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Texas State University

The Future of Fashion

Kaci Floyd at the Fashion Summit in Copenhagen

Growing up in Fort Worth, 2019 alumna Kaci Floyd knew she was interested in the business of fashion, but it seemed like a distant world. She didn’t let that stop her. “Hard work and dedication go a long way,” Floyd says.

“You don’t have to know the how right away, all you need to know is the what (what you want to do, that is), and the hard work will show you how to get there.” With that mindset, and the support of the McCoy College of Business, Floyd is already well on her way to achieving her goals.

Initially, Floyd attended a small community college in her hometown, but was frustrated by its limited resources. As a sophomore she transferred to Texas State, where she found the support she needed to grow. “My McCoy College professors were so knowledgeable and encouraging, and had so much passion. They pushed me to be my best. I came to Texas State not as a business person, but here I am, in New York City at age 23, thriving in the business world.” 

Floyd recently accepted a position as a consultant analyst with WSL Strategic Retail, a consultancy that helps retailers and manufacturers develop innovative shopper-led retail strategies through quantitative and qualitative research of their consumer base. One of Floyd’s jobs is to conduct Retail Safaris®, WSL’s proprietary tool to get clients out of the office and into the retail world, where they can gain inspiration from retail innovations. Floyd says, “I really value the work I do, because I was a marketing major and a fashion merchandising minor. At WSL I get to look at retail across product categories. I deal with fashion, but also health, beauty, wellness, food and so on. It’s right up my alley.”

Floyd says the power of the McCoy College network cannot be overstated. She got her foot in the door with WSL as a summer intern, thanks in part to Professor Gail Zank and Texas State alumnus Scott Emerson (pictured below with Floyd and other interns). Zank arranged for Floyd to interview with Emerson, the owner of a Philadelphia marketing and consulting firm. In the interview Floyd mentioned that her dream was to work in New York. Emerson had a personal connection to WSL and reached out on her behalf, helping her secure an internship that turned into a job offer. That experience confirmed her belief that students should “Get involved as much as you can. You never know where networking opportunities may lead.”

Kaci Floyd with colleagues in NYC
Kaci Floyd with colleagues in NYC

In addition to the faculty and staff support, Floyd credits her extensive involvement in student organizations for her success. Floyd participated in the American Marketing Association, AMA, for two years, including serving as the membership vice president her senior year. She says, “Some of my best college memories are from AMA.” She was also president of the Fashion Merchandising Association her senior year, and a growth officer for Enactus (SIFE). However, Floyd’s most rewarding student organization experience was through Net Impact. Concerned about the enormous amount of pollution produced by the fashion industry, Floyd volunteered as a campaign leader for the Texas State Net Impact chapter’s Wear it Wise campaign. “That was a huge highlight of my college career. It was a semester-long campaign, a lot of work, but I love a challenge. There were nights I thought ‘Why am I doing this when I could be hanging out with my friends?’ but I knew it was something bigger than me and the outcome would be valuable.” Floyd’s team won second place, and when the first-place team leader was unable to accept the prize, an invitation to the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, Floyd seized the opportunity. “I got to travel out of the country for the first time to go to one of the largest sustainability conferences in the world and meet industry leaders from all over and gain insight from them. I will be forever grateful to Texas State and Net Impact for giving me that opportunity.” 

Although Floyd is happy to share the credit for her success, her burgeoning career is clearly the result of her persistence and hard work. Accordingly, Floyd’s advice to current and future students in the McCoy College is

“Believe in yourself. I always wanted to go to New York, and I had a lot of people tell me I couldn’t do it, because it’s too competitive. I didn’t let negative people get to me. There are times I didn’t get an interview, or I interviewed and got a ‘No,’ but I didn’t let that affect me. I just worked harder. With that mindset, the sky’s the limit.”