By Tony Turner
Apr 30, 2019
Indiana State alumna Samantha Ripperger used her passion for fashion to land a job with the award-winning magazine PATTERN.
Ripperger majored in textiles, apparel, and merchandising and uses fashion as a form of expression.
“Growing up I was very shy and defined myself as a fly on the wall,” said Ripperger. “Dressing differently than everyone else and showcasing my personality through my clothes gave me a chance to tell people who I was without actually having to talk to them.”
Getting accepted into the Honors College was one of the reasons Ripperger chose to go to Indiana State.
“Not only did it offer challenging courses but it offered amazing opportunities,” said Ripperger. “The summer before my senior year, I was able to study abroad due to a scholarship through the Honors College. I traveled to Florence, Italy to take a three-week Visual Merchandising course where I learned about window displays, lighting, props and more.”
“The following semester I took my last required Honors College course: undergrad thesis. After speaking with professor Bierly, I chose to tie in what I learned in Italy with what I’d learned in my Textiles, Apparel, and Merchandising classes. I ended up making a mini-collection consisting of three dresses based on colors and architecture from Florence. Additionally, I had to make a poster for the presentation and that is where I discussed my inspiration, the design process and visual merchandising aspects from the class I took in Italy.”
Ripperger was a part of the Fashion and Merchandising Association all four years of college. She was media coordinator her freshman and senior years and president her sophomore and junior years.
“While being president, I learned so much about being a leader, planning events and getting people involved,” said Ripperger. “One of the events that I helped start while being president was The Sycamore Closet. We gathered gently used clothing from students and faculty, used our merchandising skills to determine what would and wouldn’t sell, used our retail math skills to price each item, and used our marketing skills to get the word out.”
“We then sold the items to students and faculty. The event helped us put to use the skills we had been learning in our classes to give us real-world experience while bringing something new to campus. It’s been amazing to see the organization continue to have this event even after I have left. I’m very proud of them and the organization.”
While at State, one of Ripperger’s advisors at introduced her to PATTERN. She started following the brand and noticed they were looking for summer interns.
“I applied to be a journalism intern for the summer after I graduated and was so surprised when I received the acceptance email because there were so many other amazing applicants,” said Ripperger. “During my internship, I wrote several articles for their digital magazine, helped out with social media, met some awesome people, and attended some of the coolest events Indy has to offer.”
At the end of her internship, Ripperger was accepted into a fellowship program at PATTERN and serves as social media and online content manager, a position she couldn’t be happier in.
“I usually start my day checking emails, scheduling social media posts, and assigning articles for our digital magazine. Those are the things I do on a regular basis,” said Ripperger. “However, we usually have stuff that gets thrown in the mix, like brainstorming project ideas, photo shoots, interviews, events and more. That’s what I like most about it; there is some structure but also time for surprises.”
Ripperger’s time at PATTERN has helped her grow professionally and has expanded her learning in different areas of the job.
“Working at PATTERN has taught me that I don’t know everything, specifically about social media, and that is OK,” said Ripperger. “It has taught me to keep my eyes and ears open and to soak in everything that I can because learning is the best tool you can have.”
Ripperger’s dream is to work for Teen Vogue as their social media manager one day.
“As cheesy as it sounds, in five years, I just hope to be happy and closer to my dream,” said Ripperger.
Photos courtesy of Jamar Mitchell.