FIDM Instructor Susan Tran Is Director of eCommerce at Creatures of Comfort
Susan Tran graduated from FIDM in 2008 as the valedictorian, earning her degree in Merchandise Product Development. She is now the Director of eCommerce at Creatures of Comfort, splitting her time between New York City and Los Angeles. She also teaches in FIDM's Social Media program.
Tell us a little about yourself and your new position at Creature of Comfort: I'm from San Jose, CA and have lived in LA for the last 14 years. I hold degrees from UCLA, FIDM (I was valedictorian my year!), and just recently got my MBA from USC. You could say I'm a lifetime learner, but I also love to teach—I'm lucky enough to teach in the Social Media department here at FIDM.
I've worked in eCommerce for about the last 10 years and have had the opportunity to work for companies like Charming Charlie, Chan Luu, and the Getty Museum. My most recent gig is as the Director of eCommerce at Creatures of Comfort. I love the brand—we have such amazing and cool pieces. Very modern, feminine, and effortless, but quirky with nods to vintage and Japanese street style. It definitely doesn't hurt having a seasonal clothing allowance.
With stores in Silverlake and Soho, and the main offices in New York, I'm actually living a bicoastal life right now. I'm LA based, but I currently travel to NYC every other week as our entire eCommerce team works from there (photography, site merchandising, content, graphic design, fulfillment). I am their first Director of eCommerce and I have been brought onto restructure the eCommerce team and began to optimize the site with a fresh take on site functionality and strategy, as well as put more focus on digital and social media marketing.
How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? I started as a Merchandise Marketing major, but switched over to Merchandise Product Development in my second quarter. It was a great move to make. Knowing the entire design, technical, and production process has helped me connect all the dots in an apparel business. Although I don't work on the design and production side, I base my go-to-market strategy on the design vision (mood boards, color stories, inspiration) and this shapes how product gets promoted and merchandised on the website and our digital channels.
Any advice for someone considering applying to FIDM? Be open minded to every opportunity. Attend FIDM events and talk to current and former students.
I thought I wanted to be a designer and I do some design work on the side, but taking classes, interacting with my peers, having various internships and jobs have all helped guide me to eCommerce, something that didn't really exist when I had graduated.
What is your biggest goal right now? My goal right now is to really enjoy everything. Sometimes we get caught up in the whirlwind of life and forget to appreciate the simple moments. I want to get to know New York better each trip and I want to make sure that I take it all in.