This week we interviewed Tyler Nicoll, the Subscription Team Lead for the Customer Experience Department at Rent the Runway! Tyler is a University of Delaware Alumna who followed her bliss from working as an Ecologist in Florida to working in Fashion in NYC, proving it's never too late to change paths and explore new passions.. making her a total eff.Y.bee girl! Read on to learn more about Tyler's journey and a day in the life at Rent the Runway.
Tell us about your post-grad journey
"It's been an interesting and winding path to get to the fashion-tech company, Rent the Runway. In college, I had a number of math and science focuses-mechanical engineering, animal science and environmental science. For 4 years I worked as an Ecologist- first managing large scale environmental restoration projects on phosphate mines in Florida, and then moving to NYC and working as a consultant. At one point, during a particularly tough time in my life, I decided to take a step back, reset, and open my eyes to all opportunities in NYC (endless..). My best friend suggested I try out RTR. I was always into fashion as a hobby and I have a passion for start-up culture, so here I am 2 years later!"
What is your role at RTR? Tell us about a day in the life.
"I am the Subscription Team Lead for the Customer Experience Department. What's a day like? Fast-paced and strategic problem solving and iteration. Women use RTR for major events in their lives (weddings, galas, work conferences). We get to be a part of that. We are responsible for making sure everything goes smoothly and they FEEL beautiful, that's a lot of pressure, and it's important to us. I am on the cross functional subscription team at RTR which has a lead from every department in the company: tech, finance, marketing, analytics, fashion, etc. It's a passionate group that creates tests, develops strategy, and never stops looking for ways to improve our product."
What do you love most about working at RTR? What's the most challenging?
"I believe in our product, and I am the demographic- this is what makes it so fun. But truly, everything. Coming from a science background, analytical problem solving is kinda my thing. Combining that with fashion has been a match made in heaven. Also- FEMALE POWER. RTR is 70% women in a male dominated tech industry. Jenn and Jenny our founders- they are TOTAL bosses. It's inspiring to look at our whole exec team dominated by powerful, intelligent and down to earth women. The challenge? We are defining a new space- that can be messy, and we will make mistakes getting there. You have to be able to persevere, maintain momentum and keep your eye on the high level goals."
When not working, where can we find you?
"When not at work, you can find me decked out in fashion pieces from RTR, dancing to live music somewhere...probably techno or deep house...probably in Brooklyn... and probably with my crew of closest friends I've made during my time at Rent the Runway. Pre and Post music? You can find us at a delish eatery, say, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan."
What are some of your favorite trends this fall?
"Well, you probably won't find me on the RTR fashion team at any point, but this fall? Asymmetrical hemlines- love them, and they add a little something, even to a simple look. Also, an easy black shift or sheath, we have tons at RTR- and I've probably rented them all. Pair with a choker and groovy boots- and you are all set!"
What's the biggest lesson you've learned so far in your twenties?
Always have a plan, and then plan for nothing to go according to plan. I thought I had it all figured out, and that I would be a Senior Managing Ecologist one day. Being an ecologist was my identity, after I stepped away from that, I was more open minded. I made myself try something entirely out of the box for a scientist, and it worked. I also learned, how supportive friends can be, and it's ok to lean on each other. My friends in NYC have made this place home and have been an incredible support system during trying times.
What advice would you give your 20 yr old self?
It's ok to switch courses. Whatever you are doing- just do it your best. Great work gets noticed, even if it's not right away, and even if it doesn't always feel like it. Don't be afraid to pick something because it seems more fun, but definitely don't do it because you think it will be easier.