Vanessa Pulla

Vanessa Pulla

Retail Brand Specialist, Nike

Vanessa graduated from the Fashion Communication program in 2013 and has since made her way to Nike, where she works as a Retail Brand Specialst.

Vanessa Pulla

Why did you decide to attend the Fashion Program at Ryerson?

As a child my world revolved around art. All the other kids would be playing outside and there I was endlessly drawing and painting. Growing up my parents decided to send me to a private school where art classes were non-existent. My love for art was at a stand still. Fast forward a couple years in grade 10, I was flipping through the channels and landed on fashion television. I was mesmerized by the F/W 07 Dolce and Gabbana collection. The behind the scenes footage captivated me like nothing else before. I was so intrigued by creative process involved in making the show come to life. Little did I know that this would soon be my world. From that moment on Jeanne Beker was part of my daily routine, well that is until they took fashion television off the air! In grade 12 when I was looking to apply to universities, the fashion program at Ryerson caught my eye. I knew this was the program for me – there was no chance of saying no – I was determined to get in. It was the perfect balance of art and fashion.

How did your academic experience at Ryerson help you with getting to where you are today? What led to your interest in pursuing Retail Brand Specialization?

Ryerson gave me the skill set and basis to develop a successful career – It was on me to determine how I wanted to apply this to my life. For me, interning was such a crucial part of the process. It allowed me to decipherer exactly what areas of the fashion industry I wanted to pursue. I was endlessly building my portfolio and networks. Eventually, an opportunity came up as a visual merchandiser. After working two years in that position, another opportunity came up in retail brand. It was the right fit for me to grow both personally and professionally.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you change about your time here at Ryerson and why?

I would do a minor! Who even knew you could get a minor?!

What does a day in the life of Vanessa Pulla look like? 

6:30 – immediately open my phone and check the following in precisely this order 

  • New release properties for sale/rent
  • instagram
  • Text messages 
  • Work emails 

I then get up and meditate for 30 minutes. There is a good chance that I will fall back asleep while I do that so I also set a second alarm for 7:00 a.m.

7:00 – Shower (Brush my teeth in the shower. I try to save time where I can) 

7:15 –Put on an outfit. Not much thought goes into it because lucky me, I can wear tights and running shoes to work. 7:30 throw on some mascara, maybe some bronzer if it’s a big day. 

7:40 –head downstairs and make 1 -3 espressos (don’t judge my coffee intake I’m Italian so coffee runs through my blood). I then make breakfast, which usually consists of gluten free bread with avocado and tomato. I make a to-go bottle of hot water with lemon, ginger and cayenne pepper.  Throughout the day I alternate between this and coffee. 7:50 Pack a lunch – depends what I have in the fridge. 

8:00–Drive to work and blast music to get pumped for my day (hip-hop, kyro mix, currently Adele’s “Hello” is on replay) 

8:30–arrive at work and open my computer, make my to do list and get the day started. 

12:00 – Round up the crew for lunch

3:00 – The usual 3:00 p.m cravings go down at this point. Myself and my co-workers go to the extremes and either eat something satisfyingly unhealthy or scarily healthy. Either way it’s snack time. 

7:00 – Depending on what time I get home from work I usually eat around 7:00. Then I go for a run or do a work out. If I am feeling ambitious I will paint or read. Sometime during this time and going to bed I also make sure I take a couple minutes to connect with friends or family.

10:00 – I brush my teeth, wash my face and get to bed. I give my all throughout the day and I am exhausted by 10:00 p.m.

During my day I take a minute to breath and capture a picture to appreciate something in my life that I am grateful for, whether that something be food, scenery, a book – really anything.

What is your favorite part about your job?

I love seeing what a brand does to people and the emotional effect it has on them. I was at all star week in NYC last year and a 12-year-old kid was sitting outside a brand activation. He started chatting with myself and few other co-workers. What came out of this conversation will forever be embedded in my mind. That swoosh was so much more to him than a shoe or apparel, it triggered a strong emotional connection. He associated the brand with specific moments in his life. Sometimes you do not realize the work you do and how it impacts the world around you.

Do you have an area of expertise you want to grow and learn about? 

There is not ONE specific area that I can pinpoint. There is always opportunity for growth in life and in every situation. It is important to constantly analyze yourself and see what the next steps are: Where can you improve? What do you need to better balance yourself and your life? What do you want?

What is your favorite part about working in the Fashion industry? 

Hands down the best part about working in the fashion industry has to be working on a team with such creative, motivated and passionate people who are so dedicated to their career and to the brand. It is extremely inspiring to work with a group of such talented people on a daily basis.

What advice would you give a fashion student interested in being a Retail Brand Specialist? 

My advice to anyone trying to build a career in any field is to:

BALANCE – it is so important to ensure that you are balancing your health, relationships and work.
BE AUTHENTIC – always be true to who you are. People will love the real you. Don’t be afraid to take risks! Change is good.
NETWORK–You can never do it alone. As you grow in your career and in your life you attract people with similar passion, goals and morals. You will be so surprised at the support you will receive from these people.  Continue to strive to be the best possible you. There is always room for growth.

Vanessa Pulla

Retail Brand Specialist, Nike

Vanessa graduated from the Fashion Communication program in 2013 and has since made her way to Nike, where she works as a Retail Brand Specialst.