Kristin Souvigny '13

Halo Branded Solutions


Choosing journalism first

When Kristin was in high school, she struggled with making decisions – from choosing an outfit to selecting a coffee at Starbucks. “How on Earth was I supposed to decide my life path and choose a college major?!” She felt jealous of classmates who already had “it” figured out as graduation approached. She knew she liked writing, and had written stories for the high school paper, so Kristin followed the lead of Rory from TV’s Gilmore Girls and decided to major in Journalism at UWM. 

Three years into the program, Kristin realized “this path wasn’t right.” She didn’t have the drive or motivation to be a sleuthing reporter. She also faced growing competition from a thriving field of bloggers, and saw a “dying newspaper industry.”   

A lightbulb moment

Kristin had a lightbulb moment. A major passion that seemed to always be consistent no matter what phase of life she was in was fashion. “I transferred to Mount Mary and although I didn’t have the hopes of becoming the next Vera Wang or Rachel Zoe, I knew I would flourish in a fashion career.”

Kristin chose to study abroad in London for a semester in place of the New York or Paris study trips offered in the Mount Mary Fashion program. “It was an amazing life experience. Emerging myself in a new environment and learning from professors and classmates with diverse cultural backgrounds was truly invaluable.” 

Another highlight of her time in the fashion program was the chance to collaborate with her peers to plan the CREO fashion show in her senior year. “I loved assisting in model casting, planning social media posts, and helping with set up of the runway show.”

Kristin appreciates the fabric science she learned in her textiles course – and often references the textbook she keeps in her office desk drawer. “Clients are always concerned about how long a garment will last and it’s great to be able to provide an educated answer about fibers and durability.”

Even though she didn’t set her sights on becoming a buyer, the course on buying and planning proved valuable to Kristin, especially in her corporate career. “Having the background knowledge of merchandising is applicable to a variety of aspects of business and will set you apart.”

Building a career in merchandisng

Kristin thought she’d leave the Midwest after graduation. At the time, her job at H&M in Milwaukee offered opportunity to grow and transfer to a location anywhere in the country so she decided to stay the course. Her personal life flourished and Kristin made the decision to stay local. She held corporate jobs – at Bon-Ton as a merchandise assistant, and also consulted for Harley Davidson as a visual merchandiser for HD stores across the country. She’s currently working full time at Halo Branded Solutions in Sterling, Illinois.

As an account merchandise manager for Halo, Kristin works with international clients from a variety of industries to develop promotional products for their web stores – including uniforms and corporate apparel. She loves the work and has built relationships with various vendors in a wide range of industries – including fast food chains Noodles & Co., Popeye’s, and Insomnia Cookies; automotive companies Harley Davidson, Blue Bird and Terex; healthcare brand Aurora; and financial service provider Northwestern Mutual. 

“My main goal in life was always to eventually be my own boss and run my own business.”

In her spare time, Kristin also manages “brand image” for Fast Eddy Co., the heirloom motorcycle tool design and manufacturing business she launched with her husband. She creates graphics for the website, develops promotional “swag”, and coordinates their vendor booth at events.

New beginnings

Additionally, she and her husband are in the process of opening a bar and event venue, and Kristin is currently writing a business plan and sourcing inventory. “It’s been a wild ride so far and I’m learning a lot.”

Even though she’s not in the city she thought she’d be in eight years after graduation, Kristen feels “very happy and successful in the Midwest!”

Advice to fashion students

Kristin’s first advice to fashion students is to “be nice to people – no matter their attitude. The world is very small and you may cross paths again!” Second, “find a job that lets you travel.” At Harley Davidson, she explored cities and towns all across the country – gaining perspective on various demographics and making connections far and wide. “It helps you grow on a personal level – and you may find the place that’s best to call home.”

Be nice to people – no matter their attitude. The world is very small and you may cross paths again!

Kristin Souvigny ‘13