A Day in the Life of a Burlington Jewelry & Hair Accessories Buyer

Burlington buyer sitting at her desk

Want to know how a buyer at Burlington spends her time? We ask Kaycee Dawson, an Assistant Buyer in Jewelry & Hair Accessories, to tell us about her day.and more at a fraction of the price.

4:30 a.m. I snooze my alarm twice and finally get up once I hear the alarm go off for a third time. I get ready for the gym. I know, who wants to go to the gym at 5 a.m.? But to be honest, I wake right up the second I hit the treadmill. I am at the gym for about an hour with my workout partner, my boyfriend, and then I go back home to get ready for work. Workout – check.

6:10 a.m.I shower and start to get ready for work. Depending on how tired I am, I may get back into bed after showering and scroll social media for 10 to 15 minutes. Instagram is usually my go-to, especially because I like to keep up on the current fashions and trends. About a half hour after I have showered, I finish getting ready. I typically start with makeup, then hair and get dressed last. Picking out outfits and showing personal style is one of my favorite things to do. Mondays are usually the day where I dress up the most and towards the end of the week is when I dress down (but still stay super cute!). Today, I am wearing a velvet dress with multicolored embroidery detailing, tights and booties paired with a pop of color statement earrings Statement earrings have definitely been my go-to accessory over the past couple of months and definitely will translate into spring.

Burlington buyer looking at samples of accessories

7:45 a.m.I get to work. The office is usually pretty quiet since most people tend to stroll in between 8:30 and 9:00. I like to get to the office early because I am most focused and productive. For breakfast, I eat a bag of dry Cheerios (I know, how old are you?) while answering emails and making a to-do list for the day. Most of the time, this to-do list starts off with four to five things but ends up filled with 10 action items…and only a handful of things crossed off by the end of the day.

8:30 a.m.As a merchant it is important to understand what is working in your assortment and what is not. What are the commonalities? Where can we improve on our assortment and how can we learn from what didn’t work? All of this is learned through analyzing reports, viewing top/bottom sellers, communicating with the vendor community and being in stores weekly. Burlington’s customer base is growing every day and we want to keep our customers coming back for more. One of the ways we do this? Always present newness. As an assistant buyer, I help Maggie (buyer) in picking product, compiling the buys, communicating with the vendor on best deliveries, handle all logistics and more.

10:30 a.m.I eat a light snack, usually a granola bar or fruit. I check in with Maggie and Kyra, my right-hand girl and other assistant in the area, to ensure we are all aligned on the day.

12:30 p.m. As a team, we go down to the Burlington's café. Depending on the day I will either heat up my leftovers from the night before or buy lunch. Most times I usually bring lunch but those times that I do buy, my go-to is a whole wheat wrap with spicy chicken, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo—YUM! – plus potato wedge French fries.

Burlington buyer in the market looking at samples

1:00 p.m. I oversee the hair accessories category and it’s been a lot of fun. Once I receive my top/bottom images back, I use these to reorder the best of the best styles. In addition to writing reorders, any newness that I have notes on are also written. Editing the assortment is step number one, writing the units and need costs are step number two, getting the buy onto a template is step number three, sitting with Maggie to review is four, and sending the template to the vendor to confirm is five. This process can take anywhere from one to three days depending on my workload and how fast a vendor can approve and/or confirm a template. If it is a new order, there may be an additional step which is cost challenges. This is when the vendor and I go back and forth on costs until we get to a good meeting point that is profitable on both sides. During the negotiation phase is when I learn a great deal on what drives cost based on componentry and how we can manipulate an item to get the cost down without losing the value.

2:30 p.m.I meet with Kyra, we touch base on shipping, allocations, order and assortment, along with anything else we need to discuss for that day. We also come up with a game plan on what to prioritize next.

3:00 p.m.I start to hit a wall usually by this time since I get up so early to go to the gym. I grab a snack for a pick-me-up, typically something sweet or salty like candy, kettle corn popcorn or apples and caramel.

Burlington buyer looking at samples of accessories

4:45 p.m.I start to wrap up my last task of the day. I don’t like to leave anything incomplete. I like to make sure I am in a good spot for the next day. I create a to-do list so I know exactly what my priorities are for when I am in the office next.

6:00 p.m.I head out to my car and leave the office – my first phone call is usually to my mom to see what’s for dinna. Usually she tells me its rice, beans and chicken but I was happy to find out that today was lasagna. Perfect – that will be dinner for tonight and lunch for tomorrow! My second phone call is to my boyfriend to see what his ETA is. He tells me that he is going to a networking sales event with some of his co-workers. Looks like I’ll see him tomorrow, bright and early at the gym since he'll have a late night. My commute back home is anywhere between 40 to 50 minutes, depending on traffic. I have time for another phone call – this was to my best friend Gianna who lives in Massachusetts. While we don’t live close anymore we never miss a beat or a phone call to catch up on our weekends, talk about work, family, boyfriends, vacations, etc.

6:45 p.m. I get to my mom’s house, say hi to my family and, most importantly, am greeted by my ever so adorable, fluffy puppy, Cody! He’s a Maltipoo and weighs no more than 10 pounds. Regardless of how I am feeling or how my day went, he always puts the biggest smile on my face just because he’s so darn cute. My mom, my sister and I all eat together, talk about our day and catch up.

8:15 p.m. I finally make it home, full and all. I turn Bravo on TV. I start to get ready for the next day: I pick out my outfit and gym clothes, pack my lunch and shower.

9:00 p.m. I get in my bed full of pillows with an ice cold bottle of water, my phone and the remote for the TV. My shows comes on, Vanderpump Rules, RHO___ (you fill in the blank) – I watch it all, oh and The Bachelor. I usually flick back and forth from channel to channel because I don’t want to miss much. I text my best friend on what’s happening on the show and choose our faves.

9:45 p.m. Eyes are getting heavy at this point…come 10 p.m. it’s lights out!

Interested in joining Burlington's buying team? Learn more about our Assistant Buyer Development Program.

Category: Insider

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