy knits jackets/outerwear and bottoms.
• Drove an 18% increase in total global business in 2014 by funding trending third piece cardigan sweaters, heavyweight knits and indoor jackets through assortment growth and chase strategies.
• Grew international business by 54% in 2014, increasing account base by 33% and style pick-up rate by 21%. Broadened fashion offering for Asian and European accounts, offered a UK exclusive outerwear capsule and off-season sweaters for Australian accounts.
• Established a $6M seasonless business across four heavy knit and indoor jacket styles. Collaborated with cross-functional partners to build sales projection ladder plans, negotiate bulk fabric costs and decrease lead time from 75 to 60 days.
• Introduced $500k ‘Luxe’ capsule of high AUR sweaters in Fall 2014, brought on 15 new specialty store accounts. Paved the way for a high AUR strategy in 2015.
• Conceived flexible yarn and fabric platform strategies for all categories in order to mitigate fashion risk in assortments.
• Proven track record of building strong collaborative relationships with all cross functional partners, including five design and technical design teams, three product development and production teams and two planners.
• Managed Assistant Buyer, Buyer Assistant and intern. Trained Assistant buyer to own heavy knits class.
FREE PEOPLE, URBAN OUTFITTERS, INC.
WHOLESALE WEB MANAGER
January 2014 – June 2015
Manager of freepeoplewholesale.com, a business to business e-commerce platform where accounts can see current product offering by delivery, category and trend and place buys.
SITE MERCHANDISING & CURATION
EMAIL CAMPAIGN MANAGER
• Responsible for accurate representation of all product on site, including monthly launches of new product. Introduced bi-weekly curated trend shops. Led six-member cross functional team.
• Increased sales on site by 20% in 2014, +32% in international demand and +11% in domestic demand. Increased average account spend by 27% and total orders by 36%.
• Increased email campaign click-through rate consistently over prior year by 5% through elevated imagery, on-trend content, targeted CTAs and compelling newsletter scroll formats.
• Managed weekly email marketing campaigns, collaborating with graphic design, photo studio and web production teams to create original artwork and code emails.
BANANA REPUBLIC FACTORY STORES, GAP, INC.
San Francisco, CA
October 2007 – December 2012
MERCHANT-OWNED DESIGN & PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
MEN’S KNITS, SWEATERS & SUITING
March 2010 – December 2012
• Managed $90M business in knits, sweaters and suiting, 44% of the men’s division. Drove 10% business growth and IMU increase by two percentage points.
• Drove 15% quarterly sales increase of the #1 men’s style, the pique polo, by updating stale styling to be more marketplace-relevant.
• Revitalized the graphic tee business: introduced slub fabrication bases, holiday and event-specific graphic capsules, a 100% organic cotton capsule, updated marketing and labeling, slimmer fit.
• Managed team Merchandise Assistant, coached to get into RMP Program.
WOMEN’S KNITS AND LOUNGE
June 2008 – March 2010
• Managed the $98M women’s knits and knit dressing/lounge business, 33% of women’s division.
• Launched $9M graphic tee business, which grew to 8% of the department in six months. Developed a ‘fast’ artwork timeline to meet trend and sales demand.
RETAIL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM TRAINEE
October 2007 – June 2008
• Gap Inc.’s highly selective cross-brand, cross-channel nine month training program
• Three month rotation in each of the critical fields of product development: merchandising, planning & production