Recently, 24 young women from Girls, Inc. came to QVC to learn, laugh, and sell like a host of our own. With the help of some of our All-Star women team members, the Girls, Inc. ladies got a full taste of life at QVC. Girls, Inc. aims to inspire and empower all girls to be strong, smart and bold by building mentoring relationships and a pro-girl environment. Girls, Inc. members are encouraged to become role models in their community and in their careers.
Jodi Teitelman, VP of Affiliate Distribution, organized this event to share the opportunities QVC provides so that young women can expand their horizons and dream bigger. Her hope was that by bringing them out to QVC for a day, they could see that, practically in their own backyard, there is a company that has a myriad of cool, fun and interesting careers for them. With so many inspiring female executives at QVC to learn from, hosting Girls, Inc. for a day was a no-brainer.
The event kicked off with a panel featuring Susan Ripke- Brand Strategy, Naomi Jacobs- Social Media Strategy, Rachel Ungaro- Buying Fashion, and Program Hosts Gabrielle Kerr and Pat James-Dementri, all of whom talked about their roles at QVC as well as the long journey they took to get here. Many of them had no idea what kind of careers were out there, and they had to take a few wrong turns to find their passions. “It’s never too late, no matter what it is,” Pat said. The women also offered amusing advice to their middle school selves, helping to bridge the age gap in the room and connect with the girls in the audience. Naomi recalled wanting to be a marine biologist because that’s what all the other girls in her class wanted to be. “Nobody wants to peak in middle school,” she said. “It’s a hard time for everyone.”
After the panel, the girls were brought to lunch and later divided into teams of five to experience the life of a QVC host. Each team chose one common household item in the room and developed a pitch to sell the item on QVC. Every team received advice from Gabrielle and Pat before breaking to huddle with the rest of the panel members. The girls learned about our “backyard fence” style and practiced their techniques before performing their pitches. Each group took a different approach to selling, but all embraced QVC’s secret sauce. The final group to perform snuggled up in their product, a plush gray blanket, like a true host would and even thought to incorporate customer calls into their pitch. The activity was met with a lot of laughs and a few new dreams to stand beside Gabrielle and Pat on-air someday.
The day concluded with a breakdown of what the girls had learned and pictures with each panel member. All teams agreed that a lot of work goes into selling a product, but more importantly, that there are a lot of different careers paths to take. “If, by hosting this event, even one girl learned something new about the possibilities that exist for her in the world, and it gave her something to reach for—I would deem the day a success,” Jodi said.