Alum Spotlight: Emma Castner

Last week, I got to chat with Emma Castner, a 2020 SMU graduate and my former Digital Director during my first year on The Look. Emma, who now lives in Los Angeles, talked with me about everything from her exciting new job, to her favorite trends right now. Read the full interview below.

Hi Emma! It’s so nice to talk to you again.

So, where do you work now?

I’ve been working at Goop since February as a merchandising assistant for fashion and home.

Okay, that’s so cool. I’m pretty sure you have my dream job. So, what’s your favorite part of your position?

My favorite part of my job is working on the annual gift guide that we put out around the holiday. We get to sell items on our website that we normally wouldn’t, so I have to find products that fit the categories we choose, reach out to vendors, and find new items that I know our customers will love and that they can’t find anywhere else.

How did you start working for Goop?

I actually started out as a summer intern going into my senior year at SMU. A girl I went to high school with was already working at Goop and told me they needed help and were looking to fill an intern role, so she encouraged me to apply. I thought I would be a writer, given what I had been doing during my time on Look, but I ended up in merchandising. After graduation, I reached out to Goop and became a gift guide intern–how funny is that? So, I was with Goop again from October to November, before being brought on full-time in February 2021. I’m currently virtual, but I’m based in the Santa Monica office.

Do you think your time on SMU Look prepared you for your job at Goop?

Even though I didn’t end up being a writer for Goop, the experience Look gave me has undoubtedly helped me in my position as a merchandising assistant. Look helped me develop a broad knowledge of things going on in the fashion and wellness industry. Plus, writing articles helped educate me on trends and emerging brands, while also teaching me how to cater to a specific audience, which is arguably the most important part of my job now.

Do you have any advice for students looking to get into merchandising, or a role similar to yours?

Honestly, I never thought I would be in merchandising, but I’m so glad I am. It was such a happy accident. My advice would be to apply for jobs that look interesting to you, even if they don’t have to do with your major, because you may just surprise yourself.

Ok, now for some rapid-fire, fun questions that are (mostly) unrelated to Goop.

Did you take up anything fun during quarantine or start something new?

This isn’t a hobby or anything, but I got a new puppy! So, I guess my “something new” was becoming a dog mom and full-time puppy trainer. She’s a little Boston terrier named Ruth Bader Ginsburg. If you check out my Instagram, she’s become a star on my feed.

Obviously, the 90’s are having a massive resurgence. So, what’s your favorite trend right now?

This is super specific, but I’m loving the trend of dressing down work pant trousers. Basically, I like making them more street-style by pairing them with a casual top and sneakers. Now that I’m a full-on adult, I’ve realized I can’t just wear skirts or jean shorts all the time, so the work trouser-look allows me to look professional, but still trendy.

Any thoughts on this year’s Met Gala? It’s been quite a hot topic among the Look staff…

As far as the fashion goes, I loved Emma Chamberlain’s Louis Vuitton look. However, I didn’t really understand the theme–is that weird? I just didn’t see a consistent idea across all of the red carpet looks. I also wasn’t a fan of the guest list, but that’s probably because I don’t understand why Tik Tokers were invited.

Editor’s comment: As someone who also is not on Tik Tok, I found the guest list massively disappointing. It was nice to know that I’m not the only person in my age bracket who didn’t understand the guest list of Tik Tok invitees.

Since you work at Goop, I’m just going to assume you’re a health, wellness, and beauty junkie. So, as someone who is obsessed with skincare, what’s your favorite beauty product in your current routine?

So, this isn’t a product, but I am in love with the facial steamer I got off of Amazon! Especially after a rough weekend, I love using my steamer and then putting on a face mask. Not only is it relaxing, but it really helps open up my pores.

EZ Basics Facial Steamer, $32.99,
EZ Basics Facial Steamer, $32.99, Photo credit: Amazon

Finally, do you have a fave new fall piece you can’t wait to wear?

I have this Maje collared tan knit dress that I got at the end of fall last year and didn’t have an opportunity to wear, so I’m really excited to bring it out this season. Also, I just jumped on the vegan leather bandwagon and bought myself a leather puffer jacket from Zara that I can’t wait to wear once it gets a bit cooler.

Follow Emma on Instagram (@emmacastner_) for more of her fabulous outfits, her work at Goop, and her life as a dog mom!

Carolyn Hammond

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