Campus reps gain experience

By Sarah Police / Staff Writer

Perri Ripps used to spend a lot of her time on campus telling people about scarves.

Ripps is a former campus representative for Donni Charm, a high-end scarf line created by former University of Arizona student Alyssa Wasko. Ripps’ position is one that has become a growing presence on college campuses — word of mouth has expanded its reach, usually spreading between friends. Students are taking advantage of working as campus representatives for many different companies to help them pursue their individual fields of study. 

“As a marketing major who is interested in learning about the fashion industry, I thought it would be a great fit,” Ripps said.

According to Ripps, a senior, she found out about the position at Donni Charm through a member of her sorority, who was a campus representative at the time. After Ripps left campus to study abroad last year, she, too, passed along the position.

Ripps said her duties as a campus representative included spreading the word about Donni Charm around campus through social media and other efforts, hosting trunk shows and staying up to date on all of the latest merchandise. 

According to Donni Charm’s website, the company is named after Wasko’s late father, Donny, who Wasko revered as her own “lucky charm.”

“It is the heart and soul of a young woman who lost her father and found a positive means of linking both her love for family and fashion to her healing process,” the website says.

Ripps made commission on the 15 scarves that Donni Charm required she sell each month. 

She said there was a lot of incentive, because the campus representative who sold the most scarves by the end of the month would receive a free one. According to the company’s online store, the scarves are in the $100 range. 

Now an intern at Tommy Hilfiger, Ripps said her work with Donni Charm taught her the inner-workings of a company and what working in the fashion industry might be like.

Like Ripps, Leanne Clark was also was a campus representative, but for Krass and Co., a high-end athletic clothing company, for roughly one year. 

Clark, a senior psychology major, was responsible for the marketing and advertising of the company’s merchandise, which includes running shorts and T-shirts that can also be embroidered with sorority and fraternity Greek letters. 

Similar to Ripps, Clark was introduced to Krass and Co. through a friend who was a current campus representative. Instead of receiving payment for her work, Clark got a 20 percent discount on the company’s products.

According to Clark, Campus representatives typically receive a discount or some form of compensation as payment for their work.

Emily Toal, a junior biology major, was a hometown representative for Serengetee, a streetwear company, during summer 2013. 

Toal, a transfer student, found out about the opportunity to be a representative through a friend at her previous school, Louisiana State University.

Toal said she enjoyed being a representative for Serengetee because it’s different from other companies.

For every purchase through Serengetee, Toal said, a percentage goes back into the country from which the materials came. 

“It was a really cool experience because every time someone buys a product, 5 percent of the cost goes directly back to the area where the fabric is from and benefits a local cause in that country,” Toal said.