While attending college, Alex Reyna has been working as a part-time sales associate at TravisMathew’s flagship store in Newport Beach, California. Below, Alex discusses his role, his passion for the brand, and how he sees himself growing in his career.
Every time I come into work, I’m actually excited. The people I work with are all super cool. Before I applied for this job, I was nervous because I had no sales experience. I knew I’d be talking to a lot of people, but everyone I’ve worked with has been more than happy to help me, reassure me, and offer advice.
As a retail sales associate, the responsibilities are pretty broad, especially being in the flagship store, so I’m not just doing one thing all the time. My first priority is interacting with clients and focusing on building client-associate relationships. When I’m not doing that, I’m making sure the store looks presentable, and I’m replenishing the stock so everything is full, organized, straightened. Sometimes, I’ll be in the back helping when a new shipment of products comes in.
I love that this isn’t a boring department store. It’s basically a fun zone. There’s TVs everywhere, and we just got a putting green, and an arcade game, and we’ve always had a ping pong table. People walking by see all these fun things they can do, and they want to come in even if they weren’t planning to.
I really enjoy talking with clients, and not just trying to sell them something, but having actual interactions—finding out how their day is going or if they’re coming in from out of town. Once you start getting a little bit more personal, it will usually lead into another conversation where you can find a common interest, and when I really hit it off with someone, they appreciate the service I’m giving. It creates a bond and relationship.
I also like that we pool our incentives. Individual incentives are not the main motivation for sales. We're given a certain goal every day, which plays a vital role in how we approach our work. It’s a communal, group effort. We win as a team.
I applied to TravisMathew because I really loved their clothing. I played tennis in high school and Division I at the University of San Diego, and I always had a TravisMathew hat on at my matches. I knew I’d have high-value things to say about the company, the brand, and the product, so I thought working here would be a great fit.
When someone asks me for help, or for a recommendation, I think it comes very naturally to me because I don’t just wear TravisMathew at work. I wear it outside of work, whether I’m going to the gym or just hanging out. I give our clients truthful advice when they’re looking for a certain item, whether it’s a polo or pants. I think our product is just better than a lot of our competitors, so I don’t have to force myself to convince clients that we have a superior product.
I’ve had a strong relationship with my manager, Caylee Scott, over the past three and a half years, and that’s given me a really good foundation. If I have any questions, she’s always more than happy to answer them, even if she’s not working that day. No matter where she is, she’s always there for me and the other associates. It’s nice to work in an environment where your manager has your back.
Whenever we have an idea that can improve the store, the managers encourage us to talk to them about it. They really appreciate that because it helps keep the store fresh. We have group meetings about once a month, and after the managers go through all their points, they always leave time for an open discussion at the end. If we have any questions, ideas, or thoughts—such as possible changes to the layout—we’re able to voice our thoughts in a welcoming environment. Sometimes ideas we present are literally implemented that day.
I’m given a lot of support when I need to take time off, whether it’s for a family vacation or a personal issue. In 2019, I was experiencing incredibly strong anxiety, and I took a leave of absence for a month. My manager and coworkers were so supportive. They were like, “You’re a human, and you need to do what’s best for you.”
I would have worked here full time years ago, but as a student, I just haven’t had time in my schedule. Once I graduate, I definitely want to be here full-time. After I gain more experience, whether it’s being a supervisor or assistant manager, I’d love to move into a corporate role. I’m majoring in strategic corporate communications, so I want to do something in that area.
When I was updating my manager on my academic progress earlier this year, I mentioned that I eventually want to work at corporate. I have a couple friends who were full-time supervisors here that work at corporate now. I also know other assistant managers who were promoted to corporate. They’re all doing different things over there, and they love it. So I basically just told her, “I want to be like them.” And I know she’ll support me, that it’s possible.
When Ryan Ellis and Leif Sunderland joined TravisMathew, they were early in their careers and the company was just getting started.
I came to TravisMathew by chance—and given all that’s happened since, I can hardly believe my luck.
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