Grad is Director of Retail Development at Urban Decay
Visual Communications Graduate Amanda Thevenot was born in a tiny town in northern Minnesota called Little Fork and lived in Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, and Arkansas all before the age of 18. While working for the retailer Buckle as a high school student in the 1990s, Amanda saw an advertisement for FIDM and immediately requested more information. “I was sold,” she said. “I moved to LA two weeks after I graduated high school and never looked back.” Today, the girl who “wanted to make crafts for my job” is the Director of Retail Development at Urban Decay Cosmetics, based in Orange County, California (she’s also worked in key positions for BCBG Max Azria Group, Bare Escentuals, and Avec Les Filles over the years). “I’m not really gluing toilet paper tubes together,” she joked, “but a girl can still dream.”
Any favorite FIDM memories? I don't have a favorite memory exactly, but I loved the whole experience. I was new in LA and new to college and was surrounded by smart creative people who had such different backgrounds than me. FIDM opened up my whole world.
How did FIDM help prepare you for your career? FIDM taught me to think for myself and how to structure my creativity so it is productive and strategic. I learned about teamwork and how to be a productive team member. I also learned the difference between a serif and sans serif font, and for that I will always be thankful.
Tell us about your role as Director of Retail Development at Urban Decay Cosmetics: I love my job! I am in charge of store design for Urban Decay. Today, that means something different then it did 10 years ago. I work on everything from store concept to fixtures to digital experience for brick and mortar and pop-ups.
What do you love most about working in the beauty industry? The pace. It's fast and reactive and you have to be agile. Launch dates, messaging, and concepts are in constant evolution and you have to think on your feet. It's fun! Also, I love that cosmetics give people confidence and let you be creative and have fun.
What advice would you share with current students and new grads? Double and triple check your work. Your work may be beautiful, but you also have to be a professional. And be nice to people. You just never know.