Ever wonder who is responsible for creating the visual product presentations you see throughout a Target store – from mannequin outfits and product displays to signage and lighting? Visual Merchandisers (VMs) play a critical role in crafting these inspiring moments for guests while infusing their own sense of style into their work each day.

Interested in creating stunning visual displays of your own? Read on for insights from Visual Merchandiser, Louis.

How would you describe your role as a Visual Merchandiser at Target? What is your day-to-day like? 

My role as a Visual Merchandiser is rather unique. For me it is fun to come in everyday and see what creative work I can do. Whether it’s updating and creating eye-catching mannequin moments, making a beautiful display in our Home department, or of course interacting with our amazing guests to help them find that perfect outfit for an event or occasion. Day-to-day I come in and observe where I can jump in and sprinkle some visual magic. I partner with my peers if they need any assistance executing Visual Merchandise Guides or sets and help train style consultants on being experts in their designated areas. This training can include teaching them proper visual standards and how to take initiative making moves based on trends in their departments.

How does your role help guests discover the joy of everyday life? 

In my role, I take a lot of pride in my mannequin sets. It is a great way to inspire guests to discover styles and trends that they might not have thought would work for them. Often, I have guests tell me that they love the mannequin presentations and ask me to help pick out outfits for certain events they are going to. Those types of guest interactions always stand out and continue to make that visual spark inside of me grow and flutter. I feel it’s one of the most rewarding things about my role. I’ve had guests come back to the store and show me pictures of them wearing an outfit that I helped them pick out. They always tell me about the compliments they got and thank me again for the experience. It’s a truly satisfying and genuine moment of connection.

What has surprised you most about your career with Target? 

What has surprised me the most in my career with Target would be the appreciation Target has for their employees. When I first started with the company, I immediately felt a warm and inviting atmosphere. What I love is how everyone is always so open and engaging with one another. The work that you do is always recognized and you really get a sense of pride coming into work every day.

How would you describe the culture at Target? 

The culture here at Target is VERY inclusive. It’s a beautiful melting pot of ethnicity, cultures, backgrounds, orientations, and gender identity. It’s a place where truly anyone and everyone is welcome. Being part of the LGBTQ+ community, I can say first-hand how engaging and accepting Target really is. Especially volunteering and giving back… between their partnerships with organizations like GLSEN and the Family Equality Council, their participation in the NYC Pride walk and Youth Pride, and even other events for the Pajama Program, WIN, and so much more. I’m always so honored to go and show my support in any way I can. It always stems back to wanting to give that same feeling of acceptance and being embraced to others in the same way that I feel coming to work every day.

How do you stay current on trends and bring your unique style to the visual presentations on the floor?

I stay updated on current trends through social media. “Outfit of the Day” posts or “Style Inspiration” posts are a great way to see what trends are in style and which new innovations everyone is gravitating towards. Personally, I am often influenced by music and recording artists (for example, Rihanna, Selena Gomez, Jared Leto, Prince, and more) so I always try to incorporate their styles into presentations that I do and look to them for inspiration if I ever hit a creative block. I also love to put my own style and spin on everything that I do. Whether it’s from my mannequin presentations or merchandising focal areas to supporting changes in inventory, I always keep the theme in mind and give it a modern twist featuring current styles and trends. For areas outside of apparel, I ask myself the question: “How would I love to style my room or my apartment?” Odds are, if you really love the presentations you’re doing and would wear your mannequin outfits yourself, other people would love it just as much.

How have you grown with the support of your leaders and peers?

I have grown so much over the years with Target and I am still growing. My leaders and peers are always engaging and supportive of me. They’re always hyping me up, congratulating me on my successes, and most importantly, still encouraging me to do more and challenge myself. They know the potential I have even when I don’t see it myself and are always there to give me that extra hand or little push to really bring it out of me. I am super thankful for that.

What would you tell a new Target Visual Merchandiser just starting out?

I have been fortunate enough to train a number of other VMs for my District and Group. Each time I have been partnered with a new VM, I always pass along all the basic tools of the trade and also encourage and challenge them to take risks. The whole point of visual merchandising is to stand out. What is going to make you unique from the rest? We follow Visual Merchandise Guides and have our own set of rules when it comes to visual designs, but add your flavor, your style, your twist – that is really going to make your presentations POP!

Anything else? 

In November of this year, I will make 5 years of working with Target. I started off as a Seasonal General Merchandising team member, transitioning to a full time Style Consultant. A year into working with Target is when I was presented with the opportunity to become a VM. I jumped at the chance, and now look where I am. I am thankful for that opportunity. Style had always been a passion of mine, but I did not know how to pursue it. Target gave me the tools and the opportunity to try something new, bold, and different.  Recently our store became the visual training store for the Group, and I am so appreciative and proud of that. These past few years doing visual merchandising has honestly been amazing. I’m doing something that I love to do and working in a place that is fully accepting and supportive of me. I truly enjoy merchandising my presentations and inspiring guests to discover what’s new. I am super thankful for every peer and every leader that has had any part in my development, because it has all ultimately gotten me to where I am today. I hope to continue to grow and flourish, and spread my wings and see where visual merchandising can take me. I am up for the ride!

Interested in a role as a Visual Merchandiser? Learn more and explore opportunities near you at target.com/careers.